Melodifestivalen 2019 is on! Semi-Final 1 kicked things off in style from the Scandinavium arena in Gothenburg. Amid all the explosions and choreographed dance numbers two acts — Wiktoria with “Not with Me” and Mohombi with “Hello” — emerged victorious, qualifying direkt till final. Two others — Nano with “Chasing Rivers” and Anna Bergendahl with “Ashes to Ashes” — live to sing another day, as they have qualified for Andra Chansen.
Melodifestivalen 2019: Semi-Final 1 Qualifiers
Wiktoria – Not with Me
Queen Wiktoria is back! The best song on the night in my eyes, “Not With Me” is an emotional, elegant ballad backed by power and control. Wearing a beautiful black dress that echoed Wiktoria’s emotions throughout the song, she brought pain, longing and more. Perhaps nodding to Ruth Lorenzo, rain fell hard and worked well with her diamonds. The latter reinforced that our girl is worth way more than her pained lyrics. Recently Wiktoria told Wiwibloggs that she wasn’t aware of the other artist’s performances. Instead she’s focusing on what she’s got. “I really believe in what we are going to do and hopefully people will like that,” she said. “I really want to make it to the final”. Well you are in that final in Stockholm Queen W! Congratulations!
Mohombi – Hello
Goodbye Semi-Final 1 and HELLO Stockholm! Mohombi has qualified tonight with his catchy number “Hello”. A Grammy Award winner, Mohombi has infectious energy on stage and his dancing is on point. Working a projector that concealed a dancer, he had some of the best and most contemporary staging of the evening. The song really comes to life in the second chorus — even if his voice was a tad squeaky at times. “Saying hi — that’s where the love starts by just acknowledging each other as human beings,” he tells wiwibloggs. “That’s where the inspiration comes from.”
Andra Chansen (Second Chance)
Nano – Chasing Rivers
Nano is still chasing his Eurovision dream with Melodifestivalen. His vocal performance could have been better, but the song itself was very powerful — all reinforced by the staging. It saw a younger Nano, played by his son, interspersed with shots of the singer himself. It was a heart-warming moment to see Nano share his passion for music — and that top-knot — with his boy. “I know my son, he is really inner and shy like I was when I was 8,” he tells wiwibloggs.
Anna Bergendahl – Ashes to Ashes
The 2010 Melfest winner is back with the folk-pop song “Ashes to Ashes”. It’s an instantly likeable song with a memorable performance. The dark forest staging eventually gives way to a bold, bright landscape, perhaps hinting at an environmental theme. Despite all the beauty around her, Anna definitely held her own in front of the camera and delivered a flawless vocal performance filled with strength and vulnerability. You can’t help but admire the hint of Irish singer-songwriter in her voice as she sings. When asked about why she wanted to return to Melfest, Anna said it was all about the song. As she told wiwibloggs: “To me it’s unstoppable. I couldn’t say no.”
This year SVT is releasing the voting figures for acts that have been eliminated immediately after the show. They will not reveal the voting results for the acts who are still alive in the competition, as this might bias people to their relative strength and weakness, thereby impacting voting in the final and Andra Chansen.
SVT has revealed the #melfest voting figures for eliminated acts.
• 5th place: "My fires" – Zeana feat. Anis don Demina, 980 354 votes
• 6th place: "No Drama" – High15, 814 839 votes
• 7th place: "My four seasons" – Arja Saijonmaa, 507 727 votes
Total votes: 7 158 333 pic.twitter.com/wib0l3oXOB
— wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) February 2, 2019
5th: Zeana feat. Anis don Demina – Mina Brander (My Fires)
Let’s party! “Mina Brander” burned up the stage: it’s definitely among the better songs in recent years to be sung in Swedish. There was great chemistry on stage between Zeana and Anis dom Demina — it totally justified all the pyro, as they were properly explosive. Along with the golden staging it really made the arena feel like a fiesta on the Costa del Sverige. The chorus is addictive — a great hook for Eurovision!
6th: High 15 – No Drama
Their performance was bright and energetic. Sporting neon clothes — very high-fashion construction worker — they’re now a permanent stain on our minds….for better or worse. The lyrics are fun, vibrant and very adolescent — the reason they sing it so well is because of their youth. High 15 certainly brought a lot of energy to the stage this evening. Their vocals sounded like a cross between a young Little Mix and fellow Melfest contestant Margaret.
7th: Arja Saijonmaa – Mina frya arstider (My free times)
Nothing to lose – Arja Saijonmaa worked her magical voice and simple staging with the confidence of a legend. This folky little number caught our attention by pulling the heart string. While the angelic outfit was a tad too bedsheet for many, it captured her sweet nature. At 74 she’s a proper inspiration to many and rightly so.
What do you think of tonight’s results? Do you think the right acts qualified? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments section below!