(photo: Olle Kirchmeier/SVT)

Last night was the first heat of Melodifestivalen triumphant six week run, and we now have our first two finalists!

David Lindgren’s ‘Skyline’ and YOHIO’s ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ were voted through to the final. Happy for David, and we love ‘Skyline’. But slightly concerned about YOHIO – or more accurately, his seemingly enormous fanbase. We’re not the biggest fans of ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ (it’s just ok), and we’re not entirely sure how we feel about it as a Melodifestivalen winner (which betting agencies are now marking down as a third favourite).

Through to the second chance round are Eric Gadd’s ‘Vi Kommer Aldrig Att Förlora’ (unsurprising, and definitely deserved), and Cookies n’Beans with ‘Burning Flags (*yawn*).

Mary N’Diaye coming as high as 5th with ‘Gosa’ was a surprise – not because we don’t like it, but because we didn’t think anyone else would! The 6th and 7th placers, Michael Feiner & Caisa and Anna Järvinen, were in our top 3, so we were quite disappointed with that result. We’re putting Feiner & Caisa’s low finish down to her vocals though, which were shaky to say the least. Anna Järvinen’s position is a bit harder to fathom though, as it’s a beautiful song that’s been had masses of critical acclaim heaped on it all week. Perhaps the average Anna Järvinen fan isn’t the average Melodifestivalen viewer, or at least televoter. That same excuse could be given to 8th place finisher Jay-Jay Johansson. But really, it was an awful song, given an awful performance, and thoroughly deserved to come where it did.

Elsewhere in the contest was THAT interval act. Whatever your thoughts on him in the hosting department, you can’t deny that Danny Saucedo totally made that interval performance amazing. Pulling his popstar quality out of the bag, and leading a hugely entertaining song and dance, with some strong support from Lena Philipsson. If you missed it, watch it below. If you saw it, watch it again below!

As a host, we though that Danny did pretty great – not even taking into consideration the fact that last night was actually his first ever gig. We *think* we might have spotted some nerves eminating from him, but looking back, we can’t quite tell if that was perhaps just us projecting our own nerves for him, onto him. Either way though, he did what he did with a hell of a lot of charm.

Gina Dirawi was, as every week during last year’s contest, quite brill.

An eclectic set of artists and songs this week. Some exactly to our tastes, others most certainly not. There’s absolutely no doubt that the contest has changed from what it was even four years ago, and we’re having to make do with less songs that we love each week, to make way for more types of music and more sounds. Time will tell if changing the face of the contest will pay off for Melodifestivalen in the long run, and inject even more longevity into the format as it stands now – which, of course benefits us all. But one thing for sure is that SVT are still indisputably producing the best show of its kind, anywhere.

Below you can watch the performance of the four songs eliminated from the contest.The four songs that progressed, won’t be made available online until after Heat 4.

Mary N’Diaye: ‘Gosa’

Michael Feiner & Caisa: ‘We’re Still Kids’

Anna Järvinen: ‘Porslin’

Jay-Jay Johansson: ‘Paris’

‘Karl För Sin Kostym’ (the interval act)

 

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