We’re two weeks down and with two more semifinals (including tonight) still to come, we’re heading to Sweden’s tenth largest city… Norrköping!

Gina Dirawi will be our host assisted by Henrik Schyffert, a popular comedian and actor. Remember that two more songs will go direkt till Friends Arena and another two will go to Andra chansen in just two weeks time.

The show begins at 20:00 and the blog will be live from 19:55.

Tonight’s running order is as follows:

  1. SaRaHa: “Kizunguzungu”
  2. Swingfly feat. Helena Gutarra: “You Carved Your Name”
  3. SMILO: “Weight of the World”
  4. After Dark: “Kom ut som en stjärna”
  5. Lisa Ajax: “My Heart Wants Me Dead”
  6. Boris René: “Put Your Love on Me”
  7. Oscar Zia: “Human”

Nathan Waddell
February 20, 20166:20 pm

Welcome to tonight’s third semifinal of Melodifestivalen! Once again, you’re mostly in the safe hands of Matteo to guide you through tonight’s show whilst I’ll pop in every now and again alongside tweeting with melfest. The show begins at 20:00.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20166:53 pm

And hello from here. Just to make it personal and fill this space – turns out cod fishcakes are my Melodifestivalen 2016 meal. Which is weird. It should be a slightly better semifinal and I’m very intrigued on how sexual Helena Gutarra will be (remember: her first single in 2013. “Dicksuckin'”).


Nathan Waddell
February 20, 20166:55 pm

The Chief Web Editor for the SVT Melodifestivalen website, Gustav Dahlander, was asked who the favourite is tonight. His response?

Oscar Zia is the favorite this week, much like ISA was last week. SaRaHa also had great support at the dress rehearsal, and could cause an upset!

Following onto Matteo’s dinner post, I had a sweet chilli chicken wrap meal deal from Tesco which featured a smoothie and healthy popcorn. Hurrah for us all!

He’s right though, tonight should be a great semifinal – and as Gustav said… there could be a surprise or two again!


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:05 pm

Henrik Schyffert is basically showing us how recorded music works and how a majestic piece like Under Pressure could become a sum of components recorded in less than two minutes. Henrik will be the host for today with Gina. I guess it was a dream of his to sing a Queen song on a stage and that’s why we are seeing this.


Nathan Waddell
February 20, 20167:08 pm

To be fair Matteo, I immediately assumed they were doing a tribute to the UK’s Jack Garratt with their looping equipment but alas, no. Henke and Gina carried it off well though!!


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:08 pm

Yes, “Under pressure like our artists in the backstage”. A bit of a poor lead for an intro.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:10 pm

Sigrid is back. Do you remember this little girl? Last time she showed up questioning the hosts about gender issues and such. But today she’s just being a bit of a bully to Henrik as he’s been to Melodifestivalen less time than her.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:11 pm

So, in order for Sigrid to like Henrik he has to give her 2Kg of sweets and present in Norrköping dialect. Which meant in me not understanding anything.


Nathan Waddell
February 20, 20167:12 pm

Wonder if there was a health and safety check for him carrying her on his shoulders across the stage.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:13 pm

So, Henrik just said “send only the song number and not any kind of emojis”. I’m wondering whether that happened a lot.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:14 pm

SaRaha will start everything off. I really like how Anderz Wrethov looks like, but c’mon. He has been present with the weirdest stuff. As said in my presentation (that I hope you all read), she is Sara Larsson which sounds completely identical to Zara Larsson, so better call her SaRaha.


Nathan Waddell
February 20, 20167:16 pm

I have one sentence. Full of colour with sharp camera shots, smart choreography and confident vocals, I love SaRaHa tonight.


Nathan Waddell
February 20, 20167:18 pm

Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:18 pm

1. SaRaha – Kizunguzungu

I’m not really sure. I like the song but I feel like misrepresentation of the African continent here. I’m not a fan, also I can’t really see Swedish voting for an unknown who has this kind of song. Missing Yeba a lot.


Nathan Waddell
February 20, 20167:20 pm

Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:20 pm

I love how Swingfly was able to achieve only one sentence in Swedish and saying “I am a bit nervous”.

The hype on Kleerup. Hope it won’t fail us.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:23 pm

2. Swingfly feat. Helena Gutarra – You Carved Your Name

As much as Swingfly is the big name here, I think that the song is very well carried out by Helena Gutarra that steals the scene with her refrain. I hope she would go mental on stage, she didn’t, but I can clearly see a good result from this two.


Nathan Waddell
February 20, 20167:23 pm

I have no idea what just happened but it didn’t convince me. It sounded a little bit too much like two different songs conveniently pieced together. Perhaps we will be seeing that again in Andra chansen.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:24 pm

Smilo come from the English electronic music. I’ll be the judge of that – seen that I’m a listener of BBC Radio 1. I am so cool. (Someone please stop me)

Smilo (the artists formerly known Smajl and Smajling Swedes) are on stage. Let’s see.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:28 pm

3. Smilo – Weight of the World

The song is very nice but they are awkwardly embarrassing on stage as they seem very frightened by it. It could be a big surprise qualifier (to Andra Chansen though), so let’s wait and see.


Nathan Waddell
February 20, 20167:29 pm

I love the tropical house sub genre of EDM but live, it was a bit of a mess to me. I’d like to see it go through but I have huge doubts.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:29 pm

After Dark are/is back. It is the drag act’s 40th anniversary and Christer Lindarw has never looked better (I have no clue how much make up is on his face).

Get ready for they gayness.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:32 pm

4. After Dark – Kom ut som en stjärna

Come out as a star. You can read the title as you please. A lot of glitter and glamour as Christer Lindarw said in the presentation, but it’s the usual Schlager. Probably they’d never qualify to anything even in 2004 with this song – but it’s a pretty decent theme for opening an evening in a disco.
Still: frock change, confetti, big lights, feathers. Yup.


Nathan Waddell
February 20, 20167:33 pm

Judging by the lack of flashing in the app-vote heart, that’s going nowhere tonight.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:33 pm

Dramatic reading. This time we have Marie Göranzon reading Samba Sambero. I am going to die by the 12th of March.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:34 pm

Officially dead. Thank you SVT.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:36 pm

Lisa Ajax is 17 and I’m pretty tired of feeling old. She even looks younger. “My heart wants me dead” is the song, I think I’ll cover it with “SVT wants me dead”, seeing how many young people are on this bloody show.


Nathan Waddell
February 20, 20167:37 pm

Expecting big things from Lisa judging by the songwriting team…


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:40 pm

5. Lisa Ajax – My Heart Wants Me Dead

A little bit of exotic feeling on this. Anyway, she really has the same voice as Zara Larsson. I am a bit scared.
I have the feeling we’ll hear Lisa in Stockholm. Not sure about May yet, but at least in 3 weeks at Friends Arena.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:41 pm

Boris René is a footballer from SuperEttan – which is the Premiere League of Sweden. Let’s see how he does in the Premiere League of Swedish Music..


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:43 pm

6. Boris René – Put Your Love On Me

I haven’t yet decided if I really like or not. He really has a good voice and I appreciate him for this, but I can’t really understand the dancing and the staging. And also. The girl in a black dress and white sneakers? ARE WE INSANE?
Still, this makes tonight’s predictions VERY difficult.


Nathan Waddell
February 20, 20167:44 pm

I liked Lisa’s song and vocal performance and despite not being sold on the song, Boris’s performance was very engaging from the second verse onwards.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:49 pm

7. Oscar Zia – Human

Not sure what to think. It should be the big song of tonight, but he clearly needs to learn how to sing it. It’s quite big on staging and camera shots, but I’m not yet sure what this can achieve. I am confused. I want an easier semifinal.


Nathan Waddell
February 20, 20167:50 pm

Holy fucking shit that was astounding. The visual graphics and the camera shots with that vocal. Holy fuck.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:50 pm

So, we have the snabb repris, a minute to vote and we’ll kick out two people.


Nathan Waddell
February 20, 20167:55 pm

Tough to call now but I’m reckoning Oscar and Lisa to the final and SaRaha and Swingfly to AC.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20167:56 pm

And we are getting a treat. Henrik Schyffet doing stand up comedy.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20168:03 pm

VI HAR ETT RESULTAT. Finally.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20168:03 pm

7 songs shall be 5.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20168:04 pm

To the second round of voting: Smilo, Boris René, Oscar Zia, Lisa Ajax and…


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20168:05 pm

SaRaha! Not amused. Swingfly 6th place, After Dark 7th.


Nathan Waddell
February 20, 20168:07 pm

I am delighted. I’ll take the lot that remain with Boris eliminated. Both SaRaha and SMILO have great songs for AC and Lisa and Oscar will go to the Final based on their professional performances and big names :p


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20168:11 pm

Jonas Gardell’s Schlagerschool is back. As he says there are three different categories of Mello artists: the oldies, the youngsters and the craaaaazy.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20168:13 pm

I want to remind everyone again that Jonas Gardell wrote the lyrics to the amazing Ulrik Munther’s album “Allt jag ville säga”. Go and stream it because it is a rather masterpiece.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20168:14 pm

I guess this is interpretative dancing (which is an art form that we are thinking of using for office presentations) of a Love Story by Gina Dirawi.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20168:15 pm

I am confused. That wasn’t ironic at all.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20168:16 pm

Sweden, we have a result. Well, the first person that will go on Holiday until the 8th of March when they’ll start rehearsing for the Final.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20168:17 pm

First name to the final: Oscar Zia.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20168:21 pm

Results people, results.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20168:22 pm

To Andra Chansen: SaRaha and Boris René.


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20168:23 pm

And the second artist that goes to the Final is… Lisa Ajax!


Matteo Manta
February 20, 20168:24 pm

Here are the full results of tonight:

To Friends Arena: Lisa Ajax and Oscar Zia
To Andra Chansen: SaRaha and Boris René
5th place: Smilo
6th place: Swingfly and Helena Gutarra
7th place: After Dark.


Nathan Waddell
February 20, 20168:32 pm

Thank you for joining us tonight. We shall return next week for the fourth semifinal containing four former finalists and a previous winner. Plus Linda Bengtzing, I’m here mainly for her.

Hej då!

Technical Lead: I am a huge pop music fan and I love Rihanna, Years & Years, Sia, Zara Larsson and Sam Smith. However, more importantly, I love Eurovision. Melodifestivalen is my favourite National Final and if things look out of place on the website, it's most definitely my fault.

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