Sweden: The general rehearsal of the Third Melodifestivalen 2023 Heat! (Live)

The general rehearsal of the Third Melodifestivalen 2023 Heat has just started. We are happy to be watching it live, at

Sparbanken Arena in Lidköping, Sweden. We will be covering this rehearsal, describing in detail what is happening during the show, for you to follow the entire process.

This article is being updated in real-time, all you need to do is hit the refresh button on your browser and all the rest is on us!

We will keep you up to date with all the latest information and images off this semi-final rehearsal, allowing you to get a glimpse of what you will get to see tomorrow February 18, at 20:00 CET, when you watch the actual show of the heat, on SVT and SVT Play.

The show

Jesper Rönndahl and Farah Abadi will present 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 18th, Melodifestivalen will take place in Lidköping, then Malmö and Örnsköldsvik follow and finally the final show 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!

Initially they go through the direct finalists and the semi-finalists and then they show us this show’s contestants! 

Dolly Style now perform their song “Habibi“, past Melodifestivalen entry, with Farah joining them with a colourful wig. So funny!

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.

According to my personal taste, this would be a song that I would have on my daily playlist. But would that qualify directly to the finals? I think it’s highly unlikely. He’s gonna be a semi-finalist or a NQ most likely.

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. However I don’t see this qualifying either to the finals or the semi-final show.

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.

Would she now qualify? Not to the finals, but maybe to the semi? Who knows!

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. As a whole, this performance looks powerful and gives me DTF vibes. Let’s see.

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.

Now would she qualify? Sadly, I don’t think so. Next time, cause there will be a next time. Once you pop, you can’t stop with mello. 😉

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.

Maybe this one qualifies to the semi-final, the crowd really enjoyed it and gave it a big round of applause.

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.

This is definitely a DTF number! If this doesn’t qualify to the finals, it would be very very strange! A big contender for the win (at least till next heat in Malmö, when Loreen participates).

Alma Bengtsson / SVT

After all the performances are complete, the presenters interview the contestants and after that there’s a recap of all the numbers of the show, as usual. Afro-Dite were the performers before the announcement of the direct finalist!

The first voting round

The virtual direct qualifier to the finals is: Casanovas – Så kommer känslorna tillbaka

Second voting round

Virtual winner of the age-band 3-9 years old is: Nordman – Släpp alla sorger

Virtual winner of the age-band 10-15 years old is: Marcus & Martinus – Air

Virtual winner of the age-band 16-29 years old is: Paul Rey – Royals

Virtual winner of the age-band 30-44 years old is: Melanie Wehbe – For The Show

Virtual winner of the age-band 45-59 years old is: Laurell – Sober

Virtual winner of the age-band 60-74 years old is: Nordman – Släpp alla sorger

Virtual winner of the age-band 75+ years old is: Marcus & Martinus – Air

Virtual winner of the televoting is: Paul Rey – Royals

A prediction

I believe that Marcus & Martinus and Nordman  will directly qualify to the finals. For the semi-final qualifiers, it will probably be Paul Rey, Melanie Wehbe or Ida-Lova (these are in random order). There’s only one day left, we’re less than 24 hours away from the actual show!

Which two of today’s competing artists do you think will be the direct qualifiers to the finals, on the 11th of March?

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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