The fourth, and last, semi-final for Melodifestivalen 2013 is literally in the heart of Eurovision Song Contest. In the very same arena, Malmö Arena, will Eurovision be held in May. Today Friday was the general rehearsal for tomorrow’s big event. EuroVisionary was of course present to give you the latest scoop on the performances.
Song number 1: Army of Lovers – Rockin’ the Ride (Alexander Bard, Henrik Wikström, Per QX, Andreas Öhrn, Jean-Pierre Barda)
Army of Lovers is… Army of Lovers. Take a deep breath, Europe, because here comes the circus. This is a song made pretty much only of beats. Jean-Pierre Barda is doing some kind of sing talking in French while Alexander Bard is doing a Nanana-part in a very mixed voice, while playing on a toy guitar. On stage with them are four dancers wearing very extreme golden underwear. Jean-Pierre Barda is matching them with leopard printed briefs and metallic nipple covers. Bard has dyed his long beard an intense red color. As the song reaches the last refrains, La Camilla, who is wearing a golden leopard patterned dress and a huge golden crown, enters the front of the stage on a throne while speaking the, what will come to be famous, words "I was born seven million years ago, in Sweden, Africa. I am La Camilla and I rule the world". As La Camilla is moved to the front of the stage, the backing vocal singer Britta Bergström is revealed – she does most of the singing in this number. No, actually, she does ALL singing in the number. And in the middle of all of this there is crawling on the floor – take notes that the five people crawling are pretty much naked – and a kiss between Barda and Bard.
Song number 2: Lucia Piñera – Must Be Love (Peter Kvint, Jonas Myrin)
She is a pretty unknown singer for the biggest population in Sweden, even though Lucia has competed in a big amount of talent shows. On stage with her in this musty up-tempo ballad are three backup singers dressed in black and neon yellow. Lucia herself is dressed in a black short dress with a see-through black tutu skirt, paired with a neon yellow belt. Lucia has an amazing voice that makes her sound like a little sister to Adele or Alicia Keys. The song sounds like a happier version of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep (in fact you can sing the lyrics to Rolling in the Deep in some parts of the song). Lucia has very simple and natural movements but has a charisma that goes very well through the camera. The choir is placed on a kind of podium and has a simple choreography. In the end of the song the choir joins Lucia on stage.
Song number 3: Robin Stjernberg – You (Robin Stjernberg, Linnea Deb, Joy Deb, Joakim Harestad Haukaas)
Robin’s number starts with only him on stage. The stage is covered by fog and he is dressed in a beige suit. Right before the first refrain five dancers enters the stage and performs modern style choreography through the song. Robin has a very interesting and strong, yet still a bit boyband-ish, voice and he even manages to do some yodeling in the refrain. It’s a cool and odd effect! The song is an arena rock song that in some ways also reminds me of Savage Garden’s The Animal Song. In the last refrain a rain of pyro falls down over the stage. And the audience? They love him.
Song number 4: Sylvia Vrethammar – Trivalitet (Thomas G:son, Calle Kindbom, Mats Tärnfors)
S Y L V I A is spelled out in huge see-through glass letters on the stage. The lights cover the stage in purple and blue while Sylvia, dressed in a samba-inspired white dress sway dances over the stage. In the second verse a young male dancer, Daniel Gill, enters the stage and represents Sylvia’s romantic interest in the song. The song is a bossanova samba song driven on a drumbeat. As Syliva raises the key for the last refrain, the dancer leaves the stage and Sylvia finishes the song alone in the middle of the stage. She looks totally confident and comfortable on stage, an really seems to enjoy being in Melodifestivalen.
Song number 5: Ralf Gyllenhammar – Bed on Fire (Ralf Gyllenhammar, David Willhelmson) Gyllenhammar is mainly known as the singer in the rock band Mustache. Now, competing in Melodifestivalen, he decides to be completely himself. He is alone on stage along with a white grand piano. This rock ballad begins in a calm tempo, only to go crazy as soon as the refrain begins. The piano is on fire – not only the piano, the entire stage is on fire! Pyro is fired off all over the stage all through the song. Ralf himself is dressed in a black suit and sits by the piano the whole song. He sings like a real rock singer should – with a deep, great and intense voice. Compared to other "rock songs" that earlier has competed in Melodifestivalen this is the first "real" one, nothing has been left out to fit into the show. Ralf is really doing his thing, which is way more Sweden Rock Festival than Melodifestivalen. But it totally works.
Song number 6: Behrang Miri – Jalla Dansa Sawa (Behrang Miri, Anderz Wrethov, Firas Razak Tuma, Tacfarinas Yamoun)
Jalla Dansa Sawa is a happy song that, as many journalists already has pointed out, reminds a lot of France’s Eurovision entry from 2010, Allez Olla Ole. Behrang is rapping on stage while Loulou Lamlotte (Swedish Idol) and Oskar Zia (Swedish X-Factor) does the singing parts. This song works great in the arena – the first one that actually makes the audience dance! On stage with the three singers are five dancers. In the background they’ve put up a bunch of black and white portraits of – as far as we’re concerned – unknown people. Their message with the song is "Alla ska med" which pretty much means "Everyone is invited" – a happy song with lyrics in Swedish, French and Arabic. Both the singers and the dancers are dressed in pretty "normal" clothes – meaning jeans, t-shirts and flannel shirts in different shades of red, blue and white.
Song number 7: Terese Fredenwall – Breaking the Silence (Terese Fredenwall, Simon Petrén)
Terese got into Melodifestivalen by a competition called Svensktoppen Nästa, where unsigned artists got a chance to win a place in the competition. Terese is a very talented singer and her voice is really phenomenal. The song itself is a cute pianoelectrosingersongwriter (long word) song that reminds a bit of Lene Marlin and at least five entries in Eurovision Song Contest each year. On stage with Terese is one guy playing keyboards while another guy is playing drums. Terese herself (fake) plays on an acoustic guitar. Behind her band are two big white, lit up circles that either looks like two big suns or two big plates. Either way, it’s a very neat performance and a great radio-friendly song. And Terese looks great through the screen, especially when the wind machine makes her hair fly dramatically. Neat is the word! Terese is wearing dark blue jeans, a leather corset top and a powder pink lace tunic.
Song number 8: Ulrik Munther – Tell the World I’m Here (Peter Boström, Thomas G:son, Ulrik Munther)
And here it goes, last year’s third place! Ulrik is totally alone on stage. It’s just him and a microphone stand in front of a huge backdrop. The backdrop is showing different scenarios all through the song, all from pictures of space and earth to shots of city lights and a tunnel. Ulrik’s song is an arena rock song, easily compared to songs by U2 and Coldplay, but it also reminds me a bit of some of Rasmus Faber’s songs. A little more Swedish House Mafia. The song is written by the songwriters of Euphoria, but it’s really nothing like it at all except that it has a huge hit factor. Ulrik has an interesting and good voice which fits perfect for the song. As a performer, he does really well with both the audience and the people watching through the TV. In the last refrain he throws away the microphone stand, and that is the most dramatic thing that happens in the performance – the backdrop does the most of the job. Munther is wearing black jeans paired with a black t-shirt and a black army jacket. Pretty much fifty shades of black.
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