It’s the final opportunity for 8 artists to make it into next week’s Grand Final of Melodifestivalen! On Saturday 4th March 2023, the Semi-Final will give all the songs that finished 3rd & 4th in their heats the chance to qualify once again.
Read our Semi-Final artist review here: 🇸🇪 Sneak Peek: Melodifestivalen 2023 Semi Final
We’ve been watching the rehearsals ahead of the show and here’s what you can expect from this weekend’s performances!
THEOZ – ‘Mer Av Dig’
THEOZ is back with a performance that is just as polished as the first time we saw it. He opens the show up with a lot of energy, really making his mark on the competition. THEOZ sailed through the semi-final in 2022, and he’s a lot more relaxed and comfortable on stage this year with ‘Mer Av Dig’, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if we saw him advance to the final once again. He really gives it his all, whilst managing to find a balance between over selling it, and not selling it at all. As one of the youngest contestants for the second year in a row, his professionalism is impressive and a joy to see.
In terms of the performance, not a lot has changed between Heat 2 and the Semi-Final apart from the fact we now have even more pyro! During the heat, we saw it come up from the stage during the chorus before the instrumental/choreography section, and now we see it not only coming from the stage, but also bursting like fireworks overhead. It’s a great addition and adds that final ‘wow-factor’ that helps complete the performance. You can see images from THEOZ’s rehearsal below.
Mariette – ‘One Day’
Despite this being Mariette’s first time in a semi, she really doesn’t let it phase her. She’s cool, calm and collected for both her run-throughs and after THEOZ’s big burst of fun just before. ‘One Day’ slows the pace down without grinding the show to an early halt. It builds well and Mariette cannot be underestimated. She’s one of the most successful Melfest contestants for a reason, and in this performance, it’s once again clear to see why.
For the semi-final, she adds another dancer, so it’s more evened out on stage without looking cluttered or distracting from Mariette herself. We also have our first outfit change, where she’s switched the nude tones of the outfit we saw in the heat to add in some gold glittering panels that look great when they hit the light. There’s a lot more smoke surrounding her prop too, filling the stage so it has something going on aside from the central prop. You can see images from Mariette’s rehearsal below.
Victor Crone – ‘Diamonds’
In his semi-final rehearsal, Victor Crone delivers yet another solid performance of ‘Diamonds’. He seems a lot more at ease on stage compared to Heat 1 (though he has spoken of having some in-ear issues that have now been fixed) and he continues the streak of strong pop tracks we’re faced with throughout the semi-final. This is super radio-friendly, and something viewers have shown themselves to gravitate towards during past editions of Melfest, which may help Victor on the night.
We have some cleaner camera work and a bit more movement from Victor in the rehearsal, making it a little less static at the start as we saw in Heat 1. Like THEOZ, they’ve given this some extra bursts of pyro to really emphasise the chorus, and give it that extra oomph towards the end. You can see pictures from Victor’s rehearsal below.
Tennessee Tears – ‘Now I Know’
From pop to country, Tennessee Tears change up the sound of the Semi Final so far with ‘Now I Know’. This genre has been pretty popular in Melodifestivalen in recent editions, so there’s no reason to write this one off just yet. It has that familiar, nostalgic feel – amplified by the lyrics – that really helps the audience connect to it.
They’ve kept this fairly similar to the heat, adding in a gold curtain of pyro rain to add something a little extra that it was maybe missing back in Heat 3. We also see some more interaction between Jonas and Tilda, which helps to convey the storytelling a lot better. Noticeably, they also seemed to have better acoustics in the arena today too, which really helped make the song more powerful, alongside some great vocals. You can see pictures of their rehearsal below.
Elov & Beny – ‘Raggen Går’
Back with their bop ‘Raggen Går’, Elov & Beny transform the stage yet again into their retro-themed journey. This song has been doing well on streaming platforms since its release just under a month ago, and the viewers who may not connect too much to Tennessee Tears’ more mature song will love the light-hearted and upbeat nature of this one in the running order.
There’s been a couple of changes in the semi-final. Firstly we get some new pictures of the duo on the LED screen, as well as a lot more pyro, which makes the final chorus a lot more impressive. They’re just super fun to watch, and all of the nerves from the heat have gone, letting them really enjoy their time on stage. Could this go through? There is a possibility! The changes have helped it to stand out, and younger audiences will definitely gravitate towards it. You can see pictures of their rehearsal below.
Melanie Wehbe – ‘For The Show’
Melanie Wehbe proved she’s not just a talented writer, but also a great singer and performer back in Heat 3, seeing herself advance to the semi-final this weekend. She got a lot of love on social media for her vocals especially, which were pretty note-perfect throughout her performance on the night, and seeing her take center stage was really appreciated. Her semi-final performance takes the pace back down, and as the only real ‘ballad’ here it puts her in a great position to go through.
There aren’t any changes to Melanie’s performance, as she keeps it identical to the heat. The main focus here is her, the song’s message, and her vocal ability, which means the staging takes a bit of a backseat. The stage is filled with golden light throughout, and the camera focuses solely on Melanie. She has spoken about the song’s intimate feel and that’s definitely what we get from both of her performances in the contest so far. You can see images from Melanie’s rehearsal below.
Nordman – ‘Släpp alla sorger’
Nordman very almost made it directly to the final before being pipped to the post by Paul Rey during the last few votes, but they’ve been in the semi-final before (albeit 15 years ago), so they’re completely relaxed on stage. They gave a good performance in Heat 3 and the folk sound of ‘Släpp alla sorger‘ will be sure to stand out in this pop-heavy semi. With a chorus you can sing along with, it has an anthemic, classic Melfest feel which really resonates with audiences at home.
Their rehearsal has some slight changes in the performance, mainly the addition of heavy smoke that’s blown around the stage by fans. This really helps the atmosphere of the song come through, as it fills the stage so it looks less empty than it did in the heat. The vocals are also a lot better and have seen significant improvement since the heat two weeks ago. This is definitely one to watch and could sneak into next week’s final. You can see pictures from Nordman’s rehearsal below!
Kiana – ‘Where Did You Go’
Kiana celebrated her birthday on Saturday by qualifying for the semi-final! Whilst she is just 16 years old, she performed with impressive confidence and energy that really wowed all ages at home and nearly saw her head into the final. ‘Where Did You Go’ is a song that we’ve seen Swedish audiences gravitate toward before, and that slick, teen pop production did just that. We open and close the semi-final with two of the youngest contestants remaining in the competition and it’s safe to say they both do a fantastic job.
Kiana doesn’t change her rehearsal at all from last week’s heat, although the lighting does look a lot better and brighter, which helps her to stand out, especially at the start when she’s alone on stage. This is one of the favorites to get through and it’s not hard to see why. She really does deserve a lot of credit for her performance and it would be a great addition to the final. You can see images of Kiana’s rehearsal below
With the final next Saturday, four of these songs will qualify and join those who directly went from their heats to complete the lineup. The songs and artists already in the final are:
‘Where You Are (Sávežan)’ – Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Arc North ft. Adam Woods
‘Rhythm Of My Show’ – Tone Sekelius
‘Never Give Up’ – Maria Sur
‘On My Way’ – Panetoz
‘Air’ – Marcus & Martinus
‘Royals’ – Paul Rey
‘Tattoo’ – Loreen
‘Six Feet Under’ – Smash Into Pieces
So there we go! The rehearsals for the semi final are over. On March 4th 2023, 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!