And those were the 28! Meaning we’ve now heard the winner. And in fact, last night’s Melodifestivalen heat gave us two potential winners – in the form of the songs by John Lundvik and Lisa Ajax.
Two deserved finalists, for sure. Awkward. Actually, one of them was cost their instant place in the final, via a bit of an upset – 16-year-old newcomer Bishara. Instead, Lisa Ajax will have to qualify to the final via Andra Chansen.
What did Bishara’s song sound like? It was the sound of a third of the population of Sweden saying “n’aawwww”, and collectively jabbing their soft-touch fingers on the voting app.
So a third potential winner from last night, then? Of the televote, perhaps. But that’s precisely why SVT have juries on board – people who traditionally won’t be swayed by what is essentially a very sweet school-assembly performance.
And the other finalist, John Lundvik? Now there’s a song and performance with huge Eurovision potential. An enormously uplifting and rousing hand-clapper of a package. And if John’s backing singers don’t enter Melodifestivalen 2020 as a girlband, they’re missing a really clever trick.
And heading to Andra Chansen? Lisa Ajax, with THE ballad of Melodifestivalen 2019, ‘Torn’, reminding us all of just why she was the winner of Swedish Idol a few years back. ‘Torn’ felt like the big popstar moment of an already quite big popstar. She’s joined there by Arvingarna, who have us a big schlager moment with ‘I Do’ – and you know how we love those!
And leaving the competition? Kudos to Ann-Louise Hanson for arriving to Melodifestivalen in 2019 with a song that would not have sounded out of place on the most recent Darin album. Seriously. What a legend. She finished in 5th place, beating Anton Hagman into 6th and Pagan Fury into 7th. The former looked utterly bored on stage, and that perhaps rubbed off on us viewers. The latter, meanwhile, looked anything but bored – but that was probably too much intensity for 20:10 CET on a Saturday night!
Some light relief after THAT performance please. That arrived in the form of the interval act, ‘Ljuset’, by Sarah Dawn Finer & Eric Saade. A beautifully composed and staged ballad that has been released as a single, the processed of which all go to charity.
You can find ALL of the best songs of this year’s Melodifestivalen on our Best New Pop playlist.
And you can watch all 28 of this year’s performances over on Melodifestivalen’s YouTube channel.