You are currently viewing πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ͺ Melodifestivalen 2024: Heat 5 Rehearsal Review
Credit: Melodifestivalen // Stina Stjernkvist // SVT

The Heat 5 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 5 rehearsals so far…

Marcus & Martinus – ‘Unforgettable’

Opening up this heat are Marcus & Martinus with ‘Unforgettable‘, and it’s not hard to see why it’s top of the odds. Whilst the song has drawn comparisons with last year’s entry ‘Air‘, the staging takes the song in a completely different direction. There are two LED walls on either side of the twins, which are formed of a grid-like structure to match the back LED screen and floor, creating a corridor set-up. On Thursday, their background was mainly black, with red lines and lighting appearing in sections. This was entirely revamped on Friday, with more white lighting and LEDs coming in for the first section, allowing the TV audience to see Marcus & Martinus much better. The chorus shows a white countdown in the background, which then changes into the song title. They’re joined by dancers in the first chorus, who disappear for the second verse and reappear for the rest of the song – this also sees the corridor like structure open up, so everyone on stage has the space to perform. The breakdown in the bridge shows the background ‘malfunctioning’, and just like ‘Air’, there’s a build-up just before the song ends. Is this our winner? Marcus & Martinus seem much more confident and determined this time around and are vocally much stronger. They certainly have the fanbase and the momentum, but only time will tell whether they’ll lift the trophy next Saturday. It’s certainly contending for that DTF spot, and feels very ‘Sweden at Eurovision’ – slick, professional, well produced and a chart hit.

Chelsea Muco – ‘Controlla’

Chelsea’s LED shows pink, purple and yellow gradients with palm trees and lighting in similar colours. She’s joined by 6 dancers, wearing orange, white and great, as she stands central in a red two-piece outfit. She dances along with them throughout the chorus, which has impressively no impact on her vocal performance. During the bridge, we get an overhead shot of Chelsea, who’s standing in a yellow circle, before she heads to the front of the stage for the final chorus. ‘Controlla’ really stands out in this year’s lineup – the afrobeat genre is something we don’t see often in the contest and one that’s done incredibly well here.

Jay Smith – ‘Back To My Roots’

Jay Smith has been in the industry for 14 years, so we could count on him for a reliable vocal performance – which is exactly what we got. The staging for this is just a band set up with Jay central, playing his guitar. There’s a structure behind him that reads the song title ‘Back To My Roots’ in red, with orange and blue lighting and smoke to create an ambience. There’s a clap along bridge which sees the band and Jay move forward to the front of the stage. Country is an unpredictable genre in this contest, but definitely has an audience out there who’ll really enjoy this song.

Elecktra – ‘Banne maj’

We start with Elecktra standing on some stairs with diamonds in the background – which remain throughout the performance. The lighting is fuschia, tying in with her dress. There are four dancers dressed in suits, which she pushes away at the start of the second verse – they return to help Elecktra with her outfit reveal, which is now a pink and green mini dress – this didn’t go too smoothly on Thursday, but was much cleaner during Friday’s run-through. This song doesn’t require any big vocal moments, but what it does require is stage presence, which Elecktra has in abundance. There’s a small spoken word bridge, where she’s handed a glittering stick with a parrot on before we get some pyro rain for the last chorus. If you’re familiar with and enjoy her previous releases you’ll like this – ‘Banne Maj‘ is the perfect addition to her discography, and feels like something we’d see in the 2000s editions of Melodifestivalen whilst also being a modern take on drag at the contest.

Annika Wickihalder – ‘Light’

Annika begins standing on a completely dark stage in sparkling silver and grey, with white lights and smoke on either side of her. There are also two geometric towers on stage, blocking the lights coming through. The white turns into a warmer, golden tone as we get to the bridge and she turns her back to the audience. There really isn’t a lot of staging here as all the focus rests on Annika – she’s vocally perfect with every single run-through across both rehearsal days, and despite not having a lot of moving parts and being quite static in production the stage never feels empty or like something is ‘missing’, which is a real testament to the presence she possesses.

Medina – ‘Que Sera’

We start with a dancer on a neon bike, before switching to Sami, who’s crouched on top of one of 6 green speakers – they light up with pink and white lights throughout ‘Que Sera‘. The LED screen shows a street at dusk. As we hit the pre-chorus we see Ali, who’s on stage, and 6 dancers. Sami makes his way down from the speakers for the second verse, appearing by opening up one of the speakers – which are also used by dancers for the second pre-chorus. We have a breakdown in the bridge, before a big key change and a lot of pyro to sell that final chorus. Medina stands back on the speakers for the final section of the song, waving their arms along with dancers – and hopefully the crowd too on Saturday night! This looked a lot tidier on Friday and was vocally better than Thursday’s run-through. Could this go all the way? There’s a lot of potential here, and would be a great host entry for Sweden this May. It’s an anthemic song and a brilliant closer to the heats this year – we’ll likely be seeing this grab a DTF spot this Saturday.

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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