Loreen fills the Baku Crystal Hall with Euphoria
It was time today for the bookie's favourite, Sweden, to hit the stage of the Baku Crystal Hall. For this, the first rehearsal of Loreen and her song Euphoria, there was much expectation around it by both the fans and the media.
The stage of the Baku Crystal Hall goes all dark. There's a platform in the middle of the stage, and up on it we find Loreen, the singer that represents Sweden at this year's Eurovision Song Contest.
Their song starts with a halo of mystery before it builds up into a Euphoria created by an energetic beat, the snow falling in the projections and on the stage and the unique performance of Loreen.
We met with Loreen backstage as she finished her microphone check: "I'm glad to finally be here in Baku". Does she feel the pressure of being the bookies favourite? "No... but then again, I say everybody it's a favourite, to me" and then she adds "I'm flattered, I'm grateful, but we all have the same chances, we never know how it's going to go, so [...] I'd say that we're all winners!"
Did she have time to listen to all of the fellow competitors? "Time was a problem indeed for that matter, but I have now watched and listened to some of them".
The Press Conference
Loreen made her first appearance on the Swedish selection, the hugely popular Melodifestivalen, last year with My Heart Is Refusing Me and had a summer hit with it. She wasn't disappointed so she agreed on coming back this year to perform Euphoria which has turned out to be an enormous success not only in Sweden but already in some other countries.
The Head of the Swedish delegation Christer Björkman, a Eurovision performer for Sweden himself, back in 1992 confirmed that Euphoria achieved the biggest victory in the national competition since the introduction of televoting in 1999.
this response I'm getting is more than I could ever imagine. But here we are all creators, we are all good in what we're doing
Loreen is from Moroccan descent, "When I perform I'm almost like in a trance, and I imagine that might come from my Moroccan roots. I put my heart and my soul into this, so what you see is basically all that I have".
Why people are so fascinated? "It's very theatrical, there are no effects, it's just me and the stage. Then my dancer represents the male and I represent the female in a contrast of black and white that I like very much. It has this nerve, and well, I'm not sure, because I can't speak for you guys, but I think that's the reason why people enjoys it so much". Loreen followed this by singing an acapella performance of her hit from last year, My Heart Is Refusing Me.
For Christer it is clear: "Loreen will make the difference. she has already added value to a good song, and that for me is a specific sign that she has this distinctivness". A journalist asked him if she'd come back in case of a victory, like Lena did for Germany in 2010 and 2011 "well, first we have to pass to the Final and that's a question for next year... we'd have to find a song that's better than this one, and that is difficult"!