Read back: Robin Bengtsson in first Melodifestivalen semifinal

Sweden’s national selection kicks off tonight with the first semifinal in Linköping. Tonight’s artists include Robin Bengtsson, who represented Sweden in Kiev 2017.

Bengtsson is joined onstage tonight by 6 other artists hoping to make it to the final in Stockholm next month. The running order for tonight is as follows:

1. Move – The Mamas

2. Moves – Suzi P

3. Take a chance – Robin Bengtsson

4. Ballerina – Malou Prytz

5. Inga problem – OVÖ

6. Sluta aldrig gå – Sonja Aldén

7: Boys with emotions – Felix Sandman

Follow along with ESCDaily editor Allie Lindo as she watches the first semifinal. The show starts at 20:00 CET and the liveblog appears below. Watch along on the SVT Play website.

Don’t forget to refresh the page to see the latest updates.

Liveblog of semifinal 1 of Melodifestivalen 2020

21:24 – Next to the final is…

The final song through to the final is The Mamas!!

21:23 – Andra Chansen songs

The first song to Andra Chansen this year is Ballerina by Malou Prytz. The second song to AC is Boys with emotions by Felix Sandman.

21:16 – Vi har ett resultat (igen)

Now we learn which songs will go direct to the final and to Andra Chansen.

The first song to the final is Take a chance by Robin Bengtsson!

His second time taking the stage tonight is actually much better than the first. His voice seems much stronger. Perhaps he’s had some much needed time to recover from his trip to the hospital earlier this week and can now give it his all.

21:01 – Vi har ett resultat

The first results are in. The first two songs to be eliminated are Moves by Suzi P and Inga problem by OVÖ.

Personally, I’m not shocked these two are the first to be eliminated. They were the weakest songs of the night. I still have no doubt that OVÖ will be taking the Swedish club charts by storm later on in the year.

I’ll wait to see what happens with Suzi P. She’s still quite young and has potential.

20:57 – Melodifestivalen Hall of Fame

And now we welcome the first entries into the Melodifestivalen Hall of Fame. Among those announced are, of course, Måns Zelmerlöw and songwriters Joy and Linnea Deb.

During Melodifestivalen 2020 a total of 48 people will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

20:51 – Boys with emotion by Felix Sandman

Felix. Oh Felix. I love this song and its message. Though this might be his weakest vocal performance on the Mello stage so far. It’s still miles above some other performances we’ve heard tonight. His dancing also has more energy than some others (cough Suzi cough).

Update: I’ve gotten a lot of messages asking if Baby Eminem has invaded the Mello stage. Yes it seems dear Felix has been inspired by Slim Shady himself for tonight’s look.

20:46 – Sluta aldrig gå by Sonja Aldén

Sonja is back at Melodifestivalen after a few years away. She’s previously competed in 2006, 2007 and 2012. Sluta aldrig gå feels very much like a throwback. Whether this song goes on or not depends on how much the audience wants more of this throwback feeling.

She’s a veteran of the Melfest stage and the crowd shows their love for her as she ends.

20:40 – Inga problem by OVÖ

Friends, readers, I have a confession to make here. Dear friends I am actually a born and raised Jamaican. I grew up on dancehall and reggae music. So as a card carrying Jamaican I’d like to issue a formal complaint against this song. You can’t just throw “dutty wine” into a song and think that makes it good and “Jamaican”.

With that said – I will definitely be hate dancing to this song in about 3 months in a club somewhere in Malmö.

A message from a friend about this song “Maybe a radio hit but boring on stage.” I couldn’t agree more Susanna.

20:34 – Ballerina by Malou Prytz

Malou recovers from a shaky start to her vocals. The chorus of this song is definitely intended to have a lot of power behind it. Unfortunately it seems Malou’s vocal ability tonight only shines in the chorus. She seems to be struggling a bit in the lower and slower parts.

On a personal note, yes I do (attempt to) dance like a ballerina when I’m alone. Thank you for providing a song that speaks to me Malou.

A decent performance. I could see this going to Andra Chansen which would give her some time to iron out the vocal issues she had tonight. We’ll see what happens!

20:28 – Take a chance by Robin Bengtsson

We’re seeing a different side to Robin tonight with this song. He’s sporting a beard, a sharp contrast to his suited up and clean shaven look from 2017.

The staging for this song seems to be very similar to Måns Zelmerlöw’s Heroes staging. I’m guessing his stage designers looked at Heroes and decided “those hologram/projections really worked for him. Let’s do it again!”

As for the song, it’s very soft pop. This will definitely get radio play in Sweden this summer, however I’m not seeing this as a serious contender for the Melodifestivalen crown, or ESC for that matter.

20:21 – Moves by Suzi P

Nope I didn’t mistype. SVT in their wisdom have lined up two songs with almost exactly the same title. Hopefully that won’t confuse voters tonight. Although I must say it would be impressive to confuse this song with The Mamas.

To put it nicely, Suzi P could have used a little more rehearsal time here. The vocals are…shaky. She also seems to be off key in a few important parts of the song.

Suzi herself seems to be going for a hip hop influenced Ariana Grande look tonight. She may have captured the pop star’s signature ponytail, but sadly Ariana’s powerful vocals haven’t come through in this song.

20:18 – Technical issues have been solved

It’s now possible to vote via text again. Voting will go on as normal.

20:16 – Move by The Mamas

This song makes its gospel influence very clear from the start. I hate to say it but The Mamas are giving me vibes from the Disney movie Hercules. That’s not a bad thing, I just got some flashbacks to my childhood as the song started.

But wow what a vocal performance by the group. Absolutely spot on vocals. They are certainly moving mountains with their voices alone.

20:12 – Technical problems mean no texting

Technical difficulties tonight mean viewers are unable to vote via text tonight. Voting can only be done via phone or the app.

20:10 – Eye on Ireland

Host David Sundin points out if Sweden can pick a winner this year, Sweden will be tied for first place with Ireland for most ESC wins. Is this Sweden’s year? We’ll see.

As the artists for tonight are announced Robin Bengtsson and Felix Sandman seem to get the biggest screams. But will that translate to votes?

20:09 – Och nu kör vi!

The magic words have been spoken so it’s officially official.

20:05 – extended SVT commercials?

It seems SVT has decided to kick off Mello with an extended commercial for their various programmes – two of our hosts are running through various sound stages in search of David Sundin. I guess take advantage of your audience while you have them eh?

20:00 – Here we go!

And it’s time to officially kick of the selection season here in Sweden. This is the first weekend of a six week marathon. At the end of it all we will know who will represent Sweden this year in Rotterdam.

19:45 – Patiently waiting for show start

It’s almost time for the show to begin and the question on everyone’s lips is can Robin Bengtsson go on? Okay maybe that’s just me. Robin is performing third tonight so prepare for more terrible dad jokes from me until then.

Also back on the stage tonight is Felix Sandman who takes the Mello stage for the third time, his second time as a solo act. Mello fans will remember he placed second in the final back in 2018. Fans of this site will remember that I was quite happy with his entry that year. Let’s see how things go for him this time around.