Sweden: Melodifestivalen 2023 Final preview and Aussievision song rankings 1st to 12th
This weekend is the Grand Final of Sweden's Melodifestivalen, where the nation will decide its representative for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.
One well-known former Eurovision winner will join eleven other artists to battle it out and see who will win the ticket to represent Sweden in Liverpool.
So read on to find out about the artists, songs, running order, voting details, show information and also, when and where to watch it!
The songs competing - ranked by the Aussievision team
The Aussievision team have weighed in on who they want to see win, using Eurovision-style scoring to rank their top 10 acts from 12 points down to one (and in a tie with the points we have ranked the songs based on most 12 points, 10 points and so on in a tie).
12. Nordman - 'Släpp alla sorger' (26 points)
Highs: 7 points from Laura
Lows: 0 points from Cooper, Kyriakos, Mark, Zhi, Emma, Steven, Hayley & Tim, 1 point from John, 2 points from Craig & Hugo
Nordman consists of Mats Wester and Håkan Hemlin who met whilst recording at the same studio in 1991. The duo's first two albums reached No. 1 in Sweden and they have had a number of Top 10 singles on the Swedish charts throughout the 1990's and 2000's.
This is their third appearance at Melodifestivalen, having previously competed with 'Destiny Was My Path' (2005) and 'I lågornas sken' (2008). In 2023, they finished third in Heat 3, moving through to the semi-final which they won. 'Släpp alla sorger' means 'Let go of all sorrows' and was written by well-known Swedish songwriters Thomas G:son and Jimmy Jansson.
Comments from the team
"They won't win, but gosh, they would have been a jolly inclusion at Eurovision. And it's a very well constructed and contemporary track whilst featuring the traditional instrument throughout. Props, gents." ~ Kiel
11. Mariette - 'One Day' (32 points)
Highs: 6 points from Mark
Lows: 0 points from Craig, Kyriakos & Kiel, 1 point from Emma, Steven & Fleur, 2 points from Cooper, John & Tim
Making her fifth Melodifestivalen appearance is Mariette (Mariette Hansson). She competed on 'Idol 2009' where she finished in fourth place. Mariette made her Melodifestivalen debut in 2015 where she finished in 3rd place (her best result to date). She has also competed in 2017, 2018 and 2020. In 2020 Mariette became the first person to move directly to the Final from their heat for the fourth time.
Sadly her record was broken this year when 'One Day' only finished fourth in Heat 4 meaning she had to compete in the semi-final for the first time. Luckily for Mariette, she made the Final, finishing fourth out of the top four songs. Mariette co-wrote 'One Day' with Thomas G:son and Jimmy Jansson.
10. Maria Sur - 'Never Give Up' (46 points)
Highs: 7 points from John
Lows: 0 points from Craig, Steven & Hugo, 2 points from Laura, Emma & Hayley
18-year-old Maria Sur makes her Melodifestivalen debut with 'Never Give Up'. Maria and her mother fled Ukraine to Sweden after the country's Russian invasion in 2022. Maria had been competing on Ukraine's version of 'The Voice' and has been able to establish a career in Sweden after performing at a Ukrainian charity gala whereafter she was signed by Warner Music.
'Never Give Up' won Heat 2 and was co-written by Laurell Barker who also competed as a singer in her own right in Heat 3 this year, but did not make the finals.
9. Panetoz - 'On My Way' (46 points)
Highs: 10 points from Hayley, 8 points from Laura
Lows: 0 points from John, Mark & Hugo, 1 point from Cooper, Craig & Kyriakos, 2 points from Kiel
Panetoz is a Swedish multi-ethnic band with current group members originating from Gambia, Ethiopia, Angola, Finland and Sweden. Made up of Njol Badjie, Pa Modou Badjie, Nebeyu Baheru, Johan Hirvi and Daniel Nzinga, the group has competed at Melodifestivalen in 2014, 2016 and 2019 with their first two appearances also making the final.
Their debut single 'Dansa pausa' went to No. 1 in Sweden in 2012 and they have also been a support act for U.S. rapper Busta Rhymes. 'On My Way' finished second in Heat 2, moving directly through to the Final.
Comments from the team
"I couldn't help it - my shoulders were moving the instant this came on. Catchy and it makes me want to move. It is just a fun song!" ~ Hayley
8. Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Arc North feat. Adam Woods - 'Where You Are (Sávežan)' (52 points)
Highs: 12 points from Tim
Lows: 0 points from Hayley, 1 point from Zhi & Hugo, 2 points from Mark
Jon Henrik Fjällgren is a Swedish-Sámi singer who won Sweden's Got Talent in 2014. He has competed in Melodifestivalen on three previous occasions, finishing second in 2015, third in 2017 (with Aninia) and fourth in 2019. This year he has collaborated with DJ Arc North and singer Adam Woods. 'Where You Are (Sávežan)' moved directly through to the final after winning Heat 1 and refers to the challenges of Jon Henrik living away from his daughter Ella Sáve.
Comments from the team
7. Theoz - 'Mer av dig' (58 points)
Highs: 10 points from Craig & Steven, 8 points from John
Lows: 0 points from Zhi, Fleur & Tim, 1 point from Mark, Hayley & Kiel
Theoz (Theodor) Haraldsson, is just 17-years-old and makes the final for the second year in a row with 'Mer av dig' (More of You). He is now the second youngest person to compete in the Final twice after 2022's 'Som du vill' finished 7th.
Finishing third in Heat 2, 'Mer av dig' earned a place in the Grand Final after coming runner-up in the semi-final. The song was co-written by Axel Schylström who also competed in Melodifestivalen this year, finishing in 5th place in Heat 4 with 'Gorgeous'.
Comments from the team
"I find Theoz's brand of harmless tweeny-pop very likeable (even if it is also very cheesy), and 'Mer av dig' is every bit as catchy and fun as 'Somm du vill' was last year. Give the kid a couple of years and I reckon he's absolutely Eurovision-bound." ~ Craig
"Infectiously upbeat boy band pop delivered in Swedish (bonus point, not least because it covers lyrically weakness for non-Swedish speakers) with a catchy chorus, energetic choreography and a key change. Even the whistling kinda works for me. THEOZ is a definite talent, especially for such a young performer." ~ Steven
6. Smash Into Pieces - 'Six Feet Under' (65 points)
Highs: 7 points from Craig, Zhi & Emma
Lows: 0 points from Cooper, 1 point from Laura, 2 points from Kyriakos & Steven
With a current lineup of Chris Adam, Per Bergquist, Benjamin Jennebo and The Apocalypse DJ (whose identity remains a mystery), Smash Into Pieces become the first rock band to make the Melodifestivalen Final since 2012. The band has over half a billion total streams, nearly 600,000 followers on social media and has completed arena tours in both Europe and the USA. During 2022, they have been the support act for Evanescence and Within Temptation on their joint tour.
'Six Feet Under' came second in Heat 4, moving them directly through to the Final. Band member and co-writer Benjamin Jennebo has previously written for Estonian Eurovision representative Victor Crone (2019) when he competed at Melodifestivalen in 2020 with 'Troubled Waters'.
Comments from the team
"It is almost like Finland’s Blind Channel meets Norway’s JOWST in a Swedish national final entry. Love the graphics of the swirling city, and nice to see a bit of rock at pop-saturated Melfest." ~ Zhi
"I would normally be all about getting behind the rock tracks, and this one is well constructed. But, the lead singer's voice just gives me too many Chester Bennington (RIP) vibes, the themes are too cliche, and it won't stack up in a [Eurovision] competition already filled with a lot of bands." ~ Kiel
5. Paul Rey - 'Royals' (65 points)
Highs: 10 points from Zhi & Kiel
Lows: 0 points from John, Laura & Emma, 2 points from Fleur
Paul Rey, 30-years-old, is making his third Melodifestivalen appearance after 2020's 'Talking In My Sleep' (6th) and 2021's 'The Missing Piece' (12th). Having been signed in America in 2015, he released the single 'California Dreaming' with Arman Cekin and Snoop Dogg in 2017. He has also toured with Fifth Harmony and Nico & Vinz and been streamed over 200 million times on Spotify.
Rey has written several big hits for other artists including last year's Melodifestivalen finalist 'I Can't Get Enough' by Cazzi Opeia which finished 9th. 'Royals' made the Final by finishing second in Heat 3.
Comments from the team
"One of the most exciting and stimulating songs in this year’s Melfest. I feel this is Paul Rey’s 'Kingdom Come' moment. Like his friend Anna Bergendahl, Paul usually sends ballads or more subtle songs to Melfest, but this uptempo, fun song is by far his best entry. I never thought I would see him perform in the last or “party” position in the final, but it is well deserved and I hope he does well." ~ Zhi
"Everything about this is ready to go if, by some freak chance, Paul manages to topple Loreen. Such an anthemic chorus which will get everyone fist pumping and chanting away, and the staging is already perfect. A super slick package." ~ Kiel
4. Tone Sekelius - 'Rhythm of My Show' (68 points)
Highs: 8 points from Cooper, Kyriakos, Mark & Hayley
Lows: 0 points from Kiel, 1 point from Tim, 2 points from Zhi
The first transgender person to compete at Melodifestivalen, Tone Sekelius, 25, returns to the competition after finishing fifth with her debut performance 'My Way' in 2022. She is a major influencer on TikTok and YouTube and won her way through to the Grand Final after finishing second in Heat 1.
Tone was awarded 'HBTQ Person of the Year' at QX Gaygala 2022 and performed at summer music festival 'Allsång at Skansen' and Stockholm Pride.
Comments from the team
"Tone is a star in the making! I really love the aesthetics and colour palette of this staging which really drew me in. It is a tight package, great song and she is a captivating performer. I am glad she gave it another shot and I hope she tries again in the future as I feel she will be on that Eurovision stage one day!" ~ Hayley
3. Marcus & Martinus - 'Air' (85 points)
Highs: 10 points from Cooper, John & Hugo, 8 points from Craig, Emma & Steven
Lows: 0 points from Laura & Fleur
Norwegian twins Marcus & Martinus Gunnarsen, 21, made history when 'Air' won Heat 3. They became the first performers in Melodifestivalen's history to go directly to the final without ever having lived in Sweden.
The pair broke through as ten-year-olds in Norway's equivalent of Junior Melodifestivalen. Since then, they have sold out their own arena tour in Europe and performed at Crown Princess Victoria's 40th birthday celebration with a specially written song. Their biggest hit 'Elektrisk' still holds the record in Norway as the song that stayed in the top 10 for the longest time with 66 weeks and the duo also won the Swedish version of 'The Masked Singer ' in 2022.
Comments from the team
"'Air' is a one of the few standout songs in the Finalen pack. The staging for this is stunning and elevates the track tremendously. The public will definitely be backing this performance and it's still in contention of taking out Melodifestivalen." ~ Cooper
"If, for any likelihood, Loreen is not the winner, this would be the second choice. Maybe it could rival Latvia's Sudden Lights or Moldova's Pasha Parfeny with this song." ~ John
"This is just cool. I love the staging, the lights are great, especially the revolving one. The song itself is so catchy, you know it instantly, great appeal on first listen. Perhaps loses a bit of momentum at the end when the instrumental goes and builds then they stop it and do the vocal bit at the end; stops it from becoming a true banger, but I really like this." ~ Hugo
2. Kiana - 'Where Did You Go' (105 points)
Highs: 12 points from Fleur, 10 points from Kyriakos, Laura, Mark & Emma, 8 points from Zhi
Lows: 3 points from Craig
Kiana turned 16 on the day of her Heat 4 performance making her one of the youngest participants in the competition's history. We were very excited at Aussievision to discover that she was born in Perth and is half Australian!
After coming runner up in Sweden's Got Talent in 2021, Kiana has been busy performing in various musicals including 'Annie' and playing Dorothy in 'The Wizard of Oz'. 'Where Did You Go' finished third in Heat 4 and again came third in the semi-final.
Comments from the team
"It is a simple song but I love this!! WA REPRESENT, great to see an Aussie competing in such a huge competition like Melfest. Kiana is a superstar. Everyone needs to keep an eye on her as her career is going to shoot to the stars!!" ~ Kyriakos
"'Where Did You Go' is a bop and Aussie icon Kiana has done us proud!" ~ Laura
"It’s with no bias whatsoever that “Our Kiana” is my clear second place getter. What you see is not the voice you get with Kiana: her rich, low tone surprises on a great upbeat number that has all the Melfest bells and whistles. Would put money on Kiana going to Eurovision one day." ~ Mark
"I'm sure we are eventually going to see Kiana on the Eurovision stage even if 2023 is not quite her year. This girl can sing and dance and I love the high kick mid way through. 'Where Did You Go' is so radio friendly and a song I will continue to listen to long after the contest. Who would have thought a 16 year old could pull off such a performance and bonus points for being half Australian too!" ~ Emma
"An impressively performed pop-banger that belies the artist’s youth. Kiana should definitely return to a future Melfest! Brava!!" ~ Steven
"As a song, it's my favourite. It's the song that I most remember. Yes, it's Scandi-pop by the numbers, but I love it Kiana is a star in the making. This is a fantastic introduction to Melodifestivalen and Eurovision for her and I am looking forward to seeing her compete again in the future." ~ Fleur
1. Loreen - 'Tattoo' (164 points)
Highs: 12 points from Cooper, John, Craig, Kyriakos, Laura, Mark, Zhi, Emma, Steven, Hayley, Kiel & Hugo, 10 points from Fleur & Tim
Loreen, 39, needs no introduction. The 2012 Eurovision winner is back for her fourth Melodifestivalen performance with 'Tattoo' which won Heat 4. The song is a clear favourite with bookmakers and was given 12 points by all but two Aussievision team members! One of the co-writers is Cazzi Opeia competed in last year's Melodifestivalen, finishing 9th with 'I Can't Get Enough'.
Apart from winning at Eurovision, Loreen's 2012 entry 'Euphoria' went to No. 1 in 21 countries and both her and the song were inducted in to the Melodifestivalen Hall of Fame in 2020. After first competing on Swedish Idol in 2004, Loreen went on to also compete at Melodifestivalen in 2011 and 2017. This year she became the first person to ever re-sing her song at Melodifestivalen for non-technical reasons - a stage invader interrupted her original performance and she was allowed to perform again.
Comments from the team
"I mean, come on! Tattoo is incredible, it’s clearly Loreen’s contest to lose at this point. The staging is innovative, the aesthetic is slick and engaging, the vocals are there. Tattoo is a major contender to win Eurovision 2023 and it would be very much deserved." ~ Cooper
"We had Marco Mengoni, we had Pasha Parfeny, now we need Loreen. Her song would rival Alessandra Mele's 'Queen of Kings' for the Eurovision title, and it will be a showdown that Europe and Australia would be watching. Czech Republic's Vesna, France's La Zarra, and Finland's Käärijä would be shaking in their boots if it happens." ~ John
"As an overall performance, this is one of the best things (if not *the* best thing) we have seen all national final season. The production is top-quality, Loreen's vocals are peerless, and the staging feels like the same massive strp forward that 'Euphoria' was in 2012. I know people are sick of Swedish songwriting, but if we were ever going to have a last hurrah for this kind of thing, "Tattoo" is it. Can't wait to see this in Liverpool." ~ Craig
"Loreen's 'Tattoo' performance is the best staging, song and overall packaging I have ever seen. She needs to go to Eurovision and change the game yet again like she did with 'Euphoria'. Loreen's performance has taken over my life and if she doesn't win Melfest and make it to Eurovision I will just quit Eurovision altogether. I am serious." ~ Kyriakos
"'Tattoo' is complete and utter pop perfection from start to finish, and Loreen is the Queen of Eurovision. Combine that and you get - and I'm not exaggerating when I say this - the best song I've heard all year, and probably the best song you'll hear all year. It is absolutely flawless in every single conceivable way. If you haven't heard it yet, what are you waiting for? Go and check it out RIGHT NOW, it will change your life." ~ Laura
"This is an awe-inspiring visual package; like if one of Macbeth’s witches clawed their way into a video game version of ‘127 Hours’. But when you strip away the slick AF production, what’s left? A strong song, and the Swedes’ best in 2023. But a song that feels derivative, like it’s trying to recapture the exhilarating lightning-in-a-bottle that imprinted itself on the Eurovision consciousness a decade ago. Victory this weekend is (finger) nailed down, but I’m not sure it has the heart to go all the way in Liverpool." ~ Mark
"Queen Loreen is back to reclaim her Melfest and Eurovision crowns. This act is quite simply primal perfection: it makes you want to sing, dance and perform along. The bridge is haunting, whilst the final chorus is explosive and exhilarating. 'Tattoo' soars above the rest of this year’s Melfest pack just like Loreen’s LED screen. I’m rooting for her not only to win Melfest twice, but also to become the first female to have two Eurovision crowns." ~ Zhi
"There is something so amazing and breathtaking about Loreen's 'Tattoo' that puts it on another level to everything else in the competition. She knows just how to control her vocals so that you feel her pain yet aren't overwhelmed by it. I wouldn't necessarily seek out the studio version but as a performance this deserves to go to Eurovision and could very well win the whole contest." ~ Emma
"The strength of this entry lies entirely with Loreen: her vocal, her choreography, her ability to nail a performance. The song is lyrically weak, but creates build and peaks/troughs musically. Would anyone else take out Melodifestivalen with 'Tattoo’? No. Will Loreen (and I reckon deservedly so)? Yes!" ~ Steven
"I have had a good think for a few days as to why Tattoo deserves the 12 points. I don't want to be gushing over it just because it is sung by the artist that gave us one of the greatest Eurovision songs of all time. But... that staging - it is game changing - a new level - and is out of this world - absolutely captivating - how she doesn't get claustrophobic I do not know! But the song - it really is the best song of Melfest this year - nothing even comes close. I think the song would maybe not win Eurovision, but with her and the staging as well - we could be going to Sweden next year. Absolutely epic." ~ Hayley
"Who else? I feel a bit sorry for all the other finalists this year, because their tracks are all worthy entries from the epicentre of pop music, and in any other year would represent Sweden well and more than likely grab a top 10 finish, or better. But there's no stopping Queen Loreen. Forget the fandom and the fact she's a household name, Tattoo is simply a stunning package, and more importantly, one that sounds every bit like another winner. She will more than likely become the first woman to win Eurovision twice, unless her next door neighbour Käärijä from Finland casts a spell on the televoters. Boxing ring match anyone? (watch Käärijä's video if you didn't get that reference!)" ~ Kiel
"Well, the queen is back. The song is an incredible production and we know she can perform the heck out of it. But for me it's the staging that I find most memorable. Loreen is the perfect modern day entertainer, the creativity is on point. I cannot see her lose this, she's going straight to the top 5 at Eurovision." ~ Fleur
"Ok the negatives first. The lyrics are a bit clunky and simple but that’s it. The music is simply outstanding and phenomenal. It has such a heaviness too it that carries it greatly. The concept on stage is unique and brings a lot of artistry to the song. But the most significant part of this package is Loreen. The vocals during the chorus is unbelievably powerful. I think that’s the key element that could be sending Loreen to Liverpool and Eurovision back to Sweden" ~ Tim
"What can I say about this. Queen Loreen is coming back to save Eurovision. The power of the song is unmatched, vocals flawless, staging innovative and impeccable. My world fells fuller after seeing this. Art at its purest form. I said this last year about Cornelia, and I’ll say it again, but Mans and Petra: dust off those mics!!! ~ Hugo
Melodifestivalen Final running order
The running order for the Final is as follows:
Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Arc North feat. Adam Woods - 'Where You Are (Sávežan)'
Tone Sekelius - 'Rhythm of My Show'
Mariette - 'One Day'
Marcus & Martinus - 'Air'
Panetoz - 'On My Way'
Maria Sur - 'Never Give Up'
Smash Into Pieces - 'Six Feet Under'
Kiana - 'Where Did You Go'
Nordman - 'Släpp alla sorger'
Loreen - 'Tattoo'
Theoz - 'Mer av dig'
Paul Rey - 'Royals'
The international juries will determine 50% of the result at the Melodifestivalen 2023 Final. Juries from eight countries will be voting including Australia!! Australia has previously been part of the Melodifestivalen jury in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2022. Australia will be joined by Belgium, Croatia, Latvia, Malta, Spain, Germany and Austria.
The remaining 50% of the vote will be determined by the public.
Voting by the public is via the official Melodifestivalen app or phone with a maximum of five votes per person. After all 12 songs have been performed and the results of the international jury announced, voters will be given a chance to vote one more time (one vote per person).
As in the heats and semi-final the public voting results via the app will be determined using the age group system.
3-9 years old, Green group
10-15 years old, Turquoise group
16-29 years old, Blue group
30-44 years old, Purple group
45-59 years old, Pink group
60-74 years old, Red group
75 years old and above, Orange group
Each age group's vote will carry a score of 12, 10, 8–1. Public votes received via phone become the eighth category and together with the app votes make up the other 50% of the result.
Hosts and venue
The final of Melodifestivalen will be hosted by Jesper Rönndahl and Farah Abadi from Friends Arena in Stockholm.
How To Watch
The Final of Melodifestivalen 2023 will take place on the morning of Sunday March 12 (Australian time) and can be watched via the SVT Play website.
English commentary will also be available through the SVT Play app.
The show will begin at:
8:00pm, Saturday March 11, Central European Time
3:00am Sunday March 12, WA
4:30am Sunday March 12, NT
5:00am Sunday March 12, QLD
5:30am Sunday March 12, SA
6:00am Sunday March 12, ACT, NSW, TAS, VIC
For continued updates on all the Eurovision Song Contest news follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. All links at: https://linktr.ee/aussievisionnet