Today the submission to the Melodifestivalen 2022 closed and there are many who want to participate and compete. As many as 2,530 songs have been uploaded and now the jury, led by producer Karin Gunnarsson, will listen through the entries.
Well we made it to the final at last. Here we are at Friends Arena in Stockholm to decide which of these 12 acts will represent Sweden in the 61st year of the Eurovision Song Contest which will also be hosted here in Stockholm but in the cozier Globen Arena. Tonight 28,000 people will attend Sweden’s most watched event, Melodifestivalen.
There is lots of speculation around who will win tonight but I still think it is anyone’s game. The bookies favourite originally was Molly Sandén but after the fourth semi-final all of the attention shifted to Frans and has remained there. The rankings amongst the pack below him has drastically changed almost daily. So it is anyone’s guess who will actually win. So here is my prediction for this evening’s result.
- Panetoz – “Håll Om Mig Hart” (Hold My Heart Hard) – Predict 10th place
- Lisa Ajax – “My Heart Wants Me Dead” – Predict 9th Place
- David Lindgren – “We Are Your Tomorrow” – Predict 12th Place
- SaRaha – “Kizunguzungu” (Dizziness) – Predict 6th Place
- Oscar Zia – “Humans” – Predict 7th Place
- Ace Wilder – “Don’t Worry” – Predict 8th Place
- Robin Bengtsson – “Constellation Prize” – Predict 5th Place
- Molly Sandén – “Youniverse” – Predict 4th Place
- Boris René – “Put Your Love On Me” – Predict 11 Place
- Frans – “If I Were Sorry” – Predict 2nd Place
- Wiktoria – “Save Me” – Predict Winner
- Samir & Viktor – “Bada Nakna” (Bathe Naked) – Predict 3rd Place
This year has been very difficult to predict as there are so many songs that could ultimately win. So what do you think?
Welcome to the penultimate show of the Swedish selection, Andra Chansen (Second Chance). This week we visit the Halmstad Arena in Halmstad to decide which four songs will join the eight direct qualifiers for the final on the 12 March. Gina Dirawi will be joined by Peter Jöback and Ola Salo this week for hosting duties. As the Second Chance is all about duels the opening theme is Bond styled including a performance of Skyfall of the hosts.
Duel 1 – Panetoz “Håll Om Mig hart” (Hold Me Tight) Versus Molly Pettersson Hammar “Hunger” – Predict “Hunger”
The urban dance group versus the larger than life diva. The upbeat dance number is growing on me and full use of the stage and audience area is impressive but I don’t think they will be no match for the overly dramatic ballad and pyrotechnics of Hunger. With Molly’s snub last year and the showy performance this year, Molly should progress easily to the final.
Duel 2 – Albin & Mattias “Rik” (Rich) Versus Boris René “Put Your Love on Me” – Predict “Put Your Love on Me”
This combo puts the seasoned performing brother against the footballer. I’m still surprised that Rik made it this far. The song lacks the singability factor whereas Boris’ song is instantly catchy. The only issue with both of these acts is that their vocal performances have been patchy. The happy bright performance of Boris does give him the advantage.
Duel 3 – ISA “I Will Wait” Versus SaRaha “Kizunguzungu” (Dizziness) – Predict “I Will Wait”
Will the pocket sized pop princess beat the feel good Swahili number? This battle is the most difficult to predict as both songs are good enough to be in the final. ISA’s song is great but is it too big for her? Will the Swedish public vote for a song in Swahili? I think ISA’s popularity will win out over the fun dance number.
Duel 4 – Dolly Style “Rollercoaster” Versus Samir & Viktor “Bada Nakna” (Bathe Naked) – Predict “Bada Nakna”
The Barbies against the Kens. I love the energy and performance of Dolly Style and the song is pure fun. Samir & Viktor’s performance is really focused on the water features and the shirtless finish but their song is still fun. I think Samir & Viktor’s popularity will win out over Dolly Style’s unfortunately.
Welcome to the last week of semi finals before visiting next week’s Andra Chansen (Second Chance). This week we visit the Gavlerinken in Gävle to decide which two songs will qualify for the final on the 12 March and which two songs will go to the Andra Chansen on the 5 March. Gina Dirawi will be joined by Sarah Dawn Finer this week for hosting duties.
The fourth semi-final is packed full of returning participants but there are a few debut artists as well which make cause some upsets tonight.
1 Eclipse “Runaways” – Predict Andra Chansen
This hard rock group has been going since 1999 and have released 6 albums so far. Their lead singer, Erik Mårtensson, has written their debut Melodifestivalen entry “Runaways.” The song is a typical rock number by very much a catchy one that you could sing along to after one listen. I think it is good enough tocarry on in the competition as their performance is solid but is it really Eurovision?
2 Dolly Style “Rollercoaster” – Predict Andra Chansen
Who could forget “Hello Hi”, Dolly Style’s debut last year which just missed out on a place in the final. With only one of the three original members, Dolly Style is back this year with “Rollercoaster.” The is song is everything that Bubblegum Pop should be, instantly catchy, sickeningly sweet and repetitive but I feel the song and performance is missing something. Although with their popularity they should easily progress to Andra Chansen again this year.
3 Martin Stenmarck “Du Tar Mig Tillbaks” (You Take Me Back) – Predict 7th Place
Former Melodifestivalen winner, Stenmarck is back for his third attempt with a Swedish language ballad. The only issue here the song feels dated and feels like an old Irish entry that has been translated. Compare that with a lacklustre performance and you go home unfortunately. This is Stenmarck’s weakest entry to date and will be very surprised if places higher than last.
4 Linda Bengtzing “Killer Girl” – Predict 6th Place
I’m not sure if the semi final is about weak entries for returning artist or what but here we are again with Linda Bengtzing, sixth time entrant with possibly her weakest entry to date as well. “Killer Girl” has the potential to have been a Schlager classic but it just feels a bit recycled with an attempt to update the Schlager sound. I think she will struggle to qualify even with her fan base.
5 Frans “If I Were Sorry” – Predict Finalist
Known for his football anthems, Frans has had little experience in the mainstream arena. His debut Melodifestivalen entry, “If I Were Sorry” has a real message behind the song and Frans delivers it with passion. One of the surprise favourites tonight due to his near spotless rehearsal could very well qualify for the final amongst so many big names. Although not my favourite style of music, I must give him credit as he has a song that could very well change his career.
6 Panetoz “Håll Om Mig Hårt” (Hold Me Tight) – Predict 5th Place
Panetoz are back after a year break with their new entry “Håll Om Mig Hårt” which is stylistically like their music and first entry “Efter Solsken”, which finished in 9th place, but it doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. Their boy band African style dance fusion has done well in Sweden and even gave them a number one but they haven’t since matched that success. Tonight I feel that they won’t be making any further accomplishments to their career.
7 Molly Sandén “Youniverse” – Predict Finalist
So onto the favourite, not only of the semi final but of the whole contest. Molly Sandén has participated twice before and has gone direct to the final both times. Why should the former Miss Eric Saade, now Miss Danny Saucedo, not qualify tonight as well. The song leaked due to a site giving a presale clip of the single but SVT allowed all the songs to be available for 24 hours to make it fair. Her rehearsal has been criticised but it was always going to be as she is the one everyone is watching. The song was co-written by her and Saucedo and I think the performance is good enough to get her direct to the final without worry.
What do you think?
Another week and another scandal. This past week a clip of Molly Sandén’s song “Youniverse” leaked on a website where you could pre-order the download of the song which resulted in SVT allowing all the fourth Semi Final songs (just 30 second clips) to be available for 24 hours. I wonder if all these “issues” have been created for our enjoyment. This week we visit the Himmelstalundshallen in Norrköping to decide which two songs will qualify for the final on the 12 March and which two songs will go to the Andra Chansen on the 5 March. Gina Dirawi will be joined by Henrik Schyffert this week for hosting duties.
The third semi-final is packed full of debut participants but there are a few returning artists as well which make cause some upsets tonight.
1 SaRaha “Kizunguzungu” (Dizziness) – Predict Finalist
Sara Larsson better known as SaRaha was actually born in Sweden but moved to Tanzania when she was young. She has performed on major television programmes in Africa but in 2014 actually had a song in the Swedish Charts “Mbele Kiza.” Now she is bringing her Swahili song “Kizunguzungu” which translates to Dizziness to the Swedish Selection. The very “Haba Haba” sounding song (Norweigian Eurovision 2011) is instantly catchy and should be in contention to qualify. In the past the Swedes have shunned songs in languages that aren’t Swedish or English but hopefully the beat will get them voting.
2 Swingfly feat. Helena Gutarra “You Carved Your Name” – Predict Andra Chansen
This is Swingfly’s second attempt in Melodifestivalen with his first entry in 2011 “Me and My Drum” qualifying directly to the final and he finished 5th overall. His new song “You Carved Your Name” sounds very much like “Me and My Drum” without the catchy Boom, Boom, Boom. He is backed up by Helena Gutarra who was in The Voice Sweden in 2012 but has done little since then. With Swingfly’s popularity means he should do well but I’m not sure the song will be good enough this time to qualify directly to the final.
3 SMILO “Weight of the World” – Predict 7th Place
This boy band have had several names in the short time they have been together; Smile, Smiling Swedes and SMILO. Typically known for their beach style music, their debut entry for Melodifestivalen is more commercial club style in my eyes. The band are standing around like they don’t know what they are doing. The song isn’t bad but the soulless performance will leave them out of the running tonight.
4 After Dark “Kom ut som en Stjärna” (Come Out Like a Star) – Predict 6th Place
Thank you After Dark for giving us some typical Schlager! This is After Dark’s third attempt to represent Sweden and I love it but this style of music is now considered “out of fashion.” Even with a drag queen is a pink tasselled outfit, I don’t think the song is strong enough commercially to get the Swedes to vote for it. I hope I’m wrong but I think After Dark won’t be moving on any further in the competition.
5 Lisa Ajax “My Heart Wants Me Dead” – Predict Andra Chansen
Being the winner of Idol 2014, you think that Lisa Ajax would be big artist but her winner’s single only charted at 48 in the Swedish Charts. Her song is pretty solid and has an early Loreen feeling to it. Her topless dancers won’t go amiss either. Her vocals during the rehearsal weren’t great so it will all depend on tonight’s performance. She should qualify to continue in the competition but not directly to the final unless she smashes it tonight.
6 Boris René “Put Your Love on Me” – Predict 5th Place
This Swedish football player who happens to dabble in singing as well debuts tonight in Melodifestivalen with “Put Your Love on Me.” The song is pretty catchy actually but not sure the footballer’s live vocals are good enough to qualify. The song is very repetitive so it easy to sing along to after one verse but will his vocals put off voters? Again all depends on tonight’s performance.
7 Oscar Zia “Human” – Predict Finalist
This is Oscar Zia’s third performance in Melodifestivalen and his second solo attempt. He lost out with Behrang Miri in the Andra Chansen stage in 2013 but qualified directly to the final with “Yes We Can” in 2014, finishing in eighth place overall. Zia is a very hot topic at the moment as he has recently come out as gay. With a combination of his popularity, the amount of media attention and the fact he’s written the song himself Zia should easily qualify for the final. The song is a mid tempo ballad with haunting tone similar to Mariette’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”
What do you think?
This week we visit Malmö Arena to decide which two songs will qualify for the final on the 12 March and which two songs will go to the Andra Chansen on the 5 March. As Charlotte Perrelli has been demoted from host to guest performer, I imagine we will be seeing a lot more of Gina Dirawi. How will the jokes work with just one presenter, we will have to wait and see.
The second semi-final is packed full of past participants but there are a few debuts as well which make cause some upsets tonight.
1 David Lindgren “We Are Your Tomorrow” – Predict Finalist
This is Lindgren’s third attempt at the crown with both of his previous entries qualifying directly to the final it is likely that his third will as well. Currently in the Swedish production of Jersey Boys, Lindgren has a green light laser show mid tempo number that is a great middle of the road entry that with his popularity will progress to Friends Arena.
2 Victor och Natten “100%” – Predict 7th Place
This is Victor’s debut in Melodifestivalen and I’m not sure his presence will be long lived. He looks like a guy who has wondered in the studio by mistake and jumped on stage with a bunch of cheerleaders hoping for 15 minutes of fame, if he last the 3 minutes of the song I’d be surprised. The music style, performance and presentation of the song is all wrong and not even sure why SVT thought this was good enough to be in the contest.
3 Molly Pettersson Hammar – “Hunger” – Predict Andra Chansen
Last year Hammar failed to qualify with “I’ll be Fine” which shocked and angered many fans but if you watch it back Hammar’s tuning and shouting was enough to count her out. Although I think “I’ll be Fine” is a better song than “Hunger”, her new found following should be enough to at least get her into Andra Chansen. Her tuning hasn’t been great during rehearsals either so it will all depend on her performance on the night.
4 Isa “I Will Wait” – Predict Andra Chansen
Isa’s career has taken off since last year’s “Don’t Stop” finishing 7th in last year’s final. “I Will Wait” is a change in style and direction for Isa though. It is a powerful song and possibly a little too big for the 17 year old to pull off. Saying that it is great to have such a great young talent back in the contest but she may need to settle for Andra Chansen this time around.
5 Krista Siegfrids “Faller” (Falling) – Predict 5th Place
Siegfrids Finnish entry in 2013 “Marry Me” was one of my favourties and so glad to see her back but why Sweden? Siegfrids mother tongue is Swedish and was born in the small part of Finland where Swedish is commonly spoken but will the Swedish public care? The Swedish public are fickle to say the least. I really like “Faller” but it isn’t good enough without a following to qualify, I’m afraid.
6 Patrik Isaksson, Tommy Nilsson & Uno Svenningsson “Håll Mitt Hjärta Hårt” (Hold My Heart Hard) – Predict 6th Place
This trio of legends have all participated in Melodifestivalen in the past and collaborations of this kind have done well in the past but I don’t their song is good enough to advance. Hasse Andersson’s entry last year had that charm that captivated the audience even though it was terribly old fashion. This song lacks that charm and will struggle to qualify.
7 Wiktoria “Save Me” – Predict Finalist
This is Wiktoria’s debut in Melodifestivalen but has been in the junior version, Lille Melodifestivalen, back in 2011. The song and the performance are surprisingly good, a mix of country and pop with a little bit of soul. With the use of special effects, Wiktoria’s outfit, which is a beige catsuit, miraculously becomes part of the visual presentation of the song. Not many debut artists qualify direct to the final these days but I believe Wiktoria has a very good chance this evening.
What do you think? …
On Saturday, Sweden selected another two acts to go direct to the final and two to go to the second chance round (Andra Chasen). Östersund was on fire with arguably the best run of songs so far in the Swedish selection but it was Isa and Jon Henrik Fjällgren that advanced to the Friends Arena for the final on the 14 March 2015.
Ellen Benediktson – Insomnia – Eliminated (5th Place)
Benediktson was a finalist in last year’s final with “Songbird” placing 7th. This year’s entry is very different and has a new-look Benediktson performing the number. With dramatic lighting, fairly good building beat and lots of rubber “Insomnia” should of qualified easily. The issue is that the song builds but doesn’t really climax at any point. It is missing that dramatic diva moment that this song needs. With such stiff competition this song just wasn’t enough to go through.
Kalle Johansson – För din skull – Eliminated (6th Place)
This young male singer doesn’t seem old enough to carry off a number at a national selection. Johansson seemed awkward on stage and he failed to lift what was a boring performance. The song was ok but nothing special. Definitely not something you would remember in five minutes time.
Andreas Weise – Bring Out the Fire – Advances to the second chance
Weise comes across as a bit of an arrogant performer who has scantly clad women all over him. This former Pop Idol finalist, I believe lacks the charisma that this type of performance really needs. The song is fairly mediocre but is easily hummable after the first chorus. Saying that, I needed the recap to remember this one as well.
Andreas Johnson – Living To Die – Eliminated (7th Place)
Arguably the most disappointing song of the evening, Johnson’s sixth attempt at the Melodifestivalen crown was his weakest. The song starts like it will build into a dramatic rock power ballad but it just falls flat. Johnson’s performance of the song also left the audience feeling cold. There was simply no engagement or passion from Johnson, maybe he didn’t like the song himself.
Isa – Don’t Stop – Advances direct to the final
This isn’t Isa’s first attempt at Eurovision in 2010 she tried to represent Sweden in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. As a co-writer this bubble-gum pop entry is a instantly catchy number. Reminiscent of early Britney or Christina Aguilera, is also a professional dancer and uses this ability to give this song a boost. Along with her gold-winged trainers, Isa manages something that most performers dream of achieving a finalist place on her first attempt at the crown.
Kristin Amparo – I See You – Advances to the second chance
This Swedish X Factor participant has in my opinion the best song of the night. Very much in Adele-like style, Amparo delivers the track the way it should be with real passion. The staging and production are flawless and creates a truly atmospheric performance. Her voice is a little shaky in places which is possibly why she doesn’t advance directly to the final but I believe she a real shot at winning a place during the second chance round. I could easily see this song covered in Afrikaans and many other languages.
Jon Henrik Fjällgren – Jag är fri (Manne Liem Frije) – Advances direct to the final
Grab your tissues! This performer and song has a story and who doesn’t like a story. Last year’s winner of Sweden’s Got Talent, Fjällgren won the hearts of Sweden by singing his traditional Joik music for the masses. The Sami or Laplander people are known for this type of simple style chanting style music. Adding to the fact that Fjällgren is a Columbian orphan adopted by a Sami family who was bullied as a child because of the colour of his skin is also a reindeer herder which is very typical of the Sami people. The performance and staging of his song is enchanting and exceedingly difficult not to feel something for this number. If you pair all this along with the message of his song “I am Free” I believe that we might not of just heard the winner to Melodifestivalen but to the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.
Tonight the third semi-final of Sweden in Östersund, Sweden starts at 20:00 CET in on SVT Play.
For today only! You can also listen to 2:30 second studio snippets here!
Which 2 songs will proceed to the final? Which 2 songs will have a second chance and which 3 songs will be eliminated? You decide.
- Ellen Benediktson – Insomnia
- Kalle Johansson – För din skull (For Your Sake)
- Andreas Weise – Bring out the fire
- Andreas Johnson – Living to die
- Isa – Don’t stop
- Kristin Amparo – I see you
- Jon Henrik Fjällgren – Jag är fri (Manne leam frijje) (I am Free)
Tonight the first semi-final of Sweden in Gothenburg, Sweden starts at 20:00 CET in on SVT Play.
You can also listen to 2:30 second studio snippets here!
Which 2 songs will proceed to the final? Which 2 songs will have a second chance and which 3 songs will be eliminated? You decide.
|Artist||Song (English translation)||Writers (Music / lyrics)|
|1||Molly Pettersson Hammar||“I’ll Be Fine”||Molly Pettersson Hammar, Lisa Desmond, Tim Larsson, Tobias Lundgren, Gavin Jones|
|2||Daniel Gildenlöw||“Pappa” (Dad)||Daniel Gildenlöw|
|3||Rickard Söderberg &
|“One By One”||Elize Ryd, Jimmy Jansson, Karl-Ola Kjellholm, Sharon Vaughn|
|4||Dolly Style||“Hello Hi”||Emma Nors, Palle Hammarlund, Jimmy Jansson|
|5||Behrang Miri feat.
|“Det rår vi inte för” (We don’t control it)||Behrang Miri, Albin Johnsén, Måns Zelmerlöw, Tony Nilsson|
|6||Jessica Andersson||“Can’t Hurt Me Now”||Aleena Gibson, Fredrik Thomander|
|7||Eric Saade||“Sting”||Arash Fahmi, Fredrik Kempe, Hamed “K-one” Pirouzpanah, David Kreuger|
We can announce that ESC Covers together with ESC United will join forces to bring you more detailed coverage of the 2015 Swedish selection from both Andra chance and the final in Stockholm. Thank you to all who have been involved to make this possible, especially those at Melodifestival who approved the accreditation for our journalist and his cameraman.