Sweden: Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Arc North feat. Adam Woods and Tone Sekelius are the two direct finalists of the First Heat of Melodifestivalen 2023!

Ninety minutes ago, the second show for the First Heat of Melodifestivalen 2023, started off on SVT and SVT Play. And we are here to share the results of the night with you!

The two numbers that qualify directly to the finals are Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Arc North feat. Adam Woods with the song “Where You Are (Sávežan)” and Tone Sekelius with the song “Rhythm Of My Show” and we will get to see them perform their songs live, on the 11th of March, when the finals will take place at Friends Arena.

But how things developed during the night?

The show

Jesper Rönndahl and Farah Abadi will present Melodifestivalen 2023. All restrictions were lifted this year and the heats will follow the touring concept again, after SVT had pulled back last year due to health restrictions in Sweden, with the finals being held at Friends Arena!

With the opening of the contest in Göteborg, Saturday February the 4th, Melodifestivalen will be held in Linköping, Lidköping, Malmö, Örnsköldsvik and then in Stockholm on the 11th of March.

Jesper and Farah are at the arena and everything is ready to begin! It’s time to face the music!

Shirley Clamp and DJ Trexx open the show with a medley of songs!

The performances

  • Tone Sekelius –Rhythm Of My Show 

Tone Sekelius is first up on stage to perform her song “Rhythm Of My Show“. She kind of gives off Alvaro Estrella vibes, but more poppy rather than Latin. She’s dazzling on stage, vocally very much improved. The staging very beautiful and modern, red and purple dominate with a bit of pyro too! She seems more focused on what she’s doing on stage, her choreography is on point!

Photo: SVT/Alma Bengtsson

  • Loulou LaMotte –Inga sorger

Loulou LaMotte performs second with her song “Inga Sorger“! Loulou in a green dress in an uplifting mid-tempo song that is not in the style we were used to with her appearances with the Mammas, it’s more like a schlager! Vocally she seemed a bit off, maybe tired? Maybe she had issues with her in-ear? Alone on stage and static, with a fan blowing her hair and dress with a black background and lots going on in terms of lights and flashes, the staging fits the song perfectly.

Photo: SVT/Alma Bengtsson

  • Rejhan –Haunted

Rejhan, he is the youngest contestant of this year’s Melodifestivalen, up on stage third in order, with his song “Haunted”. Initially, he is completely alone on stage. The song gives off something between Angelino and John Lundvik vibes, especially with the small lights that the crowd holds, it reminds me of the staging of Anglavakt last year. He’s very much improved vocally and he doesn’t give you the impression that you’re hearing the voice of a boy at his age. Later, a background dancer joins him up on stage.

Photo: SVT/Alma Bengtsson

  • Elov & Beny –Raggen går

Elov & Beny appear fourth with their song “Raggen går“! The staging reminds me a bit of of “Grease” and maybe “Police Academy“, something between 80s and 90s vibes, their retro style with lots of pyro! There is a car on stage, dancers and both artists. Vocally very good, in a very joyful and uplifting song. In the middle of their performance, they storm in the crowds, they have a prop ticket office in the middle of the crowd seats. This song didn’t impress me in the first place, however, having watched it right in Scandinavium, it certainly has the crowd effect, it is so catchy! I can’t just describe their stage presence, over text in here, can’t get over it! They got something, like the effect Medina had on the crowd last year! The song gets deeply and madly stuck in your head, even if you can’t speak Swedish! I was singing along: “Åh raggen går där hon kommer ifrån… vi höjer basen och dunkar plåt!” doing the Epadunk move! It’s all in the attitude you have when you’re driving!

Photo: SVT/Alma Bengtsson

  • Victor Crone –Diamonds

Coming up fifth on stage is the loveable Victor Crone, with his song Diamonds! He is completely alone on stage in a staging with intense changes in the lights and the background LED screen, lots of close ups into his face, that all match his song. Diamonds could easily be a song composed by the Swedish DJ, Avicii, a bit toned down than the Avicii style though. Always captivating on screen, with a simple but impressive performance and vocals on point!

Photo: SVT/Alma Bengtsson

  • Eva Rydberg & Ewa Roos –Länge leve livet

Sixth number for today, Eva Rydberg & Ewa Roos with their song “Länge leve livet”! Eva and Ewa, the loveable duo, shining brighter than the sun, all dressed in gold, surrounded by dancers in a joyful old style song, reminds me something between the old times of 20s and 30s. They got excellent vocals; they pull off their dance moves. Their choreography could easily become a TikTok trend! The ending of their song features an anticipated key change, that makes you love the song and both a of them bit more! ICONS!

Photo: SVT/Alma Bengtsson

  • Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Arc North feat.Adam Woods –Where You Are (Sávežan) 

Last number for today, Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Arc North and Adam Woods with their song “Where You Are (Sávežan)“. Ahybrid song, mixing a bit of Sámi joik and EDM, strongly reminds me of Keiino and “Spirit in the Sky” (Norway 2019) and some of Avicii’s songs. They’re quite good vocally I must say, and their combo was a perfect match! The staging features an enormous stage-on-stage prop, reminds me of the massive props usually Marvin Dietmann puts up on stage for the countries he does creative direction. There are lots of lights, images of nature appear between shots like flashbacks. There’s also a dancer joining Jon doing his moves.

Photo: SVT/Alma Bengtsson

After all the performances are complete, there’s a recap of all the numbers of the show, as usual.

The Intervals

Before the first voting round, Jesper Rönndahl appears dressed as a big baloon, almost naked. He warned us for nudity in the press conference earlier today, who would’ve known he meant it!

Right from the greenroom, Cornelia Jakobs is performing her winning entry last year at Melodifestivalen 2022, her song “Hold me Closer“.

The first voting round

The first direct qualifier to the finals is: Where You Are (Sávežan) – Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Arc North feat. Adam Woods

Winners of viewer age-bands

Winner of the age-band 3-9 years old is: Rhythm Of My Show – Tone Sekelius

Winner of the age-band 10-15 years old is: Rhythm Of My Show – Tone Sekelius

Winner of the age-band 16-29 years old is: Rhythm Of My Show – Tone Sekelius

Winner of the age-band 30-44 years old is: Rhythm Of My Show – Tone Sekelius

Winner of the age-band 45-59 years old is: Rhythm Of My Show – Tone Sekelius

Winner of the age-band 60-74 years old is: Rhythm Of My Show – Tone Sekelius

Winner of the age-band 75+ years old is: Diamonds – Victor Crone

Winner of the televoting is: Rhythm Of My Show – Tone Sekelius

Final Results

·       Direct qualifiers

First voting round winner: Where You Are (Sávežan) – Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Arc North feat. Adam Woods
Second voting round winner: Rhythm Of My Show – Tone Sekelius

·       Qualifiers at the semi-final

First qualifier: Diamonds – Victor Crone
Second qualifier: Raggen går – Elov & Beny

See you next Saturday, after the second heat, when you will have the chance to be informed in detail about the results, as soon as they are announced on TV!

Stay tuned at Eurovisionfun, for all the latest developments regarding Melodifestivalen 2023 and the Swedish entry for Eurovision 2023!

Source: SVT
Photo: SVT/Alma Bengtsson
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