Semi Final 4: Skellefteå
Last week in Växjö, we saw Anton Hagman and FO&O advance to the Andra Chansen round, and Robin Bengtsson and Owe Thörnqvist go direkt till final.
This week we will finally hear the last seven remaining songs competing in Melodifestivalen this year. Similarly to other Semi-Finals this year we have a mix of Melfest debutants, returners, and Eurovision winners.
We travel up to the northern city of Skellefteå. Nu kör vi!
Jon Henrik Fjällgren feat. Aninia - En värld full av strider (Vearelde gusnie jeenh vigkieh)
Jon Henrik Fjällgren, who finished third in Melodifestivalen 2015, returns this year withThe rehearsal clip shows the stage in blue light, Jon Henrik is on the B-Stage, and Aninia is on the main section of the stage against a wind machine. There are some similarities to Jon Henrik’s 2015 entry, with a spiritual/indigenous vibe, but this one seems less magical and more serious or darker tone (the song does translate to “World Full of Battles”). The entry reminds me very much of Roger Pontare’s entry; however, something seems to be missing. The studio version preview clip, sounds more entertaining compared to the arena rehearsal, I imagine hearing this song being played against images of running water and nature.
Alice - Running with Lions
Alice Svensson makes her Melodifestivalen debut with a song co-written by Anderz Wrethov (notable for 2016 entries including: “We Are Your Tomorrow,” “Kizunguzungu,” “Bada Nakna,” and even ESC fan-favourite “Cool Me Down” from Margaret from Poland. Alice is best known in Sweden for finishing second in Idol 2008. “Running with Lions” is an upbeat and danceable Pop/R&B song and with some orchestra segments. In the rehearsal clip, Alice the stage itself is black, she is surrounded by gold spotlights and with the always-popular wind machine.
Les Gordons – Bound To Fall
The pop-rock band Les Gordons won over the jury of Svensktoppen nästa, and were awarded the opportunity to compete in Melodifestivalen. The band is compared is to fellow Swedish band The Hives. “Bound to Fall” is very reminiscent of SoCal pop rock band from the late 2000s. Based on the rehearsal video, we are going to see a standard band set-up, surrounded in a purple stage, and some accent lights in blue and gold.
Wiktoria – As I Lay Me Down
Wiktoria, returns to Melodifestivalen from her fourth place finish last year, with another song written by an almost identical team from her entry “Save Me.” “As I Lay Me Down” shares a very similar theme to her entry last year in many ways. The song itself is about trying to find the power of love to save her from her loneliness. Based on the studio clip, the song is going to be loud and powerful, almost like a march with some gospel choir elements. Staging-wise, Wiktoria is surrounded by blue spotlights and inside a rectangular platform structure to allow her to line her up with graphics on the diamond screen on the back wall and on the floor. Again, we have swirling colors, but this time not projected onto her clothes.
Axel Schylström – När ingen ser
As another Idol alumnus, Axel Schylström is known to the Swedish public for competing in the 2015 edition. Axel’s debut entry at Melodifestivalen is a typical dancepop number. His song translates to “When no one is looking,” Axel describes the message of his song as one of confidence in individuality, a dare to be yourself. Axel is surrounded in blue lights and four dancers. Based on pictures, CO2 jets are going to make a cameo this Saturday.
Sara Varga och Juha Mulari – Du får inte ändra på mig
Sara Varga returns to Melodifestivalen after last competing in 2011 where she finished ninth. Juha Mulari moved from Finland to Sweden when he was three years old. Both artists state that they write songs that are about survival, from getting out of a bad relationship to coping with traumatic events. Surrounded in gold lighting, this duet is a folky soft ballad, being performed in Swedish, it gives off an innocent romantic and almost magical feeling. The song translates to “You May Not Change Me,” and is about recognizing that you cannot change an individual, yet still coming to an understanding of each other.
Loreen – Statements
Loreen. Enough said.
One of the most-anticipated artists of the entire Eurovision National Finals season returns with a song written by the same team that wrote Måns Zelmerlöw’s winning song “Heroes.” Her rehearsal clip may be one of the more peculiar videos released, featuring fog, strobe lights, giant flag waving dancers, and another woman coming out of nowhere swinging around a handbag. Loreen explains that the staging will tell the story of a woman’s self-empowerment and also parallel into telling her own personal journey of confidence. With minimal clips to get a grasp of what’s in store, Loreen and her chord striking vocals are expected to make a statement on Saturday.
Two of these seven acts will be regulated to next week’s Andra Chansen round where the eight acts will duel off for the last four spots of the Final in two weeks time. The top two entries that receive the highest amount of votes will advance directly to the final.
Melodifestivalen airs on Saturday, 25 February, at 20:00 CET on SVT 1, and online at SVTPlay.se