Johansen/Wahlgren and Jill Johnson to Stockholm

by Bjørn Erik Opheim 17 views

In an evening characterised by a mixture of modern pop and traditional Swedish schlager music, the viewers seemed to prefer the former. By receiving the largest amount of televotes, Pernilla Wahlgren's and Jan Johansen's Let your Spirit fly was voted into the final together with second placed Jill Johnson (pictured) and her Crazy in love.

Probably the most fun and cheerful of the entries in the first preselection of Melodifestivalen 2003, Television, performed by pretty unknown Markus Landgren and backed by Bert Karlsson, was placed fourth and thereby reached the accumulation heat, to be broadcast on Sunday March 9, together with the entry desiring most strongly to kick off a latin fiesta, Mendez' entry so appropriately titled Carneval, with lyrics in English, Swedish and Spanish. Third place for Mendez, who was the runner up in Melodifestivalen 2002 with Adrenaline.

The highly hyped stage was not at all as impressing as the large venue of Jönköping. The mysterious green rooms were not really “rooms”, but more like additional, luxurious grandstands. The two female hosts, Charlotte Nilsson and Lena Phillipsson, performed two newly composed songs, one of which spoke ironically about their own lives. Jonas Gardell, one of the final's two hosts, intervened as well in the voting sequence, commenting on former Swedish entries in the Eurovision Song Contest, and pointing out what they all have in common.

More than anything else, the Swedish public chose to favour strong voices and original pop tunes in the first of the four national preselections. After the four most popular songs were announced by the hosts Charlotte, Lena Ph and Mark Levengood, the latter speaking a dialect with a strong Finnish accent, the phone lines were reopened for three further minutes. The victories for Jan Johansen, Pernilla Wahlgren and Jill Johnson were well deserved – may the luck smile to them in the national final as well. Almost 430,000 televotes were received, a new record for Melodifestivalen!

Jan Johansen has been busy lately with his new project of being the lead vocalist in the hard rock band called Ignition. Jill Johnson has just realized a major dream by recording country songs for her upcoming album in what could be considered to be the capital of the world's country music, Nashville in the United States.


Pernilla Wahlgren and Jan Johansen, performers of one of the ten final entries

The other four songs were placed as follows:

5th place – Stop! Look! Listen! by Da Buzz
6th place – Stronger by Crosstalk
7th place – Someone, somewhere, someday by DeDe
8th place – Ingen annan (Nobody else) by Jessie Martins & Alive

The two chosen songs will participate in the big final of Melodifestivalen 2003 in Stockholm.

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