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ESC Reporter | January 17, 2018

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Semi-final 3 first dress rehearsal of Melodifestivalen

Semi-final 3 first dress rehearsal of Melodifestivalen
Kevin Lee

We got to sit down and see the first dress rehearsal for tomorrow’s semi-final 3 of Melodifestivalen. The show starts with the hosts Gina Dirawi and Henrik Schyffert doing a live version of “Under Pressure.” With Henrik on guitars and Gina on the drums we get an entertaining rendition. Gina‘s hair this week serves as great PR for Wiktoria.

Henrik & Gina "Under Pressure" Credit: SVT

Henrik & Gina “Under Pressure”
Credit: SVT

SaRaha – Kizunguzungu

Born in Sweden, but raised in Africa, Sara Larsson now going by SaRaha is set to open the show. The song combines western pop with elements of East African pop. The Afro-choreography is eye catching and is overall a very fun and upbeat number to open the show. The best parts of the song are when SaRaha is singing with the backing vocals during the non-English parts.

SaRaha Credit: SVT

Credit: SVT

Swingfly feat. Helena Gutarra – You Craved Your Name

After a successful run in Mello 2011, Swingfly is back and this time featuring vocalist Helena Gutarra. Another hip-hop/pop duo, the song continues the energy from the first time. Swingfly has some great rhymes and compliments Helena very well. The performance needs a bit more stage polishing, however the radio-friendly track did have the audience smiling and clapping along.

Swingfly feat. Helena Gutarra Credit: SVT

Swingfly feat. Helena Gutarra
Credit: SVT


SMILO – Weight of the World

Something different for the contest is an electronic dance music trio act with SMILO debuting on the Mello stage. Another great upbeat track to keep the pace of the show up. There are two behind the turntables and a vocalist out front creating music that would be expected from Swedish House Maffia. At one point large balloons are thrown into the crowd with fire works, just like you would find at an EDM festival. The song does need a bit more touching up on the performance and stage presence, but we will see if they can nail it tomorrow.


Credit: SVT

After Dark – Kom ut som en stjärna (Come out like star)

Would she or wouldn’t he, after previous attempts at Mello and alternating between male and drag persona the last few years, After Dark is back and this time in a gorgeous pink dress. The song is an uptempo-noir schlager tune. Very enjoyable to watch with great staging, a dramatic costume change, and sparkling confetti.

After Dark Credit: SVT

After Dark
Credit: SVT

Lisa Ajax – My Heart Wants Me Dead

Winner of Swedish Idol 2014, Lisa Ajax is no stranger to high pressure competition. The song “My Heart Wants Me Dead” is a cute fun upbeat pop song despite the title. At only 17 Lisa knows how to fill a stage with her personality and presence. The performance with its great vocals, combined with strong visual modern dance choreography is a shoe-in for a direct to the finals or at least second chance.

Lisa Ajax Credit: SVT

Lisa Ajax
Credit: SVT

Boris René – Put Your Love On Me

Former footballer turned musician Boris René put on a great show with “Put Your Love On Me.” It is a catchy song, and Boris‘ vocals a perfect for it. There is great 90s esque choreography and staging which works well for the tune. The song which is reminiscent of Guy Sebastian’s “Tonight Again” will do well.

Boris René Credit: SVT

Boris René
Credit: SVT


Oscar Zia – Human

In a complete 180 degrees from his 2014 entry “Yes We Can,” Oscar Zia goes darker for “Human.” With deep lyrics, a lot of passion, and multiple dramatic camera cuts we get a strong performance . The only danger may be that the TV production may take away from the track and staging at some points, however the song will do well. Oscar is must be inspired by Michael Jackson and it shows in his vision for epic performances.

Oscar Zia Credit: SVT

Oscar Zia
Credit: SVT


Love Story with Gina Dirawi

Gina continues to prove that there is nothing she can’t do, taking part in a dance interval. This isn’t just dance, it’s modern dance, and all we can say is… Wow! Gina better get a raise!

SaRaha Tops the Melodifestivalklubben Poll

The Swedish OGAE conducted a poll with the audience in attendance, these actually end up being quite right in reality, here were the poll results tonight:

SaRaha – 39.1%

Oscar Zia 26.5%

Lisa Ajax 12.1%

Swingfly feat. Helena Gutarra 8%

Boris René 6.6%

SMILO 4.8%

After Dark 3%


We will have some interviews with the artists to see how they are feeling, before the live show tomorrow night.

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