Week 2 of Melodifestivalen happened on Saturday. And just like in week 1 we got an obvious finalist, a surprise finalist, a former Eurovision entrant qualifying for the second chance round, and a Melodifestivalen debutant joining them. We also got our first “oh that so should not have finished in last place” of the year. Those are the worst. We love you Manda.
2014, and the songs are so far better than they were in 2013. But everything else about the show – the hosts, the scripts, the gags, the links in between the songs – it’s all gone to absolute shit. And that’s even leaving aside comparisons to last year’s stellar entertainment. The biggest and bestest show of the year is lagging. And it’s being fronted by a pair of dull non-entities who are more of a hindrance than a help. Thank heavens for the music. And the fact that everything else is so bad, that SVT won’t neglect the need to act on it for next year. It’s almost painful to watch. Again – thank heavens for the music.
The music. Sanna Nielsen brought the drama with her theatrical ballad ‘Undo’, delivering a stunning performance that saw her steal the hearts of a nation for the third consecutive time, and progress straight to the final. Amazing song, amazing vocal, and an amazing performance that brought it all home. She’s surely the strongest contender so far to go and win the whole thing. And given that she’s entered a better song than what she won the public televote with in 2008, it’s fair to say that she deserves it too. Heja Sanna. We’ve watched the ‘Undo’ performance TOO many times since Saturday.
Joining her in the final are Panetoz with ‘Efter Solsken’. Not a patch on their last big hit, and we couldn’t see the attraction at all. But it was at least an entertaining performance, and everyone else seems to like it – so yeah. We doubt it’s going to trouble to top three in the final though. Martin Stenmarck is another one that we don’t seem to be liking as much as everyone else. An almighty production is in place for ‘När Änglarna Går Hem’, but where is the actual song? Could you hum the melody of it today?
Biggest surprise of the night were JEM. What a song, and what a performance! Perhaps the most modern and current thing that’s ever been sent to Melodifestivalen? This would do Sweden proud at Eurovision, and potentially launch a big international hit single for JEM. Bravo to the Boström production which boomed from that stage. And kudos to the fresh faced newcomers who fronted it – they sold the shit out of ‘Love Trigger’. “Sweden, you need us“, they boasted in their intro on Saturday. Sweden, you really do.
As for the acts that left the competition, we had The Refreshments come in 5th (old man rock music, dressed up in the most dire of clobber, delivering a non melody, out of tune), Little Great Things in 6th (young boy rock music, dressed up in lazers), Pink Pistols in 7th (we desperately wanted to love this song as much as we loved the concept, but it wasn’t as good as it needed to be. And also – black outfits on a black stage setting is not what we want from an act like Pink Pistols), and finally young Manda in 8th. Manda’s ‘Glow’ wasn’t the worst song or performance of the night. Both were clearly in the top four. But perhaps any female soloist would have suffered in the same heat as Sanna’s ‘Undo’. Having said that though, ‘Glow’ is actually the weakest of Manda’s three singles so far. It would be interesting to have seen how much better ‘Criminals’ or ‘Sweetest Heartbreak’ could have fared. It’s still a good pop track though, and bodes well for Manda’s future as an artist, which we hope will be peppered generously with lots of releases over the next few years. Far from an artist being buried, a star is born.
Here you can watch all of the performances of the eliminated acts. The top four will be made public again after the fourth and final heat.