Tonight Sweden picked it’s first two finalists to Friends Arena in Stockholm as eight acts competed in the first heat of Melodifestivalen that took place in the town of Karlskrona.
Sweden sticks to the same system that have been used since 2002 by having 32 songs competing in four heats about eight direct places to the final while the third and fourth placed songs from the semi-finals gets a second chance in a fifth heat with the two winners there qualifying to the final. In the final ten songs compete and the winner gets to represent Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö. The results in the semifinals are decided by the viewers through telephone calls and SMS-votes.
The songs: (You can read more about the participants in our Get To Know article)
1. David Lindgren – Skyline (written by: Fernando Fuentes, Henrik Nordenback & Christian Fast)
The first song out is an upbeat one sung by last years sensation David Lindgren. It’s a slick number where David is accompanied with his four dancers on the stage. The song itself is strikingly similar to Davids song from last year, Shout It Out and with even more dancing going on at the stage. But the song itself is maybe a tad weaker? Nevertheless he is a big favourite to advance to the final tonight and the crowds reaction is good.
2. Cookies ‘N’ Beans – Burning Flags (written by: Fredrik Kempe)
The stage is blue and black as the three girls from Cookies ‘N’ Beans perform their soft and dramatic song. A wind machine is used on stage during the performance to create the effect of three big curtains moving in the wind behind the girls. Here we have three really good singers and the song is pleasant but could tend to be forgotten given the starting number.
3. Jay-Jay Johanson – Paris (written by: Jay-Jay Johanson)
Jay-Jay stands with a microphone stand surrounded by his band singing a slow song with a melancholic touch. The stage is bathing in a blue light maeking it visually pleasing. However the song has no hook and it’s hard to see who would vote for the song except the hardcore fans of Jay-Jay.
4. Mary N’diaye – Gosa (written by: Johan Åsgärde, Mattias Frändå & Mary N’diaye)
Mary performs a fast and energetic number where the word "Gosa" is repeated a whole lot of times in the lyrics. A repetive song that easily gets stuck on your mind but qucikly become tiresome.
5. Eric Gadd – Vi kommer aldrig att förlora (Music & Lyrics: Eric Gadd, Thomas Stenström & Jacob Olofsson)
Eric has a complete band on stage and sings a song that is more pop and less soul influenced than what we are used with when it comes to his songs. Eric walks out on the catwalk during the performance. This is a very popular singer, the song is pleasant but does it stand out enough to be in the top?
6. Yohio – Heartbreak Hotel (written by: Johan Fransson, Tobias Lundgren, Tim Larsson, Henrik Göranson & Yohio)
Flames from the stage pyrotechnics on the stage burst out as the 17-year old Yohio kicks of his song. The beat of this rock song bears some similarities with the Belarussian Eurovision entry from 2009 Eyes That Never Lie. Vocally this is far from perfect but Yohio has charisma that no doubt will appeal to teenage girls and if the glam rock fans are also with him then it could lead him all the way to the final.
7: Anna Järvinen – Porslin (written by: Björn Olsson & Martin Elisson)
Anna performs a soft song with her fragile voice. The lyrics are very important to this kind of song. Anna is accompanied on stage by a string quartet and a guitarist.
8: Michael Feiner & Caisa – We’re Still Kids (written by: Michael Feiner & Caisa Ahlroth)
The last song for tonight starts of to the tunes of a saxophone hook. The saxophone plays an important role in this dance track song. Michael Feiner is the man with the saxophone while Caisa is doing all the singing in the song. Five dancers joins the duo on the stage.
The shows opening number features the host Gina Dirawi imitating Loreen with her Eurovision winning song Euphoria with alternative comic lyrics in swedish. Tonights second host Danny Saucedo enters the stage during the performance in his white astronaut costume that he used when competing in Melodifestivalen last year. As we are used to when it comes to the hosts there are quite a lot of tongue in cheek jokes and Danny makes some fun about him second place last year. Before the songs start each performer is walking on a catwalk through the arena accompanied by a song chosen by the performer.
After the eight performances there’s a quick runthrough of the songs. Gina meets the performers in the Green Room do to short interviews. Then follows the interval act performed by Gina and Danny featuring Lena PH (the swedish representative for Sweden at Eurovision 2004) and Kristian Luuk (host for Melodifestivalen 2007 and 2008) in a fast and funny number about Danny finding a new more grown up style.
After having the results of the five songs that goes through to the second round of voting we are treated with a second runthrough of the songs. Then follows a pre-recorded sketch where actor and comedian Per Andersson plays an act that did not make it to semi-final in Karlskrona.
Five songs went through from the first round of voting:
Song 1. Skyline by David Lindgren
Song 2: Burning Flags by Cookies ‘N’ Beans
Song 4: Gosa by Mary N’diaye
Song 5: Vi kommer aldrig att förlora by Eric Gadd
Song 6: Heartbreak Hotel by Yohio
After the second round of voting ended the first finalist to be announced was David Lindgren. The second finalist was Yohio.
Cookies ‘N’ Beans and Eric Gadd were 3rd and 4th and goes to the second chance heat
The rest of the results:
5. Mary N’diaye
6. Michael Feijner & Caisa
7. Anna Järvinen
8. Jay-Jay Johanson
(Note: who came 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th is not revealed).
Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest:
Sweden debuted in the contest in 1958 and has an impresssive record in the contest with five wins: 1974, 1984, 1991, 1999 and 2012. The country has many top 5 finishes but had some rather disappointing results in the end of the 00’s until Eric Saade restored some of the glory by taking 3rd place with Popular and the year after the success was a fact with Loreens Euphoria.