Borås pop-rock band State of Drama were the first to be voted through to the final with their upbeat Falling.
"It feels amazing. We like our song so we believed that we had a chance. It was a strong field and I think it was really close," the band's singer Erik Gullhamn said to Sveriges Television (SVT).
If State of Drama were considered underdogs in what had been widely perceived to be a strong line up, the second qualifiers Ravaillacz, consisting of four middle-aged groovers in the twilight of their respective careers, was a shock.
Their song En riktig jävla schlager (literally: A real bloody schlager) was largely a self-deprecating spoof, at times mocking the younger generation of singers for all sounding the same.
But the four wisely left most of the singing to Chess and Eurovision veteran Tommy Körberg and the public appeared to warm to their energetic old-school singalong.
"It is a good song and it shows that people have a sense of humour," Körberg said to SVT after the win.
Bodies Without Organs star Martin Rolinski and folk singer Caroline af Ugglas claimed the two runner up spots and will compete for places in the final at the "Second Chance" play off in Karlstad on March 2nd.
The Melodifestivalen moves on to Malmö next week for the final heat before the grand finale in Stockholm's Friends Arena on March 9th.
The international Eurovision final will take place in Malmö in May.
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Peter Vinthagen Simpson