Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Benjamin Ingrosso, Robin Bengtsson, Lisa Ajax at Melodifestivalen Finals (Interview)

Photo: Lizel Strömberg (ZEL Photography)

As is customary, the Melodifestivalen acts gave a press conference on the day of the first open (to the media) Melodifestivalen rehearsals of the week. They shared about their preparations leading up to the finals and gave us an opportunity to speak with some of the people we had yet to meet, such as Jon Henrik Fjällgren, who has returned to the contest after finishing as the runner-up in 2015.

"I have [thought] about it and I have missed it," says Fjällgren of his return to the contest. This time he is entering in collaboration with a singer called Aninia who sings in Swedish in-between the Joik (a traditional form of singing for Sami people) of Fjällgren. "She is an amazing singer and we are spiritually connected. She's great so why not?"

Benjamin Ingrosso has made it direct to the finals and now faces a line-up that has many acts that have not only previously competed in the contest but made it to the finals before. Still, he remains focused on giving his best performance. "I'm feeling good. I'm so excited, it's huge! It's a lot bigger than Malmö arena so it's gonna be a lot of fun." He plans to make some small changes to his performance by switching up his wardrobe, though he has yet to decide what exactly he'll be wearing on the night of the finals. "I think I will decide on Saturday, maybe."

Robin Bengtsson has had one of the better runs since all the songs were released to the Swedish public, as the top-selling/streaming songs have been his, Wiktoria's "As I Lay Me Down," and Nano's "Hold On". Whether it will be enough for him to win the whole thing is yet to be seen, but he and his team have already done the preparations to transfer the set-up of his performance to work in Friends Arena. "It's all set up now and looking great," says Bengtsson. "We just tried the treadmills a bit yesterday, like five minutes, but today we're gonna try the whole thing."

Lisa Ajax is another back-to-back Melodifestivalen competitor and finalist. Once again she has entered with a song written on by The Family, "I Don't Give A". She won in her Andra Chansen duel against Axel Schylström in what seemed to be a close duel. "It's so hard to say when it's only two people like me or Axel and you don't know what people will like the most. It was a touch situation." She says an EP is coming and just recently recorded a new song that will be released soon.

Watch our full interviews with Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Benjamin Ingrosso, Robin Bengtsson, and Lisa Ajax during the first Melodifestivalen finals rehearsals here:


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