Melodifestivalen 2013: First public dress rehearsal of the final

In 24 hours we will know who will represent Sweden in Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö. Besides the the ten finalists tomorrow’s show will contain performances of two former winners of Eurovision Song Contest
and the return of EBU lady Linda Woodruff.

In Swedish media Melodifestivalen 2013 has gotten a lot of criticism, some claiming the songs doesn’t have good enough standard and some claiming that SVT didn’t do enough to get more women to the final. In this years line up there are many young men with songs in resembling genres which makes the final of Melodifestivalen 2013 one of the hardest to predict in years. This report from the dress rehearsal will hopefully give you a hunch of what will happen tomorrow.

The songs

Song number 1:  Ulrik Munther  –  Tell the World I’m Here
(Peter Boström, Thomas G:son, Ulrik Munther)

Ulrik has been tipped as a favorite from the start this year and he was also one of two artists going straight through to the final from his semifinal. Ulrik’s song is very hard to sing and during yesterdays rehearsals he had some difficulties with his voice and sounded very strained from time to time. Today his voice is a little bit better but still sounds strained. The audience likes this and claps along during the choruses and he gets a lot of cheers after his performance.

Song number 2:  David LindgrenSkyline
(Fernando Fuentes, Henrik Nordenback and Christian Fast)

When the hosts announces that David is the next artist a lot of the kids in the arena runs towards the catwalk, David apparently has a lot of fans in the arena tonight. David’s performance is filled with energy and he really gets the audience in the arena going. In an interview with EuroVisionary yesterday he said that he feels like an underdog. But if he feels like that, he for sure doesn’t show it tonight.
David made small changes after yesterdays rehearsal, the dancers does not have their handkerchiefs and David has gone back to his yellow one from the semifinal, and some of the dancers now got matching suspenders.

Song number 3: State of DramaFalling
(Göran Werner, Sebastian Hallifax, Emil Gullhamn, James Hallifax)

After two songs filled with energy it’s now time to slow down the pace a little bit. It’s a well produced song and a well executed performance but they could probably do better if they added a little bit more excitement to their performance like a little bit of choreography or pyrotechnics. This is a quiet song full of feelings but unfortunately it disappears a little bit after the two first up-tempo songs. The audience in the arena seem to agree as the response is quiet cool after the performance.

Song number 4: Anton EwaldBegging
(Fredrik Kempe and Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad)

During yesterday’s rehearsals Anton was taking it very easy, but now with the audience in the arena he is giving the performance his all. Since he had to go through the second chance heat to come here the audience have already seen his performance twice and there is no question that the audience loves Anton and his song. This is the best response from the audience so far.

Song number 5: Louise HoffstenOnly The Dead Fish Follow The Stream
(Louise Hoffsten, Sandra Bjurman and Stefan Örn)

This is this years most well produced performances with a lot of flowing camera movement and a lot of close ups of Louise. A new thing in her performance in the final is that the audience will be given blue and green lightsticks to wave around. Though the audience at the dress rehearsal are not given any lightsticks, they are instead encouraged to pick up their cellphones and wave them with lighted screens. Louise is a well known and above all loved artist in Sweden, which you can also tell by the great response she gets tonight in the arena. 

Song number 6:  Ralf GyllenhammarBed on Fire
(Ralf Gyllenhammar, David Wilhelmson)

Ralf Gyllenhammar for sure has this years hottest performance. His grand piano is burning as well as four pedestals which surrounds him on stage. And for those of you that don’t think that is hot enough he also has flames coming up from the floor at the front and the back of the stage during the choruses. Ralf is one of the artists tipped as a favorite tomorrow but the audience in the arena doesn’t seem to be convinced. During yesterdays rehearsal Ralf was very hoarse, today it sounds much better.

Song number 7:  RavaillaczEn riktig jävla schlager
(Kjell Jennstig, Leif Goldkuhl and Henrik Dorsin)

This is one of the most talked about and criticized songs in this years edition of Melodifestivalen. Both in media and in social media, the song have been called a mockery of the competition. But the members of the group Ravaillacz seem to take the criticism with a pinch of salt and really tries their best to entertain the audience. The audience in the arena claps along and the young girls sitting in the row behind me in the arena sings along in the choruses and cheers.

Song number 8: Sean BananCopacabanana
(Sean Banan, Ola Lindholm, Hans Blomberg and Joakim Larsson)

It’s always a lot of families with kids at the Friday night rehearsals of Melodifestivalen and that means that Sean Banan has a lot of fans in the arena tonight. Except for Anton, Sean is one of the artists getting the best response in the arena tonight. The audience completely loves the news in Sean Banan’s performance, and he has even added new things since the rehearsal yesterday.
During today’s rehearsals he sings parts of the song in English. And where there yesterday was one man putting on a wig, there are now several. There are a lot of things that can go wrong in this performance but this time they succeed to perform the song without any mistakes.

Song number 9: Robin StjernbergYou
(Robin Stjernberg, Linnea Deb, Joy Deb and Joakim Harestad Haukaas)

Robin Stjernberg participated in the semifinal in Malmö two weeks ago but had to go through the second chance heat last Saturday to make it to the final. This means that this is the third week in a row Robin is on stage. During the semifinal in Malmö Robin seemed very nervous and insecure, but as this is the third week for him he looks and sounds much calmer. He has power in his voice and smiles into the cameras and now really seem to feel at home on stage.
The audience in the arena cheers and claps along throughout the whole performance.

Song number 10: YOHIOHeartbreak Hotel
(Johan Fransson, Tobias Lundgren, Tim Larsson, Henrik Göranson and YOHIO)

Since the first semifinal YOHIO has been tipped as a favorite to win Melodifestivalen 2013. During the rehearsals yesterday he chose to save the voice and sang playback during three of four run-throughs. Today YOHIO sings and it sounds good, it was probably wise to safe the voice yesterday.  It was a dramatic rehearsal yesterday and YOHIO’s bass guitarist was injured but apparently feels well enough to perform today, he jumps around as nothing happened. YOHIO gets a lot of cheers and applause after his performance though not as much as expected.

The show

The final is opened with a pre-recored video of the hosts arriving to friends arena for the first time. As they are getting out of the car they are looking up at the huge arena and saying to each other that they will look very tiny in there. This is followed by a recap of the four semifinals and the second chance heat before we finally meet two different editions of the hosts Gina and Danny on the stage in Friends arena. Together with former Swedish Eurovision Song Contest hosts and the host of Eurovision Song Contest 2013 they perform a song called "Du ska till Malmö" (You´re going to Malmö).
Before the competition starts Louise sings her hit song "Let the best man win" with the hosts as the other participants walks up behind them.

As usual the viewers get a recap of all the participating songs containing information about which telephone numbers to call to vote for their favorite.
After that the viewers will see EBU lady Lynda Woodruff in a pre-recorded video when she visits Malmö arena.

The first interval act for the night will be an unforgettable performance of last years Melodifestivalen and Eurovision Song Contest winning song Euphoria. Loreen performs the song together with young Swedish students. Have your handkerchiefs ready tomorrow, you will need it for this very moving performance.

During the semifinals the Swedish viewers has had all the power which artists to send through to the final. The have been voting by telephone or sms. In the final there will also be an international jury consisting of jury groups from 11 European countries. The Swedish viewers and the international juries each have 50 percent of the votes. If two songs end up with the same amount of votes the song with the highest amount of votes from the viewers wins.

To make the dress rehearsal as much like the actual broadcast tomorrow all elements are practiced. The international jury groups have fake points to announce so the production crew and hosts can practice those elements.

After the international jury groups have announced their points the host announces a very special guest. It is now 30 years ago Carola participated with her song Främling. Tomorrow you will hear an updated version of Carola’s epic song. At the end of the song Carola is singing sing along with the audience.

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