Melodifestivalen 2018 john lundvik benjamin ingrosso direkt tillfinal

During tonight’s first semi-final in Karlstad, the Melodifestivalen 2018 acts did their best to impress. Kamferdrops emerged from a cloud of pink smoke. Kikki Danielsson channeled Osby, Tennessee. And Edward Blom danced with men and women dressed as food. In the end none of them lived to see another day at Melfest. Instead John Lundvik (“My Turn”) and Benjamin Ingrosso (“Dance You Off”) went direkt till final, while Sigrid Bernson (“Patrick Swayze”) and Renaida (“All the Feels”) will compete in Andra Chansen a week before the final.

Melodifestivalen 2018: Semi-Final 1 Qualifiers

John Lundvik, “My Turn”

Singer on piano, camera angle showing the audience with lights shining, a golden shower of pyro — this was very Eurovision by the numbers. And while John Lundvik’s cream suit had an air of “cruise ship waiter” to it, he brought something something very special with his voice — resonant, soaring, precise and strong. He rose to fame partly by singing at the royal wedding. So it’s no surprise this was a tad saccharine. But he played to the genre with aplomb and seemed to be sincerely feeling it. His charm, voice and sincerity made this special (if a tad predictable).

Benjamin Ingrosso, “Dance You Off”

As in 2017, Benjamin plays with old school disco. Besides giving him the honour of performing last, producers amped up his song — which sounds a bit familiar and throwback — with some eye-popping staging. Dancing, moonwalking and voguing before a series of horizontal lights, he’s in a world of his own and the audience only features at the end. It takes the song from somewhat mediocre to visually arresting. Working the upper register, the song grated on my ears at times and the backing vocalists seemed a tad loud. But on the whole this was clearly deserving of a spot in the next round.

Andra Chansen qualifiers

Renaida, “All the Feels”

Among the most Spotify-friendly tracks of the evening, this came with plenty of digital flourishes and a pulsating beat. Renaida — a bundle of energy of light — came out bedecked in black and orange, even matching her (very long) fingernails with orange accents in her braids. It was urban and slick, but, as with so many other tracks here, seemed to lack a grand climax. No matter — she’s sure to have won over plenty of fans with her obvious talent and major likability.

Sigrid Bernson, “Patrick Swayze”

Blonde, beautiful and smooth on the dance floor, Sigrid has all the attributes to slay as a pop star. Unfortunately she still needs the song. This felt a bit basic and heard-it-all-before, and it lacked a memorable climax. Towards the end they pulled a “spectator” onto the stage — we all thought he was going to pull out an Australian flag for a split second. But he was, of course, another stage prop and lifted her into the air like Patrick Swayze did in “Dirty Dancing”. It was meant to excited, but left a sense of lame in the air.

Eliminated acts

5th place: Edward Blom, “Livet på en pinne”

He’s a historian known for his love of food and a viral single on the topic. And he brought that passion to the stage with dancers dressed as cakes, bananas, crabs and a bundle of grapes. And while the Swedish audience cheered and laughed and were in on the joke, plenty of us non-Swedish speakers were left saying WTF? To his credit Edward is clearly very amusing and clever, and he seemed to be relishing his moment on the Melfest stage. We appreciate his appreciation.

6th place: Kamferdrops, “Solen lever kvar hos dig”

Bathed in smoke and plenty of pink, Kamferdrops definitely made a statement. She wore her signature mask, accompanied by a shiny pink tracksuit. At one point a man in a matching blue version of her outfit put her inside a magician’s box and seemed to cut her body in half, with her head beneath a unicorn’s. A sax player also shot pyro from his instrument. It was all a bit weird…and not in that captivating and enchanting way, but in that “I think someone did a lot of drugs during the creative process.”

7th place: Kikki Danielsson, “Osby Tennessee”

The title says it all — this was a tribute to country performed by a singer who some may consider past her prime. But this former MGP contestant, Melfest winner and Eurovision star (including third place), proved that she’s still got a gorgeous voice…even if the song was from another era (which you could have guessed from the old school country costumes, banjos and melody. But good on Kikki for continuing to do what she loves and representing older generations at a contest known to skew young.

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AngieP
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AngieP

John had the best performance of the night! I really liked how surprised he was. I’m happy for him! Deserved the final.
Benjamin was the obvious qualifier. Great visual presentation! The song is just ok.

Edu
Guest
Edu

What a weak semifinal! At least the less weak songs went through.

Kris
Guest
Kris

Here are the results of the performances:
1) Benjamin ingrosso
2) John Lundvik
3) Renaida

Huge gap

4) Sigrid Bernson
5)Edward Blom

Really Huge gap
6)Kamferdrops
7)Kikki

Would have liked Kamferdrops to go to Andra Chansen instead of Sigrid!
Also I liked Renaida’s song more than John’s!

Carla
Guest
Carla

Sigrid: ¯\_(?)_/¯. Felt like she was trying too hard. Hated the guy they ‘pulled’ from the audience. She didn’t sing too well, but was saved by the backing vocals. Might become a problem in Lisbon. John: Bo-ring. Mom-appeal. Renaida: seems like a nice girl, song is too generic. Edward: might make sense to the Swedes, but didn’t to me. Happy he’s gone. Kikki: fast-forwarded through that one. Sorry, not sorry. Kampferdrops: hilarious, full of WTF-moments. The kind of show we need but don’t deserve. Should’ve at least made it to Andra Chansen. Will watch this again and again. Not listen… Read more »

Tom TPE
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Tom TPE

Benjamin’s light show is stunning. That was by far the most intricate and impressive staging tonight. And I actually like the song and his falsetto. But the boy needs 10x more swag to pull off those dance moves. He looks like a little boy smiling and jumping on stage, but this song is all about sex appeal. The disconnect between his cute demeanour and the sexuality of the performance is a little disconcerting. Can someone give Benjamin a crash course in oozing sex between now and the final? Oh, and I really do not get all the fuss around John… Read more »

Mellie
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Mellie

Is there a website where I can watch the show

Deven O'Kearney
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Deven O'Kearney

“SVT Play” live streams the show every Saturday and then you can watch it on-demand.

Charli Cheer Up
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Charli Cheer Up

Benjamin Ingrosso was a clear lock in for direk final anyways with a strong comeback that was cowritten by G:son. Major props to John’s My Turn though, not bad for a song that performed 2nd in running order. I would’ve liked Sigrid song because its kinda Charli XCX-esquie but that title of “Patrick Swayze” kills it for me. The strong bits for Renaida’s song was the chorus(with breakdancing) and her braids. She mumbled the verses. Overall it was a pretty ok semi final. David was charismatic and Fat Freddy was funny. The two novelty songs made the show for me… Read more »

marii
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marii

Juries will shower Benjamin with votes in the final.

Blaziker from SG
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Blaziker from SG

Considering that SF1 is typically the weaker semi-final, it’s refreshing to have some good entries and some memorable ones.

Overall, I got the qualifiers and the eliminated acts’ final position correct, so I should be happy with that. Not a great semi-final, but an entertaining one nonetheless. Hopefully the next semi-finals deliver some bangers.

(P.S. I was watching this live on bed in the morning (3am Singapore time) but it was worth it.)

Jake
Guest
Jake

Kamferdrops is what happens when Azerbaijan’s Skeletons has sex with Dolly Style and dials down the music quality to a 2.

What was Christer thinking?!?! I know he’s been more hands off, but this semi was ridiculously unmemorable. I hope the lackluster selection of songs was to ensure Benjamin would advance with a borderline decent song and the next three semis will makes us forget this awful night of music ever happened.

SpirK
Guest
SpirK

Maybe I’m the only one, but Kamferdrops was my favorite of the night. Such a nice 90’s childhood-like nostalgic song with the chill saxobeat fused with a psychedelic staging. Don’t know why Sweden didn’t warm up to this. Totally robbed. John Lundvik was a close second. It’s not a ground breaking ballad but he elevates it so much with his voice and attitude. Loveable person and personality. Was really happy when he made it, he deserved it. Sigrid Bernson comes right after. I must say this one was a guilty pleasure. She was at some times a bit stiff but… Read more »

Zolipop
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Zolipop

I LOVED Kamferdrops, definitely my number one too.

DyGh
Guest
DyGh

The dancing food are robbed

Sabrina
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Sabrina

If you look at it as the search for an Eurovision winner yes, I can see it as an underwhelming night. But when you look at it as a TV show, it was a very entertaining one. Since most songs were on the same level of well produced but generic music, I think it’s fair that the best singer (John Lundvik was awesome) and the best staging (It’s very impressive what they designed for Benjamin) got the tickets to the final. But I must say I thought that “Dance You Off” could have more open shots, because it doesn’t feel… Read more »

Boy
Guest

Boring!!!!!!!!!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

They’ll probably end low in the final anyway.

Craig
Guest
Craig

Firstly, what an amazing show from SVT! It must cost a fortune to produce this for six weeks in a row in a different arena each time. Incredible.
I think the good people of Sweden got it about right tonight. Although I wish Benjamin would put that jacket on or take it off, it is vey distracting hanging off him like that with al the tassels.

Ola
Guest
Ola

Sweden is always blamed for stealing and recycling – but still manage to be in Top 5 almost every year.

Conclusion: A good song is a good song, no matter how many times you might have heard it before. People in here think way too much, and much too deep…;)

John Lundvik was BY FAR the best tonight. He has the look, and has the song.
Enough said from me.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Sweden just need to make it a Big 6 already, it’s hard to imagine them missing the grand final again after the 2010 disappointment.

Neil Fulcher
Guest
Neil Fulcher

Kamferdrops singing a potentially illegal song, turns out to be a storm in a tea cup! I thought it would make the second chance round. There are times I think Christer Björkman knows more than we think!

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

Benjamins stage show is a wow. This is a top 5 for sure

Bella
Guest
Bella

This si the de first time I believe Sweden is not complaining about the results lol. Usually we always hear “fel låt gick vidare” but today we are pretty content.
John having the dreadful second slot was made to crash and burn but surprisingly he made it DTF. And Benjamin probably had one of the greatest visual performances in melfest

Mattias Sollerman
Guest
Mattias Sollerman

My mom’s verdict:
– Very happy with Lundvik advancing. He was her favorite. “What a handsome man” was her first impression.
– Not very impressed by Ingrosso. “This song is better when I close my eyes”.
– Pleased with Kicki’s song and performance. Not pleased with the result.
– Would have preferred Blom over Renaida in AC.
– She got very excited and sentimental (she’s 70+) over the “Sånt är livet” cover. A nice touch by SVT.
– Fab Freddie was a constant annoyance.
– The show was overall above her fairly low expectations.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

It’s nice to be right about the result, once in a while! 🙂
Well done to Sweden, to all of the crew and all of the participants. It was a terrific show. One heat down, three to go. 🙂

Michael
Guest
Michael

No way that Benjamin deserved to make it direkt to final with that song. His falsetto was annoying and I’ve heard many songs that have a similar vaguely funk sound like that. But because he’s Benjamin Ingrosso, he made it John was pretty good, I’m glad to see a performance that didn’t rely on lame gimmicks and he gave a very good vocal performance. The song wasn’t super good and the backing singers were too much, but I’m glad he went direkt to final Renaida was probably my favorite. A great vocal performance and modern song that didn’t feel generic.… Read more »

Music is the key
Guest
Music is the key

I agree with most of what you said

esc freak
Guest
esc freak

Benjamin deserved to come last but other than that, the results were good. Especially happy for John. That song is QUALITY. Also, good that Renaida made it to Andra Chansen, I expected Edward instead.

Daniel_2017
Guest
Daniel_2017

I’m a bit underwhelmed by this semifinal… Benjamin’s staging was indeed spectacular, I really loved it (and I can’t wait to watch it again), too bad about the song though… It’s not bad, but I wouldn’t listen to it on purpose and I might change the station if it came up on the radio… And that singing in the high register during the chorus is quite annoying! John’s ballad is predictable (I agree with William) and like millions of ballads we’ve heard before…

I really hope the other semifinals will be betther than this one

DenizNL
Guest
DenizNL

I am glad the 4 songs that deserved to go through made it. Especially happy for Benjamin.

Safiya
Guest
Safiya

Well, Benjamin’s song actually grew on me. It’s quite generic, but at the same time it’s catchy, so after listening to it several times it gets stuck in your head. I felt the same about Bengtsson’s song last year. It’s not a winner, but it’s a decent song and pleasant for the ears.

DragKvinna
Guest
DragKvinna

Benjamin was the best
Not so sure about the rest

NickC
Guest
NickC

I felt like JL was the guy who aces the midterm and fails the final….
Benjamin screams ‘I cant go on’ Version 2,0

Kuna
Guest
Kuna

– Kikki wasn’t expected to do much and she didn’t. But she sang and it was nice – Boy was I sad when Kamferdrops failed. I expected Sweden to love it or hate it. And I didn’t want them to do what they did. – Edward seems happy with just the fact, that he is on Melfest. It was weird, but how can I talk about weird, when I liked Kamferdrops – Sigrid was the one, that I thought would end up being 6th or 5th, but she somehow managed to go through. Her vocals improved a lot, the previous… Read more »

Titas
Guest
Titas

How tf did renaida not make it straight through

aaron
Guest
aaron

By Melfest standards this was quite a weak Semi.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Poor Kikki…”some may consider past her prime”…who are these people?

Double standards for men & women, it seems. Owe, Hasse = folk heroes. Kikki = over the hill. Sad. The song was actually not that bad, either, certainly better than some previous finalists. Better than her 2006 entry too.

Denis
Guest
Denis

But Owe and Hasse had fun and catchy songs. Kikki not so much. That’s why

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

That’s true, I guess. I just hate to see former winners like Kikki, Charlotte, Marie Bergman just completely overlooked.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Kikki was classy and I would put her ahead of both girls who got AC, but here it is.

TheDrMistery
Guest
TheDrMistery

Don’t you think it was very uncool of John Lundvik to interrupt Benjamin’s performance at the end?!

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Nah, the mood is celebratory, it’s all good.

Bella
Guest
Bella

Usually the first finalist always kinda interrupts the other finalist while singing. It’s kind of a tradition

Alex J
Guest
Alex J

John Lundvik was a shock to get through and disappointed that he did, but adored the other three. Sad for Kamferdrops as that was a wonderful performance but very happy for Benjamin. Dance You Off definitely deserved the overall win tonight and would fit perfectly in any ESC Grand Final.

TheDrMistery
Guest
TheDrMistery

Benjamin was by far the best. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins it all. Combination of song and staging works very well, it’s memorable and polished. Subtle Michael Jackson vibes only help. It’s a little funny (head bobs a’la Robin B.) and a little sexy. John Lundvik did good but this song was done thousand times before. I’ve heard shades of Belgium 2012 there as well as 90s R&B American ballads. Girls that qualified for Second Chance were very good but better than their songs. I’m happy for Renaida in particular and would push her directly to the Final… Read more »

Colin
Guest
Colin

Congrats, John Lundvik! He was the best tonight!

Janro
Guest
Janro

I’m very happy. This is exactly the result I wanted! 🙂

Denis
Guest
Denis

Don’t get the appeal of John Lundvik. it was an average standard ballad. We have 5 of those in every ESC, all done by the numbers. I think it was his name being attached to a very beloved song that made him pass..
The kind of song you would expect from an X-Factor/Idol Winner. Or from Malta. Nah..
The rest is not surprising. Although it sounded as if Renaida and Sigrid sang the same song, I couldn’t tell them apart.

Lolek
Guest
Lolek

A bit down that Kamferdrops isn’t moving on, but so be it. I thought all the acts brought something unique! Despite not being my specific music taste, John Lundvik going direkt til final was well earned. He is an amazing singer! Also happy Sigrid is at least in AC. Would have liked to see at least one other Swedish language song place top four (Even Kiki or Edward’s song) but so be it. Not that I dislike Benjamin’s song or his style, but I don’t think I get the appeal most do. I felt he was AC worthy but not… Read more »