Tonight: First semi-final of Melodifestivalen
The Swedish national selection show Melodifestivalen kicks off live from Malmö tonight, when the first semi-final takes place at last year’s Eurovision Song Contest venue, the Malmö Arena.
The heat features last year’s Melodifestivalen runner-up and two former Eurovision participants, one of them a winner.
The line up:
1. ”To the End” – YOHIO
2. ”Aleo” – Mahan Moin
3. ”Bröder” – Linus Svenning
4. ”Casanova” – Elisa Lindström
5. ”Bedroom” – Alvaro Estrella
6. ”Songbird” – Ellen Benediktson
7. ”Bygdens son” – Sylvester Schlegel
8. ”Survivor” – Helena Paparizou
YOHIO debuted at Melodifestivalen last year with the song “Heartbreak Hotel” and won the public vote in the final. The international jury did not agree, giving Robin Stjernberg the surprising victory. This year, Andreas Johnson is among the songwriters of his song.
Two former Eurovision participants are in the running. Sylvester Schlegel won Melodifestivalen in 2007 as a member of the band The Ark. Of course, Helena Paparizou has participated for Greece twice, coming third in 2001 and winning in 2005. Being born and raised in Sweden to Greek parents, this will be her Melodifestivalen debut.
Mahan Moin is a more unfamiliar name in Sweden, coming third in the Persian music show Googoosh Music Academy. Her song is named “Aleo,” which is a word she made up herself. Linus Svenning is also a newer name, being discovered through his Youtube videos. His song “Bröder” is by Melodifestivalen veteran Fredrik Kempe.
Elisa Lindström has previously won two reality music competitions in Sweden with her dansband, but she enters Melodifestivalen as a solo artist. Bobby Ljunggren is behind her song, who is also a part of Helena’s songwriting team.
Alvaro Estrella performs a rather dirty upbeat song by Kristofer Östergren and Jon Bardon of Melody Club, who participated in the show in 2011. Ellen Benediktson delivers a Scandnavian melancholic ballad, not unlike “Birds” by Anouk. Ellen got the spot after impressing the head of Melodifestivalen, Christer Björkman, as a stand-in at the camera rehearsals for last year’s Eurovision.
You can get a one minute sneak peek of the songs, as SVT has uploaded clips from the rehearsals.
Semi-final 1 of Melodifestivalen starts at 20:00 CET and airs on SVT1 and SVT Play. Two acts will move on to the final, while two will go to the second chance show. Three will be eliminated.
Photos: Olle Kirchmeier, SVT