So last week’s Melodifestivalen saw Liamoo advancing straight to the final with what was clearly the strongest effort of the night. John Lundvik got to join him with his rather bland ballad, but it’s obvous the people love him. The new point counting system didn’t turn out so exciting after all, when John got the 12 points from almost every age group. Let’s hope there’s a bit more of a spread in the votes this week.
Oh, and if you missed it, you should definitely check out the new and improved Rena Rama Ding Dong Worldwide Remix, with bits of Finnish, English, German and other languages thrown in.
Now let’s take a look at who is competing in Heat 3 and what they are bringing to the party!
Cazzi Opeia – I Can’t Get Enough
Cazzi Opeia or Moa Carlebecker is currently best known for all the poptastic tunes she is churning out for the K-Pop market. She has gained more than 25 Billboard number ones as a songwriter for names like Twice, BTS and Red Velvet (whose Peek-a-Boo is our fave from Moa’s K-Pop discography). She was also awarded the prize for best international success 2021 by the Swedish music publishers’ association. Of course she has also released her own fab pop tunes, like Batman & Robin.
For Melodifestivalen Cazzi Opeia is bringing some happy pop perfection visualized with fluffy clouds and cotton candy colors, not so different from the K-Pop esthetique. And the catchy pop sounds are decorated with disco beats, claps, strings and youhoos! A very nice way to start the evening off, we approve!
Lancelot – Lyckligt slut
Lancelot is getting some tabloid press in his own right, but he is still best known for being the son of famous parents, former national team football goalie Magnus Hedman and model/singer/author Magdalena Graaf. He has previously released some nice enough dance pop tunes in English in the duo Lance & Linton, but has now switched to singing alone and in Swedish (as is the trend currently in Swedish charts).
He is bringing a ballad backed with a piano and a guitar, and quite a faceless band who are not getting any of the limelight on stage. And the number looks rather static. The melody sounds like a definite hit in the making, if you think of the kind of success somebody like Victor Leksell has enjoyed recently. At first listen the song sounded a bit flat, but I can see the charm when listening to it again (but still not getting excited).
Lisa Miskovsky – Best to Come
Lisa Miskovsky has of course been making music for something like 20 years with classic hits like Lady Stardust and Still Alive. She has also written songs for others (like Backstreet Boys’ Shape of My Heart), been in the national snowboarding team, played ice hockey for Björklöven, been an expert commentator at Olympics and raised two daughters. Ten years ago, she made her Melodifestivalen debut with Why Start a Fire and is now back for a second go.
The song is pleasant and smooth guitar-driven pop, which sounds hopeful and positive. There is actually a modulation towards the end, which makes the song more interesting, but we could have used a bit more of that energy throughout the song. Lisa herself sounds as lovely as ever. The number is clever and it looks like Lisa is busking at a subway station while people (the house dancers and Lisa’s backup singer Dea Norberg) are walking around.
Tribe Friday – Shut Me Up
Another band entering the Mello stage, we have quite a few of those this year due to the Måneskin effect. Tribe Friday can be described as indie rock/pop, or maybe bubbglegum emo, like they have put it themselves. They have already been nominated for Band of the Year at P3 Guld in 2021, and are currently working on their debut album.
They bring a band number with the singer in focus (and not just because of his short skirt). The whole band has an interesting queer emo look and the stage is filled with speakers and old TVs. The color scheme goes in pastels as well as black and white. The tune is like fun noughties indie pop in the vein of something like The Strokes.
Faith Kakembo – Freedom
Faith Kakembo is up for her second stint at Melodifestivalen after making a real impression in 2020 with Crying Rivers, although not strong enough to make it to the final. In her everyday life she works as an anesthesia nurse.
Faith has a great voice and the song is an inspirational-sounding ballad. Midway through the song she is joined on stage by a choir, giving it all a more gospel feel. It also makes the visuals stronger, when there are six choir members on stage with her (that’s one more than would be allowed at Eurovision).
Linda Bentzing – Fyrfaldigt Hurra!
Linda Bentzing is coming back for her eighth Melodifestivalen. Her very big breakthrough was Alla flickor in her first Mello in 2005, and her best result was 5th in 2008 with Hur svårt kan det va?. Now she’s back with an updated sound, courtesy of Myra Granberg in the song-writing team. Myra has of course been one of the most played artists on Swedish radio recently with her upbeat pop tunes in Swedish – and that’s what we get with Linda here as well.
There’s plenty of energy to go around and so much bright colors. The song feels like a peppy party anthem, and the message is basically hooray for the fact that we exist! Linda is running around from one stage to another and a podium we haven’t seen other artists use – and she’s giving happy high fives to the audience while running around.
Anders Bagge – Bigger Than The Universe
Anders Bagge is of course known as judge on Swedish Idol since 2008, but he also has a background in songwriting and producing for huge names like Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Celine Dion. He is also involved with the Baggpipe Studios, which is the legendary former EMI studio in Skärmarbrink, built in the 1960s as a copy of the even more legendary Abbey Road studio. Anders Bagge has stayed away from singing in public due to stage fright, but after his stint in the first season of Swedish Masked Singer in 2021, he has gained enough confidence to take that stage as himself.
He has written the song with Melodifestivalen royalty Peter Boström, Thomas G:son and Jimmy Jansson (the first two wrote Euphoria together). The song is kind of an arena schlager, which is embracing the world. The graphics on the LED screen look a bit kitschy, and the rest of the visuals include a big nature shots of mountains, forests and seas. The Swedish people love Bagge like everybody’s favorite uncle, but being alone on that stage he could use a bit more of that star quality he is always looking for in the idols.
Melodifestivalen Heat 3 on SVT1 and SVT Play at 20.00 on Saturday 19th February
Artist photos: SVT / Janne Danielsson
Cover photo: SVT / Annika Berglund