The Swedish Eurovision Song Contest preview concert was held in central Stockholm at the green venue Trädgården, close to the water. In an extensive show the artists from Azerbaijan, Spain, the United Kingdom and Ukraine performed their 2009 entries, supported by multiple intermediate acts from Swedish pop stars. The concert was arranged by the website Gylleneskor.se together with Lionheart Records, Club Xplore and Connection.
First on stage of the Eurovision Song Contest stars, Jade Ewen from the UK performed her It’s My Time. Afterwards, she was asked whether the songwriter Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber will appear on stage in Moscow. She gave no clear answer but a smile.
“Andrew will accompany me in Moscow”, Jade told Eurovision.tv, but she gave no indication of whether he will support her on stage.
A few acts later, Azerbaijan took the stage. Arash, a Swedish inhabitant since the age of ten, performed one of his previous hit songs before he was joined by AySel for the entry Always. They were soon followed by Soraya, doing her first performance in Sweden ever, despite her Swedish boyfriend. The Spanish star performed her entry La Noche Es Para Mí as well as one of her previous hits in Spain. For La Noche Es Para Mí, she was joined on stage by two Swedish dancers, participating in the performance exclusively for this occasion.
The night was old when the show closed. The last 2009 entry to perform was Ukraine, with an ambitious show containing acrobatics and six dancers. The artist Svetlana Loboda performed her entry Be My Valentine! (Anti-Crisis Girl) along with one of her previous hit songs, before she returned to present her Eurovison Song Contest entry once more to an enthusiastic audience.
In Moscow, Svetlana Loboda will perform her song with a huge structure on stage labelled the “Hell Machine”. This machine is manufactured in Hong Kong. Being scared of heights, Svetlana is more afraid of the machine than of performing in front of all the millions of viewers.
“People inspire me”, Svetlana says. “I live and create for people. I have far more fear for heights!”
A sense of expectation
With the promo tours drawing to a close, the artists are now starting to feel the big nights drawing closer. Svetlana Loboda will go home to Ukraine for a farewell party on the 2nd of May after a short tour. Jade Ewen from the UK, on the other hand, has visited more than twenty countries before she came to Sweden. On the Spanish side, Soraya was content with a shorter tour. The blond singer was harmonious when she met Eurovision.tv at Wednesday.
”I’m comfortable, calm and not nervous at all,” she said. “I’ve spoken to Spanish singers from previous years, for example D’Nash and Rosa, and they have told me that this is a great experience and a huge opportunity, so I’m really excited.”
However, Soraya now feel the sense of expectation growing, and so does Arash and AySel. The Azerbaijani duo has used Sweden as the base for their journeys across Europe in the wake of the contest. The choreography and many other components in their presentation are made in Sweden. Now, Arash and AySel aims for glory in Moscow, but at the same time they feel the pressure from all the millions of viewers.
“We feel a bit nervous, but it’s good to be nervous,” they say. “It will be hard to perform in front of so many viewers, so we try to concentrate on having fun. That will let us entertain the viewers.”