Sweden: Marcus & Martinus and Paul Rey are the two direct finalists of the Third Heat of Melodifestivalen 2023!

Ninety minutes ago, the show for the Third 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 Marcus & Martinus and Paul Rey which we will get to see 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 are presenting Melodifestivalen 2023. The heats are following 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 next show of the contest on Saturday February the 25th, Melodifestivalen will take place in Malmö then Örnsköldsvik will follow and finally the final show in Stockholm on the 11th of March.

Dolly Style performed their 2019 entry “Habibi“, with Farah also joining with a colourful wig.

Photo: Alma Bengtsson / SVT

The numbers

  • Paul Rey – Royals

First up on stage, Paul Rey with his song “Royals”.

His song is a pop anthemic song, that doesn’t require any superb vocals, however, Paul delivers. He delivers voice, stage presence, some moves maybe and some fireworks in the process.

The staging is dark but features bright strobe lights and a led backdrop that shows words from the song lyrics, yellow rectangles, abstract art making Paul blend in with his jacket that is in black and white stripes. Dancers join him with a simple but powerful choreography.

Photo: Alma Bengtsson / SVT

  • Casanovas – Så kommer känslorna tillbaka

Next up, Casanovas with their song “Så kommer känslorna tillbaka”.

Their song is a typical Swedish schlager song, all five of them are on stage, each of them on a platform with spotlights all around. Vocally they’re all quite good I must admit.

Stagewise, there’s a backdrop video shown on the LED, initially shows their band name, reminding a Las Vegas sign in mainland US. The staging is nice and nostalgic of other times.

Photo: Alma Bengtsson / SVT

  • Melanie Wehbe – For The Show

Third on stage, it’s Melanie Wehbe with her song “For The Show”.

For the show is a mid-tempo power ballad, that you could easily listen to the radio, on your headphones while you’re on the move. Vocally she’s not that bad, but definitely could do much better. She pulled off the high note though, quite nicely and effortlessly.

Stage-wise, she is alone on stage, with a large light prop that at the end of her performance splits up into two pieces and the backdrop LED screen, showing octagon shapes, matching the prop. Quite simplistic but visually pleasing.

Photo: Alma Bengtsson / SVT

  • Nordman – Släpp alla sorger

Next up on stage, Nordman with their song “Släpp alla sorger”. Nordman have a powerful, pop, EDM with some folklore elements song, that reminds me of sound that I have listened in some Avicii songs. The song could have a crowd effect, but they are a bit static.

Regarding the staging, there’s a vulture at the back for starters, then there’s more birds, a scenery and more strobe lights and a green background.

Photo: Alma Bengtsson / SVT

  • Laurell – Sober

Now Laurell takes over the stage with her number, singing “Sober“.

After an SVT emergency meeting, the Canadian Laurel Barker had to change part of the lyrics of her song, so that she doesn’t mention a famous brand of vodka, as brands are not allowed to be promoted directly or indirectly by any of the performances.

Her signature Laurell Barker sound is now conquering the stage in Lidköping, with a nice uptempo and joyfull song, nice and spot-on vocals.

Stage-wise, there’s a galore of neon and colours, a video on the backdrop showing funky images, probably depicting how one feels when they’re high and delusional.

Photo: Alma Bengtsson / SVT

  • Ida-Lova – Låt hela stan se på

Next up on stage Ida-Lova  with the song “Låt hela stan se på“!

Now that’s a ballad entirely in Swedish, but full of sentiment that she puts through her eyes. Vocally she is impeccable. Nice high note there Ida, she did it!

Regarding the staging, it’s super simple but aesthetically pleasing. Nothing much is going on, either than herself performing and a large piece of fabric hanging off the stage ceiling. Many strobe lights that give room to more lights as she proceeds to the song.

Photo: Alma Bengtsson / SVT

  • Marcus & Martinus – Air

Last (but sure not least), the worldwide known duo Marcus & Martinus with their song “Air”.

This song is for me like the air that I’m breathing! I LOVE IT! I WANT IT! The song is a pop EDM banger, that one could vibe all day and night long! Both the guys are great vocally, except one tiny part of improvised adlibs. But other than that, this number is pure PERFECTION!

Stage-wise, I think it is a hybrid of Eric Saade’s “Every Minute” and last year’s entry “Bluffin” by LIAMOO, but in blue. The lights play an important role and make it even more visually pleasing, while the twins follow a light choreography with some contemporary dance moves.

Photo: Alma Bengtsson / SVT

Afro-Dite were the performers before the announcement of the direct finalist!

Photo: Alma Bengtsson / SVT

The Direct Qualifiers

First voting round winner: Marcus & Martinus – Air
Second voting round winner:Paul Rey – Royals


Second voting round 2nd place: Nordman – Släpp alla sorger
Second voting round 3rd place: Melanie Wehbe – For The Show

Second voting round results

Age-band 3-9 years old winner: Paul Rey – Royals

Age-band 10-15 years old winner: Paul Rey – Royals

Age-band 16-29 years old winner: Paul Rey – Royals

Age-band 30-44 years old winner: Paul Rey – Royals

Age-band 45-59 years old winner: Paul Rey – Royals

Age-band 60-74 years old winner: Nordman – Släpp alla sorger

Age-band 75+ years old winner: Paul Rey – Royals

Televoting winner: Nordman – Släpp alla sorger

See you next Saturday, after the third 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
Photos: SVT/Alma Bengtsson

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