Rehearsals for Swedish final in full swing12 March 2009 at 16:31 CET
The first artist to rehearse his song today was Måns Zelmerlöw who is seen as one of the favourites to win Melodifestivalen this year. His song Hope And Glory is an uptempo popsong with a refined choreography. 2 female backing singers and 4 backing dancers are supporting him on stage. Everyone was clad in black today which was also the predominant colour on stage. The song was written by Måns himself, together with Henrik Wikström and Fredrik Kempe. The latter has three songs in the Swedish final this year as he also wrote Malena Ernman's and Sarah Dawn Finer's ones.
Following as the second act on stage was Caroline af Ugglas' Snälla Snälla. The song is a soul ballad being presented alone by Caroline. The song only made it to the final through the so-called Second Chance round last week, but has become really popular with the Swedes since then, topping the polls in thee country's biggest tabloid. On stage, the cameras concentrate on Caroline's expressive face, with slow movements. The singer decided not to wear her final clothes for Saturday yet, but intentionally wore blue and yellow today, the colours of Sweden's flag.
Love Love Love by Agnes was the third song on the big Globen stage this afternoon. Agnes had won the Swedish Pop Idol competition in 2005 and has become one of Sweden's most love female singers since then, having been awarded golden and platinum discs. Agnes' song in the Swedish final this year is an uptempo pop song with hints of the famous Motown sound here and there. She is joined on stage by six dancers and uses a big fanand confetti rain at the later part of her song while the LED projections display moving silhouettes in yellow and purple. Love Love Love has been written by Anders Hansson who is also behind Alcazar's song.
The only rock song in Melodifestivalen 2009 is H.E.A.T's 1000 Miles which qualified from the second semi-final in Skellefteå three weeks ago. The song bears a strong resemblance to Bon Jovi's big hits from the 1980s which had been very popular in Sweden. H.E.A.T qualifying for the final had been seen as a huge surprise by many people but the fact that their rocky song stands out from the rest might give them an advantage in Saturday's voting which will consist of 50% jury vote and 50% televote.
The fifth singer to rehearse her song on this cloudy Stockholm afternoon was Emilia performing You're My World. The song starts off in a very jazzy atmosphere but soon turns into a very catchy chorus which had the present press tapping their feet. Emilia had a huge European hit 10 years ago with Big Big World, and has not left the limelight since having performed in numerous shows, mainly in Germany and Sweden. Emilia admitted that she didn't expect to reach the final of Melodifestivalen but was overjoyed when she did so. In her rehearsal today, Emilia was joined by seven dancers and backing singers altogether.
After a break of 30 minutes, it was Alcazar's turn to step onto the Stockholm stage. Alcazar shot to fame internationally in 2001 when their song Crying At The Discotheque became a Europe-wide success. Since then, Alcazar have entered Melodifestivalen twice in 2003 and 2005, both times coming third. The male singer of Alcazar, Andreas Lundstedt actually entered the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest as part of the Swiss group Six4One. Their entry this year called Stay The Night is very uptempo and presented in a very colourful way in a set reminding of a 1980s disco. The group got a big applause from the present press after they concluded their rehearsal.
Sarah Dawn Finer had the tough task to rehearse after the catchy Alcazar song, but she managed very well with her dramatic ballad Moving On. She starts off the song with the LED screens showing a rising sun and is lifted high above the audience with a lift at the end of the song. Sarah only qualified through the Second Chance round last week, but many experts think that she will get quite some points from the juries and the televote on Saturday. The singer has been suffering from a cold this last week, but she assured Eurovision.tv that she is in good spirits and that she will give all that she has on Saturday night!
E.M.D is Sweden's most successful boyband having had several number one hits in their native country. In Melodifestivalen 2009, they will perform Baby Goodbye, a bouncy song performed with a elaborate dance routine by Eric, Mattias and Danny together with their backing dancers. Danny, one third of the group, already got Eurovision experience as he represented Sweden in the Eurovision Dance Contest in Glasgow. The boys gave confident performances today, and the song may go down well with the televoting audience due to the immense popularity of the three singers who all have an ongoing solo career as well!
The 9th participant to perform today was Sofia singing Alla - a song fully in Greek! Sofia was chosen by the international jury last week to be the 11th song in the final and the singer was overjoyed when this was announced! The song is a dramatic pop-rock song and Sofia performed it very convincingly in tonight's rehearsals. It is the first song ever to be performed fully in Greek in a Swedish national final, but it remains to be seen if it will score with the Swedish TV audience on Saturday.
Molly Sandén is the youngest participant in the 2009 Melodifestivalen. She just turned 16, but she is already an experienced artist having represented Sweden in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest three years ago. In fact, she can be the first person ever to compete both in the Junior and the Senior version of the Song Contests! Everything was perfect in her rehearsal tonight and experts rank her as one of the favourites to win Melodifestivalen this year.
The last singer to rehearse tonight was Malena Ernman, performing her opera stomper La Voix.The song qualified directly from the 4th semi-final to the surprise of many, but Malena's mix of pop and opera found lots of admirers during the last two weeks. Malena has performed in lots of operas all around the world, but it's her first try in pop-music. Who knows - maybe she will represent Sweden in Moscow as well?
Watch some unique video footage from today made by Eurovision.tv's Jan Demulder: