(photo: Stine Stjernkvist/SVT)
‘Twas the second heat of Melodifestivalen in Sweden last night. Watch the whole thing right here, if you’ve yet to (you’ve got until tomorrow night before it gets taken down). Or just watch the performances of the non-finalists right here.
Mariette returned to the contest with another smash hit of a song. Not quite on the same level as ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ unfortunately, but then that is an impossibly tall order when you think about it – let’s be fair. And with ‘A Million Miles’ she’s got her well deserved place in the final, and a song that millions will be playing long after the contest – whatever the result.
Benjamin Ingrosso debuted in Melodifestivalen with what to our ears is the weakest of his singles so far. His progression to the final over others in the heat is therefore somewhat baffling to us. And it’s a shame we’re not able to get fully behind him here, as we are ordinarily big supporters of his music and what he’s written for other artists too. But ‘Good Lovin’ just isn’t on the same level. It’s – actually quite dull. Making last night’s result and our feelings about it just a little bit odd all in all.
Lisa Ajax brought with her a song which we actually believe to be of a higher standard than the two finalists that went through ahead of her. But she unfortunately had to settle for a place in Andra Chansen with ‘I Don’t Give A’. It’s a song which lends itself well to repeated listens, as we discovered throughout yesterday. And again today. A lot. And it’s surely now one of the big favourites to reach the final through Andra Chansen, perhaps even going on to finish above ‘A Million Years’ and ‘Good Lovin’ on March 11th. Those repeated listens, and all that. “Fuck what they say” is a sublime middle eight chant btw. And good on her for taking a risk with it.
The second AC slot went to rock band Dismissed, turning in an anthemic arena rock song and giving the genre’s fans their only glimpse of that music that they’ve had in the first two weeks of Melodifestivalen this year. Whatever your feelings on the song (we’re personally not fussed about it), you can’t deny that the chaps put on a proper good performance of it last night. And so their progression in the contest can’t be begrudged.
Dropping out of Melodifestivalen 2017 is Roger Pontare. The two-time Melodifestivalen winner returned to the contest with ‘Himmel och Hav’, which was precisely the sort of song that both his fans and viewers of MF want from him. The app vote heart went a bit mental on screen throughout most of it, and so we reckon it was a pretty close result last night – perhaps even amongst the whole top five. And so regardless of that result, he certainly showed other two-time winners just how you’re supposed to come back to this stage…..
In 6th place was our own personal favourite of the night – though judging by the responses we got on Twitter, we were completely on our own there. Etzia provided a dancehall take on classic schlager. Or perhaps a schlager-fied take on novelty dancehall? Either way, we LIVED for the entire three minutes, and in particular the glorious key change. ‘Up’ was the most fun we’d had in Melodifestivalen so far this year, and we’ll be surprised if it’s topped in that sense. Don’t @ us. Again.
And then languishing at the very bottom is ‘Vart Har Du Vart’ by Allyawan. Things might have been different had he been able to find the right key at any point through the song. But as it is, he can at least console himself with the fact that he will go down in history. As delivering THE worst live vocal that’s ever been heard on a Melodifestivalen stage. And that’s quite an achievement. Painful. Absolutely gut-wrenchingly painful. We died a little for him.
Special mention must go to host David Lindgren – for churning out thirty Melodifestivalen hits in three minutes and providing the MF’s first great interval or opening act of the year. The moob jiggle we could have done without, but the Bengtzing bit was proper brill.