Well, this year’s Melodifestivalen is off to a good start, and the second Mello week takes us to Gothenburg. Hang along, as we take a look at the seven competitors getting on stage on Satuday.
The first heat of Melodifestivalen showed that good taste still prevails, as proper music won over novelty acts. The first spot in the final went to John Lundvik, who had undoubtedly the best vocals of the night and a great song – but it was still a surprise that he nabbed that final place right off. The other straight-to-the-final performer was Benjamin Ingrosso, who had been the most obvious qualifier and whose number really was a cut above the rest. Renaida and Sigrid Bernson get a second chance…
The Gothenburg heat will start off with Samir & Viktor‘s third entry in Mello. These guys have a string of hits, which have done especially well on streaming platforms. Their brand of party anthems tend to appeal to youngsters, and they seem to be out to create a new dance craze for the kids on Musical.ly with their shufflin’. Plus they are giving a nod to 1920’s vibes and charleston, together with the compulsory sax guy.
The second one out is Gothenburg’s own indie darling and Mello debutante Ida Redig. She brings a modern pop song and a cool style with military-inspired Mello-bling. A reference for her sound world could be Oskar Linnros – something you will hear on P3 radio, but not necessarily in the Mello final.
Then we have Jonas Gardell, author, actor, comedian, director and opinion maker, who has now decided to join Melodifestivalen as an artist. He doesn’t seem to expect much success even himself, as he tells he has booked a trip to another continent for dates he should be here if he went on to the final. So the question really is, why exactly did Christer Björkman bring him along instead of someone younger and hungrier?
Fourth one out is the competition’s biggest surprise entry, Poland’s own superstar Margaret. The reason she is entering in Sweden is not just that the Polish audience robbed her of victory in 2016 (when she should have won the whole friggin’ Eurovision). Her entry becomes quite obvious when you realize that the people behind her from songwriters and producers to the record label are Swedish, and she has enjoyed previous hits in Sweden. She brings latin vibes, so she could not be more on point and up-to-date on the current music trends. Getting voted to the final will be dependent on how well she does this live. In any case, remember: what happens in the cabana, stays in the cabana…
Then there’s Stiko Per Larsson, who got his spot by winning Svensktoppen Nästa. He is known for going walkabout with his guitar on his back, touring on foot from Stockholm to Oslo or other such routes of hundreds of kilometers – while collecting money for charity. His folk sounds are spiced up with happy beach vibes, but still not very likely to get him further in the competition.
On spot six we have Mimi Werner, who is returning to Mello for a second time. Her country pop sound has clearly taken a step up from her previous entry and she brings along some cool drummers on stage to accentuate the cool beat. The song is about an earworm, so let’s see if this gets stuck in your head.
The coveted last spot of the night belongs to the biggest before-hand favorite Liamoo, winner of the 2016 season of Swedish Idol. Since winning Idol he has released a few excellent singles and now it is time for him to return to the big stages. This boy really does have charisma and he has a credible song, on which he gets to both rap and sing, showcasing his versatility.
All photos: Nina Uddin