SVT Reveals Melodifestivalen 2018 Running Order


With the first semi-final mere weeks away, SVT unveiled the last anticipated announcement regarding the show, that of the running order. With the most coveted spot being the closer (7), followed by the opener (1) and pre-closer (6), the most dreaded spots are going second (2), followed by third (3). So who has benefitted most and who will be made to fight that much harder for a qualification?

KARLSTAD – DELTÄVLING 1


1. Patrick Swayze
Artist: Sigrid Bernson


Sigrid was always the most obvious choice to open the show given her performance background and familiarity to the public as a professional dancer. Typically the producers will favour something that can offer a big show and strong impression to viewers. Start the show with a bang!

2. My Turn
Artist: John Lundvik 


It's unfortunate that an artist as quality as John Lundvik would end up in the worst slot in the running order but given his decision to enter the contest with a ballad, it's less surprising that he'd have a lot to overcome in winning over the viewers (and producers, apparently).

3. All The Feels
Artist: Renaida 


SVT has had a shoddy record when it comes to quality diversity and representation in the contest. So are we surprised that this is one of three semi-finals where artists offering representation to a more diverse audience are crammed back-to-back in the worst spots of the running order? Not at all.

4. Livet på en pinne
Artist: Edward Blom


Somehow an act that is listed (on Wikipedia, anyway, so we'll tread lightly on claims of accuracy) as an archivist, trade historian, writer, and television personality warrants a more favourable treatment from producers than legitimate artists who have made an effort to release music. Yikes.

5. Osby Tennessee
Artist: Kikki Danielsson


Kikki's been around for a while now but she's had an influx in popularity more recently so the timing was right for her to return to the contest.

6. Solen lever kvar hos dig
Artist: Kamferdrops


We saw this one coming for a while. Given that Kamferdrops had gained momentum in the last year in Sweden (she's originally from Norway) by releasing a cover of a Kikki Danielsson song, it was entirely predictable that SVT would not only put these two back-to-back in the same semi-final but that Kikki would go first between the two in order to ensure the maximum effect of emphasizing the connection between the two.

7. Dance You Off
Artist: Benjamin Ingrosso


He closed his semi-last year as a newcomer to the contest, qualified direct to the finals where he finished in the Top 5; there was never any doubt that Benjamin would be the one to close his semi-final once again in the 2018 contest!

GÖTEBORG – DELTÄVLING 2


1. Shuffla
Artist: Samir & Viktor


Samir & Viktor were tapped to open the show during their last competitive run and given how competitive a line-up they've found themselves in yet again, we just knew that they'd be the ones to open the show with another signature party number.

2. Allting som vi sa
Artist: Ida Redig


Despite having heard from some Swed-pop fans that have rated her favorably, it would seem that producers don't feel inclined to help out Ida Redig at all in this bloodbath of a semi. We can hear the echoing choruses of "Robbed!" from fans already.

3. Det finns en väg
Artist: Jonas Gardell


No surprises or objections here.

4. In My Cabana
Artist: Margaret


Perhaps it's not entirely surprising that the producers wouldn't favour Margaret as much as her fans would like. It's also a highly competitive semi-final with only seven slots to fill. But still, this borderline-position leaves us concerned about her qualification. She will really have to deliver every component at a high level to push past the threshold.

5. Titta vi flyger
Artist: Stiko Per Larsson


This was a big surprise. The winner of the Svensk Nästa Toppen contest didn't have much of an impression with viewers as this particular contest has long been treated as a giant question mark to fans since little to none of its winners have been able to even make it past the first round of voting in the semi-final. Nonetheless, we're intrigued. It's always fun to have good surprises in the line-up.

6. Songburning
Artist: Mimi Werner


Mimi had a rough ride in her debut back in 2016. Despite bringing an impressive and highly commendable song and performance, she found herself up against other strong competitors that had a larger name and establishment beforehand so she ended up finishing fifth in her heat. Now that she's back, we couldn't be happier to see that producers believe in her entry enough to give her such a strong position.

7. Last Breath
Artist: LIAMOO


Ever since LIAMOO was announced for Melodifestivalen 2018, there was little doubt to his potential and now he's shot up to number one in the betting odds even over the likes of Mello veterans Mariette and Benjamin Ingrosso. Who better to close this powerhouse semi-final?

MALMÖ – DELTÄVLING 3


1. A Bitter Lullaby
Artist: Martin Almgren


One of two Idol winners to this year but Martin's more old-fashioned (in comparison to LIAMOO) impression to the public may account for why he's been tapped to open instead of close this semi-final. Still, this capable vocalist may impress with something uplifting and up-tempo and we look forward to what that may be.

2. Stark
Artist: Barbi Escobar


Now we return to the tomfoolery. Our concerns beforehand regarding this semi-final would be that the three 'Latin' entries would be stacked back-to-back in the running order. Despite Mendez being able to break free of that, it's highly irksome to see the remaining two still pressed up against one another and in particular, going second and third.

3. Cuba Libre
Artist: Moncho


Given that Barbi's song is said to be more of a ballad while Moncho's is more up-tempo, it's not surprising that he would get the more favourable slot of the two (this same concept applies to semi-final 1).

4. Party Voice
Artist: Jessica Andersson


Though many veterans of the contest have gone out in the lowest manner possible (finishing last in their semi-final), Jessica Andersson's most recent foray back in 2015 saw her still manage to qualify direct despite having a more old-fashioned style of ballad (and staging). Will she maintain a steady set of decent results with a more up-tempo song? We'll se!

5. Min dröm
Artist: Kalle Moraeus & Orsa Spelmän


We have no idea.

6. Cry
Artist: Dotter


Dotter has had some decent start in gaining momentum as a solo artist and has displayed a more secure artistic presence. We always expected her to have a decent slot in the running order.

7. Everyday
Artist: Mendez


But perhaps the most pleasant surprise of all was to see that despite it being fifteen years since his last go in the contest, Mendez has been tapped to close his semi-final! He's been very clear in communicating his desire to bring a big party that will have everyone up, dancing, and having fun with a Latin (Spanglish) flavour! We can't wait!

Ö-VIK – DELTÄVLING 4


1. Icarus
Artist: Emmi Christensson


Emmi is more so known for being a musical theatre artist so this is a surprising announcement considering how many other traditionally-pop artists are available to choose from in the line-up. This is an intriguing choice.

2. Mitt paradis
Artist: Elias Abbas


This is perhaps the most shocking and outrageous development in the running order. Elias gained huge traction this past year with his infectious summer jam "Min queen" and has the legendary composer/producer Anderz Wrethov on his track. Yet somehow he's been stuck into the worst spot possible. Outrageous.

3. Break That Chain
Artist: Felicia Olsson


Felicia was last seen back in Melodifestivalen 2013 and presumably has developed quite a bit as an artist and person since then. So why bring her back into the fold at all if her 'upgrade' in running order is from 2nd to 3rd? Good grief.

4. Fuldans
Artist: Rolandz


A joke act getting a better spot than legitimate, diverse artists who were relegated to slots 2 and 3? Entirely on-brand with SVT's track record.

5. Never Learn
Artist: Olivia Eliasson


As Olivia is managed by the same team that has backed Anton Ewald and Wiktoria's runs in the contest, we're expecting staging with a large budget. As for the song, it's too early to tell.

6. Every Single Day
Artist: Felix Sandman


Despite coming alone this time, Felix (the 'F' in FO&O) Sandman is a highly experienced artist and performer. Regardless of the shift in musical style, his established popularity and extensive touring and performing experience will be major assets to him as he competes to establish himself as a solo artist.

7. For You
Artist: Mariette


This has been the announcement everyone knew was coming. The last artist in the last semi-final has always been someone with a lot of hype about them leading into the contest. It doesn't necessarily result in winning the whole thing but the build-up to seeing what they deliver is always exciting.

The Punisher S01E05 "Gunner" Recap


Lieberman is upset at Frank for risking exposure by saving Madani but Frank doesn't regret saving her life. Frank returns to Lieberman's home to help patch up the family car. Madani is feeling guilty over her mission going wrong despite being advised that she did everything she could to the best of her ability and no one blames her for it.

Frank and Lieberman determine they need to find Gunner Henderson, who was another one of Frank's former squad-mates. Henderson had been the one to film the video of Zubair's execution.

Madani meets with Karen Page who's is curious about the incident down at the docks with the car explosion. She hasn't decided whether or not she'll be writing a story on it though since she needs more information on the matter. Madani admits that Wolf was dirty, off the record. Karen won't explicitly admit that she knows Frank is still alive but subtly suggests that it's best to leave him alone to do his (revenge) business. Madani later tells her partner Stein that Frank is still alive but this information needs to be kept secret until she can figure out what to do about it.

CIA Director of Covert Operations William Rawlins is shown to be eavesdropping on Madani and Stein's conversation about the names of soldiers she wants him to investigate. Rawlins is the "Agent Orange" whom Frank attacked and blinded during a botched mission overseas with the super secret squad. He is also awarded a medal of honour and the promise of a potential promotion to deputy director when the current one retires.

Karen meets with Frank and tells him about her meeting with Madani. Frank admits to having pulled Madani out of a car. The two end up arguing as Karen is worried about Frank, wanting him to be able to have a lie after all this revenge business is finished, while he remains determined to stop these evil men and protect the people that are still alive that he does care about, including Karen herself.

Frank and Lieberman track Henderson down in rural Kentucky where he's been hiding out isolated in the woods. Henderson begins shooting arrows at Frank, forcing him to hide until he identifies himself and insists he's not part of the conspiracy against them. Eventually, Henderson believes him and is willing to give Frank the names he has, which is all Frank wants. Henderson shares how he realised what they were doing was wrong because a young man that was killed ended up having his body used to smuggle heroin into the States. The people present included the colonel, Bennett, and Agent Orange.

Frank and Henderson are alerted to a team of mercenaries coming after them, having been sent by Rawlins. Their mission is to kill Henderson before DHS can find him and learn what he knows. Frank helps Henderson to fight off and kill the mercenaries while Rawlins is shocked to see Frank alive and well on one of the men's surveillance body cameras. Lieberman helps Frank by feeding him information from a drone he has flying above the fight in the woods. Frank and Henderson are able to eventually kill all of the mercenaries but Henderson is mortally wounded, while Frank is also injured but still alive. Frank also speaks into one of the body cameras to let the viewer know that he's coming for them, not knowing that it's Rawlins (Agent Orange) watching.

Frank was supposed to have dinner with Lieberman's family but misses the get-together because of the mission. He says goodbye to Henderson in his dying moments and collapses in the woods from his own injuries. Lieberman finds his body and brings him back to New York City.

Madani goes out for drinks with Billy Russo again and invites him back to her place to have sex. He is taken aback when he sees her injuries once he starts to undress her but she won't be deterred.

The Punisher is available for streaming on Netflix.

The Punisher S01E04 "Resupply" Recap


Frank tries to attack a weapons shipment belonging to Turk Barrett but discovers that a Greek gang has already taken the supply. He must now work to find the weapons while also taking time to check in on Lieberman's family. Meanwhile, Madani is approached by her mentor Rafael Hernandez, who advises her not to investigate Wolf's corruption.

Curtis visits Lewis Wilson to check in on his progress, as Curtis has decided to dig a trench in his father's backyard and sleep there instead of in his room.

Frank helps Lieberman's daughter Leo, who is working on repairing the kitchen sink. Lieberman's wife is struggling to parent Zach, who has been lashing out because of the traumas associated with losing their father. Frank relates to them, as a man who lost his family. Lieberman watches the encounters closely, feeling tormented by not being able to tell his family he's still alive. Frank also offers to do the repairs on her car.

Lewis heads to a recruiting session for Anvil, the security company that Billy Russo is running. Billy dismisses Lewis from the program when Curtis advises him about Lewis' unstable mental health and trauma.

Madani is put in charge of the operation tasked with recovering the same weapons shipment that Frank is going after with Lieberman, who discovers that the recovery mission is happening after hacking the Department's files.

Lieberman decides to help Frank's play to get the weapons back. Madani and Castle end up in a high-speed chase to get the DHS shipment of weapons. It ends when Lieberman rams Madani's car with his truck. Frank pulls Madani out of the car before it explodes and lays her down on a patch of pavement. She recognises him, despite being disoriented. Frank admits to killing Wolf when she asks him, and warns her not to get in his way.

The Punisher is available for streaming on Netflix.

The Punisher S01E03 "Kandahar" Recap


Frank has Lieberman naked and tied to a chair to be interrogated. A strange noise sounds and Lieberman reveals that the place is rigged and there's only three minutes until the place explodes unless Lieberman enters a code and retinal scan to disarm the security measure. Frank warns him not to try anything or else he will kill him. Frank undoes one of his wrist ties and permits him to enter the code and retinal scan before re-binding his wrist. Frank didn't find any bombs when he secured the perimeter of the place but Lieberman is insistent that the threat is real. Lieberman shares how he was an NSA analyst that was sent some footage of the interrogation and murder that Madani has been investigating. He was the one that originally sent her the footage that ignited her desire to uncover the truth. Then not long afterwards, Lieberman was out with his family and spotted some armed men coming after him so he got out of the car and fled on foot until he was cornered on the ledge over the river, shot, and fell in all while his wife saw the entire encounter after following him. The cell phone he had in his pocket was what saved his life since it was over his heart and kept the bullet from killing him.

Madani is stressed by a jurisdictional dispute with the NYPD and FBI while also wracked with guilt over Wolf's death.

Frank has flashbacks to his time as a soldier in Afghanistan serving alongside Billy. They were members of a covert assassination squad led by an "Agent Orange" who are all tasked with executing Zubair before he can reveal their existence to outsiders. Frank was the one to pull the trigger but it was at the order of the man in charge that lied when translating what Zubair was saying.

In the present, Billy and Curtis drink at Frank's grave, remembering the days of them serving together. Billy asks Curtis why Frank didn't come to them for help and Curtis responds that Frank didn't want to bring them into things but merely wanted to enact his revenge himself. Frank is still interrogating Lieberman, who eventually knocks Frank out during one of the instances of him typing the code in since his pen was revealed to have a secret tranquilizer hidden within it. Frank is knocked out while Lieberman is able to free himself.

Lewis Wilson, one of the veterans in Curtis' support group, has nightmares from his time serving and nearly shoots his dad when he jolts awake. Wilson's father embraces him and assures him everything is going to be okay.

Madani's new partner Sam Stein tells her about some intel that shows that Wolf had $30 million hidden in offshore accounts. This is the breakthrough Madani needs to be able to trust him.

In another flashback to Afghanistan, the squad is ordered to raid a compound based off some of Organe's intel but the mission goes horribly wrong and many of their members are lost. Frank is enraged by Orange's flippant attitude towards the men and their lives so Frank loses his temper and attacks him, resulting in him being blinded in his left eye. Billy pulls Frank aside and says that he is requesting a transfer back and Frank needs to decide what he wants to do.

Lieberman was framed as a traitor to the public by Wolf and the others involved in covering up this operation. He and Frank discuss the matter when he wakes up and determine they must work together to take down the people that destroyed their lives.

The Punisher is available for streaming on Netflix.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S05E06 "Fun & Games" Recap



The Kree are making preparations to set forth an unschedule Terrigenesis ceremony to put many children through the process to hasten making the profits for Kasius to get away. Fitz finds a moment alone to speak to Gemma and tries to propose marriage but she can't hear him because of the implant Kasius has put in. When Kasius comes over, he explain to Fitz about the implant. Fitz convinces him to make her able to hear the guests so she can better serve them.

A boy named Flint who is a friend of Tess is put into Terrigenesis and successfully survives the process.

Fitz has dinner with Kasius and the other bidders, during which he impresses Kasius by being a strong and intimidating character.

The team helps Tess sneak Flint into hiding to prevent him from being sold off the base with the other Inhumans.

The first exhibition is held for the bidders, with May being an addition to the lineup despite not being an Inhuman. She still has her leg injury but remains a formidable fighter against Ben. Fitz subtly questions Kasius during the exhibition to learn more about his motives, including his trying to prove himself to his father. In the end, Ben is on the verge of winning the fight but May is still alive. Fitz, trying to save May, suggests that May simply be sent to the surface so they can get on to the main event of seeing 'The Destroyer' (Daisy) display her powers. Kasius agrees and May is escorted away by guards.

Tess is questioned in regards to Flint's disappearance by one of Kasius' men. He warns her there will be consequences if she is keeping things from him. Flint is wondering what his powers are, as they have yet to reveal themselves. Yo-Yo advises him on the process of getting new powers but the group is overheard and caught by Grill, who intends to turn them over to Kasius.

Ben is killed for lying during Daisy's interrogation, during which he claimed that Simmons was the only one that travelled through time with Daisy. Gemma meets privately with Daisy and assures her that Ben's death wasn't her fault. They work to form a plan of escape.

The team tries to reason with Grill, saying how they are there from the past to save the world but he doesn't believe in the prophecy, only profit. Flint saves the others from dying using geokinesis, his new power that has manifested. He is able to kill Grill before he can kill him or any of the team members.

Fitz is informed that Kasius' brother has arrived, which poses a problem as he's a more feared and more wealthy bidder than Fitz's alias. Faulnak is only there because their father ordered him to come. Faulnak declares that the only acceptable course of action is for Sinara to fight Daisy in the exhibition to the death.

Tess is hanged and killed as punishment for Flint's disappearance.

The battle ensues between Daisy and Sinara. It's an impressive display of skills but through a coordinated effort between Daisy, Fitz, and Simmons, they are able to to subdue the others and begin their escape.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on Fridays on ABC at 9/8c.

Ghost Wars S01E13 "...My Soul to Keep" Recap


Winston and some other townsfolk are armed and face off against some of the LAMBDA agents, demanding that they fly them out of town. Some ghosts appear, distracting the townsfolk. The armed agents make a run for it to board their helicopter and try to escape. But not long after the helicopter gets into the air it hits the supernatural barrier that keeps everything trapped, causing it to flip upside down and crash onto the ground down below, exploding on impact.

Roman and the others form a plan to fight back the ghosts. Roman will assemble the artifact and Billy, Val, Landis, and Daphne will be ghosts that try to go to Death's Door and put an end to all that has happened. Marilyn will tend to the bodies and do whatever is needed to ensure they come back to life once the mission is complete.

Val addresses the townsfolk at the bar and informs them of how they'll be embarking on a mission to try to save the town and that it's been an honour being their mayor. Doug is more than willing to look after the other people and try to protect them while their leaders risk their lives. Daphne tells Landis she wants her back working for her once this is finished but Landis tells her they need to survive this mission first before they have the conversation. Billy asks Roman who is real father was and Roman says he's never known who he was. Billy admits to having had flings with Roman's mother but upon realising the implication that Billy could be Roman's father they awkwardly separate.

Maggie visits Roman and tries to advise him not to go through with the plan to rid the town of all the spirits. She is insistent that she won't let the townspeople use Roman or hurt him, and reveals that she is aligning herself with the new spirits to try to stop them.

Winston arrives at the bar and brings a generator and a supply of gas as a peace offering, wanting to stay at the bar. He and Doug have an awkward reunion but it seems that for now they're willing to put their past conflicts aside.

The main group gathers in the church. Marilyn prepares some IV bags to hook up to the bodies that will be going under while Abigail and Isabel stay close by watching. Billy reveals a problem to Landis with his arm that suggests he is seemingly dying from his repeated visits to the other side. She tells him not to say anything right now because there is no other back-up plan and they are all needed to complete this mission.

Roman assembles the artifact and Billy, Landis, Val, and Daphne are displaced from their bodies onto the spiritual plane. Billy instructs them on how to transport themselves to the LAMBDA institute. Roman heads out to get to LAMBDA while the group prepares to fight off some of the ghosts beginning to appear.

The other still-alive members of the team turn on the accelerator again, hopeful that it will banish the ghosts but after a while the ghosts reveal that they're still around. One LAMBDA employee is badly attacked by being slammed on concrete walls.

Billy proposes that he sacrifice himself to open Death's Door in order to finally bring an end to all these ghost attacks. Daphne tries to offer herself instead, saying she is already dying. But Billy insists that he needs to be the one to do it. Marilyn will have to kill Billy's body in the real world so he can reach Death's Door. Billy says his goodbyes to Val and Landis.

Marilyn can't bring herself to kill Billy's body so Daphne's second-in-command agrees to do it for her, getting a dose of a lethal chemical to inject into him. Roman and Landis hold Billy on the spirit plane as he feels that he is dying. Landis says goodbye to him once more, saying that she loves him. Billy finally addresses Roman, as the two have come to the realisation that Billy is Roman's father. There isn't much time, as the ghosts have begun attacking again. Billy apologises to Roman for all the grief he has given him and Roman forgives him, saying he is a good man. They part ways and Roman works fast to get the other spirits back to the church so he can disassemble the artifact before Billy reaches Death's Door and opens it to send all the extra ghosts through to the other side where they belong.

Val and Landis wake safely and are concerned that Daphne seemingly hasn't gotten back in time but after a delay, she also wakes. The town grieves the loss of Billy and celebrate him for his sacrifice to save all of them. Landis and Daphne's second-in-command become concerned when they realise they don't know where the artifact is and both Roman and Daphne are missing. Doug gloats to them, saying he always warned them not to trust Roman.

Roman leaves on Billy's boat with Daphne, whose body has been taken over Maggie. The artifact is on board with them and the pair are running away together.

Some time later, some children in the town follow after the ghost of Rev. Dan, who is walking down the road by the church, whistling.

Ghost Wars airs on Syfy.

The Librarians S03E07 "And the Disenchanted Forest" Recap


Eve informs the other Librarians of Flynn's resignation and departure from the Library, stemming from Darrington's concerns that having more than one Librarian will lead to a Civil War. The Librarians ponder whether Flynn now hopes and expects two more of them to resign. Eve decides that the best course of action is to bring the Librarians to a team-building camp, having spotted it from the clippings book but also wanting the team to come back together again.

At the camp, Jacob develops an attraction to one of the counsellors. The Librarians take part in the various team-building exercises while learning that various campers have been disappearing under mysterious circumstances. The camp organizer simply calls them quitters with no further explanation.

Jacob and the counselor he's interested in go searching through the forest, while Eve follows a lead that sends her into a cabin. A man named Tannon sends her away, having already heard of her as the unachievable standard in his own profession and doesn't want her winning the competitive aspect of the camp.

Jacob's counselor is smitten by his charms and his admitting to believing in magic so she reveals to him that she is actually a reporter who was fired for writing about the Library. She thinks that these strange happenings will lead to the Library and vindicate her professionally so she could get her job back. She runs off when he takes too long to respond to her and his hand gets pricked on a tree. He finds footage from a Gopro belonging to another camper that is shown to have been yanked away by some live vines and branches. Ezekiel and Cassandra discover a mysterious suitcase in the lake that they believe is related to the case.

Cassandra and Ezekiel distract the team organiser, Mr. Bender, while Eve and Jake search through his cabin to try to find more information regarding the disappearances. Jake becomes disoriented by the sounds he has been hearing on and off since his hand was priced in the woods. Jake and Eve argue about her aggression in pushing the team to come together but Jake determines that she is just trying to fill the void that Flynn left behind when he quit without even saying goodbye. In her moment of passionate outburst, she knocks over a file that holds all the information not he missing campers and sets off to find Ezekiel and Cassandra while Jake goes to talk to his counselor. Jake apologises for earlier and tries to tell her the truth about his connection to the Library but collapses due to the sounds he's been hearing. Vines emerge and yank him into the woods.

She tells Eve, Cassandra, and Ezekiel about Jake being pulled in by vines. Jenkins tells them that this is the Devil's Forest and people have been disappearing there for at least the last century. They consider that Bender might be an immortal stealing souls to extend his own lifeform. Native Americans had believed that there was a Grandfather Tree from which all the world's forests originate. Eve and the Librarians confront Bender who admits he has been hiding the disappearances but doesn't know what's going on.

Eve and the Librarians finally track down the Grandfather Tree and find Jake's image in the tree. Some team members try to destroy the tree but then Jake's face speaks to tell them not to cut the tree down. Jake is being used as a translator for the Grandfather Tree and Jake was the perfect person for this since he's a linguist that speaks over 64 dialects. They give the Librarians a golden acorn that can be used to rebuild the forest if it is ever destroyed. Eve promises to protect it, after which Jake and all the other campers and people taken over the years are released from the trees. Jake brings his counselor to the Library to assure her she was right and reveals he is a Librarian. He sadly tells her he can't be with her since his destiny is with the Library.

The Librarians airs on Wednesdays on TNT.
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