Sweden - Dennis Flores

The Swedish National Selection, Melodifestivalen, travels to Göteborg this week for the second heat. 

Former competitor and host, David Lindgren, opens the show with a performance of Bee-Gees classic, "Staying Alive," complete with a pole dancing routine and water.

As usual, seven songs compete tonight, televoting lines open after all the entries perform and the top five entries advance to the next round of televoting. From these five, one wil be eliminated, two will go to the Andra Chansen (Second Chance) round on 3 March in Kristianstand, and the final two will go direkt till Final on 10 March in Stockholm. 

The second heat featured an exciting mix including former Mello competitors and a host, a Eurovision fan favourite.

Samir & Viktor - "Shuffla" (English Translation: Shuffle)

Samir & Viktor return with their third entry for Melodifestivalen. The song itself is very similar to other Samir & Viktor songs "Fick Feeling" and "Saxofuckingfon;" however, it sounds more well-rounded in its production. With moveable LED panels and backing dancers, Samir & Viktor call upon all of Sweden to dance with them. Repetitive, but definitely something you would expect to hear inside a club. 


Ida Redig - "Allting som vi ska" (English Translation: Everything as we said)

This singer-songwriter from Göteborg makes her Melodifestivalen debut dressed in a sparkly military-style jacket and a Swedish flag backdrop wall made out of CDs. A song with slow verses that builds up to an upbeat chorus. It sounds very happy, light, and positive. It sounds radio-friendly, it would be interesting to hear this song translated into English to perhaps reach a wider audience. 

Result - ELIMINATED (5th Place)

Jonas Gardell - "Det finns en väg" (English Translation: There is a way)

Jonas Gardell hosted Melodifestivalen 2003. This screenwriter and comedian was more recently featured on the in-between comedy segments in Melodifestivalen 2016. The song starts out dramatically with Jonas alone on a darkened stage and later joined by a mini-choir of backing singers and gold lighting as the song progresses. The song comes off uplifting; however, the vocals make it seem like it is a novelty act. Given Jonas' background, I'm not too sure if this is a comedic piece or serious; its strength is in its performance elements and not his vocal capabilities. 

Result - ELMINATED (7th Place)

Margaret - "In My Cabana"

Eurovision fans will recognize Margaret as the front-runner of the 2016 Polish national selection with her song "Cool Me Down," which was successful in Sweden. Staying true to her urban pop style, this summery song is simple in its structure, but very easy to get it stuck in your head. There is always room to improve on her vocal abilities, but overall, I did find this song contemporary and fun. 

 Result - Qualified to Andra Chansen round

Stiko Per Larsson - "Titta vi flyger" (English Translation: Look, we're flying)

Stiko Per Larsson won the P4 Nästa competition over the summer which granted him a spot in the competition. The folky song is positive could appeal to a wide audience of all ages. Vocally, I feel that the verses of the songs were a bit garbled and slurred, but I do enjoy the chorus. To me it seems like something was lacking in the performance. I wanted to be drawn to the song more, but feel that it was quite catching my full attention. 

Result - ELIMINATED (6th Place)

Mimi Werner - "Songburning"

Mimi Werner and her frayed clothing returns to Melodifestivalen having last competed in 2016 with "Ain't No Good" which placed 5th in her heat. "Songburning" has even more of a country influence compared to her previous entry. The anthem-like song is very strong in its presentation. I could see this song being played on US country radio. The only thing I did not enjoy was Mimi's adlibs towards the end of the song and the last note. Nevertheless, she was one of the entries I was looking forward to this heat, as I thought she should have placed better in 2016.

Result - Qualified to Andra Chansen round

LIAMOO - "Last Breath"

LIAMOO won the 2016 edition of Swedish Idol. A mix of rap and singing elements, this song is the most contemporary entry of this batch of entries tonight as it sounds very similar to songs on mainstream radio stations. Paired with strobe lights and smoke machines, the entire performance comes off very well-produced and quite obvious why the producers placed this song to close the show. 


Overall, I found tonight's entries more appealing that last week's heat which is a nice change because I would I always find myself struggling to watch the second heat of Melodifestivalen. 

It was a nice nod to Lill Lindfors shining moment in Eurovision 1985 which was also hosted in Göteborg when David Lindgren had his own wardrobe malfunction.

On 17 February, Melodifestivalen returns to the home of Eurovision 2013, Malmö.