Good afternoon Europe and good evening Australia. Today are the individual rehearsals of the Finalists of Melodifestivalen 2020!!! Join me, Richard, as we witness the final twelve rehearse and get ready to fight it out on stage during the Grand Final on Saturday night!
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13:10: Victor Crone – “Troubled Waters”
And we are go! For those that didn’t see Victor’s Semi Final appearance, he starts the performance by laying down on the ground, on top of a back projection shaped like a pentagon. Some Mans-esque imagery takes place before Victor gets up and springs into action.
I say spring – well “Troubled Waters” allows him to move more around the stage than he ever was able to with “Storm” last year. Vocally Victor has not lost it, in fact he has probably improved on last year. As suspected across Social Media in recent weeks, backing vocals are in use at various points.
The last run-through saw a few dodgy vocals, but overall, a good set of rehearsals from Victor Crone.
13:45: Paul Rey – “Talking In My Sleep”
The staging for Paul Rey’s entry is still very darkly lit with the exception of the LED pillars on the set. There are dashes of blue lighting from the second verse onwards. CGI effects come into play when he decides to sway from side to side at various times.
During the instrumental parts of the performance, Paul has the freedom to move around the stage, making the performance by him less static. Even when he is one place on the stage, he still exudes energy.
Back projections used during the final quarter of the performance uses silhouettes of Paul on either a red or blue background – the only real time we see colour on the stage.
14:20: The Mamas – “Move”
Well, The Mamas certainly know how to bring joy to the stage, even when it isn’t really brightly lit for the duration of the performance. Obviously there is some lighting, but it is only used during specific parts of the performance.
The Mamas don’t stay static and use dance to change the order they stand in and keep the performance fresh. The ladies are very good with connect ng with the camera and the audience – not something that comes naturally, even those that make the Eurovision Song Contest itself.
Vocally I can’t fault The Mamas. They can hold a tune when they are or are not accompanied by music. These ladies are truly professional and have a bright future in this Contest.
14:55: Mohombi – “Winners”
Mohombi brings not only some bright lighting to the proceedings, but some backing dancers too – although they don’t appear throughout, they add more energy to the overall performance.
Not really sure about Mohombi’s vocals here. I feel he needs to improve on them if he wants a chance of representing Sweden in Rotterdam. While he also possesses some movement, he near enough remains static in the same place on stage – so much more energy could be used.
15:50: Hanna Ferm – “Brave”
And we’re back. Hanna has a vibrant backdrop that will certainly wake up a lot of people after a series of dreary lighting since we’ve started earlier this afternoon.
Hanna Ferm certainly knows how to work the stage and connects well with not only the cameras, but the audience as well. Vocally, I would hold a question mark over at the moment, but Hanna may be holding back.
Everybody’s favourite Swedish stage accessory makes a return in the performance – the wind machine.
16:25: Mendez feat. Alvaro Estrella – “Vamos Amigos”
Mendez and Alvaro have certainly brought the party to the stage that Miki should of brought to the stage in Tel Aviv for Spain last year. The stage if full of energy and at times, the high energy does take your eye off the singing artists.
One thing that very rarely works at the Eurovision Song Contest is rap and sadly I can’t see Mendez doing enough to get them to Rotterdam, let alone the top of the scoreboard on Saturday night – it’s just the one genre that has never worked.
Taking the negativity away in regards to the genre, the bright colours and festival vibe does give a welcome injection into the proceedings.
The use of pyrotechnics don’t add anything special to this performance – especially as some could consider it as rather busy already in places.
17:00: Dotter – “Bulletproof”
Dotter is on a very darkly lit stage – until the fantastic red laser lighting is let loose! Not only does the lasers produce some fantastic effects across the stage, when bounced off Dotter, it works just as well – like it’s portraying her beating heart. At times the lasers are white lit too.
Is it a winner – not yet. Vocally it’s near enough there, but as a stage show so far, it seems rather disconnected between stage and viewer. This is what rehearsals are for and we can hope for better run throughs coming up.
Connectivity between Dotter and the cameras is starting to appear. I wouldn’t say the connection with the audience is necessarily there yet.
Another run through and there is signs of ore connectivity. Can Dotter perfect this performance before she faces the juries tomorrow night – this is the question now. “Bulletproof” is currently the favourite in Sweden to win.
17:35: Robin Bengtsson – “Take A Chance”
Robin has taken to the stage for his first run through and it’s very strong – some may say too strong with potential signs of arrogance. Yes we know he has won Melodifestivalen before, but he needs to deliver “Take A Chance” with the emotions it deserves.
The performance delivers the right balance of energy and static ness in the relevant places. We have bright lighting in the relevant places, which works well alongside the rhythm of the song. If you saw Robin in his Semi Final, then you’ll know the basics behind the performance already.
Robin also has the Mans-esque animations on the backdrop – yet this is something else that he could interact with more. If Robin can polish up on all these minor details, he has a chance of placing in a respectable place on Saturday night.
19:10: Mariette – “Shout It Out”
Mariette has come to the stage in the Friends Arena with a good vocal and energetic (in the right places) performance. The lighting emphasises her energy throughout and goes by the rhythm of the song.
While I can see Mariette connecting with the audience easily in the Friends Arena, I can’t see it currently happening with the cameras – this is required to engage with those sitting and voting at home.
Connectivity the cameras has started to come along in the next couple of run throughs. Mariette shouldn’t worry and will definitely pull it off tomorrow in front of the juries and then Saturday night for the television viewers who can also vote.
19:45: Felix Sandman – “Boys With Emotions”
Felix Sandman has come fighting after only qualifying through the Andra Chansen round – originally a favourite to qualify directly to the Final. Felix has shown in this run through that emotions was be conveyed to both the audience and the camera – something many have yet to achieve during today’s rehearsals.
Special effects are a plenty here. Felix is dressed completely in light, which allows various words or patterns to be projected directly on to him, as well as the back cloth on the set.
We are already seeing a rather slick performance – especially with his interaction with his backing dancers. While this isn’t necessarily a favourite to win, the way things are going, he should place highly.
20:20: Anna Bergendahl – “Kingdom Come”
As with the Semi Final, Anna is on a raised platform for the duration of the performance. Lighting is again very dark, but with the inclusion of reds throughout. While others have found it difficult, Anna has no problems with every aspect of connectivity.
Backing dancers join her on the platform, but because of the dark lighting, you don’t see them join her, which makes for a fluid transition.
While Anna is very static in how she is positioned, she still moves her arms about to exert some energy and it works very well. While the backing dancers don’t actually mimc the same movements, they actually connect very well.
20:55: Anis Don Demina – “Vem e som oss”
We are ahead of schedule, but the screens here in the Press Centre are not playing ball completely. So rather than say we’ve got technical difficulties and leave it at that, here is a reminder of Anis Don Demina’s performance from his Semi Final:
Thank you for joining me this afternoon and early evening. Enjoy the show on Saturday night if you are watching and I hope your favourite wins!
Author: Richard Taylor
Source: Eurovision Ireland