Read back: Semi final 3 of Melodifestivalen 2018 in Sweden

We return to Malmö, like at Eurovision 2013, for the third show of Melodifestivalen 2018. You can follow all the Swedish magic here in our special liveblog!

Will Jessica Andersson and Méndez benefit from their previous Melfest experience? Or will it be other artists that take the glory tonight? We are excited for the show and Allie Lindo will provide you with updates in a liveblog below. But first, here is the line-up for tonight:

01. Martin Almgren – “A Bitter Lullaby”
02. Barbi Escobar – “Stark”
03. Moncho – “Cuba Libre”
04. Jessica Andersson – “Party Voice”
05. Kalle Moraeus & Orsa Spelmän – “Min dröm”
06. Dotter – “Cry”
07. Méndez – “Everyday”

The show begins at 20:00 CET and can be viewed on the SVT Play website here. The liveblog below will have the most recent updates at the top, so keep refreshing to see the latest news from Malmö.

Liveblog for semi final 3 of Melodifestivalen 2018

21:30 – Final thoughts

Melfest veteran Jessica Andersson makes it through to the final in Stockholm. So far she is the only female artist to make it directly to the final.

Again tonight was a mixed bag in terms of quality. This has been a trend this year in Melfest. Let’s hope next week is a better semi final for the sake of Sweden’s reputation.

Join us at the same time next week for semi final 4! See you then.

21:23 – Jessica Andersson is through!

The first song to Andra Chansen tonight is Cuba Libre by Moncho and the second is Everyday by Mendez. Some of the crowd in the Arena boo as the result is announced.

The final song going to the final is Party Voice by Jessica Andersson!

21:17 – Vi har ett resultat

Final votes have been counted. Here we go!

The first song going directly to the final tonight is A Bitter Lullaby. Turns out Sweden can indeed love songs with a slight country vibe. It was one of the stronger songs out of a weak selection so I’m not surprised it is going through.

21:10 – Only a few minutes left

Voting has now ended. I’m hearing from others here in Sweden that they haven’t even bothered to vote tonight. That includes those who usually vote through the free app. That should tell you something. I am somewhat offended that this terrible selection was saved for Malmö. If you didn’t know, Malmö is my city so I’m a little protective haha.

One good thing – the interval song by Linnea Henriksson tonight is quite good. How can I vote for it?

21:03: Vi har ett resultat

The two songs not going further tonight are Stark by Barbi Escobar and Dotter’s Cry.

Stark got the least amount of votes.

20:55 – Let’s review!

I’ll make it clear now that I think this was the weakest night of the competition so far. And I wrote a whole article complaining about the first night. Perhaps I should have waited. Tonight has been plagued with poor singing which has hurt songs that would otherwise be more fun.

The strongest songs of the night are probably Party Voice and Min dröm. Those songs are more throwbacks to previous times in Melfest history. Given the quality of the other songs, I can’t tell if this will help or hurt these two.

Last week was much more competitive. Perhaps that talent should have been more evenly spread through the other weeks. For my part, this poor showing tonight brings up my concerns from week 1.

20:50 – Final song of the night

Méndez takes the stage with his song Everyday which is partially in Spanish. I’ll put my review as simply as possible: Méndez cannot sing very well.

The best parts of the song are chorus where the backing singers come in. In those moments, this song actually sounds quite fun and good. The backup dancers make the performance fun to watch.

20:45 – Who is crying? I might be

Dotter is making me cry a bit and it is NOT for the right reasons. She starts with a kind of spoken word intro for the song. This song comes across as an experiment and I strongly object to being an unwilling participant.

Folks. I have no idea what that really was or what category that falls under. One song left!

20:40 – Kalle Moraeus & Orsa Spelmän

Orsa Spelmän is a folk music band that counts ABBA’s Benny Andersson as one of its founding members.

This song plays off the Swedish national anthem for its chorus. It strongly reminds me of Roger Pontare’s song Himmel och hav from last year’s competition.

This was a fun little song and somehow a welcome change for the evening, but I’ll say that Roger did this angle a little bit better. But good luck to them! In my opinion this was the best song overall so far.

20:33 – Jessica Andersson takes the stage

And Melfest is making a return to its schlager-pop history. I’m not sure this is the direction Sweden wants to take with its ESC entries. Sweden has been leaning more towards pop rather than schlager.

However, there’s no denying that Jessica has a few things going for her tonight. Her voice (party voice maybe?) is the strongest of the night so far. She also has the crowd rooting for her. She is a schlager queen after all.

20:26 – A bit of Cuba in Sweden

The third song of the night is about the music, dancing and sunshine of Cuba. All things Sweden could really use right now.

For some reason Moncho reminds me of Sean Paul. It might be the braids in his hair.

As Moncho ends the song on an uneven note, I have some mixed feelings about it. I know I’ll be dancing to this at a party somewhere in a few weeks, but is this worthy of a Mello final appearance? I’m not convinced.

20:21 – Barbi Escobar continues the evening

The second song of the night is also one of hope but from a different angle. Barbi’s Stark was written after her father died from cancer. This song is a tribute to staying strong when things are unbearable.

The song is called “strong” but unfortunately Barbi’s voice isn’t up to the task. Her voice clearly wavers for significant portions of the song. It is especially noticeable in the portions where the music is more minimal.

Personally, I have a hard time seeing this song making it through direct to the final but I’ve been wrong before.

20:16 – Martin Almgren’s Bitter Lullaby takes the stage

We start the night off with a song about hope during hard times.

Almgren’s voice sounds more at home on the country music stages of Nashville. The Swedish audience hasn’t been too friendly to country sounds this year, having quickly eliminated Kikki Danielsson’s country contribution earlier in the competition.

But this song has some really nice and uplifting lyrics. It isn’t a bad song to start the night the night off with. Almgren is clearly giving it his all on the stage tonight but occasionally seems slightly out of sync with the music. His voice is also shaky in parts, but that could be because he is putting so much energy into his singing.

20:10 – The audience have favorites

As the artists are presented the audience inside Malmö Arena clearly have favorites. Jessica Andersson gets one of the loudest welcomes from them.

And here are the magic words

NU KÖR VI!

20:05 – Let’s go!

We start the show off with a little introduction from host David Lindgren. He tells us a little of his background, of course mentioning his wife and children. I don’t think there has been a night so far in Melfest 2018 where he hasn’t mentioned his family.

He launches into a song number telling us about his deepest dream as a child. I am now wondering if we can somehow vote for this song tonight. I quite like it.

Now David and his younger self, played by a child dancer/singer, are tap dancing on stage. More tap dancing for Melfest!

19:40 – Preview for tonight’s show

Hi everyone, thanks for joining us once again on Week 3 of Mello Madness.

Tonight’s lineup is pretty exciting as it includes some fresh new faces and some veterans of the Melodifestivalen stage. Of course there’s Jessica Andersson who, as a member of Fame, represented Sweden in ESC 2003 in Riga. They finished fifth that year. Tonight she takes the Melfest stage for the fifth time as a solo artist. Will this be her year?

But Jessica isn’t the only one looking for another shot at Melfest glory. Méndez came second in Melfest 2002 and is looking to go all the way to Lisbon this year. This is Dotter’s first time performing in Melodifestivalen but this isn’t her first taste of the stage. She co-wrote last year’s fourth place finisher “A Million Years” performed by Mariette (who will be performing next week).

Everyone else tonight are newbies to Melfest. It’s an interesting mix, but hopefully in a good way. Let’s see what happens when the famous words are spoken…”nu kör vi!”