Eurovision 2013 day 7: Sweden's first rehearsal

Robin Stjernberg © Dennis Stachel/EBU

The anticipation was huge in the press centre for home boy Robin's first rehearsal today. He has turned in a consistently brilliant vocal performance, but his song is surprisingly not appreciated by as many. Would his first run through win him wider support?

Fresh faced Robin was the fourth of the finalists to rehearse after lunch, and he took to the stage wearing similar garb as in the national final - a rather strange looking white waistcoat paired with beige pants and shirt. His trademark high hair was in place. Robin was standing atop a low, raised round platform. Spread around the platform were his five dancers dressed in loose fitting clothing, shirts and baggy pants in various shades of beige, cream and grey.

The stage is flooded with blue light, pierced with white rays at the start of the number, before the backdrop bursts into a pinkish red glow which complements the red lanterns hanging high overhead.

Robin comes down his platform and wanders among his dancers, so it's nice to see some interaction - this, paired with circular camera shots comes across well on screen. Some of the shots however are catastrophic, and it looked at one point as if the cameraman had stumbled. The choreography of his dancers was haphazard to say the least, with many handstands and breakdancing which came across rather messy and far too busy. The camerawork was significantly better in subsequent run throughs, giving some engaging shots of his cheeky grin which should have the tweens swooning throughout the whole of Europe. A pyro curtain was used in the final run through, the same as was in Friends Arena.

Vocally, we've heard Robin sing this far better before. It is a difficult song to sing, physically exerting, but he seemed to be holding back in parts and the performance lacked the same vibrancy, conviction and sheer elation seen in his national final performance. He hit most of the notes, which is impressive in itself, but there was something lacking. But he gave a performance that should surely see Sweden avoid the same situation as happened in Malmö in 1992 when the host nation came second last.
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