Tonight the biggest preselection of Europe begins, as Sweden aired the first semi final of Melodifestivalen 2018. You read back everything about the performances, results and all other events here with Allie Lindo.
The show starts at 20:00 CET and will be broadcast live on SVT’s website. Watch the show here.
Liveblog of semi final 1 of Melodifestivalen 2018
21:30 – That’s all for now folks
Benjamin Ingrosso and John Lundvik are the big winners tonight. As Benjamin finishes his encore performance, John joins him onstage and they dance next to each other. It’s a pretty adorable scene to watch.
That’s all from Sweden this week everyone! Just us next week at the same time for semifinal #2.
21:25 – Results: Dancing straight to the final
The last song going to the final song tonight is “Dance You Off” by Benjamin Ingrosso.
As for my predictions from earlier, three out of four isn’t so bad right? It’s no surprise that young Benjamin is the last through to the final tonight. It would have been more than shocking if he hadn’t made it through.
21:23 – Results: Andra Chansen
The first song going to Andra Chansen tonight is “All the Feels” by Renaida.
The next song to AC is “Patrick Swayze”.
21:18 – Results: It’s his turn
The first song going directly to the final tonight is “My Turn”. He shows his appreciation to the audience in the arena as well as at home.
He takes the stage to sing the song once more. I am very excited he is going directly to the final in Stockholm. The song is even better the second time around.
Who will be the next person through to the final? Our Twitter followers are hoping for Benjamin Ingrosso.
21:05 – We have a result
The songs knocked out first tonight are “Osby Tennesse” and “Solen lever kvar hos dig”. Kikki Danielsson’s country autobiography got the least votes from the Swedish public tonight.
21:00 – Scandinavian feedback
As I mentioned earlier, I am watching the show with a Danish friend of mine. Here’s what he has to say about tonight so far:
“I’m confused about naming an upbeat dance song after a dead American celebrity. That seems weird to me. The second singer has a great voice. It was a modern ballad with a good build up. I like that one. Renaida has a powerful voice and chorus. Clearly Major Lazer inspired and it was fun.”
20:55 – Let’s review!
Okay so that was the last song for tonight so let’s review.
We had an interesting mix onstage tonight, that’s for sure. The quality of the performances varied greatly. Some were powerful while others were really questionable.
Right now my favorites for moving on are John Lundvik, Renaida, Benjamin Ingrosso, and Kikki Danielsson. I’m curious to see how many I get right.
20:53 – Ready to “Dance You Off”
I’m looking at Mello returning artist, Benjamin Ingrosso, as a palette cleanser after that last song. This is a solid pop song with some interesting staging. Lots of light fills the stage with Benjamin onstage by himself. His voice struggled a tiny bit in the beginning but he recovered quickly.
This performance is overall similar to his performance last year, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining. This was a fun song, and a good way to end the performances tonight. I will be surprised if he doesn’t get voted directly into the final. But we shall see…
20:45 – The sun comes to the stage
We haven’t seen the sun in a little while here in Scandinavia, so let’s see how the sun shines onstage.
Kamferdrops is definitely going for a Swedish version of Sia here. She is wearing a bejeweled mask with a unicorn horn. Suddenly a saxophonist appears onstage to perform a solo. Kamferdrops is definitely going for some type of fantasy performance.
Now time for a magic trick. Kamferdrops climbs into a box and a magician “cuts” her in half. There are a lot of magic tricks happening onstage.
To be honest, this song is very weak both vocally and lyrically. The magic tricks must be nice for the audience in Karlstad but they come of as a distraction from some weak song composition. This is my least favorite song of the night so far.
This song was almost disqualified aaaaand maybe it should have been.
20:38 – A visit to Osby, Tennessee
Next on stage is a true legend of the stage. Kikki Danielsson’s “Osby Tennessee” is, in her own words, her self-biography in 3 minutes. Danielsson’s hometown is Osby in the southern province of Skåne.
The song is firmly in the country genre and I partially expect Dolly Parton to come onstage at any time. If you like country music, you may appreciate the backing music but for some reason the song seems to be lacking a little bit of life. With all respect to a true living legend, this song isn’t really doing very much for me.
20:33 – “Livet på en pinne”
Well this is different.
The best way to describe this song is campy as heck. Onstage we have people dressed as a cake grapes, lobster, and cheese. It’s safe to say this is the “out there” song of the evening. My Danish viewing companion is aggressively against this song and believes it shouldn’t be outside a revue.
20:30 – Are you getting “All the Feels”?
Next up is Renaida with the third song of the night. It’s hard not to like Renaida, as she has such a positive attitude despite some difficult moments in her life early on. Here’s hoping her voice matches her big smile.
Orange is Renaida’s color of the night. Her hair has orange highlights and she has clothes and nails to match. She brings a little attitude to her performance as she starts in the audience before moving onstage.
The chorus is fun and dancey. I can already tell this song will be taking Swedish radio by storm. It is a radio friendly song with all the right elements, with a hint of Major Lazer. Orange is a color you don’t see very often in Scandinavia, so visually this is a very pleasing performance.
Renaida has a powerful voice and she makes great use of it throughout the song.
20:21 – It’s “My Turn”
Next up is John Lundvik, whose song was played at the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel. We are given a quick snippet of a video showing the song as the Crown Princess and Prince listen on.
As “My Turn” begins, it is much slower and more emotional than the song that came before. His voice is clear and strong as he sits at a piano playing on a darkened stage. As the song continues John moves away from the piano and stands on stage alone dressed in all white. This song feels like a 1990s Boyz II Men classic. My Danish friend says he gets an Aerosmith “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” vibe and I agree.
John has a great voice. It is consistent throughout the whole performance and hits high notes effortlessly.
20:16 – Nu kör vi! with Patrick Swayze
Sigrid Bernson is first up. Before beginning her song, she tells us about her love of sailing and being out on the water. She is an avid sailor and gives us a peek into her life on boats.
The song starts off powerful before winding down a bit in the first verse. Sigrid and her dancers are dressed in yellow and black flannel to match the staging. Unfortunately, her voice is a little shaky in the beginning as she sings about “lifting you up just like Patrick Swayze”. Unfortunately, the song seems to be too much for her voice at times.
The backing music is actually quite fun and pulls you in. Sigrid’s voice is still struggling at times with certain parts of the song.
It seems like a lucky audience member was pulled onstage right before the end but he lifts her up in the air at the conclusion of the song. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say this audience member was planned.
20:12 – Official Welcome from David Lindgren
Oh dear it seems in some parts of Sweden people have been making IKEA jokes about David Lindgren. “Lindgren is like an IKEA bookshelf. Boring but works in every home.” Yikes. A bit harsh, don’t you think?
Next Lindgren introduces our contestants for tonight. Each get a big cheer from the audience in Karlstad.
20:07 – Opening number from David Lindgren
The opening song from Lindgren is called One Together. It’s a very sweet song about love and standing together in a world that needs change.
The backup dancers are dressed a bit like an H&M commercial in black and white outfits, complete with what appear to be fake leather black shorts.
20:00 – Here we go!
We are off to a somewhat dramatic opening. We look back at moments from Swedish history on video before heading straight into a hip hop dance number.
Host David Lindgren walks out and immediately starts singing. It’s very David Lindgren.
19:47 – The rivalry begins
The commentary from my Danish friend here has already begun. First comment of the night “I don’t see a song called Patrick Swayze making it out of tonight”. Is he right? We won’t have to wait too long to find out. Sigrid Bernson’s song will be our first of the night.
As we ramp up to the start of the show, we have a quick lookback on “Miss Decibel” Kikki Danielsson’s previous performances on Melfest. They call her “The Grand Old Lady” of the stage. Let’s see what she can offer us tonight with “Osby Tennessee”.
19:43 – Line-up
Former Eurovision-participant Kikki Danielsson is in the running tonight, as is youngster Benjamin Ingrosso, who took part last year as well. The show is hosted by former contestant David Lindgren, who shared hosting duties last year with Hasse Andersson and Clara Henry.
The full line up for tonight’s show from Karlstad is as follows:
1. Sigrid Bernson – “Patrick Swayze”
2. John Lundvik – “My Turn”
3. Renaida – “All the Feels”
4. Edward Blom – “Livet på en pinne”
5. Kikki Danielsson – “Osby Tennessee”
6. Kamferdrops – “Solen lever kvar hos dig”
7. Benjamin Ingrosso – “Dance You Off”
19:40 – Welcome to another year of Melfest
The Melodifestivalen journey begins tonight! Over the next few weeks we will watch as 28 contestants compete for the chance to represent Sweden in Lisbon.
Tonight I am watching the show with a Danish friend, which should make for an interesting viewing experience. Let’s see how much of the famous Scandinavian friendly rivalry plays into conversation tonight.