Sean Banan, whose real name is Sina Samadi, failed to make it through a “Second Chance” playoff in last year’s Melodifestivalen.
His win in Saturday’s heat in Gothenburg means he now has a place in next month’s Melodifestivalen final.
Sean Banan broke down in tears when the results came in on Saturday night. He had injured his knee during rehearsals and had to go to hospital for an X-ray, but the live performance went according to plan.
The other winner of the night was Louise Hoffsten – a wildly different artist from Sean Banan.
The 48-year-old Hoffsten is a veteran rock, blues and pop singer. She performed a more sombre song, titled Only The Dead Fish Follow The Stream.
It was a pared-down performance in which Hoffsten, flanked by three guitarists, sang and played the harmonica.
Just two weeks ago, Hoffsten, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, could hardly move and thought she would have to pull out of the competition.
On Saturday, she did not want to take the risk of falling over on the catwalk on live television. Instead, the audience saw a pre-recorded segment of her before her performance.
After the win, Hoffsten told reporters it felt “surreal”.
Sean Banan and Hoffsten took the third and fourth spots in Sweden’s Melodifestivalen final, after Japan-inspired glamrocker Yohio and ice hockey-playing crooner David Lindgren claimed the first two spots in Karlskrona last weekend.
Event organizer Sveriges Television (SVT) will run two more heats – in Skellefteå and Malmö respectively – 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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