Tonight in Sweden, Melodifestivalen 2019 got underway with the first semi-final live from Gothenburg.
Seven acts took to the stage in the Scandinavium Arena. The competing entries, alongside the final results, were:
- Nano – Chasing Rivers (Andra Chansen)
- High 15 – No Drama (6th Place)
- Wiktoria – Not with Me (Final)
- Zeana feat. Anis don Demina – Mina bränder (5th place)
- Arja Saijonmaa – Mina fyra årstider (7th place)
- Mohombi – Hello (Final)
- Anna Bergendahl – Ashes to Ashes (Andra Chansen)
Many of tonight’s performers will be familiar names to fans of the contest. Anna Bergendahl already won Melodifestivalen in 2010 with This Is My Life. However, she is the only Swedish artist who failed to qualify for the Grand Final of Eurovision after winning the national selection. She finished in 11th place in the second-semi final that year in Oslo, narrowly missing qualification for the final.
Nano was the runner up in Melodifestivalen 2017 and Wiktoria has also twice reached the final of the contest.
Tonight’s show was the first with a new voting system. The voting public at home were split into 8 different “colour” categories with the heart at the bottom of the screen changing colour to reflect the age category in which a particular performance was most popular.
The final of Melodifestivalen 2019 will take place on Saturday 9 March at the Friends Arena in Stockholm. The remaining schedule is as follows:
- Semi-Final 1 – Gothenburg – February 2
- Semi-Final 2 – Malmö – February 9
- Semi-Final 3 – Leksand – February 16
- Semi-Final 4 – Lidköping – February 23
- Andra Chansen/Second Chance – Nyköping- March 2
- Final – Stockholm – March 9
This years contest is has four hosts: Eric Saade, Sarah-Dawn Finer, Kodojo Akolor and Marika Carlsson.
The winner of the contest will represent Sweden in Eurovision in Tel Aviv in May. They will succeed Benjamin Ingrosso with Dance You Off, who finished in 7th place in the 2018 contest in Lisbon. The producer of Melodifestivalen 2019, Christer Bjorkman, is reported to have said that he thinks at least four of the competing entries this year are capable of reaching the top 5 in Eurovision.
Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest
Sweden debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1958 and has gone on to be one of the contest’s most successful countries. The country has won the contest six times, the most recent being in 2015. Sweden’s first victory came in 1974 when ABBA won the contest in Brighton with “Waterloo”. Since missing out on the final in 2010, Sweden has gone on to finish 3rd twice and has won the contest twice, only in 2013 did the country place outside of the top 10 in the final.