The rehearsals for the Melodifestivalen final, Sweden's national selection process, are at last underway at the Globen arena, Stockholm. With record interest and a staggering 240 registered media accreditations, Sweden still leads the way in terms of interest in the Eurovision Song Contest. Last week, more than a million votes were registered in the second chance round, more than 10% of the nation voted. On Saturday, it is expected than more than half the entire national population will watch the show, joined by many thousands of fans across Europe.
esctoday.com is covering everything at the Swedish final, the official Melodifestivalen opening party tonight and dress rehearsals tomorrow. Later today, there will be a full report from the first press conference including video interviews with The Ark, Sonja, Mons, Anna Book and Andreas Johnson. Due to strict time constraints, and only 45 minutes for all journalists to meet with all ten participants, we regret that so far, not all the participants could be interviewed. We will also be uploading a gallery of today's pictures.
So far, Andreas Johnson and Sonja Alden have performed. Andreas will be starting the show from the middle of the hall surrounded by the audience. Sonja remains true to the routine that has seen her grow to be one of the favourites this year. Anna Book is currently preparing for her rehearsal. The rehearsal programme in Sweden has been shortened this year, with artists only allowed three run-throughs of their song. There will be dress rehearsals tomorrow night and again on Saturday afternoon before the grand final, which starts at 20:00 CET