Read back: How the “Melfest Veterans” battled for a final ticket in Sweden

The second semifinal of Melodifestivalen kicks off in the Swedish city of Gothenburg. Tonight’s lineup include many familiar faces for the Melfest crowd.

Jan Johansen has participated in Melodifestivalen four times, and represented Sweden at Eurovision back in 1995. With his song “Se på mig” he finished in 3rd place in the Eurovision final!

For Linda Bengtzing, this is her 7th time particpating in Melodifestivalen. On her first 4 attempts, she reached the Melodifestivalen final, though she never got to Eurovision. On her latest two attempts (2014 and 2016) she did not even reach the Melodifestivalen final.

Méndez was runner-up in 2002 and stranded in Andra Chansen in 2003. His duet partner Alvaro Estrella took part in Melodifestivalen 2014 without much success.

Anna Bergendahl is most famous for being the only ever non-qualifier for Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest (in 2010 she won Melodifestivalen with “This is my life” but she got stuck in the Eurovision semi final). Last year she returned to Melodifestivalen after a long break and reached the Grand Final with “Ashes to ashes”.

The lineup for tonight is as follows:

  1. Nobody – Klara Hammarström
  2. Miraklernas tid – Jan Johansen
  3. Bulletproof – Dotter
  4. Vamos amigos – Méndez feat. Alvaro Estrella
  5. Alla mina sorger – Linda Bengtzing
  6. Talking in My Sleep – Paul Rey
  7. Kingdom Come – Anna Bergendahl

Semifinal 2 begins at 20:00 Central European Time and is available on the SVT Play website. Follow along with ESC Daily editor Allie Lindo as she liveblogs tonight’s competition below.

Keep refreshing the page for the latest updates.

Liveblog of Semifinal 2 of Melodifestivalen 2020

21:24 – Results!

The two songs to Andra Chansen are Paul Rey’s Talking in My Sleep and Vamos Amigos by Méndez. Méndez once again proving he has fans who will always support him.

The second song direct to the final is Bulletproof by Dotter!

21:16 – Sverige vi har ett resultat

Results time! The first song going through to the final is Anna Bergendahl!

21:03 – First results

The first two to be eliminated tonight are Jan Johansen and Linda Bengtzing. That means the first two of tonight’s veterans are going home after the first round of voting.

That leaves Anna Bergendahl and Méndez left to fly the flag for the Melfest vets.

20:53 – Let’s review

To summarize tonight in the words of my companions tonight “VamaNO!”

It’s a rather disappointing night here in Sverige if we’re honest. The strongest song by far is Dotter’s Bulletproof, which delivered in vocal quality, strength, performance and energy. Extra points for the amazing interactions between the stage light and her outfit.

20:50 – Kingdom Come by Anna Bergendahl

And it’s Anna! Buuuuut some of these lyrics are questionable. I never thought I’d hear the Sahara and a gladiator in the same lyric. This is still one of the better songs of the night but Anna seems to be missing a little power behind some parts of the song, especially as she reaches the end.

But I see this having a chance to move on tonight. Let’s see what Sweden thinks.

20:43 – Talking in My Sleep by Paul Rey

Now Paul is a great singer. This song has good lyrics. But perhaps Paul isn’t the right voice to go with this song? “He’s not embracing the song and it ends up sounding early 2000s,” says Max. He’s drawing comparisons to Westlife from those in the room.

This is truly a sweet song but it was meant for someone else.

20:38 – Alla mina sorger by Linda Bengtzing

Linda makes a goofy face as the camera turns to her. Great way to shake off those nerves Linda!

Linda has definitely come out with energy tonight. We all love Linda. She’s a legend and will always be a legend. But this song is about 10 years too late for Mello and Eurovision. But her energy on the stage is certainly refreshing.

Watch party audience feedback: “This could totally be an entry from San Marino”.

20:31 – Vamos amigos by Méndez feat. Alvaro Estrella

This…is a very generically titled song and, while this is a fun song for the radio, I’m hoping this doesn’t even make it to Andra Chansen. Again this is great song to dance to and defiinitely not the worst in the competition so far. Still according to Rasmus, “vamanos off the stage please.”

But Méndez is easy to love in a way so we’ll see what happens.

20:25 – Bulletproof by Dotter

Dotter is off to a great start and thus far the best vocal performance of the night. This song feels much more modern than the last entry and much more pulled together than Nobody.

Very great use of lighting here in this performance. The lights are actually designed to bounce off the mirrored panels on her top. I’m very much connecting to this song. So far she is drawing comparisons to Sia and Swedish pop powerhouse Veronica Maggio.

Yes this is a real contender tonight.

20:18 – Miraklernas tid by Jan Johansen

This song was originally meant for Thorsten Flinck but of course he was disqualified a few days ago after he was charged with unlawful threat and vandalism.

The general opinion in the room is there’s not enough power in Jan’s voice to truly sell the emotion behind this song. The lyrics are quite filled with emotional but perhaps it doesn’t quite feel “there”. This could probably be a due to the short amount of time he had to prepare for tonight. Jan is a professional at this, but sometimes experience doesn’t count as much as prep time.

“He’s not a bad singer but it’s incomplete” says one viewer.

20:14 – Nobody by Klara Hammarström

I’m really enjoying these postcard intros this year. It’s a great way of learning more about the songs and the people behind them before the song even starts. This might be my favorite parts of the show this year.

Klara starts off a little shaky on her vocals. She seems a bit flat in certain parts particularly in the bridge.

“The dancers are killing it” say the boys and I couldn’t agree more. As for the song itself, it seems very bland if I’m honest but she has the energy to really sell the song, despite her voice being shaky in the beginning.

20:08 – Nu kör vi!

Now we’re really jumping in folks. Can’t wait to see who will be going direct to the final and who will get a second chance in 3 weeks. And tonight’s artists are introduced.

20:00 – Let’s go

We’re just dipping our toes over here in Sweden. We’re ready to get the show started in Gothenburg (aka Göteborg in Swedish). But before we truly start the audience is reminded of the various ways they can vote for their favorites tonight.

Tonight I’m watching the show with my two friends Max and Rasmus. I’ll be including some of their comments in the liveblog tonight so hold on to your seats folks.

19:45 – Waiting for showstart

Hej and welcome to tonight’s liveblog. Tonight’s show is a parade of familiar faces as we welcome back legends Linda Bengtzing, Jan Johansen, Méndez and Anna Bergendahl.

We are already starting the show off with a little bit of drama. Actor and singer Thorsten Flinck was scheduled to perform tonight but was disqualified after being charged with a crime a few days ago. Jan Johansen has stepped in to replace him. Hopefully nothing as dramatic will happen on the stage tonight.