If you thought that Eurovision rehearsals only started when the acts arrived in Stockholm, then think again. SVT were hard at work filming rehearsals before delegations had even hit the ground, with a number of stand-in performers taking on the roles of the Eurovision 2016 acts. These stand-in rehearsals are filmed and then shared with delegations ahead of their arrival. It’s an opportunity to have a bit of dialogue ahead of rehearsals, and gives SVT’s technical crews an opportunity to tweak and adjust. A number of these rehearsals have now made their way online for us to all take a look at. It’s time to shine a light on the acts who helped to make Eurovision 2016’s production all the better.
Watch: Josephine Thunell’s stand-in rehearsal of “Sound of Silence”
Josephine Thunell is a 21-year old musical theatre student at the Kulturama school in Stockholm. SVT auditioned a number of students from the school and Josephine was one of the acts selected to take the stage, where she was picked to sing both Dami Im’s “Sound of Silence” as well as Agnete’s “Icebreaker”. After getting some rehearsals in, Josephine then took to the Globen stage — but it was far from an easy ride. Speaking to wiwibloggs, she explained it this way:
“It was all very intense, since we only got three takes if nothing went drastically wrong. In those three takes, you were to learn where the cameras went, which camera to look at when and also deliver a good performance! Most of the staging was done at a previous rehearsal so it was mostly just applying that staging to the actual stage and props”
This involved, for example, having to use the actual “glitter cube” that Dami Im performed on during Eurovision as opposed to SVT’s original prop: a table. Josephine also had to learn the precise hand movements for the holographic sequence in the “Sound of Silence” performance, which Dami herself struggled to time in the second semi-final. That is some real skill and dedication to learn so quickly, y’all! Thankfully for Josephine, she was able to be much more free with “Icebreaker”, as you can see below.
Watch: Josephine Thunell’s stand-in rehearsal of “Icebreaker”
Whilst Josephine’s two performances look very similar to the final product, there are also other examples from the stand-in rehearsals that show where SVT had to make changes. Georgia’s “Midnight Gold”, for example, was much tamer affair in the stand-in version than the strobing light heavy affair we saw at Eurovision. One of the more surprising examples of this comes from the Swedish entry “If I Were Sorry”. Despite having had the experience at Melfest, the stand-in rehearser Sam Nilsson Ezeh‘s performance is almost blinding at times, with the lights on the screen behind far too bright for the camera to handle:
Watch: Sam Nilsson Ezeh’s stand-in rehearsal of “If I Were Sorry”
This is hardly the first time that SVT have employed this practice. In fact, y’all have probably heard of one of the artists who performed as a stand-in during the 2013 contest. Ellen Benediktson, Melodifestivalen 2014/2015 starlet, performed Amandine Bourgeois’ “L’enfer et moi” in Malmö. It was those performances that got her noticed by SVT and led to her Melfest appearances in the first place. Josephine admits that she would “love to compete in Melodifestivalen. Now I have a small taste of what it would feel like…I will keep striving towards it!”
Watch: More stand-in rehearsals of Eurovision 2016
What do you think of the stand-in acts? Do you think that there are some Swedish Eurovision stars of the future amongst them? Let us know in the comments section below – and you can also check out our full interview with Josephine soon, right here on wiwiwbloggs.