Face, body, sex and attitude were all on show tonight in Malmö as seven acts fought it out in the second semi-final of Melodifestivalen 2017. Mariette and Benjamin Ingrosso killed it with “A Million Years” and “Good Lovin'” and are headed straight to the final at Friends Arena on 11 March. Dismissed (“Hearts Align”) and Lisa Ajax (“I Don’t Give A”) came close to the final, but will have to win a duel at Andra Chansen on March 4 to get there.
SEMI-FINAL 1 QUALIFIERS: DIREKT TIL FINAL
She stood alone — until her dancers sprung up attached to bungee cords. They hung tight and, owing to slow-mo camera cuts, appeared to float across the screen like spirits or ghosts. Mariette’s vocals were on point and she stared so deep into the camera we worried she might see us naked. Dressed in all white, she looked pure and serene — but there was power beneath the cool surface. She managed to give us weight while making things feel light. This is how you slay.
Standing in front of a wall of tin foil, Benjamin gave the impression that he was marinating in hot sauce — he looked delicious and packed just the right amount of kick. Vocally he held his own and those dance moves were everything. He oozes sex from every orifice and has a kind spirit that makes him inviting. This star has taken his place in the sky. Look up, y’all!
SEMI-FINAL 1 QUALIFIERS: ANDRA CHANSEN
She’s been at the centre of a controversy surrounding her four-letter lyrics. But Lisa was completely unfazed by it all, delivering a sound performance that showed off her powerful vocals and evolving sound. Owing to her natural beauty and inviting face, producers showcased Lisa in the LED background wearing a silver sparkle crop top as she stood centre stage dropping the F-bomb into a wind machine. This performance was somehow sweet and inviting despite the language, proving that the girl-next-door can swear, too.
If you liked pop-rock band State of Drama at Melodifestivalen 2013 and 2014, then you’ll love Dismissed — who take pop-rock, dress it in drag and then start the party. This was edgy and outré and yet had a modern, mainstream sound. They may be androgynous glam rockers, but that adds to the performance rather than distracting from it. At the end of the day they know how to sing and they know how to vogue, and they won over plenty of new fans — including us.
5. ROGER PONTARE – HIMMEL OCH HAV
Roger promised something epic and he brought just that — replete with lit torches, heavy drumming and an uplifting tribal spirit. Perfect for the soundtrack of an animated blockbuster (we’re thinking a sequel to Pocahontas), this had charm in spades. Melodifestivalen fans may have felt the aura of Jon Henrik Fjällgren, perhaps the country’s most famous Sami performer who finished second at Melodifestivalen 2015.
Etzia slipped into a skin-tight cat suit, showing off her gym-honed legs and pear-shaped figure. Melfest does a body good, clearly! But this was all about the music and she invited us to close our eyes and take in that Calypso realness. Her high-spirited number got feet tapping and her dancers added enough flair to make this feel like a fiesta. It didn’t quite carry that energy through the entire three minutes, but she can be proud of this fun performance.
7. ALLYAWAN – “VART HAR DU VART“
In a country that isn’t known for rap, Allyawan did what he could to prove Sweden can work any genre. The performance featured a lot of dark lights and was anchored around Allyawan’s words and charisma. We don’t speak Swedish so that prevents us from throwing ourselves fully into this. But this much we know: Allyawan can perform!
Did your favourites make it through? Do you think either of the Andra Chansen acts have what it takes to advance to the final? Let us know in the comments box below!