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Ernman takes Sweden to Eurovision finals

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Ernman takes Sweden to Eurovision finals
13:51 CEST+02:00
Swedish opera star Malena Ernman took another step toward solidifying her pop-music credentials on Tuesday night by sailing through the first semifinal of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest.

Ernman's soaring ballad “La Voix”, along with nine other acts, were chosen to advance to the Eurovision Song Contest finals to be held in Moscow on Saturday, May 16th.

The 38-year-old mezzo-soprano did little to hide her excitement when she learned she'd advanced to the finals, hopping up on the green room sofa and hugging those around her after hearing the news.

“I'm very, very relieved, everything else that happens now is just icing on the cake. I was really surprised that we were called so early,” Ernman told the Expressen newspaper.

While it's still too early to say just how far Ernman's operatic voice will carry beyond Sweden's borders and the world's opera houses, the semifinal results indicate that European music fans may be ready for Ernman's unique mix of high- and low-brow styles.

Despite her success in the semifinals, Ernman explained that she harboured doubts ahead of Tuesday night's contest and the importance of others in Sweden's Eurovision delegation.

“God, I didn't think this would work,” she told Expressen.

“You fight the fear by telling yourself everything will be fine. The others in the team supported me as well.”

So far, 15 the 25 Eurovision final slots have been filled, with the remaining ten acts set to be chosen in the second semifinal on Thursday night.

Ernman expressed her happiness again during the post-event press conference, performing a pirouette in front of the throngs of journalists, and hinting she has confidence heading into the next stage of the contest.

“It was an emotional whirlwind. Even if I'm not dependent on this, I'm a competitive person and very much want to win and perform well,” she said, according to Expressen.

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