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You are currently viewing 🇸🇪: Melodifestivalen 2023: Heat 2 Rehearsal Review

Image Credit: Melodifestivalen // SVT // Alma Bengtsson

The rehearsals for Heat 2 of Melodifestivalen 2023 have started!

Another 7 artists will take to the stage to perform, hoping the Swedish public will pick up the phone on vote for them on Saturday night.

Here’s our review of the rehearsals we’ve watched this week!

Wiktoria – ‘All My Life (Where Have You Been)’

Dazzling in pink we have Wiktoria, who’s giving a confident performance of her entry ‘All My Life (Where Have You Been)’. This staging is all about sparkle, with a glittery gold set and camera effects throughout. She begins at the top of some LED stairs, moving onto the stage for the rest of the song to join her backing dancers. The set moves out at the bridge, before raising into a ‘W’ for the last chorus. We also get some choreography from Wiktoria which she does alongside her dancers – something we’ve not seen before from her in the competition, with her choosing to remain solo on stage for all her previous entries. Her second rehearsal was bursting with confidence and great stage presence. We know Wiktoria can deliver, and this is the perfect way to open up the second heat of Melodifestivalen 2023. You can see part of Wiktoria’s rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.

Eden – ‘Comfortable’

Eden’s staging is purely lighting and a backing band of violinists, who come into shot here and there throughout the performance. This is mainly focused on Eden, who starts by singing to a guitarist. Her white outfit is the perfect contrast to the black outfits the backing band are wearing. You really have to really focus lyrics on this one – and the minimal staging allows you to do just that. The second rehearsal is just as good as the first, and it’s stripped back style is not only authentic, but after the postcard with Farah beforehand, you can really understand the meaning of ‘Comfortable’, which saw Eden get emotional towards the end of the second run-through. It’s best compared to the staging Samira Manners or Lancelot had in 2022 – a mainly acoustic song backed up by some gold lighting. You can see some of Eden’s first rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.

Uje Brandelius – ‘Grytan’

Uje Brandelius remains in one place for this performance, right in the centre of the camera, sat at a table with a microphone in front of him. The set for this depicts a house all in orange, whilst the rest of the stage remains dark. During the instrumental part, actors move around the ‘house’, picking up objects and mimicking a conversation. After the first verse, the camera begins to slowly spin in a circle, moving us through the set. The song takes a dramatic turn as we reach the bridge with red lighting and a thumping beat, before returning back to its gentle nature for the final chorus. At the end, the camera zooms out to show the full stage, before focusing back on Uje. Vocally, he does a great job. I feel like this may be more catered to a Swedish audience or Swedish language speakers, but is an enjoyable watch nonetheless and a welcome addition to the lineup. You can see some of Uje’s first rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.

Panetoz – ‘On My Way’

After the pace of the show slowed down for the last two songs, this one will be sure to get the audience back up and dancing. Panetoz are well and truly back in Melodfestivalen, with a super colourful performance of ‘On My Way’. This is the most fun we’ve ever seen them have in the contest, with the energy remaining from start to the end. We get some rap vocals and a singalong section towards the end where they encourage the audience to wave their arms up in the air along with them. You can really feel the bands connection in this too – it’s just like watching a group of friends getting up on stage and having a fantastic time together. Their second rehearsal was even stronger than their first, and with an audience this song is sure to come alive on Saturday night. It’s seen comparisons to last years entry by Medina, and it’s definitely on a similar level. The song is in Swedish mainly, despite having an English title. You can see some of their first rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.

Tennessee Tears – ‘Now I Know’

Keeping the upbeat vibe going are Tennessee Tears, who’s country entry ‘Now I Know’ slots in perfectly between Panetoz and Maria Sur. The theme for this weeks heat seems to be a lot of gold, orange and red lighting – as this is what is also used for this performance. The song is about meeting someone when you’re kids, growing up and finding them later in life – which is displayed on the LED screen as Tilda & Jonas sing. Jonas is on the guitar at a mic stand, whilst Tilda does most of the moving around the stage. They’re good vocally, and we know viewers can be partial to a country song, as we’ve seen most recently with Anna Bergendahl’s success. There’s not much change between the rehearsals apart from a few camera cuts, and they look like they’re embracing their Melfest experience. You can see some of their first rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.

Maria Sur – ‘Never Give Up’

Opting for lighting and smoke effects instead of using the LED screens is Maria Sur, who lets her song do most of the talking. She’s one of the favourites in this competition, and it’s not hard to see why when, despite her age, she manages to put on such a strong performance. We start by seeing Maria’s silhouette, with the lights rising as she reaches the first chorus. The last minute of the song is probably the most impressive section, which see’s the backing singers appear on stage as Maria attempts some big notes. For her second rehearsal, Maria looks like she’s more confident and comfortable on stage, and is vocally a lot better than her first rehearsal. She speaks about her life back in Ukraine to Farah in her postcard video, and says that she’d most like to see her father in the audience when she’s performing – he stayed back in Ukraine when Maria and her mother fled to Sweden in 2022. You can see some of her first rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.

THEOZ – ‘Mer av dig’

What a way to close the heat! THEOZ’s experience from Melodifestivalen 2022 shines through here and we get everything we can expect from the TikTok star. His polished staging is different shades of red and blue in individual squares on the LED that appear as the first chorus begins, and some lighting effects – most notably at the start, where the first shot we see is the back of THEOZ, with a spotlight on him. There’s also a structure with these LED squares on that is moved around during the song. His vocal doesn’t falter despite the amount of choreography he does in the chorus alongside his six dancers (though it is worth noting he’s also using the pre-recorded backing vocals they allow in Melfest), and he’s having a lot of fun. Younger views will likely really like this – he received points mainly from those age groups in the 2022 final, and this song is arguably stronger than ‘Som Du Vill’. For saying his young age, his stage presence and charisma helps him stand out from the dancers he’s performing alongside. With pyrotechnics to emphasise the last chorus, this will really bring the back the party Panetoz started a few songs before, and is the perfect way to end Heat 2. You can see some of THEOZ’s first rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.

There we go – the first two days of rehearsals for Heat 2 of Melodifestivalen are complete! On February 11th, viewers at home will be able to see the show in full live on SVT at 7pm GMT // 8pm CET.

Thank you to SVT, Melodifestivalen & Alma Bengtsson for all of the images from this weeks rehearsals, and thank you to SVT for our accreditation for the show!

Who would you like to see qualify? Let us know in the comments, and follow us on our Instagram, Twitter, TikTok & YouTube for all the latest Eurovision news!

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