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.