Image Credit: SVT / Melodifestivalen / Alma Bengtsson
This week’s Melodifestivalen rehearsals are well underway, with another 7 artists hoping to impress viewers at home to earn a place in the final, or the semi final.
You can read all about the artists competing by clicking here – 🇸🇪 Sneak Peek: Melodifestivalen Heat 4
We’ve been watching Thursday & Friday’s rehearsal videos, and here’s our review of all of this weeks songs and performances.
Kiana – ‘Where Did You Go’
Bursting onto the stage with confidence and a great vocal is Kiana. For saying she’s not even 16 years old yet, her stage presence and performing experience really shines through. Opening a Melodifestivalen heat is no easy task, but Kiana does it with no nerves or problems. She’s joined by dancers in the first chorus holding LED strip lights, which stay until the second chorus, where the LED screen bursts into a pulsating background of white, pink and purple. Kiana is dressed in all white, and the dances in all black, so it’s easy to pick out who’s the star of this performance. Her experience in dance is also super noticeable, as the choreography is completely on time, not missing a single beat. The song does get a little repetitive towards the end, but is a definite ear worm which those who enjoy pure pop will love. Kiana’s second rehearsal had a slight issue in her first run with the mic pack, but she continued on with the performance extremely professionally, and by the second run through she was back to her best. They’ve slightly changed the choreography with the lights in the second half too, but aside from that it all remains pretty consistent between both rehearsal days.
You can see part of Kiana’s rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.
Signe & Hjördis – ‘Edelweiss’
Signe & Hjördis keep it simple for ‘Edelweiss’, which has that recognisable Swedish Folk sound we’ve become familiar with in Melodifestivalen. Signe is wearing a blue dress, whilst Hjördis is in all white and shows off her talent by playing the violin to open the performance. The beat kicks in for the second chorus, and should get the audience clapping along. They keep the staging super simple, moving forwards from their mic stands as the song reaches the second half, surrounded by lightbulbs on stands with a gold back light and black screen showing flower petals. As the bridge begins, the stage goes black as the girls stand back to back, with the camera circling around them. The LED and lights come back for the final chorus. In their second rehearsal, the camera work had been tidied up, and both girls seemed a lot more comfortable performing, even having some interaction with each other in certain parts. ‘Edelweiss’ is a sweet song, and staged pretty perfectly.
You can see part of their rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.
Smash Into Pieces – ‘Six Feet Under’
From pop to folk to rock, there’s really something for every viewer in the first three songs. Smash Into Pieces really contrast the more upbeat vibe of the first two songs with ‘Six Feet Under’. The LED screen shows high rise buildings, coloured in blue, pink, red and purple. The lighting occasionally turns to red, to keep in with the drummers light up mask. They also have additional screens hanging down from the ceiling, with the same backdrop as the main stage. The lead singer is an extremely strong vocalist, and has the perfect tone to his voice to really convey the power needed to sell a song like ‘Six Feet Under’. Musically, it is pretty heavy throughout, only calming down a little for the short bridge. The second rehearsal is a lot better than their first with improvements to the lighting and camera angles. We get to see all of the band, and now have some on-screen effects at certain moments to bring the full stage show to life.
You can see part of their rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.
Mariette – ‘One Day’
Steering away from the upbeat songs she’s been bringing to the contest for 8 years, Mariette is going mid-tempo with ‘One Day’. You can always count on her for a solid vocal performance, and she doesn’t disappoint this time around. Her staging is a big prop, with a staircase in the centre and a curved-inwards wall design either side. She’s joined by two backing singers and three dancers, who run up the curved walls and jump off during the last chorus, seemingly going for their dreams, as the song encourages people to do. ‘One Day’ is an uplifting song about never giving up, and it’s got that classic Melfest anthem feel to it. The colours for this are gold, cream and white, and for the second rehearsal they’ve improved the lighting, giving it a super warm ambiance. This is a song that’s accessible for all audiences, and Mariette’s recognisable to regular Melodifestivalen viewers – so she once again could be heading for a place in the final.
You can see part of Mariette’s rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.
Emil Henrohn – ‘Mera mera mera’
The pop-vibes Kiana delivered earlier in the heat come back here! Emil Henrohn is an experienced musical performer, so it’s clear performing on stage is where he’s comfortable. He’s joined by four dancers, and he does choreography throughout, though we see it mainly in the chorus when he’s part of the group. The colours here are pink, purple and blue, with a glittery LED and huge star prop on stage, which Emil remains central to (giving us some great camera shots). The LED really works hard here to pulsate to the beat of the song. It has an almost-string like sound in the chorus, and is definitely one that will get people dancing along. For his second rehearsal, we get to see more of Emil’s fun personality, and he’s really enjoying his time on stage performing ‘Mera mera mera’. With his charisma shining through, it’s impossible not to enjoy the 3 minutes that he’s on stage for.
You can see part of Emil’s rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.
Axel Schylström – ‘Gorgeous’
Stepping away from the high-tempo sound he came to Melodifestivalen with in 2017, Axel Schylström is back with a ballad in English. Knowing his story, the lyrical content of this is super emotional for the listener, as it’s clear to see the song means a lot to him. The LED often features a black and white image of Axel, whilst he’s standing out from it in a satin blue suit. He’s joined by four backing singers for the second half, whilst he remains central in front of a bright white light. Whilst 2017s ‘När ingen ser’ worked as a way to introduce Axel’s pop career after Idol, ‘Gorgeous’ shows us what an incredible vocal he can carry – and what a vast vocal range he has too, doing probably the highest note we’ve heard in Melodifestivalen this year towards the end. Speaking of the final section, the music fades as we get an almost choir-like moment where the chorus is continued as the audience is encouraged to clap along. There are some minor changes to the presentation of the performance, but everything remains pretty similar between both days of the rehearsals.
You can see part of Axel’s rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.
Loreen – ‘Tattoo’
‘Tattoo’ begins with a silhouette of Loreen “trapped” between two large LED platforms, with her figure being shown via a flashing light. She does a lot of choreography lying down and sitting on the LED platform in the first section of the song, standing for the second chorus as the LED platform above her moves upwards to allow her more space. Despite her spending so much time between the two platforms, restricting the amount of movement she can do, her vocal remains perfect throughout the entire performance. In the space behind her, the stage is completely black – covered by smoke. On the platform she’s standing on, there’s also sand, which is a prominent theme in this performance, as it’s also part of image on the LED platform. Her LED screens change throughout, turning from the golden-brown colour in the first verse and chorus, to a swirling pink in the second verse. As the bridge begins, the LED’s and lights change to a dusky-blue, and the string instruments come in to take the song’s build down a level before it picks back up for the final chorus – which is where we get to hear just how powerful her vocals are. The final chorus is the absolute “moment” of ‘Tattoo’, where the elements of the song all come together to give the song that extra push. She’s all alone on stage for the entire performance, but fills it with her experience and stage presence. The lighting also gets brighter the further into the song we go. We know Loreen truly cares about her music, and her creative vision and artistic approach to every performance she gives really shines through here. Her second rehearsal has tidier camera cuts and some slight changes, and despite a few issues she still nailed each run through. This one is deservedly in consideration to win Melodifestivalen 2023, and dare we say Eurovision 2023 too?
You can see part of Loreen’s rehearsal here, and images of the second rehearsal below.
So, there we go! All Melodifestivalen 2023 songs have been rehearsed, with just one more to show to go before we head towards the big final in 2 weeks time. On February 25th 2023, viewers at home will be able to see Heat 4 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!