Last week’s second heat saw the Ukrainian talent Maria Sur getting the most votes with her belter of a survival ballad. And she is joined in the final by The Panetoz, who brought the dance party.
Week 3 brings the touring Mello circus to Lidköping, and we have the next seven candidate vying for the Melfest crown. Let’s take a look at what to expect!
1) Paul Rey – Royals
The Sweden-Finnish boy next door Pauli Jokela aka Paul Rey is returning for his third attempt at Melodifestivalen and this time he is bringing an anthemic modern up-tempo pop tune that makes you want to dance along or maybe jump up and down to. We hear the song was originally written with Liamoo in mind, so expect that kind of energy. So much more fun that Pauli’s earlier mid-tempo entries. The staging looks good with a black-white-yellow aesthetic and an army of dancers. From the song-writing team we can give a special mention to Dotter‘s fiancé Dino Medanhodzic, who might just get his 8th Melfest song straight to the final with this one!
2) Casanovas – Så kommer känslorna tillbaka
To fill the dansband quota, this year we have Casanovas, who are bringing a pretty much traditional schlager type of tune. Not really my cuppa, but there are of course plenty of fans of the genre around this big country. The staging is also what you would expect, the guys of the band in formation, each on a platform of their own. Throw in some pyro towards the end, and there’s your show.
3) Melanie Wehbe – For The Show
One of the merited songwriters making her Melfest debut as an artist this week. Melanie has of course already won Melodifestivalen as a songwriter for The Mamas in 2020, as well as the Danish Melodi Grand Prix, with a song for Leonora in 2019. Her own solo career has been developing on the side, and she released her debut EP last year. The song she brings to the big stage now feels very much her and she comes through the lens as meaning what she says in the song. It’s a nicely crafted tune, a much more modern take on a ballad/mid-tempo than some of the other competitors in this year’s Melfest. The staging relies mostly on tasteful lights, but it’s Melanie that is in focus throughout.
4) Nordman – Släpp alla sorger
After making their latest comeback in Så Mycket Bättre, the folk pop/rock duo are returning to the Melfest stage as well. The last time they competed in 2008, they actually beat Carola herself in the second chance round, relegating her from the final that year. This time they have incorporated some more electronic (almost EDM) sounds into their traditional folk energy and the sounds of the nyckelharpa and the mouth harp. Their staging is basically just the LED screen with plenty of birds (like Hitchcock plenty).
5) Laurell – Sober
The other big-name songwriter making her artist debut this week is Laurell Barker, originally from Canada but relocated to Malmö. Beside her many Melodifestivalen songwriting credits, she has also got several songs on the Eurovision stage, including three songs in the same year – Switzerland, Germany and UK in 2019. She also wrote on El Diablo for Cyprus in 2021 and both of Raylee’s poptastic entries in Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix. Laurell brings a quirky and youthful pop tune, but it all feels slightly off when her 40+ self is dressed like a teenager, dancing in kindergarten settings with giant mice and singing about feeling high when she’s sober…
6) Ida-Lova – Låt hela stan se på
The 18-year-old Melfest debutante released her debut EP last year, but she already garnered some interest at 13, when she sang Kent‘s Utan dina andetag at the Svenska Hjältar gala. Her other claim to fame is being the daughter of actress and comedian Christine Meltzer, but we’re not going to call her a nepo baby, as she’s got the talent. She is bringing a timeless ballad, which really builds up towards the end. Her vocal has a sad-sounding undertone, even when the lyrics are getting more uplifting.
7) Marcus & Martinus – Air
Superstars in their native Norway, these twin brothers started their musical career in 2012 (when they were 10 years old). Many people have of course expected them to join Norway’s Eurovision qualifications over the years, but they decided in a surprise move to take on the Swedish one instead. Or to be frank, that was not totally out of the blue after they went and won Masked Singer Sweden last year. M&M are bringing a contemporary and ambitious pop song and a very professional looking performance. Every move they make in front of the stylish laser light show looks well thought-out.
All photos courtesy of SVT. Artist portraits by Janne Danielsson and the rehearsal photo by Alma Bengtsson