Image Credit: Melodifestivalen // SVT // Alma Bengtsson
The rehearsals for Heat 3 of Melodifestivalen are in full swing, with 7 artists taking to the stage hoping to impress viewers at home and advance to the final, or semi final.
You can read all about the artists competing by clicking here – 🇸🇪 Sneak Peek: Melodifestivalen 2023 Heat 3
Here’s our reaction to the full rehearsals of this weeks Heat!
Paul Rey – ‘Royals’
This is a new side to Paul Rey! An upbeat, anthemic song with a sing-along, chant style chorus that gets in your head, ‘Royals’ is worlds away from ‘Talking In My Sleep’ and ‘The Missing Piece’. The colours here are black, yellow and white – with the LED showing sketch style pencil drawings, and the lyrics during the chorus. Paul begins alone, and is joined by 6 dancers at the first chorus – which he also does some minimal choreography with throughout the 3 minutes he’s on stage. The bridge breaks down into something that instantly encourages the audience to clap along before the last chorus hits. The second rehearsal was better than the first, and looked a lot cleaner in lighting and camera cuts. Paul’s vocal is also a lot better – especially at the beginning of the song. It’s nice to see him having fun and showing a different side to himself musically, which avid viewers of Melodifestivalen will be sure to appreciate after his previous entries. This opens Heat 3 perfectly, and will instantly capture the attention of the audience at home. Could this be the first time we see him go directly to the final? You can see part of Paul’s rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.
Casanovas – ‘Så kommer känslorna tillbaka’
Dansband music is well and truly back in Melodifestivalen with ‘Så kommer känslorna tillbaka’ by Casanovas. Lead singer Henrik is front and centre, surrounded by his band playing their instruments – all on platforms. They’re all dressed in the same outfits – sparkling black trousers, black shirts and red velvet jackets, whilst the LED remains a static purple during most of the performance with the groups name up in lights, changing at the bridge into a blue, starry pattern. We also get some pyro towards the end, which really gives the last chorus it’s final lift. Henrik has a great vocal, and older viewers will be sure to appreciate the sound that will surely be familiar to them. There’s no big changes between rehearsals, but we do get to see some more of the band compared to just the lead singer, as we saw in the first rehearsal. This has that classic Melodifestivalen sound, and is arguably what some of the other heats have been missing. You can see part of Casanovas’ rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.
Melanie Wehbe – ‘For The Show’
Melanie Wehbe steps onto the stage as an artist for the first time in Melfest this year, and she doesn’t disappoint. We begin with a close up shot, which zooms out as the first chorus starts to show the full staging. Her staging has a black and gold theme, with her prop and the LED screens having a honeycomb like pattern. The prop opens up during the second half, revealing a large golden light. As the bridge comes in, the prop turns red as the LED’s fade to black and the focus is all on Melanie, before returning to lots of golden light for the end. This is one of the strongest vocals of the heat, and she sings with great emotion – something she likes to incorporate into her own music. The second rehearsal’s lighting is a lot brighter and has more impact than the first rehearsal, and Melanie continues with an almost pitch-perfect vocal with each run through. You can see part of Melanie’s rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.
Nordman – ‘Släpp alla sorger’
If you’re a fan of a folk-style song, you’ve come to the right place! ‘Släpp alla sorger’ has a great breakdown for the chorus, where the instrumentalist of Nordman Mats is playing his classic ‘nyckleharpa’. Lead singer Håkan has a raspy-tone to his vocal, which improves as the song continues into the final sections. The LED shows flying birds, at one point giving the impression they’re coming towards the camera. At one point, the LED’s switch to show clouds, and there’s lots of green lighting throughout. The two remain alone on stage, and keep it all very simple. They both look more comfortable and confident in their second rehearsal, and Håkan’s vocals have made a significant improvement compared to their first rehearsal. You can see part of Nordman’s rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.
Laurell – ‘Sober’
An explosion of colour meets us with Laurell’s ‘Sober’. She begins in front of a fluffy wall of neon pink, blue, white and green, which is turned around to reveal LED’s with the same colour scheme for the second half. The four dancers are wearing bear masks throughout. Laurell’s current style is really reflected here – dressed in a bright yet causal outfit, which actually stands out despite everything going on around her. She changes her first rehearsal outfit for the second rehearsals, switching to a snapback hat and a blue patterned suit. Vocally she’s very competent – and you can tell she really believes in her entry. She’s a pretty relaxed yet playful performer, and seemed more confident in her first rehearsal compared to the second, though she did pick up the energy after doing a high note towards the end of the performance. She told Farah in her postcard video that she’ll be thinking of her partner and daughter just before she goes on stage, and that the song is all about meeting someone that makes you feel completely elated (hence the lyrics ‘hi-hi-high when I’m sober’). You can see part of Laurell’s rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.
Ida-Lova – ‘Låt hela stan se på’
The only real ‘ballad’ in this heat, ‘Låt hela stan se på’ stands out amongst its competitors, which is mainly down to what an incredible vocal Ida-Lova delivers. For saying she’s just 18 years old, she performs with confidence and passion. Her staging is just a large red curtain (if you watched MGP in Norway, think Tiril Beisland’s staging for ‘Break It’). She begins sitting on the steps to the stage, before moving onto the stage for the second half of the song. Despite it’s understated nature in both production and staging, Ida-Lova carries it perfectly well, and has great stage presence. Her second rehearsal is exactly the same as the first, but with an even better vocal than before. She also appears more comfortable on stage. You can see part of Ida-Lova’s rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.
Marcus & Martinus – ‘Air’
Ending off the heat are Marcus & Martinus, and they’re making sure they leave a great final impression. This is the most impressive lighting work we’ve seen in Melodifestivalen so far, and really brings to life what would be a very minimal staging without it. The lights are all blue, highlighting the twins who are standing on a platform, doing choreography – specifically in the chorus. You can tell they’re experienced performers. The second chorus is where the song really comes to life, with the drop elevated by the lighting pulsating to each beat. It’s not hard to see why this has pulled comparisons with Eric Saade’s 2021 entry ‘Every Minute’ and LIAMOO’s 2022 entry ‘Bluffin’. In their second rehearsal, all the nerves that were understandably there in the first rehearsal had gone, and we got to see a better vocal, more in time choreography and some interaction between them. We have just one more heat to go, and I think it’s safe to say we have found another huge contender for the Melodifestivalen trophy here with ‘Air’ – Sweden have shown they’re pretty partial to a pop song by young male singers, and Marcus & Martinus fit the bill perfectly in that regard. You can see part of Marcus & Martinus’ rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.
The first two days of rehearsals for Heat 3 of Melodifestivalen are now complete! On February 18th, 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!