You are currently viewing πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ͺ Melodifestivalen 2024: Grand Final Rehearsal Review
Image Credit: SVT // Melodifestivalen // Stina Stjernkvist

It’s finally here – the Grand Final of Melodifestiavlen 2024 is upon us! On Saturday, March 9th, we’ll head to Friends Arena in Stockholm, where 12 artists will compete for their opportunity to represent Sweden on home soil at Eurovision this May.

After the conclusion of Heat 5 and the Finalkval on Saturday, SVT revealed the running order, which goes as follows…

  1. Maria Sur – ‘When I’m Gone’
  2. Jay Smith – ‘Back To My Roots’
  3. Lisa Ajax – ‘Awful Liar’
  4. Smash Into Pieces – ‘Heroes Are Calling’
  5. Cazzi Opeia – ‘Give My Heart A Break’
  6. Annika Wickihalder – ‘Light’
  7. Marcus & Martinus – ‘Unforgettable’
  8. Dotter – ‘It’s Not Easy To Write A Love Song’
  9. Medina – ‘Que Sera’
  10. LIAMOO – ‘Dragon’
  11. Jacqline – ‘Effortless’
  12. Danny Saucedo – ‘Happy That You Found Me’

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 this year’s final rehearsals…

Maria Sur – ‘When I’m Gone’

Maria Sur has gained a lot of support from fans since winning the second round of Heat 2, and despite performing first β€˜When I’m Gone’ manages to hold up against the rest of the final lineup. They’ve added even more laser lights to her stage show, and now at one point during the bridge, she turns her back to the audience which may have a nice, atmospheric appearance on camera when Friends Arena is full on Saturday evening. The LED and lighting in Stockholm for all the artists have seemed much clearer and brighter – which benefits a performance like β€˜When I’m Gone’, which relied heavily on both elements. Maria has never missed vocally in any of her performances, and her rehearsals are no different – the way she’s grown as an artist just one year on from her debut in Melodifestivalen is amazing to see, and if this is what she’s bringing on her second attempt, there’s an exciting future ahead for her.

Jay Smith – ‘Back To My Roots’

Jay Smith controversially made it through in the tiebreak during the Finalkval, but β€˜Back To My Roots’ has been streamed more than even some of the favourites in this week’s Final – and Jay has fully earned his place in the final. β€˜Back To My Roots’ has the same staging as we saw just last week in Heat 5, and Jay, ever the professional, performs every run-through with perfect vocals despite some trouble with the mic on his 3rd performance. This could do better than you think on Saturday.

Lisa Ajax – ‘Awful Liar’

Lisa Ajax first performed β€˜Awful Liar’ way back in Heat 1 in MalmΓΆ, getting through to the final in the second voting round. Whilst we don’t have any major staging changes, we do have some closer camera shots of Lisa in places, allowing a lot more focus to be on her besides the dancers. This is beautifully performed and certainly appeals to those looking for something a bit more understated than the big favourites in the final – meaning Lisa could place higher than expected on Saturday.

Smash Into Pieces – ‘Heroes Are Calling’

Smash Into Pieces won Heat 1 with β€˜Heroes Are Calling’, and whilst they’ve kept much of what worked for them back in MalmΓΆ, this now feels like a more cohesive group performance. They’ve changed a few of the camera cuts to include more visibility of their drummer β€˜Apocalypse DJ’, who’s sat behind and above the rest of the band for the entire performance. Lead singer Chris vocally nails it in every single run-through, taking on the big note in the last chorus pretty perfectly in every run-through. Smash Into Pieces came 3rd in Melfest last year, and are certainly not out of the race for the trophy just yet. As the only song of its kind in the final, this could have the same impact β€˜Six Feet Under’ did last year – but only time will tell.

Cazzi Opeia – ‘Give My Heart A Break’

Cazzi Opeia has kept everything 100% the same for the final, so you’ll need to remind yourself of her Heat 3 performance if you want an idea of how this will look in Stockholm. The rehearsals for this looked a lot cleaner however than the show we got in VΓ€xjΓΆ, and Cazzi is a fantastic performer who sells β€˜Give My Heart A Break’ extremely well. This was the second Heat 3 winner, but its bright and fun staging stands out amongst a long stretch of darker, more serious performances.

Annika Wickihalder – ‘Light’

Much like Jay and Cazzi, Annika doesn’t change much from her performance of β€˜Light’. The biggest difference here is that backing vocalists join the stage for the bridge and final chorus – helping to fill the empty space and bring the staging together. Coming before the favourites in the contest may be a tough running order position, but Annika really pulls out a showstopping rehearsal with each run-through.

Marcus & Martinus – ‘Unforgettable’

Marcus & Martinus are this years big favourites to take home the Songbird trophy on Saturday night, so the pressure is certainly on. This doesn’t bother the twins however – they’ve been performing since they were 10, and by this point are used to these kinds of stages. β€˜Unforgettable’ doesn’t change much from last weekend, the camera cuts are a little bit sharper and their performance is a little more playful than what we saw in Heat 5. They managed to come 2nd last year when Loreen was pulling strides ahead of the other competitors in the odds, and now Marcus & Martinus are also in this position all eyes will be on them to see if they can deliver a similar result. Even in the rehearsals, you can sense a real strong feeling of determination from them, making β€˜Unforgettable’ come across even better on TV than it did in Karlstad.

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

Thankfully, Dotter’s voice has returned ahead of the final – allowing her to show off her vocals to viewers. There are some changes here that really boost the performance beyond what we saw back in Eskilstuna – in her heat, we started with a close-up of Dotter, who was lying on top of a piano. In the final, she still lies on the piano, but this time we have an overhead camera shot showing us some silver LED lines on the floor – these tie in with the new decorations of silver fabric around the edge of the piano, and draw inwards towards the piano as the camera zooms into Dotter. Beyond the first verse, the performance remains relatively similar to her Heat, although there are a few changes with the lighting which highlights both the new piano decals and Dotter herself. β€˜It’s Not Easy To Write A Love Song’ coming between two upbeat tracks – one that’s this year’s runaway favourite (β€˜Unforgettable’) and another with huge televote appeal (β€˜Que Sera’) – could have impacts, but the gentleness of a song like this serves it well in this running order, especially now the staging has been elevated.

Medina – ‘Que Sera’

’Que Sera’ has been the most popular song on Swedish Spotify since its release on Saturday, despite Medina only just making it through as Direct Finalists. Much like with β€˜In I Dimman’ in 2022, they’re gaining a lot of momentum – and despite this not being too high in the odds they could still take it, especially with televote support. The staging remains the same, but the performance seems a lot more polished and rehearsed compared to what we saw last week. Medina have stated their participation this year isn’t about winning, but they look set to potentially do just that should everything go their way in Friends Arena on March 9th. Sami & Ali both look to be enjoying every second of their rehearsals – the energy from the press in the room is surely a factor in that. The vocals are much stronger too.

LIAMOO – ‘Dragon’

For LIAMOO, there are no real big changes with the β€˜Dragon’ performance. We first saw him sail through to the final as the winner of Heat 2, and since then he, like Medina, has been gaining a lot of momentum ahead of Saturday’s performance – making him one of the ones to watch. The biggest difference we’ve noticed is the lighting, which seems much brighter than it did in Heat 2 – and, despite failing to work during the live show in Gothenburg, the section in the bridge where he was supposed to be holding fire in his hand a few weeks ago now works. Vocally strong and well-performed – LIAMOO could be walking away with the trophy on Saturday night.

Jacqline – ‘Effortless’

Jacqline is the only 2024 Melodifestivalen finalist to win her heat on her debut, and with β€˜Effortless’ now being a fan favourite and sitting in the top 3 of the odds, this may be our winner. The staging and choreography are the same as Heat 3, with some closer camera cuts here and there. She seems more comfortable and at ease on stage, and is performing with a lot more confidence. Jacqline had to use playback during her rehearsals to save her vocals for the jury show & grand final, so we hope she’s getting enough rest to perform just as well as she did back in her heat.

Danny Saucedo – ‘Happy That You Found Me’

Going in as this year’s favourite, Danny Saucedo’s chances have slightly fallen since he performed in Heat 4 – but that doesn’t mean he’s to be counted out – he’s the most successful artist Melfest-wise left in the contest this year. He’s now in a new outfit – a black, ripped jumper and leather-look trousers. There’s some backing vocal support in the chorus and improved camera angles. We also have an update to the LED – during the part where the three pillars appear to be in β€œruins”, in the heat we saw them start growing vines during the pre-chorus – now this has been changed slightly, with this section instead keeping a similar principle but with more greenery and flowers. Danny also covers much more of the stage – which was one of the critiques from his heat – and performs with a similar confidence we’ve seen from him in his previous Melfest attempts. His vocals are on top form (at one point, he changes the key for the final note), and he looks really happy to be back performing in Friends Arena. There are still no dancers and no pyro, and we can still see the prop fall on camera – though this is now done earlier and looks less like a β€œmistake” – something many thought during Heat 4. β€˜Happy That You Found Me’ may no longer be the favourite, but you can never count Danny out of contention in Melodifestivalen.

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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