They came, they saw, they conquered. Seven acts wowed on stage tonight in semi-final 3 of Melodifestivalen 2017, but only two could advance direkt till final. After the smoke machines cleared, Robin Bengtsson and Owe Thörnqvist emerged victorious with their songs “I Can’t Go On” and “Boogieman Blues” to book their spots in the final at Friends Arena in Stockholm. FO&O (“Gotta Thing About You”) and Anton Hagman (“Kiss You Goodbye”) came close, but must duel it out at Andra Chansen on 4 March in Linköping.
SEMI-FINAL 3 QUALIFIERS: DIREKT TIL FINAL
Robin Bengtsson – “I Can’t Go On“
He won the audience poll following the dress rehearsal and tonight he showed why. Singing off stage for the first 45 seconds, he oozed attitude and sex appeal as he made his way to the main stage. Once there he and his backing dancers performed slick choreography on a treadmill, all the while looking cool, calm and very collected. As you’d expect he maintained his vocals throughout, proving that last year wasn’t a fluke.
Owe Thörnqvist – “Boogieman Blues“
He’s a sentimental favourite owing to his long history in the Swedish music industry, a famous song about hot dogs and the fact he is 87 — making him the oldest contestant ever to compete, let alone make the final, at Melfest. And tonight he proved Sweden is still with him as he ate hot dogs on stage while a series of backing vocalists and dancers gave the song the physical movement he could not. A big personality with a tender spirit, he also entertained the audience in the green room, showing off some of his mouthy vocal tricks. Could that have won him over a few extra votes? Only Mr God knows.
SEMI-FINAL 3 QUALIFIERS: ANDRA CHANSEN
FO&O – “Gotta Thing About You“
It’s good to know that someone thinks boy bands are still a thing. With overt shades of the Backstreet Boys, N’SYNC and even Lighthouse X, this felt decidedly old school. Yes, the production was on point and the song has an anthemic quality and the boys can definitely dance. But this felt very familiar and seen-it-all-before. If you’re going to do boy band, try to do it better than what came before.
— wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) February 18, 2017
Anton Hagman – “Kiss You Goodbye“
He came to fame on YouTube owing to his stellar vocals and undeniable good looks, and both were on show with this simple singer-songwriter number, which felt more contemporary and polished than the standard YouTube fare. He had the title of his song written on his back just to hammer home his message. It looks like Sweden remembered it.
SEMI-FINAL 3: ELIMINATED ACTS
Bella & Filippa – “Crucified“
You could be forgiven for mistaking Bella & Filippa as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Strumming their guitars and channeling purity, they sang of being crucified, baptised and falling for religion. Ostensibly they were singing about a man — and we’re pretty sure it was Jesus! The song was happy and sweet and will certainly have gone down well with their YouTube subscribers.
— wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) February 18, 2017
6. Jasmine Kara – “Gravity“
My mouth is on the floor and I can’t pick it up. During the show I wrote the following, but clearly Sweden didn’t agree.
You may not have been familiar with Jasmine before tonight’s show, but you’re certainly not going to forget her after it. Looking absolutely stunning in a body-con red outfit and working a very blunt set of bangs, she stared straight into the camera as she elevated the studio version of “Gravity” to another level. This featured some of the most impressive staging we’ve seen thus far, with a 3-D effect making it seem like she was throwing shards or rose petals through the screen and at us. At one point the LED floor was filled with red smoke, and Jasmine resembled a sorceress conjuring a storm. This works visually, musically, sensually — a real standout on screen.
Now forgive me while I go cry in the shower.
7. Krista Siegfrids – “Snurra min jord“
She’s a Finnish Swede competing in Sweden’s biggest music competition, so the odds were stacked against Krista from the get go. But the Eurovision fan favourite did her thing, working some very clever camera tricks including a kaleidoscope effect that we screengrabbed repeatedly. Turning the stage into a runway all her own, she worked her blonde locks and nailed her vocals. Unfortunately the song felt a bit flat live and the electro-lounge feel felt somehow slouchy and tired. But I’m definitely downloading the studio version and remain a diehard Krista fan. Love. her.
Did your favourite get through? Let us know what you think about the semi-final in our comments section below!