21 Feb 2024
Melodifestivalen 2022 – Your Guide to Heat 1!
Festivals Music

Melodifestivalen 2022 – Your Guide to Heat 1!

Can you believe it’s already Melodifestivalen time!? The first heat will be held on Saturday the 5th of February at Avicii Arena. The whole festival will be hosted by Oscar Zia and we are expecting a solid performance from him. We’ll tell you what to expect in the first heat, and you can read about the artists performing, including a certain Young Royal and a former Melfest winner.

As the production had to cancel the planned tour around the country, all the six programs will be sent live from Stockholm. Beside the opening at Avicii Arena (FKA Globen), the venues for the rest of the weeks have not been confirmed. Melodifestivalen would certainly like to stay on at Avicii Arena for all the heats and do the Final at Friends Arena as originally planned. Tomas Ledin’s 70th birthday show is however booked for Avicii Arena during the time of the fourth heat, and he’s not budging. So, it remains to be seen how Melodifestivalen / SVT / Live Nation solve this one. Covid restrictions currently allow for 500 people per each section of the arena with separate entrances, so there will be an audience. And things may change already during the Mello weeks, as some restrictions are expected to be lifted already next week on the 9th of February.

But now let’s get to the main thing, the songs and artists performing in Heat 1…

UPDATED: comments added after the first rehearsals on Thursday.

Malou Prytz – Bananas

Malou Prytz had her breakthrough as a 15-year-old in Melodifestivalen 2019 with I Do Me, when she went straight to the final. The following year she competed again with Ballerina and made it until Andra Chansen. This year we have the highest of hopes for her opening number, because of her absolute dream team of songwriters Ace Wilder, Joy Deb, Linnea Deb, and Jimmy “Joker” Thörnfeldt. And to top it all, beside four dancers she’s bringing the coolest drummer Lina Anderberg on stage. Malou says: “It’s a bit different from what I’ve done before. I would consider the song a lesson to myself, and it makes me want to let loose a bit more.” So here’s hoping it’s an upbeat banger of a tune!

Comment after first rehearsal:

Quite a cool number and a pretty catchy tune, like Busy Doin’ Nothin’ for the TikTok generation with some glam rock influences (hasn’t Gary Glitter been cancelled long ago, though?)… But this could really use some more ENERGY! However, the most baffling thing was the strange spelling that took way too much attention when hearing this song for the first time. Take some pointers from Gwen Stefani: it’s B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

Theoz – Som Du Vill

Theoz has basically been biding his time to be old enough to join Melodifestivalen, and now he’s finally 16. He became famous already in 2016 through Musical.ly, which you will now know as TikTok. He has an impressive two million followers on that platform. He was actually seen in Mello already in 2018, when he was dancing on a screen behind Samir and Viktor for their Shuffla. You can expect his own entry to include plenty of dance and showmanship as well.

Comment after first rehearsal:

It starts off sounding like a promisingly fresh pop tune, but turns into something that is playing it safe and sounding more like schlager. The young girls will eat this up, though, with the cute young TikTok star doing some nice enough dance moves.

Shirley Clamp – Let There Be Angels

Shirley Clamp is a proper schlager diva and Melodifestivalen legend. She has competed six times before, but it’s been eight years since last. Her Min kärlek from 2004 is one of the most loved Melodifestivalen entries, although it ended up in second place. This coming autumn you can see Shirley in the musical Sound of Music. She says she is bringing a big song with beautiful and hopeful lyrics.

Comment after first rehearsal:

Sorry to say that Shirley’s attempt at doing a big ballad is not really going anywhere, and neither is her stage show, quite literally, seeing as she is not moving from that spot at all. The wind machine does not give enough movement and the song doesn’t lift off either…

Omar Rudberg – Moving Like That

Omar Rudberg of course has a past in the boyband FO&O, with whom he joined Melodifestivalen in 2017 and made it to the final. He also debuted as a solo artist in Melodifestivalen 2019 but failed to make much of an impact. Now he is returning to the fold with newfound international fame through the Netflix series Young Royals, which he could of course capitalize nicely on at Eurovision. We have very high hopes for this one, as Omar sure knows how to move to a latin beat, as witnessed on the video of his latest single Mi Casa Su Casa.

Comment after first rehearsal:

The boy sure knows how to move! The strongest part of the whole number really are Omar’s crazy good dance moves and his general star quality. The song has something of a reggaeton-light beat, which I think could have hit a bit harder. The song is a fine radio-friendly tune, but doesn’t really stand out too much. And they could have thrown in a bit more Spanish than just the one line.

Danne Stråhed – Hallabaloo

This is Danne Stråhed’s first entry in Melodifestivalen, but he’s been around since the 1970s. We hear his various bands were opening acts for AC/DC and Queen back then, so that quite something. Later on, he has found his musical influences from Swedish folk, the Southern US and the Caribbean. His Cajun-inspired music in the skånska dialect has many fans. His Melfest song is supposed to have a positive energy, with ska influences and a bit of a reggae beat.

Comment after first rehearsal:

Doodelidoo and ha-ha-hallabaloo, that’s pretty much what you get here. The reggae/ska influences do exist, but they are combined here with Swedish dansband sounds. Wish there was a little more joy in the performance…

Cornelia Jakobs – Hold Me Closer

If you’re a real pop nerd, you may remember Cornelia Jakobs from the girl group Love Generation, who participated in Melodifestivalen back in 2011 and 2012. If you’re more of a rock fan, you may know her father, Jakob Samuel, as the singer of the The Poodles. But you should get to know her in her own right, as she has put out some pretty fine tunes on her own. There’s a total of nine singles released and she’s working on her debut album at the moment. Her voice has a great rasp and sounds personal. And her sound can be described as organic, cinematic, emotional and timeless. We hear she has a very strong mid-tempo song, that the experts say is a schlager version of Lana Del Rey

Comment after first rehearsal:

Now this is a contemporary mid-tempo song with quality. Also loving the rasp in Cornelia’s voice, which gives this so much personality. Quite an effective staging with small means.

Robin Bengtsson – Innocent Love

This is the fourth time Robin Bengtsson is participating in Melodifestivalen, and he has that win from 2017 under his belt. He also did fine at Eurovision that year, ending up on a respectable fifth place. The song-writing team includes Victor Crone, but more interestingly the phenomenally poptastic Swedish electropop duo Jübel. So this bodes good for a great uptempo song full of joy and energy.

Comment after first rehearsal:

You can really hear the influence of Jübel in how catchy this is, a sure-fire bet for the final. The production is a little bit 80s influenced, with a drummer and a bass player joining Robin on stage. Robin is moving more than I’ve ever seen him do on stage, but it still doesn’t come very natural for him.

Melodifestivalen Heat 1 on SVT1 and SVT Play at 20.00 on Saturday 5th February

All artist photos: SVT / Janne Danielsson

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