#JoinUs today at 13:10CET for our LIVE Rolling Blog of Melodifestivalen Final Rehearsals, where twelve acts will rehearse before competing on Saturday night to win that all important ticket to Kyiv.
Just refresh this page from 13:10CET on a regular basis and join both me, Richard Taylor and Andrew Main to get all our views on the proceedings.
ROLLING BLOG – LIVE from 13:10CET
And we are off!!!
Song 1: Ace Wilder – Wild Child
RICHARD: With this been a day of normal rehearsals rather than dress rehearsals, we will be lucky to see any of the outfits that’ll appear on Saturday night. For instance we wont see Ace in her grey hoodie and jeans! Ace has oodles of attitude during this rehearsal – but doesn’t over do it. The attitude fits in well with the performance and actually adds to it. We see a return to Ace dancing with her backing dancers after last year’s use of a giant pyramid – again this reflects how flexible Ace can be with her various performances.
ANDREW: Well this is one of my own personal favourites this year. Ace is so cool and down with the kids every time she brings it to Melodifestivalen. But in her own words its probably not her year as the standard is so good this year. It is a good opener for the show and has a good beat to it. She has 4 male dancers round her breaking some moves and its a fun catchy song. I would love to see it and her go to Eurovision but maybe she is right , not this year.
Song 2: Boris Rene – Her Kiss
RICHARD: Put Your Love On Me, Boris’ entry from last year some how comes across through his rehearsals today for this year’s entry. With Her Kiss, he has the same enthusiasm, energy and vibrancy about him – something that we all fell in love with him over last year. During these rehearsals, Boris is testing different coloured jackets – so an outfit for the final has obviously yet been decided upon!
ANDREW: Boris has a nice feel good song this year and will be hoping to improve on his 10th place finish in last years Final. I am hopeful that he will with this years performance. He is accompanied on the stage by some backing dancers which gives this performance a nice energy to it. Yeah this could definitely do better than 10th.
Song 3: Lisa Ajax – I Don’t Give A
RICHARD: What do I say about this little munchkin? I actually found the whole performance underwhelming and it loses my attention if I’m truly honest. Lisa starts behind the screen, it rises, she walks through and carries on singing in front of images of herself. Although it is a tiny stage, she appears lost on it considering her size.
ANDREW: Lisa Ajax has the F word in her song numerous times and if I am being honest it is not that brilliant a song either. Almost like she is doing her best to grab the attention. This came through from Andera Chansen and has achieved as much by getting to this Final, she came 7th last year and I do not see this bettering that position.
Song 4: Robin Bengtsson – I Can’t Go On
RICHARD: What an amazing performance! Robin starts off stage with his backing dancers/singers at the start of the song before progressing on to the stage in what seems like a nifty routine. The use of the controversial f***ing has been replaced with fricking – something that had been requested – probably after all the controversy it had caused. With the added use of floor travelators in the second half of the performance, I can only sum Robin up as calm and collected throughout the whole thing.
ANDREW: I love the way this song is performed. He starts offstage in the bowels of the Arena with his dancers and then enters onto the back of the stage while singing his great catchy number. They also use travelators during the dance routine and it looks really cool and slick. Yes I love this and hope he can better his 5th place from last year.
15:20-15:50CET Coffee Break
Song 5: Jon Henrik Fjallgren feat. Aninia – En varld full av strider
RICHARD: Jon Henrik and Aninia bring us are Swedish entry for the year. It is as if Jon Henrik has not been away from the competition and is certainly a firm favourite amongst the press contingent that are already at the Friends Arena. I think Jon Henrik and Aninia have a strong chemistry that comes across well in what would be considered Jon Henrik’s typical traditional Sami, cultural entry.
ANDREW: Now this is a popular entry already here at Friends Arena. I like it too as it has a traditional Sami element to it along with a great haunting female vocal from Aninia. This would not be a bad choice for Eurovision actually something a bit different which would stand out from the crowd in Kiev. Given that it is in Swedish might tempt the Swedish public to vote for it too.
Song 6: Anton Hagman – Kiss You Goodbye
RICHARD: Anton is on stage with his guitar. If I’m honest, it doesn’t really grab me – the whole performance that is. The back screen replicates Lisa Ajax’s performance and has Anton on in the background. A boy and his guitar with little else – another entry that is underwhelming that’ll lose peoples attention.
ANDREW: Pretty boy in grey hoody does Melodifestivalen instead of Loreen. I was flabbergasted he beat her last week but talking to some of the locals here they didn’t like the political elements to Loreen’s song therefore he was in the prime place to beat her. That been said he has a decent enough song here but cannot see doing much better than 6th or less on Saturday night.
Song 7: Mariette – A Million Years
RICHARD: Mariette is back! This is an interesting performance – although not as dark when we last saw her at Melodifestivalen a couple of years ago, her backing dancers are attached to bungee cords so certainly add an element of mystery around it all. Thankfully, the bungees only allow some bouncing rather over the top flying here, there and everywhere – that would certainly spoil the whole intrigue that is portrayed.
ANDREW: Another song that I think is well staged and performed. Mariette brings us a good song with decent vocals but adds a different element with her backing dancers bouncing around on ropes. It certainly adds to the spectacle and I think this could do well on Saturday, Potential winner or at least top 4.
Song 8: FO&O – Gotta Thing About You
RICHARD: Sorry FO&O, but I’m not particularly enthusiastic from what I’ve just witnessed. I hate to say it was out of tune and from what I could see, more time was spent on perfecting your dance moves. There is 24hrs before you have to impress the juries – use the time wisely.
ANDREW: Oh dear this is quite awful. Vocally poor and out of tune, when they are harmonising it sounds a bit better but when they sing individually it highlights their failings accurately. This is an upbeat song with some slick dance moves but clearly to the detriment of the vocal performance. Bottom three for me.
Song 9: Nano – Hold On
RICHARD: Nano’s performance of Hold On reminds me too much from something James Arthur would come out with vocally. That isn’t a bad thing and certainly will attract the more youthful and modern music scene. Apart from flashing lights, not a lot else happens and I can’t see why this is a favourite amongst the general public. There is more going on in other performances visually and vocally that scheme Eurovision to me.
ANDREW: Well nothing wrong with this as it is modern and appeals to a younger audience but I don’t see its potential if it did win on Saturday and goes to Eurovision. Its not really my cup of tea either as songs go.
Song 10: Wiktoria – As I Lay Me Down
RICHARD: Unfortunately due to health issues, Wiktoria is having to rest her voice today so rehearsed on playback. The visually performance with the added staging of the bed adds a whole 3D element which Ace Wilder had last year. Overall impressive when I can only judge what I’m see visually with her resting her voice – will the voice be well enough for tomorrow night’s Jury Final and the main show itself on Saturday?
ANDREW: This has ramped up a gear since the Semi Final. Certainly its all playback but the performance is spot on. The elements with the bed and the graphics have been improved to make more sense tied in with the lyrics. ‘As I lay down on my bed’ now makes a whole lot of sense and at one point she has the figure of a man lying beside her who then disperses into the backdrop. As long as she has the voice back for Saturday she will be in with a good chance of improving her 4th place of last year if not to win it.
Song 11: Benjamin Ingrosso – Good Lovin’
RICHARD: Benjamin starts off been surrounded by Nina’s costume from Croatia last year. He is then revealed to the audience and his backing dancers/singers. Yes it is an up tempo number, but it is another one of the entries that holds my attention. Sadly, I don’t think it’s the year for any of the young lads.
ANDREW: An uptempo funky sound going on here with Benjamin and his dancers and a big sparkly backdrop at the beginning which he stands inside before coming out of it onto the stage. A perfectly nice song but not a potential winner for me.
Song 12: Owe Thornqvist – Boogieman Blues
RICHARD: Owe gives me the impression of a pub singer with his band accompanying him. The addition of the backing singers does take me back to the thirties/forties with the style of singing. I do fear how he’ll cope with the pressure in Kyiv after what I’ve witnessed throughout the day.
ANDREW: This is a favourite among the locals and it certainly is an old style schlager feel good song. But Owe is not equipped any more for the pressures that all of this will throw at him. He has a bar stool with him on stage that appears to have little use bar to hold him up. Its fine for what it is but I would be shocked if it did really well.
Authors: Richard Taylor & Andrew Main
Source: Eurovision Ireland
Picture Sources: SVT