(photo: Stina Stjernkvist)

Tonight sees Melodifestivalen roll into – well, Stockholm again – for the third heat of the 2021 contest. Seven more artists, seven more songs and one new host – Jason Diakité (Timbuktu).

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 3.

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. Flickan Och Kråkan
The Mikael Wiehe song that Timbuktu breathed new life into on the 2012 season of Så Mycket Bättre, gets a new lease of life tonight. Or rather, an old one. For the opening number of tonight’s show, it receives a Baroque makeover. Costumes and all. In all honesty, it’s quite a low energy opener to the show. But the adoration that Sweden has towards the song might make up for that. For some.

02. Postcards become story books
The song intros get a new look for a new week. And so we have each of the artists reading out what has been their own journey to get here tonight, before each performance. It’s a nice addition that gives viewers a proper introduction (or re-introduction) to everyone performing tonight – from Charlotte Perrelli’s career highs, to Tusse’s story of his immigration and  acclimatisation to Sweden.

03. Pose
Obviously all eyes will be peeled for Charlotte’s performance tonight – as they should be. But it’s definitely one to keep coming back to. The more we’ve watched it, the more new things we see and fall in love with. She’s crafted a superb diva performance that delivers so much, without ever feeling too over the top. Repeated viewings will be rewarded with new appreciation of the voguing, the silhouettes, the struts and the one iconic pose after another. Sit back and bask in the youthful glow of ‘Still Young’.

04. Dressing Christer Björkman
As part of a comedy skit running through the show – courtesy of SVT faves Leif & Billy – we have Christer dressed at his most flamboyant. We’re talking exposed flesh and a great big peacock here. Not at the same time, mercifully.

05. Something In Your Corset
Probably the most eye-opening outfit in tonight’s show, however, is Klara Hammarström’s get-up. It’s puts us in mind of when Jenny Silver graced the Melfest stage in 2010 for ‘A Place To Stay’. And in all honestly, now all we can think of is Klara returning next year with her own ‘Something In Your Eyes’.

06. Elisa’s night in Gothenburg.
As part of the storytelling intros, we get the hugely endearing tale of when Elisa first realised she wanted to be here – when she was a young girl in 2006, went to watch the fourth heat of Melodifestivalen at Gothenburg arena, and witnessed first-hand Carola’s iconic performance of ‘Evighet’. Elisa radiates huge Melfest-fan energy, and we hope it does her plenty of favours tonight.

07. *PLING*! Your song is ready
Ingela ‘Pling’ Forsman returns to the contest as a songwriter for 40th time (!!!) tonight, though it’s her first appearance since 2014. For her song – ‘Den Du Är’ by Elisa – they’ve given the staging total Elsa from Frozen vibes. But the fairytale connection won’t be too jarring to Pling – she’s the lady that Disney usually call upon for lyric re-writes when they translate their songs for the Swedish market!

08. A damn good woman
Sabina Ddumba gets the honour of being the first artist this year to be invited on to perform her new single as the Melodifestivalen interval act. She performs ‘Damn Good Woman’, but not before treating viewers to a new interpretation of her biggest hit – ‘Not Too Young’ – as a short intro. Sabina was actually due to be hosting the show this week with Timbuktu, but had to pull out due to commitments/obligations.

09. Timbuk-two
Timbuktu looks so much more at home in his second performance of the evening, than he did in the intro. Here, he’s allowed to shine properly as he performs his new single with fellow Swedish artist Mapei.

10. The museum of schlager
It’s back! And tonight, we get a beautiful moment when it treats us to a run-through of all of the Melodifestivalen winners of the last 20 years – since its inception into its current format – in what feels like 20 seconds. Now THAT’S a snabbrepris!


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