You are currently viewing 🇸🇪 Melodifestivalen 2024: Heat 4 Rehearsal Review
Credit: Melodifestivalen // SVT // Stina Stjernkvist

The Heat 4 Rehearsals for Melodifestivalen 2024 are underway!

Phoenix has been given accreditation for this year’s Melodifestivalen by SVT, meaning we can bring you all the information you need about this year’s rehearsals!

Here are our thoughts on what we’ve seen from the Heat 4 rehearsals so far…

You can read all about the artists competing by clicking here – 🇸🇪 Sneak Peek: Melodifestivalen 2024 Heat 4

Albin Tingwall – ‘Done Getting Over You’

Albin Tingwall opens this heat with the pop track ‘Done Getting Over You’, which gets Heat 4 off to a strong start. He begins alone on stage, with the LED screen – which displays rainbow-like gradients – synced to his movements. There’s also a lot of blue, pink and purple lighting here. Two of Melfest’s house dancers join as soon as the chorus kicks in and remain until the end of the performance. Albin does some dancing along with them but mainly focuses on the vocals – he has some support from an off-stage backing vocalist in the chorus, but his voice is still clear to hear. Albin is relatively new to performing, and Thursday showed some evident nerves which had a small impact on his rehearsal. However, it is worth remembering that at just 20 years old, he’s one of the youngest performers in this year’s contest, and this is his first time in Melfest. That along with the added pressure of being on first can’t be easy, and he still does a great job at selling his song.

Friday was a big improvement – better vocals, stronger stage presence, timing improvements and more confidence really helped to sell the song. He also looked like he was enjoying it a lot more, which is always a positive sign!

Lia Larsson – ’30 KM/H’

If epa-dunk is your thing, then Lia Larsson has you covered! ’30 KM/H’ is super fun and keeps the energy of the heat going into our second song. Lia is in a pink, sparkly boiler suit with dancers in plain, orange suits. At the start, a strip of yellow LED comes down from the back screen to the floor, showing Lia in a silhouette, before she joins her dancers and the LED turns black, with pink and orange arrows. The lyrics to the chorus appear on screen before the drop, where the dancers perform around Lia. For the second verse a car appears on screen, and we get the impression that Lia is sitting within it next to a cartoon character, which she interacts with. The LED inverts for the final chorus, turning yellow with black lyrics. She’s vocally stable, although there’s a lot of backing support provided in the chorus. There were also a couple of timing issues on Thursday, although these have been tidied up during Friday’s run-through.

Her performances on Friday afternoon were much stronger – her personality really came across on TV, and she improved majorly with the choreography.

Dotter – ‘It’s Not Easy To Write A Love Song’

‘It’s Not Easy To Write A Love Song’ has very minimal staging – with just a piano, smoke and a few golden lights. Dotter begins lying on the piano, before sitting up for the chorus and second verse. For the second chorus, she stands up, and moves around the piano, before standing on top of it for the final chorus. This is a huge moment, and a really strong ballad to split up a very upbeat heat. The simplicity of this is one of its benefits – by putting the focus on Dotter, with no gimmicks or distractions, you can take in every single word she sings. This is yet another impressive entry from one of this year’s favourites and whilst the results of this heat will likely be pretty close this cannot be counted out of a DTF place, and may even be our Melodifestivalen 2024 winner.

Unfortunately, Dotter has had some problems with her voice, losing it during press interviews on Thursday – meaning she had to mime to a recorded track during her first run-through on Friday, and didn’t give it everything (understandably) during her second run – though she still sounded excellent albeit a little less powerful. We hope she’ll be ok to perform on Saturday, and that she’s getting as much rest possible to prepare for Heat 4.

SCARLET – ‘Circus X’

How do you elevate a song considered out of contention before the heat even begins? Exactly like this! SCARLET were not really on anyone’s radar pre-Melfest, but they definitely should be now. With arguably the most innovative staging of the year so far, ‘Circus X’ is certainly going to stand out on Saturday night – whether you’re into this darker, rockier genre or not. This begins with one of SCARLET on a swing holding a red ballon, lit in a singular white light which switches to red as she’s joined by the other member of the duo on stage. The lighting remains mainly red, with flashing white stage lights. There’s a lot of smoke behind them, as dancers run around the stage dressed in all black with masks and extremely long nails.

Where Dotter’s performance is boosted by minimalism, this is benefitted by how much is going on – look away, and you’ll miss something – there are so many camera cuts and changes in scenery that you need to keep your eyes glued to your screen. Before their participation was announced, it was rumoured they were bringing something never heard or seen before in Melfest, and that’s exactly what they’ve done. That does however mean we can’t predict a result for this, but it’d be a shame if we don’t see this at least getting to the semi-final vote. Vocally, this doesn’t require anything too demanding beyond one note towards the end, which has been hit in every rehearsal with ease.

Lasse Stefanz – ‘En sång om sommaren’

From the darkness to summertime, we have yet another big switch with Lasse Stefanz entry ‘En sång om sommaren’ straight after SCARLET. This is a nice feel-good song, with elements of country and dansband throughout. When it comes to staging, they’re stood on a wooden structure, which gives the appearance of planks above water, with a sunset-like background featuring some long grass and teasles. Similarly to what we said for Engmans Kapell a few weeks ago, it’s clear to see Lasse Stefanz are an experienced band – unfazed by the competition or performing, looking very relaxed throughout each rehearsal. This will be likely to pick up votes from those who prefer something much more easygoing than the other songs we have in this heat.

Danny Saucedo – ‘Happy That You Found Me’

Returning not just with a song in English, but a song closer to his older music and earlier Melfest entries we have Danny Saucedo, one of this year’s favourites to win. Beginning in just a single spotlight, circles appear on the LED floor with each note of the piano intro, before the camera lowers, giving us our first glimpse of an arch structure on stage, with stairs in front of it. LED lights start to appear on the archway as the screen shows a rising sun (reflecting the lyrics he’s singing at that time). Danny makes his way up the stairs and to the centre of the arch as all the lights switch on, and pulsate as we build to the first beat drop of ‘Happy That You Found Me‘. The lighting and LED turn white for the first chorus, before switching to blue, now showing the arch in ruins before returning to the rising sun. The second chorus sees a galaxy-style backdrop ‘flying’ towards the camera, before switching to clouds. The Arch falls to the ground for the final section, returning Danny to a single spotlight. Whilst Friday’s improved camera cuts and better movement across the stage from Danny allowed everything to feel a little less “static”, it does feel like this could do with a little extra oomph – such as pyro or dancers to fill some space on stage. Danny however has said he felt like he has always ‘hidden’ behind dancers in past Melodifestivalen’s, this time feeling more confident going out alone. We can trust him to sell the song by putting on a great show vocally and visually – his performance on Friday was much more relaxed, and he seemed happier when singing. We’ve seen elevation post-heat with performances when they reach Friends Arena, meaning we can’t count him out of the running just yet – despite our criticisms, this is contending for DTF this week.

Thank you to SVT, Melodifestivalen & Stina Stjernkvist for all of the images from this week’s rehearsals, and thank you to SVT for our accreditation for the show!

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