Oscar Zia and Lisa Ajax ready for Mello final
An emotional Oscar Zia scooped victory at last night's Melodifestivalen heat in Norrköping and together with the evening’s second winner, Lisa Ajax, he will be heading straight to the final at Stockholm's Friends Arena.
When called on to perform his winning song Human for the second time on Saturday night, Zia could hardly keep his emotions in check, even though his victory came as no great surprise since he had been a favourite to win.
Lisa Ajax, on her part, has avoided the limelight since 2014 when she won Idol, a competition aired on Sweden's TV4. This is the first time she competes in Melodifestivalen, or Mello as the competition is nicknamed, and her song My Heart Wants Me Dead has clear influences from Rihanna and Zara Larsson. It is written by Linnea Deb, Joy Deb, and Anton Hård af Segerstad - the trio behind last year's winning tune – along with Mello debutants Nikki Flores and Sara Forsberg.
Meanwhile, newbie Saraha will get another chance to make it to the final as she gets to compete in the "second chance" round where songs that come third and fourth in the four semi-finals of Melodifestivalen fight it out for the two last tickets to the grand finale at Friends Arena.
Saraha, 32, grew up in Tanzania. Her full name is Sara Larsson and her contribution, Kizunguzungu, is a party tune with African rhythms. The lyrics of the chorus are in Swahili. Melodifestivalen commentators had ruled it out for winning, but it proved popular with viewers.
Another newbie, Boris René, also made it through to the second chance round with the song Put Your Love on Me. René, whose real last name is Lumbana, is a football player and had never performed in front of a large audience before Saturday night’s event in Norrköping.
The winner of Melodifestivalen, Sweden's most popular TV show, gets to represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest, which will be held in Stockholm this year since a Swede, Måns Zelmerlöw, won in 2015.