Welcome to Melodifestivalen 2006

by Benny Royston 76 views

Hello Europe, and welcome to Stockholm for Melodifestivalen 2006. The last of the planned national selections for the 51st Eurovision Song Contest, and by far the largest in Europe, is less than 48 hours away. Today saw the start of rehearsals for the ten competing finalists. On the ground at the Globen arena are Barry Viniker and an esctoay.com team to cover the rehearsals, parties and all the news surrounding Melodifestivalen.

Already today, the artist's press conference has taken place. After a brief introduction on stage managed by Christer Bjorkman, each artist or band came on stage to pose for the eager cameras in the order that they will appear on Saturday night.

Andreas Johnson was the first artist to begin rehearsals following the brief press call, where journalists fought to talk to the stars of the show. With his song, Sing for me, Andreas is hoping to win the Swedish ticket to Athens. Opening the performance by inviting the audience to clap, and walking into the crowds and back to the stage via the catwalk.

Speaking to esctoday.com shortly before going on stage, he explained his reasons for taking part in Melodifestivalen:

“The song was actually written in a day. SVT called me in New York where I was preparing my new album. They asked me if I would like to be a wildcard entry in the competition. I have been away from the Swedish audience for three years, and was looking forward to coming back with the new album, so I agreed to take the opportunity. The new album will be released in Europe and America, so the song had to fit in with that”.

Talking about his chances of winning on Saturday and the other acts when asked about who his favourite songs were, Andreas said:

“Obviously Carola, she is a clear favourite. Also Bodies without organs will be tough, they are very good. I would love to go to Athens of course .

Following Andreas onto the stage was Bjork Kjellman, a well known and popular actor in Sweden who is also a big fan of Eurovision. Linda Bengtzing was third up, before the Poodles, complete with rising drum kits, pyrotechnics and firework explosions!

Stay tuned to esctoday.com for more news and interviews from Sweden, including an interview with Linda Bengtzing later today…

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