Last week we saw Jon Henrik Fjällgren advance to the final as expected, and he was joined by Lina Hedlund, a less obvious choice, but one we are very happy with.
This week it’s time for the last seven songs to be presented to the public in Lidköping. We have once again plenty of variety in the musical styles and well, the contestants range in age from 16 to 74. We have previous winners and we have first-timers. Let’s take a look who’s competing.
1) Pagan Fury – Stormbringer
Folk metal or schlager rock, not sure what to make of this group, or is it just the frontwoman Arven Latour? It seems she has dumped the band, or were they just hired hands for the press conference? In any case it’s just her and the dancers on stage. They are actually signed to a game developing company instead of a traditional record label, so the Crusader Kings gamer community will be familiar with their music.
2) Anton Hagman – Känner dig
Anton Hagman is back for a second run two years after he actually took out Eurovision queen Loreen in Andra Chansen (one of those inexplicable lapses of judgment among Swedish voters). Last time around Anton sang in English and the song was in the vein of Shawn Mendes and the like, but now he’s switched to Swedish and a more bland radio-friendly soft r’n’b sound. We are not very convinced with what we’ve heard so far…
3) Lisa Ajax – Torn
Speaking of Loreen, we hear she was considering this song that time when she chose to go with Statements instead. This is sounding like the best ballad of the year and Lisa sure can belt out the big notes – but she has the dynamics to take it easy as well. This is Lisa’s third try in Melodifestivalen – she has been in the final both times, but ended up in the bottom half of the result table. Lisa is a previous Idol winner (that year when the loveliest Josefine Myrberg was in top 3) and we of course have to mention the extra bonus points she gets from us for having a Finnish mom. 😉 A strong contender for the final beside John Lundvik.
4) Arvingarna – I Do
This dansband won Melodifestivalen back in 1993, with their classic Eloise. They have been back to Melodifestivalen several times, but not since 2002. Last year the singer Casper Janebrink went and won the first season of Stjärnornas Stjärna, the competition where singers were competing in many different genres. So it was no surprise to see the group in Mello bringing their happy and harmless schlager. The way the voting has gone with the new app rules with different age groups, this just might go further.
5) Bishara – On My Own
Yet another one of the very young contestants this year, the 16-year-old Bishara Morad was discovered singing on Instagram and taken under her wings by Idol judge Laila Bagge. He is also backed by Ten Music Group, home of Zara Larsson and last year’s winner Benjamin Ingrosso. Benji is actually in the song-writing team for Bishara’s song along with Markus Sepermanesh, who is responsible for many of Zara’s big bops. Expect something that could sound like Jackson 5 when Michael was young.
6) Ann-Louise Hanson
An unrivalled legend when it comes to Melodifestivalen, Ann-Louise is participating for the 12th time (number 2 Kikki Danielsson has 10 times under her belt). The first time she took part was in 1963, when she actually had two songs in the running. Expect classic schlager worthy of this icon. The song-writing team includes her daughter Josefin Glenmark.
7) John Lundvik – Too Late for Love
The last prestigious starting spot has been given to John Lundvik, who looks like the strongest candidate to go straight to the final from this heat. John had his big breakthrough in last year’s Mello with My Turn, finishing third. He has previously been more behind the scenes as a songwriter, and he has not stopped working with that either – this year he is actually one of the songwriters behind UK’s Eurovision entry Bigger Than Us. After last year’s strong ballad, we are now getting an uptempo song with an amazing gospel choir – so let us rejoice! This must be a strong challenger for Hanna & Liamoo to actually win the whole shebang.
All photos: Nina Uddin