Preview: Melodifestivalen Semifinal One
To the delight of schlager fans worldwide, Sweden’s Melodifestivalen kicks off on Saturday with its first Semifinal, to be held at the VIDA Arena in Växjö. Normally the home of the Växjö Lakers ice hockey team, the arena will host the first live show of one of the most highly-anticipated National Final events of the Preselection Season. Two songs will qualify directly to the Finals at the Globen Arena on March 10, and two will pass through to the Andra chansen (Second Chance) round on March 3.
Unlike many other National Finals, Swedish television generally keeps a tight lid on the songs before they are performed on the night of the Semifinal. However, broadcaster SVT has released minute-long snippets of rehearsal footage, just to give fans a sampling of what they can expect from some of their favorites. Let’s take a look:
- Sean Banan – “Sean Den Förste Banan“
- Abalone Dots – “På väg“
- The Moniker – “I Want To Be Chris Isaak (This Is Just The Beginning)“
- Afro-Dite – “The Boy Can Dance“
- Dead by April – “Mystery“
- Marie Serneholt – “Salt & Pepper“
- Thorsten Flinck och Revolutionsorkestern – “Jag reser mig igen“
- Loreen – “Euphoria“
There are a few familiar names to Eurofans in this list; Afro-Dite won Melodifestvalen in 2002 with “Never Let it Go“, and eventually came in a respectable 8th place in Tallinn that year. The Moniker (also known as Daniel Karlsson) took last year’s Melodifestivalen bronze with the impossibly sunny “Oh My God!“. Also an alumna from last year, Loreen performed “My Heart is Refusing Me“, which was knocked out during last year’s Andra Chansen round.
It’s tough to tell from rehearsal clips how the full songs will turn out, but who stands out for you so far?