It’s finally time to kick off the Melodifestivalen circus once again! Are you as excited as we are? We’ll be glued to the TV sofa the next six Saturdays, just like a couple of a million others in Sweden.
Melodifestivalen is a BIG DEAL in Sweden. Last year’s final was seen by almost 3,5 million people (of a 10 million population). The travelling circus, with preliminary heats held in different towns around Sweden, has been a successful format that has broadened the show’s appeal. A large number of songs are brought to the public eye each year, allowing for a variety of genres. This year we have again four preliminary rounds with seven songs in each.
The first preliminary heat in Gothenburg is promising to be entertaining, with a spectacular opening number and our introduction to this year’s hosting trio: David Lingdren (Melodifestivalen alumn and musical theatre star), Clara Henry (blogger, YouTuber, author, TV presenter) and Hasse Andersson (long-time artist and last year’s Melodifestivalen debutant).
Music-wise we do have some very strong contenders here (based on the 1 minute snippets of the songs and 30 second rehearsal video released beforehand).
Newcomer Nano is the one getting a lot of attention from expert commentators and deserverdly so. Having seen him perform live before, he really did make an impression with his powerful and emotional delivery. The song Hold On seems to be something in the vein of Rag’n’Bone Man‘s big hit Human – in other words, huge potential for a breakthrough here. So this is the one to bet your money on to go straight to the final.
Our long-time favorite Ace Wilder is back after her earlier 2nd and 3rd place Mello finishes. This time she doesn’t want to take any pressure from the competition (as it all got a bit too much with last year’s advanced show number of Eurovision proportions). So she has scaled down her performance for Wild Child and lets the song and dance speak for themselves. She is here to bring on the fun and the song should be strong enough to get her to the final as well. We love it, hope you do too!
The third standout from the first heat is Adrijana, the young rapper bringing the very up-to-date urban sounds to the Melodifestivalen stage with her song Amare. This will be a hit regardless of how she does in the competition, but she really deserves a spot in the final, either directly or through the Second Chance. It is very good to see how contemporary the line-up seems to be this year.
Boris René, who is starting the competition, has a very nice and contagious feelgood number, much like his last year’s Mello debut. Dinah Nah also returns for her second run. She brings us a 90s dance music influenced song One More Night, which will definitely find its place on many dance floors.
We also have previous two-time Mello winner and one-time Eurovision winner Charlotte Perrelli in this heat. She is however here to showcase her new style as a guitar-wielding singer-songwriter. Her main aim is to bring out her own music to the audience, and this really has no chance of success in the competition.
Then there is this year’s compulsory novelty act De Vet Du, who are putting on a big show and showing off that DJ guy’s bare chest. They do have their (YouTube) fanbase, but it can’t really be enough to get them very far in this competition.
There’s still plenty of good stuff to expect in the coming weeks, including the return of probably the greatest Eurovision winner of our time Loreen, or the hugely popular boyband The Fooo Conspiracy – or as they are now calling themselves after losing one member and thus one O from their name: FO&O. You can also look forward to seeing Finland’s Eurovision queen Krista Siegfrids on the Mello stage for the second year in a row, and our sweetheart Jasmine Kara doing her debut. Be sure to check out our interview with Jasmine if you missed it before.
SVT have been kind enough to start putting out Melodifestivalen morning updates in English Thursday through Saturday during the six-week Melodifestivalen period. You can check them out here.
And you can see the actual competition on Saturdays at 20:00 on SVT1 or anytime here on SVT Play.
Oh, and be sure to get the Melodifestivalen app on your phone, so you can vote for free (if you’re more of a hard-core Mello fan, you will also call or text your additional votes).