(photo: Stina Stjernkvist)

Awkard. Think you’ve used the wrong pic there. There are no men? That’s the gag! On Saturday night, for the first time in ELEVEN years, two female artists qualified to the final together, finishing above all the men.
Wow. When did it last happen? Heat 4 of Melodifestivalen 2009, when Malena Ernman and Agnes progressed to the final.
And was it the right result? It was. For the second week in a row, our two faves were voted through by the Swedes. That, like, never happens. We’re getting kinda alarmed now. Our taste is supposed to be special. If everyone in Sweden agrees with us, does that mean we have lost our USP and should therefore shut down the website?
Now’s not the time for existential ponderings. We need deets. Ok, so Dotter got to experience a full redemption after her last entry, ‘Cry’ in 2018, finished in 6th place after a rather disastrous performance. No such disasters this time around, however. ‘Bulletproof’ was given all the power the song needed and deserved, both in terms of Dotter’s delivery of it, and the staging it was afforded. Dotter’s star shined brighter than it ever has. And it wasn’t just the lazers. We’d use the redemption arc for Anna Bergendahl, too, but that actually happened last year when ‘Ashes To Ashes’ became the huge radio hit it did. This time around, with ‘Kingdown Come’, it was as if she was giving the performance that was to take her into the Eurovision Song Contest grand final, once and for all. And after that very performance, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Sweden are going to give her the opportunity to have that exact fairytale ending. We’re holding back the tears just thinking about it, honestly.
And who will we be seeing in the Andra Chansen round? Paul Rey with his subdued ‘Talking In My Sleep’, and Mendez & Alvaro Estrella with their reggaeton-schlager banger ‘Vamos Amigos’.
But what about Bengtzing?! She gave an 11/10 performance of a 7/10 song. But those numbers just didn’t add up for Swedish viewers. And so despite a whopping 717,043 votes, she could only manage a 6th-place finish. Newcomer Klara Hammarström finished above her in 5th place, despite the rather forgettable performance of the rather forgettable song ‘Nobody’, while Jan Johansen got stuck with 7th place, with the dreary old ballad that is ‘Miraklernas Tid’.
But what about Bengtzing?!!! You already know she’ll be back again. And despite this third knockback in a row, you also know she’ll be back with the exact same enthusiasm, passion and excitement – giving it absolutely everything she’s got. Cos that’s just who Linda Bengtzing is. Oh dear, here come those tears again.

You can find the best of this week’s songs on our Best New Pop playlist (aside from the two finalists, who will be released later in the month).

You can find the bottom five performances on SVT’s YouTube channel.

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