XTRA Preview & Review: Sweden – Melodfestivalen 2018: Deltävling 3

Sweden’s most popular television programme continues into its third week tonight. The third semi-final of Melodifestivalen 2018 takes place in the southern city of Malmö. We’ve taken a look at the entries and the procedure below, so here is the XTRA Preview & Review!

XTRA Preview: Melodifestivalen – Deltävling 3

Seven acts will be taking part tonight in order to make it through to the final of the Swedish national final for Eurovision, Melodifestivalen. Again the lineup includes a mix of new artists and some familiar faces who we have seen at Melodifestivalen before. Jessica Andersson makes her fifth appearance, last appearing in 2015 with “Can’t Hurt Me Now” which qualified directly to the final. Méndez returns after placing second in 2002 with “Adrenaline”.
The host of tonight’s show is David Lindgren. The singer returns for his second hosting job in the contest he tried winning a couple of times before. SVT 1 will air the show at 20:00 CET. Two acts will qualify for the final, two more will make it to Andra Chansen. For the other three, it’s over after tonight.
We will be tweeting throughout the show, live at @ESCXTRA!

Martin Almgren “A Bitter Lullaby”

Dominik: This is such a great opener. The song is very uplifting and the whole audience will clap to it. I can see this going very far and I like it very much. 9/10
Nick: A lovely country effort from Martin Almgren. It is quite good and totally what I had expected from him. This is a dark horse for victory. Don’t rule this lit just yet, because he handles this really well, the picture is fitting and the song is great. 8.5/10 
Dan: This is nice, it has an non-intrusive chorus and something that I would happily listen to. It’s in contention for 5th place though. 6/10
Tom: This is an easy song to like, and fits the style of this Idol winner. It doesn’t do anything wild or new but could be a contender for the final. 7/10

Barbi Escobar “Stark”

Dominik: I love Barbi so much. She is such a nice person and she has so much energy on stage. Her song “Stark” is a modern/abstract song. It’s not a ballad but she still delivers many emotions with it. I think she will have a hard time in the semi-final, but I love it. 9/10
Nick: The message is stronger than the song itself. She has a story to tell, but she doesn’t quite reach me. I fear for her… 4.5/10 
Dan: I really like the sound of this, especially the hook in the chorus.
I can’t help but feel like this would sound even better had it been in English. Sadly I can see it falling short of qualifying. 6.5/10
Tom: This song has a really good sound, especially in the chorus. Not enough to encourage multiple listens for me though. Could miss out on qualifying. 6/10

Moncho “Cuba Libre”

Dominik: “Cuba Libre” is a nice song. The audience will like it, but I don’t think it’s strong enough to get many votes. It’s there and it’s good and people will like this. Just don’t see it going far in the competition. 6/10
Nick: Oh dear, what even is this? This is like a totally chanceless effort at being a Latin rapper… He cannot carry a tune in a bucket! 2.5/10
Dan: Summer is so far away yet feels much nearer when listening to this. Different from other reggae style songs this year (i.e. Margaret), I woudn’t be surprised if this goes to Andra Chansen. 7/10
Tom: Sure it’s a fun entry but no thanks! Really hoping this doesn’t take a AC or DTF slot from the others.  2/10 

Jessica Andersson “Party Voice”

Dominik: This is everything you want from Jessica. Windmachine, Lights, Disco and Jessica is on point with her whole performance. People will love this and she has many fans. Looking forward to see this again in Melfest. 8/10
Nick: Hell yes, here we have Sweden answering Helene Fischer. Lovely. Powerful. What a song. 9/10
Dan: Jessica is back! And this is exactly the type of entry she needed. Great verses, catchy chorus – shes pushing all the right buttons with this one. It may not go DTF but will most certainly go to Andra Chansen. 7/10
Tom: A powerful classic Melfest song from Jessica and exactly what is needed in this contest. This has to go through to the final, either directly or via Andra Chansen. 8/10 

Kalle Moraeus & Orsa Spelmän “Min dröm”

Dominik: This is what you would expect from them. Not as catchy as “Underbart” but it is still good. In my eyes just not the kind of song I would vote for. 4/10
Nick: It is like Hasse Andersson meeting Roger Pontare and then add in a bit more folk. A truly lovely effort, but chanceless nonetheless. He is a veteran and we need those. 7.5/10
Dan: The second Swedish entry of the week and I have to admit I’m not really a fan of this. To me it sounds almost identical to Roger Pontare’s ‘”Himmel och hav” from last year which I was a fan of. I’m expecting this to be either 6th or 7th tonight. 4/10
Tom: Not my style but I know this is very familiar to a Swedish audience. It sounds a lot like what I’ve heard before. This is good to keep the variety in the TV show but not one I would want qualifying. 5/10

Dotter “Cry”

Dominik: Great song. Amazing camera shots. This is just stunning on TV and on stage. The song is not building up, but her performance is so creative, that I really enjoy this. 9/10
Nick: Talk about disappointing… I expected a banging indie pop effort from this promising star. Yet, she has delivered an overly pretentious piece of nothing… Certainly not a winner. 5/10
Dan: This is nice, very chart friendly and appears to be receiving the same type of reaction as Frans’ did with ‘If I Were Sorry’. It deserves to progress and most certainly will do. 7/10
Tom: Dotter was my one-to-watch when the artists were first announced. Based on her earlier songs this isn’t what I was expecting but it sounds promising and will be my favourite. The visuals will be impressive it seems. It’s style means it will divide opinion, but hopefully not enough to keep it out of the final. (see Loreen’s ‘Statements’!) 9/10

Méndez “Everyday”

Dominik: When the song starts I kinda had my thoughts about the song, as his vocals are weak in the verses. But the chorus is so strong and catchy. It’s a very strong song and entry in Melfest and I see this fighting for a final spot. Overall it’s an amazing song, which will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. The vocals are the problem. 8/10
Nick: This man knows how to return. I expected the chanceless veteran return, coming sixth or seventh like all veterans. Yet, he delivers a current, interesting tune which brings us back to his glory days. 7/10
Dan: I loved this from the first few seconds. It’s been a while since we’ve had a song from MF with an ethnic twist, so this is long overdue. My favourite from tonight’s batch of songs, I hope this goes DTF. 8/10
Tom: I see what’s being done here, the song is current. But I don’t get it. Mendez beats Moncho for sure and I expect this to be in the top four. 5/10

Who do we want?

The XTRA Jury, this time consisting of Dominik, Nick, Dan and Tom has spoken. Below you can see the average each song achieved. Their favourite for tonight’s show is Jessica Andersson’s “Party Voice”!

  1. Jessica Andersson – Party Voice (8.0)
  2. Martin Almgren – A Bitter Lullaby (7.6)
  3. Dotter – Cry (7.5)
  4. Mendez – Everyday (7)
  5. Barbi Escobar – Stark (6.5)
  6. Kalle Moraeus & Orsa Spelmän – Min Dröm (5.1)
  7. Moncho – Cuba Libre (4.4)

Which of this week’s competitors do you like best? Do you agree with our jury? Make sure to let us know who you like by commenting!


Tom O'Donoghue

Music photographer based in Somerset, United Kingdom. Photographer for London Eurovision Party.

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