Today, rehearsals for Sweden's famous Eurovision Song Contest selection show, Melodifestivalen 2008 get underway. esctoday.com is live in Gothenburg to cover the rehearsals and will be here all the way through to Saturday's live show. The competition is the two-time winner of the esctoday.com award for best national final and this year's show promises to be bigger and better than ever.
Rehearsals at the Scandinavium, home of the 1985 Eurovision Song Contest, are now underway. esctoday.com will be covering the day and regularly updating this article.
Song 1: Line of Fire – E-type & The Poodles.
Featuring a huge drum set on a raised platform, the first song of Melodifestivalen 2008 is rehearsed on stage. The chemistry between E-type and The Poodles grows with each run through of the song. The performance will feature pyrotechnics and it's a big opening to the competition. The song is uptempo, and features both The Poodles' traditional rock sound and E-type's dance vocals.The performance makes use of the traditional Melodifestivalen catwalk into the audience.
Song 2: Alla gamla x – Face-84
The girl band appear with guitars and are the first act of the year to walk us around some of the new areas of the stage set. The melodic mid tempo pop song,the first of theyear in Swedish,features some traditional Eurovision dance steps and the debutants at the competition look anything but overwhelmed. It's a strong performance from the first run through of Alla gamla x and the band have a sound that reminds a little of The Bangles.
Song 3: Deja vu – Velvet
The wait for schlager fans is over. Velvet is back at Melodifestivalen with a big schalger song. This is uptempo, powerful and Velvet is showing that she's still developing into a fantastic performer. There's crafted choreography with moderndance moves, powerful vocals, a catchy chorus, big hair and the welcome return of the wind machine. This song will please fans of the show and Velvet could be one of the artists in the final shake up with this song.
Song 4: Lullaby – Brandur
Brandur makes his Melodifestivalen debut with a strong but simple ballad. There are similarities between his voice and style and Will Young, and the song makes a huge statement by its simplicity. A black grand piano is the feature of the stage and the backing vocalists add power and feeling to the performance.
Song 5: That's Love – Michael Michailoff
Another Melodifestivalen debutant, Michael's song is a mid tempo rock/pop song reminiscant of Sebastian and Andreas Johnson. Her performs with backing singers with guitars and a keyboard to stage right whilst taking up mid stage position alone. The song is well produced but is not one of the favourites to reach the final according to the bookies.
Song 6: Thank You Amy Diamond
The wildcard entry in this semi final has a powerful euro-pop song, and takes to the stage like a duck to water. With solid choreography, vocal talent and perfect use of the cameras, she shows a performing maturity that few artists ever achieve. The song is uptempo, poppy and is definitely in contention to win the competition. Many comparisons with a young Carola have been made and the artist that turns 16 just a month before the Eurovision Song Contest may take the title of youngest ever Melodifestivalen winner away from the MF Queen 25 years after her own teenage victory.
Song 7: Visst finns mirakel – Suzzie Tapper
Suzzie Tapper, the lead singer of 1980s band Suzzies Orchestra is back and takes her place in the Melodifestivalen lists for the first time. The song is simple, slow and sultry with a performance to match. There is tonnes of character and it comes across nicely.
Song 8: I love Europe – Christer Sjogren
This is pure Swedish danceband, the lyrics make this a shortlist candidate for the EU's much anticipated European national anthem and the song is raising laughs and eyebrows in the arena. A big bang style performance with lots of trumpeting, feathers, feathered bikinis, this song could surprise a few people and go straight to Globen. After 30 years as a performer, Christ finally makes his debut bow in the competition, it is likely to live long in the memory.
That completes the first day of rehearsals for Melodifestivalen 2008. Tonight, the official opening party takes place. esctoday.com will be there and will provide a full report, photographs and comments from the artists.
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