Tonight, the public dress rehearsal of Melodifestivalen took place. The capacity 14,000 crowd were treated to a glimpse of the stars that will fight it out to become Sweden's entry at the Eurovision Song Contest in Athens this May. A landmark in the national selection season, Sweden's is the very last act to be chosen for the Eurovision Song Contest.
Lena Phillipson, radiant in a pink dress, opens the show singing about each of the participants as a two metre high portrait of each one is moved around the stage.
Things to note from the semifinal performances include:
Song 3: Linda Bengtzing�s Jag Ljuger sa bra. Linda will now be joined on stage by two female backing dancers, as well as the two dancers that performed with her in the semifinal victory.
Song 4: The Poodles� Night of passion has gone into pyrotechnic overdrive with fireworks and fire all over the stage.
Song 6: The Rednex� Mama take me home has lost two lines of the song. Originally, the backing vocals included the lines �Where did you come from, Cotton Eyed Joe? I�ve been married a long time ago�. To ensure against anyone accusing the song of plagarism, this reference to the band�s earlier global hit has been dropped!
Song 8: Magnus Backlund�s The name of love has followed the Poodles into the firing line with a huge ball of fire burning on stage throughout the song.
Helena Paparizou performs My number one with a cheerleading group behind her, performing human acrobatics. Following her appearance, the judges' votes are announced in the same format as last year. The judges' votes will, some would say controvertially after last year�s results, be worth 50% of the total marks. Last year it was this fact that put Martin Stenmarck ahead of televoters' favourite Nanne, sending him to Kyiv as the shock winner.
Following the expert judges' results, Lena performs Jag Ångrar Ingenting, the title track of her new album, before the televote result is announced.
Tomorrow night's hotly anticipated broadcast of Melodifestivalen 2006 begins at 20:00 CET and will be shown on SVT, SVT Europa and live on the internet.