Forget the twelve days of Christmas. For us pop fans it’s the six weeks of Melodifestivalen that are truly the most wonderful time of the year. And this weekend in Gothenburg, it ALL kicks off again.

Seven artists perform seven songs. And after a viewer vote, two will proceed directly to the final, another two to the second chance round, and the bottom three get eliminated from the competition.

Wherever you are in the world, you’ll be able to watch the full ninety minute show live on SVT Play at 20:00 CET on Saturday night. Until then, follow us over on Twitter at @scandipop, for updates on the songs, rehearsals, odds, and scandals.

But for now – here is your guide to Heat 1 of Melodifestivalen. The artists, the songs, and in the order that they’ll perform.

EDIT: You can now listen to 60 seconds of each of the songs right here, AND watch 30 seconds of each of their Thursday first stage rehearsals right here.

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Boris René – Her Kiss
(Tim Larsson, Tobias Lundgren)
Boris returns with a song written for him by the same two chaps who penned his song last year, ‘Put Your Love On Me’. That sent him to the final via Andra Chansen, and was a huge Spotify hit. So it’s not a surprise to see him back. It would also be no surprise whatsoever to us if he found himself in the Top 4 of this heat, too. Boris says that since last year’s participation, he’s been getting a lot of dance practice in. So we’re expecting the former footballer to be showcasing plenty of that on stage.

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Adrijana – Amare
(Martin Tjärnberg, Adrijana Krasniqi)
19 year old hip-hop artist Adrijana makes her debut in Melodifestivalen with ‘Amare’. She describes it as a love song, and says that when she first finished it, ‘Amare’ sounded like an obvious hit single. So much so, that people she played it to kept suggesting she enter it into Melodifestivalen. And so here we are. Earlier this month Adrijana released ‘Nån Som Mig’, and will put out her debut EP after the contest.

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Dinah Nah – One More Night
(Thomas G:son, Jimmy Jansson, Dinah Nah, Dr Alban)
Queenah Nah joins forces with the same guys who were behind ‘Make Me…La La La’, a finalist back in 2015. Thomas G:son is on board this time around too though. So we’re expecting a banger that’s as big as last time, but even better. We’re delighted to see her competing again, as she clearly knows her audience and what they want. Early rehearsal pictures show that she’s got a six person dance troupe lined up for us. So we’re hoping for BAGS of energy. Again!

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De Vet Du – Road Trip
(Johan Gunterberg, Christopher Martland)
An impossibly handsome comedy act of four chaps, who have managed to amass tens of millions of Spotify streams of their singles, hundreds of thousands of subscribers to their YouTube channel, two actual full length albums, and a televised comedy series. Based on past form, we’re expecting Mange Makers meets Samir & Viktor meets actually quite quality dance beats. And the biggest threat to our favourite names in this heat.

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Charlotte Perrelli – Mitt Liv
(Charlotte Perrelli, Lars Hägglund)
The schlager legend is back. But not as you know her, unfortunately. Despite promising us early last year during a Melodifestivalen interval act that “här står jag, ensam kvar“, she’s in fact turned her back on the schlager that she made such a show of saving less than a year ago. ‘Mitt Liv’ is a ballad which she wrote herself along with the guy behind Sara Varga’s ‘Spring För Livet’. She describes it as stripped back, and that she’s not here to win – but merely to promote her new album. We’re expecting a rethread of the horribly misjudged single that she released at the end of last year (you can search it out yourself, it’s not making these pages – ever). And while we respect her for doing her own thing on her own terms, we’ll be looking elsewhere in this heat for our tunes, thanks. ‘Mitt Live’ will be joined by half a dozen other singles, and an album – all released through February.

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Ace Wilder – Wild Child
(Peter Boström, Thomas G:son, Ace Wilder)
This one has a flawless record at Melodifestivalen, thus far never finishing outside of the Top 3 in the final, the two times she’s competed. And she’s also never failed to bring with her an absolute banger for the ages. This time she teams up with the two gents who were behind Loreen’s ‘Euphoria’. And so on paper, with all that considered, we have no reason to believe that she won’t find herself in the upper echelons of the final leaderboard once more. We just hope that the Swedish voting public won’t be fatigued by the undeniable fact that a really obvious internationally successful popstar, isn’t yet an internationally successful popstar. And therefore something’s amiss perhaps. Still, she says she’s back so soon because she actually sent this song in to compete at Melodifestivalen 2016. So to be given the chance to take part with it now, she couldn’t turn it down. Give her one more shot guys. This could be her year…

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Nano – Hold On
(Nano Omar, Gino Yonan, Ayak, Carl Rydén, Christoffer Belaieff, Rikard de Bruin, David Francis Jackson)
This guy broke through in a big way in 2015 with the song ‘Lion’, and went on to have an even bigger hit last year with ‘Perfect Melody’. So it’s a bit of a coup that SVT have got him into Melodifestivalen so soon. He’s riding a wave of radio and streaming success, so while he won’t be as well known to MF viewers as most others in this heat, he’s not to be counted out. He describes ‘Hold On’ as an infectious, motivational anthem,

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