Last week’s second heat gave us Dotter straight to the final, and that’s basically all we were asking for, as she was in a league of her own… She will be joined by Anton Ewald, in case you missed it. This week’s heat is looking slightly weaker, but if you are into schlager or rock, you’ll find yours here. And one of the most hyped artists beforehand will close the show…
This week’s host is Timbuktu, who is at his best when he’s singing. Hopefully the hosting part goes smoother by the live show. And hey, he brings along Sabina Ddumba and Mapei, so it’s all good!
But let’s look at the artists in more detail in Saturday’s running order.
All artist photos courtesy of SVT / Jan Danielsson
1) CHARLOTTE PERRELLI: STILL YOUNG
The ultimate schlager diva is back with actual schlager! Charlotte Perrelli is of course a two-time Melodifestivalen winner and she took home the big one as well, winning Eurovision Song Contest back in 1999 with Take Me to Your Heaven. Her most recent stint at Melodifestivalen in 2017 was something of a disappointment for the Melfest fans, who didn’t get behind her singer-songwriter ambitions. This time she brings a luxurious schlager show with extra everything, including cool vogue poses and catwalk feels. This is what people want and expect from La Perrelli…
2) EMIL ASSERGÅRD – OM ALLTING SKITER SIG
Emil Assergård is a debutant in Melodifestivalen, but he has been releasing music for many years already, gaining rather a strong following of his own. This is the kind of light-hearted happy-go-lucky pop that many Swedes like. The song has sing-along qualities sort of like a sea shanty, and those are Tik Tok popular as of late, right? There is not much of a staging in store, but a big plus for Emil bringing an all-girl band to back him up on stage. Lina Anderberg on the drums is looking especially cool as always.
3) KLARA HAMMASTRÖM – BEAT OF BROKEN HEARTS
Klara Hammarström made her debut in Melodifestivalen last year, becoming a bit of a fan favorite even though she did not make it to the final. Before that she was known from a reality TV show about her family (with 11 kids, several of whom have been successful in equestrian sports, including Klara herself). She brings a rather forgettable pop tune, which we wish would be stronger to match up with her outfit and the explosive LED screens and pyros. She looks rather like a superhero in her silver-colored armour and thigh-high boots.
4) MUSTASCH: CONTAGIOUS
This year’s second Gothenburg-based rock band, Mustasch brings on slightly harder-hitting riffs than their colleagues Lillasyster. The band have been around for more than 20 years and their singer Ralf Gyllenhammar has actually participated in Melodifestivalen before, in 2013 with a burning piano singing Bed on Fire. More recently he has been in the headlines for his past sexual harassment charges and the band making light of the incident by printing T-shirts of it. There have been calls for removing the band from the competition because of these events and the negative publicity is sure to affect their result.
5) ELISA – DEN DU ÄR
The evening’s second schlager queen, with a strong dansband background. Elisa is loved by the masses, having won Dansbandskampen, the choir competition Körslaget as well as Let’s Dance (Sweden’s Strictly Come Dancing). Her first run in Melodifestivalen in 2014 did not lead to a place in the final though. Elisa sings in Swedish and brings down the tempo to a schalager ballad. Her staging is clearly taking its cues from Disney and Frozen, so El(i)sa can expect some extra votes from the younger demographic.
6) ALVARO ESTRELLA: BAILA BAILA
Alvaro Estrella is back after last year’s appearance with Mendez that took them to the final. Alvaro has of course competed in Melfest also in 2014 and he’s also been seen dancing behind Eric Saade in Popular and Danny Saucedo in Amazing, among others. He has a top songwriting team behind his song (Anderz Wrethov, Linnea Deb, Jimmy ‘Joker’ Thörnfeldt), but the Latin-influenced song is a bit of a let-down. It is rather cliched and generic, with all too simple lyrics throwing in some beginner’s level Spanish. The stage show of course builds on dancing, what else can you expect with a song called Baila Baila…
7) TUSSE – VOICES
Tusse is this week’s most hyped artist and one of the early favorites to win the whole thing. He won the Swedish Idol in 2019 and made an impression with both his vocal chops and his natural talent for performing. The experience in front of the cameras will come in handy, as the 19-year-old makes his debut in Melodifestivalen. The song has the same songwriting team as Alvaro before him, with the addition of Joy Deb… but the song is totally different in style and mood. It is a somewhat dark electro pop mid-tempo song that draws comparisons to The Weeknd. The song is motivational and talks about freedom and getting your voice heard. Tusse’s strong presence is flanked by an all-black dance group, which looks powerful in light of the Black Lives Matter movement. The expectations on this were sky-high, so I’m not too sure it lives up to all that, but this is clearly the best of the evening.