Good evening Europe and good morning Australia. Tonight is Semi Final 1 and the start of Melodifestivalen 2020!!! Join me, Richard, as we witness the first seven acts fight it out for the first two spots in the Grand Final.
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And we are off! Linkoping calling! We start with a “Mission Impossible” style opening with the hosts. The hosts change and enter the arena to an excitable audience.
Linnea, David and Lina are introducing us to this year’s Melodifestivalen. Now they’re introducing us to tonight’s line-up.
Let the contest begin!
The Mamas – “Move”
The Mamas bring happy, gospel sounds to the stage in Linkoping. You can’t fault their vocals and the dancing is more of a armography exercise – but it fits in perfectly with the performance. The trio are dressed in full length black, with sequin dresses. They are definitely what we needed as a show opener.
Suzi P – “Moves”
These Moves are a very modern contrast compared to the Move of The Mamas. I suspect Suzi P is aiming for the youth vote with this dance/r’n’b entry. She has four backing dancers busting some moves – do people still say that? Suzi is in top-to-toe silver – tonight’s singing glitter ball maybe?
Now for a small sketch with the hosts.
Robin Bengtsson – “Take A Chance”
“Take A Chance” is a very upbeat song. It is as if Robin is calling out to someone special – by asking them to take a chance on him. A very basic performance with some movement, although Robin tends to stick to near enough the same spot. The back projection cloth animation helps to enhance the overall performance. We will see on this one…
Malou Prytz – “Ballerina”
Malou has brought a gritty “Ballerina” to the stage – when classical was expected. The effects show dark, gothic and fiery. Some CGI is at play here – with Malou appearing on stage in two places at the same time. An abrupt end I feel – but that is only my opinion.
OVO – “Inga problem”
A distinct use of red and blue is used during this rap performance. OVO are another act airing to attract the youth vote. Sadly I’m starting to feel old, as this is something we would of rarely seen at the Swedish final ten year’s ago. Is the traditional Melodifestivalen schlager on the way out?
Now for a small interlude with the hosts.
Sonja Alden – “Sluta aldrig ga”
Sonja has brought a classic Swedish performance we would have expected from Sweden in the 1990’s. In a full ivory ballgown, she is alone on the stage. For the long term Eurovision Song Contest fans, this really ticks all the boxes – especially when to comes to singing in the native language. Could this be the Swedish language song were see at Friends Arena in March?
Felix Sandman – “Boys with Emotions”
Felix is delivering a message through this song – possible related to mental health. Felix is joined on stage by four backing dancers. This certainly has a Benjamin Ingrasso staging vibe around it. With the specific message in the song, Felix may have just secured a Friends Arena place.
The first round of voting is now open.
Linnea, David and Lina are now talking about the Melodifestivalen Hall of Fame. Some of the inductees are been highlighted.
The first round of voting is closed. Here come the results…
Through to the second round of voting are: Felix Sandman, Sonja Alden, The Mamas, Robin Bengtsson and Malou Prytz.
The second round of voting is now open.
Linnea (I think), joins Jan Johansen on stage to perform “Se pa mej”. Lina joins some unknown females. David joins Sean Banan for Copa Cabana.
The second round of voting is closed. Here come the results…
Direct to the Final: Robin Bengtsson – “Take A Chance”
Through to Andra Chansen: Malou Prytz – “Ballerina” & Felix Sandman – “Boys with Emotions”
Direct to the Final: The Mamas – “Move”
Author: Richard Taylor
Source: Eurovision Ireland