Nyköping, a sleepy, tiny Swedish town, is now the third time hosts of the second chance round. It’s not a big city but the lovely castle and the picturesque landscapes are worth the trip.
The Andra Chansen round is always an interesting week as you don’t know what is going to happen. We eagerly await for the results of the four semifinals but then it’s down to SVT to decide who will duel who. In my opinion, I do think SVT has a bit too much control over this, as you end up with potentially poor songs in the final based on the duel selections. This year is no exception, as SVT put the two strongest songs against each other.
The show starts off with Sarah Dawn Finer doing a mash-up of songs because she is sick of singing ballads. It is a great all-inclusive number and has the entire audience joining in.
(bolded songs are the duel winners)
Duel 1 - Andreas Johnson “Army of Us” Vs. Anna Bergendahl “Ashes to Ashes
Duel 2 - Vlad Reiser "Nakna i Regnet" Vs. Nano “Chasing Rivers”
Duel 3 - Martin Stenmarck "Låt Skiten Brinna" Vs. Lisa Ajax “Torn”
Duel 4 - Rebecka Karlsson “Who I Am” Vs. Arvingarna “I Do”
The first duel is actually a good match up between 2 Melfest veterans. It is rock versus schlager. Although I think this is Andreas’ best entry for ages he hasn’t exactly been mainstream popular for awhile. Not that Anna has a fan base to shout about. Since her Melfest win and her non-qualifying at Eurovision her music has done recently either. She has had a change in style and this country-pop schlager seems to be gaining her a few fans. Which is why she has won this one easily as she ticked more of the different age profiles then Andrea has.
In the second duel, Vlad Reiser is trying to win us over with his non-song against one of the best vocalists in the competition, Nano. Vlad is only here due to his Instagram fame, his lack of talent and the poorly written song should of gone out in his semi. Whereas Nano is a pure class. In 2017, a lot of people thought Nano would win actually. Although Chasing Rivers isn’t Hold On it is still the better song in this duel by a mile. Using his son as the younger version of himself is a great touch. Again another easy win for Nano. Nano wasn’t available for interviews or photos due to his little brother being seriously injured in a car accident this past week.
The third duel is almost a repeat scenario of the first. Rock versus mainstream pop ballad. Again this is one of the best songs that Martin has done for Melfest but this is also the most authentic song that Lisa Ajax has done. Her dramatic performance of the song and emotion makes this her best performance to date as well. Martin’s song has grown on me but it just doesn’t have the emotion that Lisa’s does. Lisa takes this duel and deserves her place in the final.
The last duel was the duel that shouldn’t of happened. They are both strong songs that deserve to be in the final. Rebecka delivers a heartfelt story of her life and shows she means business. Her vocal is a little shaky in parts and sometimes shouts as well. Arvingarna will completely steal the show with their camp dansband number complete with stage floor animations. Which has the dansband comfortable progressing to the final.
We had some special guests for the interval including Eurovision legend, Johnny Logan, singing Hold Me Now. We also were treated to the first performance of Måns Zelmerlöw & Dotter’s new duet single, Walk With Me.