Melodifestivalen 2015: The finalists first rehearsal on stage in Friends Arena

Today, Thursday the artists were rehearsing for the first time on stage in Friends Arena. EuroVisionary were present during the rehearsals to provide you with information about what happened and how each of them came across.

Today the artist rehearses on stage for the first time before the final. They do not wear the actual clothes they are going to have on saturday. In case there are any changes in the artists outfit they are shown on a hanger so the staff in the arena can adjust the light properly.  

Song number 1: Samir & Viktor – Groupie
(Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, Kevin Högdahl, Maria Smith, Viktor Thell)

This duo had to go through the second chance heat to get one of the desirable spots in the final. With only a couple of days since they performed in the second chance heat there have been no time to make any changes in their performance. Just like last week Samir & Viktor walks from the back of the stage to the front together. While they are walking boxes piled up on eachother lights up in different colours. In the beginning of the first chorus Samir & Viktor are accompanied on stage by two female and three male dancers. The boxes that where piled on eachother and lit in different colours are moved around throughout the performance and formed as cubical screens which shows different images, symbols and words from the lyrics. During the bridge of the song the dancers pile the boxes so they form four pillars showing images of stick figures waving with cell phones and of cell phones. After taking a groupie with the dancers Samir & Viktor runs off stage and out in the audience. When they run around in the audience taking groupis the dancers pile the boxes like a pyramid which both Samir and Viktor climbs when they get back up on stage. This song is not about groupies as the title implies. It’s actually about taking selfies but with a group of people instead of just yourself. Both Samir and Viktor will have the same clothes as in the semi final. Samir will wear a white long sleeved sweater and black pants and Viktor will have a grey sweater with black pattern and a wine red jacket.
Between the run throughs Samir and Viktor fools around with the dancers and climbs the boxes and jumps down behind them.

Neither Samir or Viktor sings that well which is quiet obvious to everyone that listens. Actually it’s one of their composers that sings most of the song from backstage. It would be impossible for Samir and Viktor to run around as much as they do if they had to sing everything themselves.

Song number 2: JTR – Building It Up
(John Andreasson, Tom Lundbäck, Robin Lundbäck, Erik Lewander, Iggy Strange Dahl)

The three brothers John, Tom and Robin starts the song on a podium in the audience standing back to back. After the first verse during the first chorus Tom and Robin leaves the podium and heads for the stage but John remains on the podium for a while longer. Once they are all on stage they stick together for the second verse and chorus. During the rap section of the song Robin moves a little bit to the right of the stage and when he returns to his brothers they are suddenly accompanied by a band (a drummer, a guiatrist, and a keyboardist) on stage. During the last minute of the song there are both pyrotechnics on stage and gold confetti falling from the celing. The brothers seems very relaxed during the rehearsals and jokes around. But of course they are also serious and talks to the choreographer about their performance and gets instructions about things to improve. 

The guys all can sing, you would think that alll the running and the jumping  around would make the guys sound out of breath and strained but they don’t.

Song number 3: Dinah Nah – Make Me (La La La)
(Dinah Nah, dr alban, Jakke Erixson, Karl-Ola Kjellholm)

In the beginning of the song Dinah Nah stands all alone in the middle of the stage, only surrounded by white twinkling light and smoke floats over the stage floor. Halfway through the first verse suddenly arms comes out of the smoke covering the floor and at the end of the first verse six male dancers comes out of it and walks with Dinah Nah towards the front of the stage where they all stand for a while. From above, it looks like Dinah and the dancers forms a huge V. When the verse starts the dancers starts to dance, but the viewers don’t see that much of it since a lot of the camerashots are on Dinah. She leaves moast of the dance to the dancers so she can focus on the singing. Dinah will have new shoes on saturday, white with silver details. Between the run throughs talks to the choreograhper and the dancers about the performance. As she had to go through the second chance heat to get the spot in the final she has had time to rehears this a couple of times during the last couple of weeks and that shows. She is relaxed on stage and smiles a lot. The dancers seems pleased that the rehearsal is over, they work really hard on stage and probably want to catch their breath for a while. 

Dinah Nah has a great voice and it sounds very good in the arena. 

Song number 4: Jon Henrik Fjällgren – Jag är fri (Manne Leam Frijje)
(Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Erik Holmberg, Tony Malm, Josef Melin)

Jon Henrik is accompanied on stage by one female and one male dancer and a choir consisting of three girls haning from the celing. The girls in the choir are dressed in enormous withe dresses to make them look like the nothern light. Both the dancers and Jon Henric are dressed in Sami clothing. It’s actually the choir that sings all of the lyrics, Jon Henric himself sings jojk. During the semi final a lot of comments in social media was regarding the dancers. A lot of viewers thought they looked silly as the style of dance they are dancing is not very modern. The viewers don’t see the dancers but the audience in the arena will and it really looks redicolus. It’s hard to say if Jon Henrik is nervous or if he rather want to be somewhere else than on stage. He looks both scared and bored from time to time, but probably he’s just concentrated.
Between the run throughs Jon Henrik talks to his dancers and his choreographer. The choir hanging from the celing talks to eachother. I heard them ask a member of the production "It wan’t this high in Östersund, was it?" Jon Henrik will not wear the same clothes as in the semi final. In the semi final he had a brown outfit, on saturday he will have a blue one.

Jon Henrik has an amazing and powerful voice which literaly fills the arena. 

Song number 5: Jessica Andersson – Can’t hurt me now
(Aleena Gibson, Fredrik Thomander)

In the beginning of the song Jessica is standing all alone on stage between two pillars. Throughout the whole performance all focus is on Jessica and there are very few camerashots and lots of closeups. Not until the last chorus the windmachine starts to blow and makes her hair and dress get to life. She has the same golden dress as in the semi final. This is Jessicas 6th time in Melodifestivalen and you could really tell during the rehearsals that she has done this before. She seems calm and makes the most of her run throughs. As she stands still a lot she has to relay on the production of the performance to be very effective.
Between the run throughs she talks to members from the production crew about camera angles. Jessica is very confident on stage and the last run through is more for the staff from SVT than for Jessica.

Jessica has a great vocie and all of her run throughs today has been flawless. You could really hear that this lyric really means something to her, her voice is filled with emotions when she sings. 

Song number 6: Måns Zelmerlöw – Heroes
(Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, Joy Deb, Linnea Deb)

Måns starts of all alone on stage in front of a white screen. Halfway into the first verse Måns snaps his fingers and suddenly a stick figure appears beside him. The stick figure copy Måns movements for a while and the picks up an umbrella and flies off to a pillar to the right of Måns. While the stick figure flies off the rain starts falling on Måns. When the first chorus comes Måns makes a run to the front of the stage where he stops and sings the chorus. This is a technical advanced performance which demands a lot from Måns concerning timing. In the semi final Måns made a few mistakes with timing and his position on stage which took some of the wanted effects away. Måns is one of the favourites to win Melodifestivalen this year and it’s a lot of pressure on him. Between the run throughs he has long conversations with his choreographer and staff from SVT about his performance. He looks very resolute both during the rehearsals and between the run throughs. On todays rehearsal Måns wears a t-shirt instead of the long sleaved sweater he had in the semi final. We will have to wait until tomorrow’s dress rehearsal to see which one he chooses.

Måns seems to be afraid to overstrain his voice as he doesn’t sing parts of the song himself. But the parts he do sing however sound very good.

Song number 7: Linus Svenning – Forever Starts Today
(Aleena Gibson, Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, Fredrik Kempe)

Linus Svenning is one of four finalist that had to go through the second chance heat to qualify to the final. He has not made any visible changes since saturday. A huge change since the semi final is that he lowered the song a semitone to be able to sing the higher notes without sounding strained. Just as in the semi final and during the second chance heat Linus walks between burning steel drums against the front of the stage while he begins to sing the first verse. During the second half of the first verse he turns around for a short while and when he’s made a complete turn six dancers with a drum each appeared behind him. The dancers surround Linus and forms different patterns and also changes drums with eachother a couple of times. When the bridge comes the dancers forms the letter V with their drums and Linus walks out of picture for a while. Back in the picture again Linus walks between the burning steel drums and the dancers drums before he returns to the front of the stage where he finishes the song. Linus has not a very good english pronunciation and from time to time it’s actually hard to hear what he sings. This is something he needs to practice if he wins Melodifestivalen and is the one representing Sweden in Eurovision Song Contest.
The one’s struggeling the most in this performance is without a doubt the dancers, you can really tell how much they have to push to make the drums move.

Song number 8: Isa – Don’t Stop
(Isa Tengblad, Johan Ramström, Gustaf Svenungsson, Magnus Wallin, Oscar Merner)

When the song starts Isa is walking from the back of the stage to the front and are immidiately accompanied by two female dancers. In the middle of the first verse the three girls are accompanied by two male dancers. The performance is very energetic and the dance is really advanced and fast. Isa focuses on her song but joins the dancers movements from time to time. Just like in the semi final Isa wears white pants, a white bra underneath a jacket with white sleeves and leopard and flower pattern and golden shoes with wings. As Isa is only 16 years old and a debutant you might think she is nervous but she certinly is not. Between the first and second run through she stands by herself on stage practicing her moves, she calm and collected and of course focused.
Between the second and third one she seems more relaxed and talks to her dancers. She asks the choreographer how the performance looks on the screens and they have a long discussion before they do the third run through.
During the last run through we get to see the pyrotechics, that has been added since the semi final.

Song number 9: Magnus Carlsson – Möt mig i Gamla Stan
(Thomas G:son, Lina Eriksson)

8th time participant Magnus Carlsson is all alone on stage during the first verse and chorus. When the second verse starts he is accompanied on stage by two male and four female dancers. In the semi final Magnus wore a black suit, a white shirt with a tail in the back and a black tie, rumour says he might change cloths on saturday.
Magnus is very focused on stage, he stands by himself and practices moves and seems to go over his song. This is a very demanding performance for Magnus, it’s a lot of lyrics and a lot of dance. For the first time today there are major technical difficulties. In the beginning of Magnus rehearsal we could not hear his voice at all but fortunately the problem was quickly solved. Neither the artists or the dancers rehearses in
their actual outfits today and one of Magnus dancers wears a t-shirt that blows up over her face when the wind machine starts,showing her entire belly.
In between the run throughs the dancer puts on a leather jacket so her t-shirt doesn’t blow up and away.

Magnus seems to save his voice from time to time and lets the choir do all the singing. Probably because he, just like Måns doesn’t want to overstrain his voice.

Song number 10: Eric Saade – Sting
(Arash Fahmi, Fredrik Kempe, Hamed ”K-one” Pirouzpanah, David Kreuger)

The first thing the viewers see of Eric is a close up of his lips and then a lot of fast cuts between Eric’s siluette behind a huge white screen, his lips again, his face and him holding a saxophone.This goes on through the whole first chorus starts the white screen drops to the floor and the audience and viewers sees Eric for the first time. Towards the end of the end of the first chorus Eric is accompanied by six dancers, two of which also is his choir. After the bridge Eric heads up to a glass platform whichs soars over the audience heads. Eric wears the same white outfit as in the semi final whit white shoes, white pants, a white shirt and a white jacket.
During the first and second run through Eric rehearses without the screen, it will not be used until the last run through. Between the first and second run through Eric talks to his dancer about the performance, and it’s a long discussion probably because there are so many people on stage and everyone needs to know where to be at evey point of the performance. Eric seems relaxed on stage, and this is his third time participating in Melodifestivalen so by now he knows what’s expected of him.

This song is demaning to sing and Eric sounds strained from time to time. But fortunatly his positive energy compensates the strained voice.

Song number 11: Mariette– Don’t Stop Believing
(Miss Li, Sonny Gustafsson)

Mariette is accompanied by four dancers on stage. Both Mariette and the dancers are all dressed in black and Mariette also has a huge piece of black airy fabric attached to her wrists which blows in the wind from the windmachine. Her dancers are almost hid under black airy fabrics. Since Mariette is literaly attached to the stage she can’t move around at all. Just like Jessica she has to trust that the production of the performance gives the song that little extra touch that it needs. And of course the dancers behind her helps the song come to life. Between the run throughs Mariette talks to the choreograhper about the performance. She doesn’t move a lot, but it’s a lot of work to get the fabric to look good and give the feeling that they want to the performance. There are not any big changes in Mariette’s performance, however the fabric behind her is a lot longer than in the semi final.
The new longer fabric seems much heavyer than in the semi final, Mariette seem to really struggle with it since it almost drags her back when the wind machines blows on full effect. She pulls her face several times and you can see the fabric behind her twist and turn.

Mariette has an amazing voice and but from time to time she sounds straind and one or two false notes sneaks in to the second run through.

Song number 12: Hasse Andersson – Guld och gröna skogar
(Anderz Wrethov, Elin Wrethov, Johan Bejerholm, Johan Deltinger)

This is this years oldest and maybe happiest participant. Hasse had to go through the second chance heat to get to the final. And since the second chance heat was only a few days ago he has had no time for changes in his performance. He is accompanied on stage by four female dancers and two male dancers and a female violinist. However the violinist on stage today is not the one who is going to be there on saturday, it is actually the coreograhper that is used as a stand in today. In the beginning Hasse stands on the far right of the stage but walks to the middle of the stage after the first verse and chorus. He stays in the middle of the stage for the rest of the song and lets the violinist and the dancers do the moving around. Just like a few of the other artists he has to rely on the production of his performance. As the experienced artist he is he decided to cut the rehearsal short and only did two run throughs.

Tomorrow’s rehearsal are unfortunately closed for media, but EuroVisionary will be back with reports from the public dress rehearsal tomorrow night.

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