We are in the press center next to Malmo Arena watching the first rehearsals of the Big 5 and Sweden.

Check back and refresh as we will update this article as the artists perform one after another.


SPAIN – El Sueño de Morfeo – Contigo hasta el final

The bagpipe player is showed in full prominence at the beginning.  The lead singer Raquel  is in a bright yellow knee-length dress.   The two other bandmembers stand next to her.  The bagpipe player takes a seat on the drums.  On the other side of the stage there are two backup singers, one playing the guitar, one with a violin.  There are not many theatrics, just a straight forward performance video.  Raquel seems to get more and more confident run-through after run-through.  The third rehearsal adds some dry ice/smoke at the introduction, and the wind machine kicks in at the end.  The ceiling lights are set low.  It creates a nice atmosphere.

ZACK: The song reminds me of Ireland 2007.  It’s a bit understated and I’m worried about it being overshadowed by other performances.
MATT: The song and the performance are equally uninspiring.  All I can see this going is into the bottom 5.


FRANCE – Amandine Bourgeois – L’enfer et moi

The screens don’t show what’s going on in the arena, but you can Amandine warming up her raspy voice.   As it starts, we see Amadine is wearing a leather jacket,  tight grey jeans, and some silver high heels.  Her hair is a bit messy, but she’s going with a very grunge, rocker-chic style.  The staging is simple, with just her and three male backup singers hidden in the dark.   Tyhe backdrop is reddish hues to create the illusion of fire.  At the middle eight, she grabs the mic stand and really starts getting into it, very much like she did at Eurovision in Concert.  She sounds EXACTLY like the studio version., except for the final note.   The backup singers sing the last line, “Je vais te faire l’enfer” and she comes in at “l’enfer.”  She sounds a bit off-key.  At the end of the first run-through, she seems very matter-of-fact about things, not excited at all.  She gets into it even more in the second run-through.  The last note is still a bit iffy.  She smiles a bit after that run-through.  You can hear her practicing a capella the final line.  In the third run-through, the final line sounds better.

ZACK: Amandine has a great unique voice and is an incredibly engaging performer.  The staging is simple, but this is an example of how a simple performance can still make a statement.
MATT: She sounded amazing.  However, she looked like she just woke up.  I like the colors of the backdrop.


GERMANY – Cascada – Glorious
The Stage is mostly purple and blue. Cascada is singing standing on a similar set of stairs just like during her NF performance walking down during the bridge and makes her way down the catwalk. She is wearing a peach colored dress that’s quite glittery. She has her two backup singers standing to the side joining her during the chorus. It appears that the team decided to go with the short verses but the instrumental part included.
MATT: Good dress, I was worried that Germany would win the Barbara Dex award with that horrendous dress from the NF. As expected, she sounded great and it received a big cheer in the press hall (bias?!?!?!) There are also some fireworks used during her last run with the pyro rain effect as well as some smoke effects.
ZACK: She’s not the strongest voice this year, but she knows how to perform with charisma.  This will definitely get people in the arena jumping and dancing.  Another example of simple staging but a good show.


SWEDEN – Robin Stjernberg – You
The performance seems to be almost identical to Melodifestivalen. The Stage is all read and blue with the same backup dancers (or at least some of them) with one of them also serving as backup singers. Robyin is wearing a suite all in white. It seems he had a few problems hitting some of the high notes. The choreography appears to be a bit more elaborate than from what we’ve seen in the past.
MATT: Vocally it wasn’t really too impressive and I’m worried that it won’t catch people’s attention after the first listen and since he only has one shot I am rather pessimistic.
ZACK: I think it’s a good for the home country and should do well in the voting particularly the good running order (16th)


UK – Bonnie Tyler – Believe In Me
Bonnie is wearing street clothes so we’re expecting something different for the second rehearsal. She using a microphone stand throughout the first chorus and then starts walking towards her band on Stage. The Stage is orange, yellow and red. The last chorus is being performed on the catwalk where the wind machine comes into play. Vocally it sounded really good though the volume is way too low in the press center.
MATT: She sounded great so we don’t have to worry about a Humerdinck repeat. Since she didn’t really dress up she seemed a bit out of place but we’ll know more for sure next rehearsal

ITALY – Marco Mengoni – L’essenziale
Marco also did not dress up for this rehearsal. We were told that he isn’t feeling well and therefore is unable to attend the Meet & Greet with the press. His staging appears to be rather simple. It’s Marco and Marco only standing in the Center onstage which is all in blue (later on with some yellow lights). There are no images or effects whatsoever. It remains to be seen if they’ll add something during the second rehearsal. There are no gimmicks but despite him being sick, he’s vocally giving his all.
MATT: People will love it for keeping it simple or be bored to death. I guess we’ll have to wait for the second rehearsal to give a fair assessment of his performance. At this point it’s quite anti-climatic.


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