Melodifestivalen 2023 concludes this weekend and we are here in Stockholm with our #LiveBlogs – continuing with the twelve Finalists, for the 1st Dress Rehearsal, of the Grand Final this Saturday, March 11th.
So join me, Richard, from 18:00 GMT/19:00 CET, as we discover how the Finalists will do here in Sweden. You know what to do by now, refresh regularly to see what we have to say in our #LiveBlog.
Refresh here from 18:00 GMT/19:00 CET
Nu kör vi!!! Welcome back to Stockholm. As with all good Dress Rehearsals, we have not started on time, but please keep reading!
And the Opening Titles are rolling! A party mix of Te Deum plays and the Finalists are introduced one by one. Farah and Jesper are introduced following the Finalists. They all dance to an instrumental version of “Stefania”.
Nu kör vi!!!
As with any other edition of Melodifestivalen, the voting methods are been explained. Let the Contest begin!!!
Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Arc north feat. Adam Woods – “Where are you (Sávečan)”
Some traditional languages to kick start an upbeat, disco number. There is a lot of metallic colouring in their outfits and the stage set in similar to Sam Ryder’s in Turin. Quite different to what we’ve seen Jon Henrik perform in a Final before, but it gets the crowd going. Pyrotechnics and smoke clouds bring great atmosphere to the overall production of the performance.
Tone Sekelius – “Rhythm of My Show”
For the casual viewer, they might get “Fuego” vibes for Tone’s second consecutive Final. Tone is full of attitude and confidence. She commands the stage and has that all important connectivity with both the camera and the audience. Tone will get to Eurovision whether it’ll be this year on another.
Mariette – “One Day”
Mariette returns to the Melodifestivalen Final and has a storytelling anthem full of emotions. Vocally brilliant and in sync with her backing dancers – but only when she needs to be. With a performance like this, I can’t understand why Mariette has yet to grace the Eurovision stage. And like I’ve said time and time again, his song belongs in a musical!
Marcus and Martinus – “Air”
Popular in their home nation of Norway, they’ve made the Melodifestivalen Final on their first attempt. Everybody will be on their feet in Friends Arena during the performance. While they may attract some of the younger voters, you can’t deny their overall performance is flawless. A warning for those with epilepsy, there is heavy strobing throughout.
Panetoz – “On my way”
The crowd are going wild for Panetoz. You’ll certainly get the festival vibes when you watch this. Bright, colourful, summery, the beach – everything you need to take your mind off the cold weather. While connectivity with the camera is harder with five on stage, they will have the entertainment value on their side when it comes to voting.
Maria Sur – “Never Give Up”
Maria, a young Ukrainian is very confident and full of emotive expressions. To be on stage on her own must be daunting, but she is delivering a strong message that every Ukrainian will be singing. It’s a shame the backing singers – more like a choir, only appear for the last few lines because it’d add extra support for Maria.
Smash Into Pieces – “Six Feet Under”
Not another performance great for those suffering with epilepsy. Think Hatari with a drummer in face mask, lit up by LED lighting. It’s certainly not a favourite of mine, but the Swede’s seem to love them. I’d be interested to feel the atmosphere in Friends Arena tomorrow night.
Kiana – “Where Did You Go”
Kiana only turned 16 when she qualified for the Semi Final during the fourth Heat. For the way Kiana commands the stage, you’d think she was nearer 26! We’ve got backing dancers, dancing with long light beams – something used in the flag parade in Turin and various Junior Eurovision Song Contests. This confident young lady will be back time and time again – like others will get to Eurovision eventually.
Nordman – “Släpp alla sorger”
More traditional, native language and a traditional instrument. While not a typical Melodifestivalen entry, I’d always had my reservations until yesterday after seeing it run through several times. Dark, moody, atmospheric, Nordman really are only part of this performance. The use of CGI that continues from the back projection screens, which can then only be seen on b y the TV viewers is a really clever move. Nordman are the only Act with CGI in their production.
Loreen – “Tattoo”
Loreen starts off in what looks like a sandwich toaster. She still looks in pain after all this time, but I do think this is due to the position she starts the performance. I would also challenge anybody to understand 100% of what she is singing. I believe there are stronger songs over “Tattoo” tonight, yet this is the strong favourite for tomorrow night and Eurovision overall.
THEOZ – “Mer av dig”
THEOZ has stuck to the red jacket he wore yesterday, instead of the green one he wore during the Heat. Another flawless performance here, great vocals, great synchronisation with his backing dancers. Smoke plumes and pyrotechnics have added great atmosphere to what was, an already polished production.
Paul Rey – “Royals”
We started the Contest with an upbeat number and we are now concluding with another. “Royals” can be an ear-worm if you’re not careful – however going on last before the voting will help in this case. Another song that has high production values and now has added pyrotechnics. More smoke plumes, more pyrotechnics – what a great way to conclude an anthemec entry.
The first voting recap is been played out.
International Jury time! We can confirm that Belgium, Austria, Australia, Spain, Croatia, Latvia, Germany and Malta.
The app-voting will open to a real treat tomorrow night – but I won’t spoil that now. The second voting recap is on.
As the voting closes, it is time to induct Danny Saucedo into the Hall of Fame. He is the main Interval Act tonight. We are treated to “In The Club” and “Amazing”.
Nordman won the fake voting. Cazzi Opeia reprised her entry from last year – “I Can’t Get Enough” as the stand in winning reprise.
So that is it from me here in Stockholm. Thank you following my Melodifestivalen coverage over the last six weeks – I might even have a special #AtoZ lined up for you next week and some Melodifestivalen themed Birthdays in the future too!
Sarah will be with you from 19:00 GMT/20:00 CET with the #LiveBlog of Melodifestivalen, while John will be with you from 21:00 GMT/22:00 CET with the #LiveBlog of Festival da Canção.
Let us know what you think about Melodifestivalen 2023 – either in the comments below or on our FACEBOOK and TWITTER pages.
Author: Richard Taylor
Categories: Eurovision 2021, Eurovision 2023, Melodifestivalen, Melodifestivalen 2023, Sweden
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