Melodifestivalen 2011 – Final dress rehearsal

After five weeks, four semi finals and one second chance heat, tomorrow it’s finally time for Sweden to choose the song and the artist who will defend the Swedish colours in Germany in May. To get a little preview of tomorrow’s show, EuroVisionary attended the dress rehearsal on Friday night.

The opening act

The show starts with a video with the hosts Marie Serneholt and Rickard Olsson singing “Up where we belong” with a new Swedish lyric standing at the roof of Ericsson Globe Arena. At the end of the song the hosts comes down from the ceiling hanging by their arms from some kind of gymnastic rings. The audience cheers when the dancer’s presents the artists. The artists are presented in order of appearance, first with a picture and then they enter the arena themselves.

Next the hosts tell the viewers how to vote for the artists. And as in the semi finals, the minister of foreign affairs gives orders to the persons “in charge” for the selection of the artist which will represent Sweden in Düsseldorf. All of the artists will have to go through a doctor’s examination before they go on stage.

The songs

Song number 1: Danny– In the Club ( Figge Boström, Peter Boström, Danny Saucedo)

The crowd goes crazy as soon as the host mentions Danny’s name. And when he starts to sing the noise gets even louder. Coming up to the first chorus everyone in the audience is clapping along and a couple of girls stands up and dance. This is a solid performance from Danny and both the the song and the dance is flawless. He seems happy with his performance and enjoying his three minutes on stage and the cheering from the audience.

Song number 2: Sara Varga– Spring för livet (Sara Varga, Fredrik Boström)

Since this is a song in middle tempo the audience does not cheer for this one as much as Danny’s. Also the theme of the song is kind of tragic since it’s about abuse. Another explanation is of course that there are a lot of children in the audience tonight which probably have one of the male artists as their Idol. Sara Varga does an all right performance but sounds a little bit strained and nervous.

Song number 3: The Moniker– Oh My God! (Daniel Karlsson)

He does not get the same great response as Danny got, but the audience really likes this and claps along. The Moniker’s singing is good but he seems to have a hard time finding the cameras from time to time. And also he seems to have trouble to do all of the choreography in time, sometimes it looks like he is rushing through his moves. The audience don’t seem to be bothered by his mistakes, at the end of the song the audience makes some serious noise which almost makes me deaf.

Song number 4: Brolle– 7 Days And 7 Nights (Brolle)

This is yet another of the audience favorites you could tell from the many girls screaming when he enters the stage. Coming up to the first chorus almost everyone in the audience cheers and claps along. Just like yesterday Brolle smiles a lot during his performance and the singing is still flawless. He really gives this his all and it pays off.

Song number 5:  Linda Bengtzing– E det fel på mej (Pontus Assarsson, Thomas G:son, Jörgen Ringqvist, Daniel Barkman)

Linda is another one of the children’s favourites and the audience claps along right from the start. Linda seems calm and relaxed on stage, no sign of the over energetic Linda we see sometimes in Melodifestivalen. There are no major changes in Linda’s performance, one little but yet noticeable thing is that there are now lights on the dancer’s briefcases.

Song number 6: Nicke Borg– Leaving Home (Jojo Borg Larsson, Nicke Borg, Fredrik Thomander och Anders Wikström)

Nicke’s singing is flawless but he does not seem focused and misses cameras from time to time and sometimes he looks in a camera too early or too late making it look like he’s a little bit confused. Though this is a supporting audience who cheers a lot when he finishes his performance. And over all Nicke should be happy, confused or not, this is a good song and a good performance.

Song number 7: Swingfly– Me And My Drum (Teron Beal, Patrik Magnusson, Johan Ramström, Swingfly)

Judging by the response in the arena when Swingfly entered the stage I would have thought the audience would clap along more and cheer more. Some people do, but far from everyone, which surprises me. Swingfly’s performance looks a little bit messy on stage with too many colours and too many strange camera angles. Also, the female singer joining him on stage does not find the notes, which brings down the performance a couple of notches. 

Song number 8: Sanna Nielsen–  I’m In Love  (Irini Michas, Peter Boström, Thomas G:son, Bobby Ljunggren)

Being the sixth time Sanna participates in Melodifestivalen she is calm and secure and just enjoying her three minutes on stage. Her new dress looks great on her, it looks much better than her previous outfit. Her singing has been flawless during the rehearsals, and it is tonight as well. As she was one of the artist’s going through to the final with the highest amount of votes I had expected a lot more support from the crowd then she actually got.

Song number 9:The Playtones– The King (Fredrik Kempe, Peter Kvint)

Now it almost seems like people are just waiting for Eric Saade, they cheer a little but it seems like they don’t want to waste too much energy. Not until the second half of the song the audience wakes up and start to cheer and clap along. Maybe it’s supposed to be like that, but the camera angels seems a little bit off for me, sometimes it only shows half or parts of the band members.

Song number 10: Eric Saade– Popular (Fredrik Kempe)

The audience goes crazy when Eric enters the stage. The audience is clapping along to Eric’s song and a few girls stands up and dances. Though the sound in the arena is not good and it sounds like Eric screams a lot and his voice sound strained. His dancing is great though and he seems happy with his performance when it’s over as he turns around to look at the audience and pushes a hand up in the air. 

The interval act

Over the weeks we have seen Nanne Grönwall, Lena Ph, Christer Sjögren and The Ark go through a transformations. Now they have all come together to celebrate their mentor Harry Cane with the song “Rock you like a hurricane” by Scorpions. I will let you see for yourselves tomorrow but I can tell that you haven’t seen these former Melodifestivalen participants like this before.

The interval act this year is rather short and right after they have performed the jury groups announces their result. But before the viewers votes are made official we will she another interval act. It’s the Swedish group Dynazty who interpret Anna Bergendahl’s winning song “This is my life”.

To make the rehearsal look like an actual broadcast the result has been set up through drawing of lots, but there is of course no actual winner at the dress rehearsal tonight.

The voting procedure

SVT have made two major changes in the voting procedure in the final this year. The first change is that there will be no Swedish jury this year, there will only be an international jury. The second change is that the viewer’s votes will be converted into points equivalent to the percentage of the votes their song got.

The 11 juries will give the songs 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 points. Totally the juries will give the songs 473 points (11*43). The same amount of points will be given by the viewers, a song that got 10% of the viewers votes will consequently get 10% of the viewers points. This means that all of the songs can get points from the viewers instead of earlier seven songs.

Before it was time to leave the arena, EuroVisionary had the chance to talk to Danny about tonight’s rehearsal.

What do you think of tonight’s rehearsal?
I’m satisfied, absolutely, I’m really happy. I felt like I got it all out, happiness and I delivered my song as good as I could. I’m really satisfied, and I’m almost never satisfied.

You seemed to be a favourite in the arena tonight, how does that feel?
It’s really flattering; it’s nice to have that support. It’s always easier to work in following wind so I’m grateful for that.

What expectations do you have for the final?
I focused on doing this one more time exactly as I did today. I will bring it up a couple of notches when I know that there are viewers out there, I feel that I have a lot more to give.

How will you prepare for tomorrow?
I will rest a lot, I will focus and then when it’s time I will explode. This is the calm before the storm!

What question would you like to be asked, and what would the answer be?
Danny hesitates for a while before he says:The questions would be: Are you hungry?
And the answer is: Yes!

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