Sweden (semi 3) - Alex White

Round three of Melodifestivalen AKA Melfest took place on February 16, 2019 in Leksand, Sweden. While the television audience tends to dwindle with the third semifinal, interesting results tend to come to fruition as the more dedicated and traditional Melfest fans tune in.

Per usual, seven songs took part in this Melfest heat with two advancing direct to the Melfest final while two songs survived to sing in the second chance round AKA Andra Chansen. Here’s the breakdown of how Semifinal 3 went:

1.     The Lovers of Valdaro – “Somebody Wants”: The LGBTQ advocates came into Melfest at a disadvantage. They were a lesser known name with a progressive image in a semifinal that trends more conservative. However, these guys performed with all the gusto of a headliner act with staging that would rival the best at Eurovision. Sadly though, they couldn’t overcome all of the adversity in their way. ELIMINATED

2.     Dolly Style – “Habibi”: Holly, Molly and Polly returned to Melfest with perhaps their best kid-friendly song yet since their more satirical incarnations. Despite the song’s catchiness, the bubblegum nature of the song and creepy CGI graphics in the background couldn’t carry them through to the next rounds. ELIMINATED

3.     Martin Stenmarck – “Lat Skiten Brinna”: The Melfest and Eurovision veteran showed off his tried and true chops in fine form. While not a standout performance, the song still had enough of a hook to convince enough viewers to keep him alive. ADVANCED VIA ANDRA CHANSEN

4.     Lina Hedlund – “Victorious”: The goddess of Alcazar fame returned to Melfest with a Cascada-esque club banger that got better and better. Lina’s stage presence and experience shined as she delivered a strong enough performance to capture the hearts of most Europop fans in Sweden. This could be a shock contender for the win in Stockholm if the Eurofans get behind her. ADVANCED DIRECT TO FINAL

5.     Omar Rundberg – “Om om och om igen”: The former FO&O member tried his hand at the Melfest game this year and delivered with an ambitious entry. However, the complicated stage show along with the limited demographic range of his fan base ultimately led to his demise this season. ELIMINATED

6.     Rebecka Karlsson – “Who I Am”: This young starlet who achieved reality TV fame at a young age showed how a strong voice is all that matters. Despite her song sounding straight off of a X Factor winners’ single, Rebecka’s vocals lit her a path to safety in Andra Chansen. ADVANCED VIA ANDRA CHANSEN

7.     Jon Henrik Fjallgren – “Norrsken”: A Melfet legend for all the best reasons, Jon Henrik returned with an infectious folk pop song that will sure to stick in the heads of many Swedes for weeks to come. Also, it doesn’t hurt he basically talks to a reindeer towards the end of the song which makes for a memorable moment however you want to look at it. Jon Henrik is a strong contender for the win and could very well represent Sweden in Tel Aviv.

The fourth and final semifinal will take on February 23rd in Lidkoping, Sweden with Andra Chansen to follow the week after in Nykoping. The final will take place in Friends Arena in Stockholm on March 9th.