(photo: Stina Stjernkvist)

Tonight sees Melodifestivalen roll into – well, Stockholm again – for the second heat of the 2021 contest. Seven more artists, seven more songs and two new hosts – Oscar Zia and Anis Don Demina.

We were allowed to access a streaming of last night’s dress rehearsal of the show. So if spoilers bother you not, then read on for our ten main takeaways from the show (aside from the songs, of course) for you to look out for and look forward to, below.

To read more about the artists, then check out our guide to Heat 2.

And to read more about the seven songs and performances, check out our review of Thursday’s rehearsals.

Now. Here’s a sneak peek of what you can look forward to tonight;

01. Stad i Ljus
What’s the point of having two popstars host proceedings, if you aren’t gonna have them perform too? And so the opening number of Melodifestivalen this week is a performance of Tommy Körberg’s classic ‘Stad i Ljus’ – as you’ve never heard it before. Both artists leave their own mark on this interpretation, and it starts the show with a suitable bang.

02. Anis Don’s Demeanour
Oscar Zia is a perfectly charming host of course, but during last night’s show we were particularly struck by Anis Don Demina’s talent in that area. He seemed like a complete natural in his presenting duties, like it’s his regular job, day in and day out. Calm, charismatic, and totally at ease with the both the camera and the script. We’ll be surprised if this is the last time we see him given the presenting job at Melfest.

03: From post, to digital
The pre-performance postcards from last week have been binned, and in their place before each artist goes on stage is a short, pre-recorded interview between them and the hosts. It’s much more engaging, keeps eyes on the screens, and gives us a lot more insight into each artist.

04: Written by?
Also gone from this week’s show is the video recording from each songwriter – and it’s not been replaced by anything, either. We feel that’s a bit of a shame, as Melodifestivalen has always paid the greatest respect to songwriters by putting the spotlight on them.

05: The schlager express!
A running segement through tonight’s show is the schlager express, which involves our two hosts driving around the place to meet some of the all-time Melfest greats. Although what with social distancing on the menu, it’s less of a meeting, and more of a case of them shouting at one another from inside and outside the van. There’s also a bit of schlager carpool karaoke along the way – and that can also serve as a clue as to one of the all-time greats they meet on their travels.

06. Just A Little Bit of Love Generation
The Melfest geeks amongst you should be pleased with Anton Ewald’s staging. Not only does it bring to mind his earlier Melodifestivalen performances, but during the middle eight, it made us reminisce of another not-so-long-ago Melfest classic – ‘Just A Little Bit’ by Love Generation. All too forgotten, that song. But not tonight!

07. Oscar Zinger
Oscar’s comedy chops come to the fore during tonight’s show. There are plenty of little jokes and one liners dotted through the script for him – and he lands every one of them with impressive aplomb. A talent we weren’t aware he had. And we love ourselves a comedy queen.

08. Ding Dong: round one
It goes without saying that they’re charm personified in their performance of ‘Rena Rama Ding Dong’, but Eva & Ewa are really gonna win over viewers (and voters?!…) in the pre-performance interview with Oscar & Anis. They are adorable, they are hilarious, they must be cherished at all costs.

09. The Melfest Museum
It’s back for week two! And this week it’s taking on the myth, the legend and the might of the Schlager Drottningar.

10: Second time’s a charm
It’ll take a miracle for Dotter’s incredible ‘Little Tot’ not to go direkt til finalen. Cherish that second performance that is awarded from such a result. Put the phone down and take in every second of it. For it will be the last you hear of that magnificent song until after Heat 4 two weeks from now, when it will be released.

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