#SWEDEN:Tonight Grand Final of Melodifestivalen 2023: #LIVE BLOG from 20.00 CET

God kväll Europa , God Morgon Australien,Good evening Europe, Good morning Australia, Stockholm calling !

Tonight sees the end of Sweden’s search to find who will represent them at the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, in Liverpool,United Kingdom . Tonight, 12 acts will battle it out for that honour in Stockholm, Sweden.Hosts will be, Farah Abadi and Jesper Röhnndahl. who have presented the four heats and the semi final in the last weeks .

The acts competing tonight are , in running order:

  • Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Arc north feat. Adam Woods – Where are you (Sávečan)
  • Tone Sekelius – Rhythm of my show
  • Mariette – One day
  • Marcus & Martinus – Air
  • Panetoz – On my way
  • Maria Sur – Never Give Up
  • Smash Into Pieces – Six feet under
  • Kiana – Where did you go
  • Nordman – Släpp alla sorger
  • Loreen – Tattoo
  • Theoz – Mer av dig
  • Paul Rey – Royals

You will have been following Richard’s great coverage of the heats and Semi final over the last weeks, however he can’t be with us tonight as he’s been off to Stockholm bringing you coverage of the rehearsals . So….tonight please join me , Sarah , for our live blog of tonight’s fun and entertainment from Stockholm where I will be bringing you my thoughts and opinions as to how the acts perform tonight. You know the drill by now, REFRESH THIS PAGE to get the updates of events as they happen. Please feel free to leave any thoughts or opinions of your own in our comments box, it’s always interesting to see how different musical tastes are.

You can watch the show live HERE or HERE


It’s too early yet, but please come back at 19.00 GMT /20.00 CET to follow all the fun and action from Stockholm . In the meantime, have a little trip down memory lane to last year when Cornelia Jakobs was selected to represent Sweden in Turin at ESC 2022. She came a very respectable 4th place.

Good evening everyone and welcome back to tonight’s blog, all the way from The Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. We are just waiting for the live link to start up then we’ll be under way ! I’m starting to get just a bit excited , are you? Get your drinks and snacks ready, it will soon be time to start !

And…..here we go, the sounds of Te Deum playing.We are getting the customary introduction to the performers , like the flag parade at ESC ! For English speaking viewers ,there is English commentary that you can follow HERE

The artists are all dancing to Stefania on the stage now and we meet out hosts , Farah and Jesper .

They explain the voting procedure tonight. In Sweden, you can vote in age groups via the melodi festvalen app. The winner will also be decided by an international jury as well as public vote.

They are wasting no time getting started , we’re onto the first act .

Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Arc north feat. Adam Woods – Where are you

Jon Henrik is a familiar face to Melodifestivalen . He starts off with a bit of the old joik chant and then is joined by Arc North and Adam , his staging looks a bit like a scaled down version of Sam Ryder’s from last year. Lots of smoke and pyros to add to the performance. A great opener and I would love to see Jon Henrik at ESC one day.

Tone Sekelius – Rhythm of my show

Richard said in his rehearsals blog that he felt there are some Fuego vibes about Tone’s performance and I have to agree with him.Lots of very similar stage backdrop effects to Eleni’s show in Lisbon and jam packed full of very slick choreography. However, it doesn’t for me have quite the impact as Fuego, although Tone does sell it well. It’s another great uptempo number and very, very Eurovision friendly . Good performance..

Mariette – One day

Poor Mariette has been in Melodifestvalen 5 times now, she is a really good performer and I would like to see her at ESC some day . She is joined by backing dancers on a podium with steps , which they use to great effect during the performance. Smoke effects used. It’s a very slick, polished performance, I can see this doing well with the juries.

We’re having a little break with Farah and Jesper having a joke about contacting the Australian Jury !Back to the acts now .

Marcus & Martinus – Air

These guys are identical twins and from Norway . They are one of the favourites to win this tonight .Despite their young age, they are already very accomplished performers . They are dressed in black, futuristic type suits, lots of strobe effects used in this . The electro sound is very club/anthemic , great vocals and they make full use of the cameras, which is good for the TV viewer votes. They will grab a lot of the younger votes. I would like to see this win but it’s a strong year and there’s a certain past performer coming along later on ….. The crowd loved that !

Panetoz – On my way

We have a complete change of music type here . This is great fun to watch, very party like , colourful and makes you feel you’re at some kind of Caribbean festival !They look as if they are having fun on stage and I am actually bopping along to this as I write.It’s very infectious and could be a great Summer hit . It is unfortunate that it is in Melodifestivalen in a year of many strong entries .Might do well with the public votes, in all age groups as it has that kind of appeal for all age groups.

Maria Sur – Never Give Up

Maria is only 18 and moved to Sweden because of the war in Ukraine . Is it me or does she look a bit like a younger version of Ruslana? She’s dressed in a silvery/black trouser suit with half cut top . Maria is a fine singer, who puts a lot of emotion into her singing. She starts alone on stage , some strobe effects . She is then joined for the final minutes of the song by backing singers . Richard felt they should join Maria earlier and I have to agree, I think this would add more oomph to what is already a very good performance.

Smash Into Pieces – Six feet under

And we have a rock song. Our English commentators have told us that it’s 2007 since Sweden last sent a rock song . The stage backdrop resembles a city skyscrapers scene ., with lots of lighting effects ,drummer wearing a mask,this is not for epileptics that’s for sure !It’s a bit like a very watered down version of Iceland’s Hatari in 2019 . It’s ok, but I feel lacks something to make it stand out .

Kiana – Where did you go

Kiana is just 16 years of age and the youngest competitor in the final tonight. For her age , she is a really confident performer and really owns the stage .Her song is an uptempo number . She starts off alone on stage . then joined by backing dancers dancing with her carrying long light beams ( think Star Wars and you get the picture !).They use the lights to form a square around her a bit like the way the backing dancers did with the microphones in Kate Ryan ‘s performance for Belgium in Athens 2006 .A good performance and regardless of how she does tonight, we will see more of her in years to come .

Nordman – Släpp alla sorger

Nordman were apparently popular in the 1990’s .Birds feature heavily in their staging tonight with a dark raven in the background .Very clever backdrop effects of birds flying , lots of smoke effects . They are singing in Swedish ,which is refreshing to hear. It’s something very different . Towards the end of the song, the raven backdrop turns into a dove of peace. This has gone down well with the audience.

Loreen – Tattoo

After a break ( needed because of the amount of staging being constructed) , we have the favourite to win tonight , who needs no introduction ! She starts off in what Richard described as a giant sandwich maker. I must admit I have to agree, I just hope we don’t get anything drastic happening with that staging! Now while it’s all very impressive staging , as Richard said, it is hard to hear what she is actually singing . There’s a lot of strutting and pawing movements on stage, lots of smoke effects . This is going to do well, no doubt about it, but for me, it’s nowhere near as friendly on the ear as Euphoria . I wouldn’t mess with her with those nails she has !

Theoz – Mer av dig

This performance has been choreographed to within an inch of its life. Theoz in a red jacket and black top and trousers , joined by backing dancers. He keeps well in sync with his backing dancers , which is quite a feat when you’re singing as well.It’s got a very catchy oh, oh, oh oh, chorus . This song is very radio friendly as well as good live. Pyro’s finish it off . Good reaction from the crowd .

Paul Rey – Royals

And , at last we’ve come to the final act of the night and it’s Paul Rey. Concluding the contest as we started it with an uptempo number, which is apparently unusual for Paul as he normally does ballads. We have Paul joined by backing dancers dancing around him , more smoke effects and pyros add to the performance . The word Royals lit up in the background. What a great finish to the acts tonight .It;s been the strongest contest I have seen for some years .

We are back to Farah and Jesper saying their thank yous and giving us a bit of banter. And we get a recap of the performances .

In the Green room now and Farah is telling us about the Jury voting , which will account for 50 % . We are going to the juries now .Who have they voted for?


8 points to Loren

10 to Paul Rey

12 to Thioz !


8 to Marcus and Matinos

10-Paul Rey

12 to Loreen


8 to Marcus and Matinos

10 to Kiana

12 to Loreen


8 to Paul Rey

10 to Marcus and Matinos

12 to Loreen


8 to Paul Rey

10 to Marcus and Matinos

12 to Loreen


8 to Smashed into Pieces

10 to Markus and Matinos

12 to Loreen


8 to Kiana

10 to Markus and Matinos

12 to Loreen

Loreen in the lead so far


8 to Markus and Matinos

10-Smashed into Pieces

12 to Loreen

As things stand after the Jury Vote :

Loreen is obviously very happy . We are about to start the second round of voting

And we’re treated to a performance from Friends, who won MF in 2001. Farah and Jesper join them on stage dressed in some kind of stage prop that looks like an oversize Christmas decoration !

We have just had another recap

We are now getting introduced to the dancers who appear with the acts in Melodifestivalen .

Now for the Melodifestivalen Hall of Fame, and it’s …….Danny Saucedo . he came second two years in a row in 2011 and 2012, beaten by Eric Saade and Loreen respectively. Despite his attempts he never made it to Eurovision but still remains a popular Melodi festivalen act.There’s a cute little scenario depicting Danny as a child telling his story.

Danny then comes on stage to perform his song ” In the club “, he is wearing the Kalush orchestras lead singer’s pink hat !He then goes on to sing one of his MF songs “Amazing”.

Jesper is now giving us a guide to Stockholm and meeting people on the streets

Oh wow, we’re going to get the public vote now …..this is tense !!This is where things can change ! The votes have been converted into points and will be read out in order of the Jury vote from bottom up

Slapp aller sorger -36 points

Maria Sur-37

Tone -5 points

Panetoz-25 points

Jon Henrik-58 points

Mariette-16 points

Kiana- 39 points

Mer av dig -36 points

Smashed into Pieces -59

Paul Rey -1 point !!!

Still 3 acts to go

Markus and Matinas -67 points they are in the lead but have they got enough to beat Loreen ?

Loreen 85 points !!! She is the winner !!

Not a shock win , she has won both the Jury and public vote!

So…….Loreen returns to Eurovision for the second time. What do you think ? Did Sweden make the right choice? Do you think Sweden have a winner for ESC ? let us know your thoughts in our comments box.

So that’s it for now . Thanks for staying with us tonight.If you’re still feeling eager for more National final fun and delights, you can go to join our John who is blogging Festival de Cançao in Portugal now .

Good night Europe, Good morning Australia !

Author: Sarah Rudman

Source: SVT

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