The names of the last two directly qualified acts for the Swedish national final Melodifestivalen 2003 were made public tonight, after the Swedish broadcaster SVT had received almost 445,000 televotes; Afro-Dite with Aqua Playa and Östen med resten (pictured) and their latino flirt Maria.
Tonight's show was distinguished by a clear latin flavour. One of the entries, Fernando Brito's No dudes en llamarme, was performed entirely in Spanish, while both songs which qualified directly to the Swedish national final on March 15, had lyrical parts in Spanish. Just as Swedish news papers had predicted, Östen med resten won one of the tickets to Stockholm and will take part in the Globen happening for second consecutive year. Also the Swedish participants in Tallin last year, Afro-Dite, managed to capture one of the tickets after a great performance.
The two winner groups of fourth preselection; Afro-Dite & Östen med resten
To most people's surprise, the very young female quintet Bubbles, where only three of the members performed on the stage of Sundsvall since the other two had yet to reach the required age of 16, was given a second chance by the televiewers and will compete against seven other acts in tomorrow's fifth and last preselection, The Viewers' Choice. One of them will be Lina, who also participated last year in Globen, and who delievered the most creative performance tonight. In The Viewers' Choice, the voters will only watch recordings of the previous preselection performances by the artists. To make the event more exciting, SVT has allowed Carola to perform the entry which she submitted to the Melodifestivalen 2003 committee, but which ended up being disqualified; Autumn Leaf.
Neither of the Estonian artists, if we may regard Sahlene as half Estonian, managed to finish among the four most popular acts tonight, but weren't far away either with Sahlene's fifth and Maarja's sixth place. Speaking of Maarja Liis Ilus, she was introduced by the two hosts of the evening, Mark Levengood and Roger Pontare, the latter strictly following his manuscript, as “the Estonian counterpart to Carola”.
The four unlucky entrants were placed like this:
5. Sahlene; Unbreakable
6. Maarja; He is always on my Mind
7. Mikael Erlandsson; Tills jag mötte dig (Until I met you)
8. Fernando Brito; No dudes en llamarme (Don't doubt in calling me)
Pictures from the artists' performances can be viewed here.