Melodifestivalen: Studio Versions and impressions from rehearsal

Later tonight Linkoping and its Cloetta Center will welcome Swedes to the second semi-final of Melodifestivalen 2014. We’ve now watched several rehearsals and listened to the studio versions, so are ready to give you the scoop!

But before we begin, it’s worth saying that Nour and Anders, the hosts, will stage a mini birthday party for ABBA, marking 40 years since “Waterloo” won the contest. The two hosts will appear from two giant birthday cake! Thankfully both of them will be fully clothes (unlike last week when we saw more of Anders than we would have liked…)

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JEM“Love Trigger”

J.E.M roused the crowd with their entry “Love Trigger”. Bathed in red lights, they have a strong presence on stage, partly due to the three cubes that frame each artist. This act seems to have a lot of fans. The two female singers are elegant in their shirts, skirts and trousers, mainly in black, while the rapper wears a black shirt with a white star on it.

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The Refreshments“Hallelujah”

They aren’t just dressed to impress: they’re dress to fit with their country music song. The Refreshments wear suits in yellow, black, orange and red. A crazy guitarist, a real car on stage (along with girls sitting in it) and a pianist are some of the gimmicks that the Refreshments hope will coax voters to phoning in for them. Unlikely.

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Manda“Glow”

This energetic girl, wearing a skirt akin to Krista Siegfrid’s last year, sings a dynamic song, acompanished by 3 violinists. The spectators hold their breath while watching these 3 girls turn around. You can’t help but fear they will fall! There was some technical drama yesterday so Manda rehearsed again. It’s a meaningfull song that also has a nice beat. It may pass through, or at least make the Second Chance.

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Panetoz“Efter solsken”

Pa Modou is having major voice problems, so the group made the people do all the shouting for their African-inspired entry. The boys wear suits including black trousers and jackets, along with grey shirts. This entry makes us forget about Linkoping and dream of Hawaii. Aloha!

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Pink Pistols“I Am Somebody”

Walking and dancing with confidence, the group makes us think that we are somebody. These boys and girls looks super elegant wearing clothes mainly in black. The music is a bit weird, but most of the lyrics are good.

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Sanna Nielsen“Undo”

Perhaps the strongest artist in tonight’s show, Sanna comes back and sings a touching ballad. In the beginning it is simillar to Miley Cyrus’ hit “Wreacking Ball”. With lights around her, as well as shiny stones behind her, she sings alone on the stage, wearing a long black dress. This woman is headed back to the final.

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Little Great Things“Set Yourself Free”

Little Great Things wear smokey eyes and casual clothes, both of which fit with their rock sound.  This could really soar when performed live. Lasers are also essential: they provide the neccessary tonal shift to help us forget Sanna’s song.

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Martin Stenmarck“När änglarna går hem”

With Scottish trousers, a black t-Shirt and a leather jacket, Martin is a verified cool cat and the evening’s last contestant. “It’s difficult to sing this song at the end. There’s not enough air,” he said earlier this week. Will he manage to breathe and go straight to the final?

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Click here to see the latest betting odds!

Billy Xifaras contributed this report from Greece. Follow him on Twitter at @bill_xifaras. You can also keep up-to-date on the latest Eurovision news and liking our Facebook page.

Photos: SVT