It's not a proper Eurovision season without six weeks of the most watched national selection in Europe and Australia. We are obviously talking about Sweden's Melodifestivalen show produced by broadcaster SVT.
Their long yet joyful road to Tel Aviv, spread over six weeks, kicked off last night with the first semi final from Gothenburg. The season premiere saw the return of some Melodifestivalen's veterans including a previous winner, Anna Bergendhal, who made her big comeback to the contest after failing to qualify to the Eurovision final in 2010. The show also saw the return of two Melodifestivalen favorites, Wiktoria. With a stunning... and wet... performance and Nano.
But without a doubt, it was the hosts, rather than the seven competing artists, who stole the show during the interval act.
Sarah Dawn Finer, Kodjo Akolor, Marika Carlsson and Eric Saade perfectly melded together a mashup of the four Ishmael Eurovision winners: 2018 winner, "Toy" by Netta Barzilai, "Diva" by Dana International (1998), "Hallelujah" by Galia Atari and Milk and Honey (1979), and "A-Ba-Ni-Bi" by Izhar Cohen, Israel's first winner from 1978. Sarah Dawn Finer did Netta justice with the exact look and famous dress from Lisbon, while co-host Eric Saade donned the ana International inside him. SVT also effortlessly put together the exact staging of Toy and Hallelujah.
The almost four-minute number, which was performed live (not pre-recorded) became an overnight sensation, and gained high praise on social media instantly. In Israel, it even got special mentioning in all three Sunday night news shows. Kudos, Sweden for this beautiful tribute.