Week four and it’s almost all over for another year. The fourth and final heat takes place this Saturday, and two more songs will head to the final in two weeks time.
HERE is your lowdown on all eight of the artists competing this week, and their songs.
As it’s week 4, that means that the Melodifestivalen 2014 CD featuring all 32 songs will be released after the show. And if you live outside of Sweden you can pre-order it from our store already.
Here’s a quarter of what’s going to be on there;
1. Alcazar – Blame It On The Disco
Songwriters: Fredrik Kempe, David Kreuger and Hamed Pirouzpanah
Alcazar back on the Melodifestivalen stage with a song called ‘Blame It On The Disco’. WHERE do we start?! Well the most exciting thing about all of this is the fact that the group rejected a cacophony of songs (and some amazing ones at that) because they wanted their Melodifestivalen comeback to be just right, and nothing short of perfect. They weren’t compromising on their return to the contest, and the general feeling was that if the song wasn’t right, then they weren’t going to bother. So that bodes well, right? Step forward ‘Blame It On The Disco’, composed by the same three writers behind two songs already in this year’s final – Sanna Nielsen’s ‘Undo’ and Oscar Zia’s ‘Yes We Can’. It’s going to be an incredible song, EVERYONE already knows that. Everyone also has a pretty fair idea of what it’s gonna sound like too, it ain’t difficult. And Kempe has promised several key changes, so excuse us while we compose ourselves. What’s less certain however, is just how Sweden feels about them these days. Are they considered a national treasure, as they should damn well be? Or are they affectionately thought of as – well – a bit lame? They’re loved, obviously. But do Sweden want to see them represent the country at Eurovision? Possibly not. However, we do still think that they would want them in the Melodifestivalen final regardless. That final could be wall to wall schlager divas and show stopping Drag Queens, wearing every feather and cubic zirconia sourced within a thousand mile radius of the Nordics, and it would STILL benefit from the colour and high-campery of an appearance from Alcazar. That’s blatantly obvious. But then have those pesky Swedes shown that they know what’s best for them when it comes to giving themselves a brilliant Melodifestivalen final in recent years? Hmmmmm. The Melodifestivalen final would be an inferior event without the inclusion of Alcazar. Let’s hope that Sweden realises this between now and Saturday night.
2. I.D.A – Fight Me If You Dare
Songwriters: Albin Nicklasson, Lousie Frick Sveen and Nicklas Laine
This entry finds itself in Melodifestivalen as a result of the Allmänhetens contest – ie new songwriters with no previously released works can send in songs to SVT for a special selection process, with the winner earning a place in Melodifestivalen. ‘Fight Me If You Dare’ is the song, Albin Nicklasson, Nicklas Laine, and Louise Frick Sveen are the songwriters, and SVT have chosen the rock group I.D.A to front the entry. I.D.A were formed in 2007 by Ida Pihlgren, who herself competed in the 2005 series of Fame Factory. They were signed by the same label as NEO and Anniela, releasing an album, a few singles, and some music videos. But they’ve been pretty quiet since the turn of the decade, so their sudden comeback and SVT choosing them to front the song is quite the puzzler, truth be told. Oh well, they add a bit of variety to proceedings, and that Ida lady can sing. ‘Fight Me If You Dare’ is described as a “rock song”. Gee, thanks for that guys – we’d never have guessed. One look at what this song is up against, in terms of names at least, and it doesn’t really look good for these rockers. Let’s see what they pull out of the bag on Saturday.
3. Janet Leon – Hollow
Songwriters: Jimmy Jansson, Karl-Ola Kjellholm and Louise Winter
Melodifestivalen 2013’s poster girl for the results not going our way. Heat 3’s pop bloodbath saw Janet Leon finish 5th with ‘Heartstrings’, while Ravaillacz and State of Drama progressed to the final – a final which actually turned out mostly alright, aside from those two musical travesties. After the contest Janet released the official Stockholm Pride 2013 song ‘New Colours’, and now she’s back in Melodifestivalen again with ‘Hollow’. We’re surprised that this isn’t a Jörgen Elofsson composition, given that she has an album of his songs finished and waiting to be released. And hopefully that album actually will get released this time – good MF result or no good MF result. Instead she teams up with two of Heat 1’s songwriters – Karl-Ola Kjellholm (‘Survivor’), Jimmy Jansson (‘Casanova’), and Melodifestivalen debutante Louise Winter. In an effort to showcase her diversity, Janet has promised that ‘Hollow’ is quite different to ‘Heartstrings’, a slower song that shows off more of her voice. An emotional ballad. It’s difficult to predict just where Janet is going to fit into the results table in a heat like this. But on the names of her competitors alone, she’s already facing a massive struggle. The song is going to have to be a bit amazing to rise to the challenge. But we really hope that she can. We do love Janet.
4. Ammotrack – Raise Your Hands
Songwriters: Jari Kujansuu, Mikael de Bruin, Thomas ”Plec” Johansson and Calle Kindbom
Hard rock. But fear not – these boys promise something new for the genre. “What we’re gonna do is something which has never been done before”. Well fellows, unless what you mean by that statement is that you’re gonna drop your instruments and launch into a choreographed pastiche of an A*Teens album track (preferably ‘Closer To Perfection’), we’re still not interested. Somewhat hearteningly, Ammotrack credit last year’s seminal ‘Bed On Fire’ by Ralf Gyllenhammar as their inspiration for wanting to compete in Melodifestivalen. So they at least have good taste. A week ago we would have seen these guys as the biggest competition against our favourites in this heat. But after last week’s result, not so much anymore. Does anyone know if there’s another Swedish hockey match on the telly on Saturday night?!…..
5. Josef Johansson – Hela natten
Songwriters: Josef Johansson, Peo Thyrén, Peter Boström, Jonas Lundblad and Thomas G:son
It never ceases to amuse us that Josef Johansson describes his song as a cross between arena pop, Enya, and R Kelly. So already going into Saturday, it looks like one of the highlights of the night will be finding out just what the buggery bollocks he’s going on about with that description! Songwriters Peter Boström and Thomas G:son are present to make sure things don’t get too out of hand however. And lest we forget Josef’s own calibre as an artist, giving us this pop gem from last year – ‘Baby Baby’. Debutantes are doing very well this year at Melodifestivalen, with the Swedish public responding positively to newcomers offering up fresh sounds. But with two of the most successful Melodifestivalen artists of the past decade also in this heat, as well as the hot favourite this year, Josef is gonna have to give something extra special in order to be remembered come voting time.
6. Linda Bengtzing – Ta mig
Songwriters: Nicke Borg and Jojo Borg Larsson
Well this one is going to be one to watch isn’t it?! Linda’s making a big song and dance about how this song represents a new Linda, and how she feels like she is entering for the first time. Don’t let that put you off though. Because despite the fact that all four of her previous Melodifestivalen songs have been big bouncing bundles of nervous, excited, and directionless energy – she promises that ‘Ta Mig’ has itself got so much energy to it also, that she’s rejected the notion of having accompanying dancers, and will instead fill the Melodifestivalen stage all by herself. Christ. The song is composed by Nicke Borg and his wifey Jojo Borg Larsson. Melodifestivalen fans will of course know Nicke Borg from 2011 when he progressed straight to the final with the rock ballad ‘Leaving Home’. He’s not averse to slumming it with a schlager diva though, as evidenced on last year’s Alla Tiders Hits when he duetted with Shirley Clamp on ‘Om Du Lämnade Mig Nu’. Like Shirley Clamp last week, one can’t help but wonder whether or not people still vote for artists like Linda Bengtzing – or in last week’s case, don’t. But this little lady is never one to be counted out. The last time she competed, in 2011, she defied the odds by winning her heat (beating Nicke Borg into second place, and heading to the final with him). Of course she ended up finishing last with the public vote in the final, and afterwards promised that she’d never be back. She’s returned though, and with a song that the writers describe as hardpop and disco. Out of all 32 artists competing this year, there is no one who can sell the living shit out of their song like Linda Bengtzing can. So if this is the year where she finally misses the final, expect her to not go down without putting up an enormous fight first.
7. Ellinore Holmer – En himmelsk sång
Songwriters: Ellinor Holmer, Åsa Schmalenbach, Vanna Rosenberg, Josefina Sanner, Amir Aly and Henrik Wikström
Sorry folks, we got nothing.
8. Anton Ewald – Natural
Songwriter: John Lundvik
Last year this chap competed with his debut single ‘Begging’, making the final (via Andra Chansen) and finishing in fourth place. Since then he’s released an EP, been nominated for a Swedish Grammy award, publicly stuck a deserved two fingers up to Idol (they invited him on to perform his new single ‘Close Up’, but at the last minute told him that only the eight month old ‘Begging’ would be broadcast, so he quite rightly flounced off), and ultimately became one of Sweden’s biggest and most in demand new popstars. Now he’s back. And he says that he’s competing solely to win, adding that he believes he can with this new song ‘Natural’. He describes it as a more organic song. Still pop, but without the electronic elements of ‘Begging’. This one’s more soulful. He’s the hot favourite to win the whole thing, widely considered to be the one to beat. And the song is going to have to be spectacularly shit for him not to proceed to the final, let’s face it. Which we very much doubt it will be. Going into this heat, it really does feel like the other seven songs are all competing for the one slot available to join Anton in the final. Performance wise it’ll be interesting to see how he plays this one. Will he give the dancing a backseat, focusing more on the vocals – and thus answering the main critique aimed at him last year? Or will he put on even more of a polished choreographed show – giving his fans what they really want from him? Either way, he’s the one to watch as well as the one to beat.