WHEN?: Saturday 13 March 2021
WHERE?: Annexet, Stockholm
HOW TO WATCH?: SVTPlay
We’ve enjoyed this Melodifestivalen more than we have for many years which may in part be due to the extra time lockdown has afforded us to obsess about it.
- Read on for reasons including how we think this year’s finalists would fare at the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest
- Danny Saucedo Dandi dansa (Danny Saucedo, Karl-Johan Råsmark) OUR RANKING: 3rd ESC PREDICTION: 6th to 10th
Saucedo appears to have distanced himself from his previous Melodifestivalen efforts and we’re not entirely sure why. Dandi dansa is in Swedish although its lyrics are both playful and nonsensical. Musically, it feels a little Jamiroquai but it’s a lot more fun than that and the Macarena element of the song shows it is tongue in cheek and the staging is a step beyond most of what we’ve seen in a challenging year for Melodifestivalen in 2021.
2. Klara Hammarström Beat Of Broken Hearts (David Kreuger, Fredrik Kempe, Niklas Carson Mattson, Andreas Wijk) OUR RANKING: 11th ESC PREDICTION: 21st to 26th
It was the only duel result that we predicted correctly in Andra Chansen. It’s the only Fredrik Kempe song in the finalen yet 1 of 2 K/Claras. Performed and staged well but reminding us a little too much of a song from hit film The Greatest Showman to be 1 of our favourites.
3. Anton Ewald New Religion (Jonas Wallin, Joe Killington, Anton Ewald, Maja Strömstedt) OUR RANKING: 7th ESC PREDICTION: 21st to 26th
A triumph of choreography over singing. The songwriting is strong and the staging good but our impression is that Sweden likes its singers to be impressive and that would always be a challenge for Ewald who is appearing in his 3rd Melodifestivalen finalen and performed as a back-up dancer with Saucedo whom he also choreographed when his Amazing was the 2012 runner-up.
4. The Mamas In The Middle (Emily Falvey, Robin Stjernberg, Jimmy Jansson) OUR RANKING: 6th ESC PREDICTION: 16th to 20th
Move was an inspirational song that would have struck a chord and, although similarly gospel, In The Middle is a little more downbeat which we suspect will impede its chances at the 13/3/21 finalen. The Mamas are great live performers and, while it would be foolish to ever rule them out, we don’t feel any amount of female empowerment, group unity and strong singing can lift this to victory.
5. Paul Rey The Missing Piece (Fredrik Sonefors, Laurell Barker, Paul Rey) OUR RANKING: 12th ESC PREDICTION: 21st to 26th
Frida Green’s song The Silence was the 1 we most wanted to progress from Andra Chansen. The Missing Piece is a radio hit from a competent artist who has surprised us 2 years in a row in making the finalen.
6. Charlotte Perrelli Still Young (Thomas G:son, Bobby Ljunggren, Erik Bernholm, Charlie Gustavsson) PREDICTION: 11th to 15th
We’re far more enthusiastic about La Perrelli’s triumphant return to Melodifestivalen than we think Sweden will be come the 13/3/21 finalen. Given that she won Eurovision in 1999 and Melodifestivalen in 2008, super producer Christer Bjorkman will be pleased that she’s come back with such a modern-sounding schlager banger as Still Young. The performance is iconic yet, like Hero, we don’t think it would do as well on the Eurovision stage as it deserves to because it might just be regarded as old-fashioned. A song of the week for us in March.
7. Tusse Voices (Joy Deb, Linnea Deb, Jimmy “Joker” Thörnfeldt, Anderz Wrethov) OUR RANKING: 10th PREDICTION: non-qualifier
Tusse is a former Swedish Idol winner and has a strong voice but we’re amazed he is the runaway favourite with the bookmakers. For us it is his song which is his weakness. We find Voices’ lyrics to be cliched and the theme is so obscured that it could be applicable to almost anything. If he wins, we think it will be Sweden’s worst result since Anna Bergendahl failed to make the Eurovision final in Oslo in 2010.
8. Alvaro Estrella Baila Baila (Anders Wrethov, Linnea Deb, Jimmy ‘Joker’ Thörnfeldt) OUR RANKING: 8th PREDICTION: non-qualifier
Our most pleasant surprise from the Andra Chansen duels. Estrella makes the finalen for the 2nd year in a row but this time as a soloist. It’s a simple Latin dance pop number and there’s almost something melancholic and yearning about Baila Baila which is intensely moving in these Covid times. It’s easy to wish Spain could enter something so accessible for Eurovision.
9. Clara Klingenström Behöver inte dig idag (Do not need you today) (Clara Klingenström, Bobby Ljunggren, David Lindgren Zacharias) OUR RANKING: 9th PREDICTION: 21st to 26th
While Eva and Ewa brought the fun to their duel, this was probably the most sensible result. It’s another song which benefits from the extra time afforded it in Andra Chansen and may well perform better than we’re expecting in Melodifestivalen simply because it stands out among those songs surrounding it.
10. Eric Saade Every Minute (Eric Saade, Linnea Deb, Joy Deb, Jimmy “Joker” Thörnfeldt) OUR RANKING: 4th ESC PREDICTION: 3rd to 5th
The bookmakers have this as Tusse’s most serious competition for the win. While Saucedo has the problem of following up near Melodifestivalen victories, Saade won in 2011 and has been top 5 on each of the two other occasions he’s taken part. Every Minute sounds more current – particularly the ‘na, na, na, na’ hook – and the simple staging is hugely effective but its lyrical darkness is a barrier to its connection with us. It’s probably the most credible Saade MF effort but we’re not sure Sweden will go for it in the same way as it has for him recently.
11. Dotter Little Tot (Johanna Jansson, Dino Medanhodzic) OUR RANKING: 1st ESC PREDICTION: 1st to 5th
We wanted Bulletproof to win in 2020 and it was difficult to see it lose so narrowly to an inferior song given a fabulous performance. While Bulletproof reminded of Florence and the Machine, Little Tot is darker, electronic dance music with a killer hook that brings Robyn to mind. Question marks have been raised about Dotter’s ability to perform at the same standard as the songs she pens but they felt well and truly answered by an imperious Heat 2 victory. Lyrically, the message to a younger self about not making the same mistakes as an older generation speaks to us of Sweden’s own Greta Thunberg which we hope resonates.
12. Arvingarna Tänker inte alls gå hem (Not going to go home at all) (Stefan Brunzell, Nanne Grönvall, Thomas G:son, Bobby Ljunggren) OUR RANKING: 5th ESC PREDICTION: non-qualifier
Arvingarna won Melodifestivalen back in 1993 and there’s lots to enjoy in this schlager stomper of old. It interpolates elements of Steps’ fine cover of the Bee Gees’ Tragedy and It’s Raining Men by the Weather Girls which is a good start and the fact that the Swedish title sounds like something very rude in English is once heard and never forgotten. Like Saucedo, it’s bus loads of fun but we suspect it isn’t going to Eurovision and unlike Saucedo’s effort it would definitely have to switch to English for any chance of making it to the Eurovision final.