A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Friday, February 5, 2016

Sweden: Melodifestivalen, semi 1

A few years ago, I stopped listening to the (almost) full-length clips of the Melodifestivalen entries that appear on the SVT website and content myself with the 30-second snippets presented each Thursday.

It does make it harder to predict, but who said things should be easy in the first place?

Most of the songs this week are about to get eclipsed anyway as one of the entires got disqualified two days prior to the semi. Anna Book's "Himmel för två" had already been published online when entered for the 2014 Moldovan final and was found ineligible to compete now.

All songwriters entering Melodifestivalen must sign a contract where they guarantee that their songs comply with the rules. This team claim they had no idea the song was made official back then and maybe that is true. However, a new rule paragraph stating that no song can be entered into Melodifestivalen if it has been entered to (and rejected from) another country's final could possibly come in handy.

It was in no way a major favourite that was pulled out of the running, but its absence could very well upset the balance between the other songs. Not least since it will be performed on the show and get compared to the others, only having the audience sympathy on its side.

01. Samir & Viktor / Bada nakna
Their entry last year was no big favourite of mine and I don't think this one will be either. Of course it is instant, catchy, easy to grab on to and a hit in the making. To me it just sounds like Basshunter kept evolving in the shadows, waiting for a chance to destroy us all.

02. Pernilla Andersson / Mitt guld
Proper and clean-cut singer/songwriter-material in Swedish. Very pleasant but hardly the song that will have the audience reach for the voting app.

03. Mimi Werner / Ain't No Good
A brave attempt to bring in some country music that wouldn't sound as polished and polite as the genre usually does in MF. The intention is good but this sounded very messy in the short clip.

04. Albin & Mattias / Rik
Sounds like a song that would be a hit on Swedish radio. Unfortunately that is probably its biggest problem: it sounds more like a radio song than something that would grab the viewers during a Saturday night tv show.

05. Anna Book / Himmel för två - Disqualified
A pretty average and very old-fashioned schlager that went from underdog to many people's favourite. Will be performed during the show but not until all other songs were heard.

06. Robin Bengtsson / Constellation Prize
Another stylish, likeable and radio friendly song with a not too distant kinship with Måns Zelmerlöw's recent output. Could suffer badly from coming directly after song 04 with no bouncy schlager in between them.

07. Ace Wilder / Don't Worry
Ace is going for gold with a spectacular stage show and a song that is likely to open up more when you hear it in full. Most likely the hit of the week but it is impossible to tell from this short snippet.

I decided to believe everyone who says Ace Wilder is in a league of her own this week, not least because I adored her entry two years ago. Apart from that - and the sad fact Pernilla is likely to grab that last place - I have no idea how to guess. Nothing really punched me in the face so far, so to speak.

My guess is that the charm of Samir & Viktor will work again and that the unfortunate new running order will make it a whole lot harder for the two radio songs to make an impression.

Tobson predicts:
Final: Ace Wilder and Samir & Viktor
Andra chansen: Mimi Werner and Albin & Mattias
5th: Robin Bengtsson
Out: Pernilla Andersson

During Saturday afternoon, the longer clips will be available at the official SVT website.

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