In her first try outs today, Anna Bergendahl was holding a guitar at the first part of the song behind a standing mike, but the guitar is taken from her after the first minute. She is then joined by five backing singers, standing on a ramp behind her. Wind machines were used from the first takes which gave the whole rehearsal a very light-hearted impression. The cameras focus on Anna solely, with many steady-cams in use and with frequent close-ups on her. The young artist was not intimidated by the huge arena, but played with the cameras very well.
Anna was wearing a short black and white dress today with black trousers underneath, while her backing singers were fully clad in white. The grand stage is mainly illuminated in red colours and also the ramp on which the backing singers are standing is being held in red. Only towards the end of the song, the colours change from red to white and blue. The whole performance has a very intimate feel to it and fits the melancholic nature of the Swedish song very well.
"I'd be the happiest girl in the world if I won"
In her press conference, Anna revealed that she is delighted about the stage and that she loved the staging of her song. She said that she will be herself in the competition and will bring all the love she has. When asked what she could still improve, she answered that she still has to remember which cameras to look at.
Her song This Is My Life is really about her life, and how to become a grown-up. Anna had participated in the Swedish version of Pop Idol before, and she said that she learnt some basic stuff there, and that Pop Idol was a great school for her, but the Eurovision Song Contest would be so much bigger. She added that she'd be the happiest girl in the world if she won the competition, but for her it would also be okay if she didn't.
Speaking one on one with Eurovision.tv after the press conference, Anna revealed that she will indeed use the 35,000 light staffs in the audience, as reported by Eurovision.tv on Saturday (see link below). A special order from the United States has been placed, and with this there should be enough light staffs in the 18,000-seat arena for both the Semi-Final and a possible Final.
Anna has studied hard during the last period of time. But not for the Eurovision Song Contest. She graduates from upper secondary school in Sweden this semester – simultaneously with releasing her first solo album, titled Yours Sincerely.
"It's good to live in both worlds. School has been a break from music, and music has been a break from school. My real date for the exam in school is in fact the 11th of June, but somehow I managed to catch up on the tasks that I missed when competing in the national selections and also get ahead and do all the final exams before going to Oslo," Anna says.
Anna will now go on to rehearse her song privately in hired premises in Oslo, before returning to the stage of Telenor Arena for her second rehearsal on Friday.
Anna Bergendahl, Sweden's new pop princess, was born and raised in Nyköping, a small town not far from Stockholm. Her parents early recognised Anna’s love for music and bought her first guitar when she was only eight. She started to write her first songs at the age of ten. She was one of the competitors in the Swedish TV-show Super Troupers performing a very personal version of Wild Cherry’s classic hit Play That Funky Music.
In 2008 she auditioned for the Swedish Idol performing the Bonnie Raitt song Have A Heart and the jury instantly praised her and her vocal abilities. Later on, she became a huge hit in the Swedish download charts. On Saturday the 13th of March, in front of nearly 4 million viewers, the Swedish people voted Anna to be the one who should represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 in Oslo with her song This Is My Life. The song has since then reached No.1 in the Swedish charts.