Last night, the Andra Chansen round of Melodifestivalen 2017 took place. And now the final has its last four songs, and a complete line-up.
In Andra Chansen, eight songs competed against each other in four sets of duels, with the four winners progressing to the final. And so boyband FO&O triumphed over comedy act De Vet Du, Idol winner Lisa Ajax went through over Idol 4th placer Axel Schylström, show man Boris Rene won against visually arresting alternative rock act Dismissed, and finally newcomer Anton Hagman beat Eurovision Song Contest winner Loreen. With his debut single ‘Kiss You Goodbye’.
On the face of it, that last one’s a bit of a shocker isn’t it?
Loreen brought to this song contest more than just a song. And so the reason she’s not in the Melodifestivalen final, is largely – simply – down to that. She agreed to compete the day before the line-up of 28 artists were announced, basing her participation not only because she felt a message needed to be said, and she wanted to say it, but also because – well that second album really does need to come out now and what better way to promote it? The second reason is fair enough – everyone does it. But the first reason – the statement that needed to be made – was a risk for her to take. Three months later and she arrived to the Melodifestivalen stage with a song that was as divisive as the elaborate staging she had conceptualised to convey it. Full disclosure here: we love the song, couldn’t take our eyes of either performance of it, and both understand and admire the message she’s getting across. But for every one of us, there’s another who thinks the staging is a complicated mess, and the song is lacking a tune. We believe it to be brilliant, many others believe it to be an absolute state. It is one of the most divisive songs and performance ever entered into Melodifestivalen. It was a massive risk to enter it. And in terms of the context of the song contest, that risk didn’t pay off this time.
Pitted against any of the other six songs outside of their duel, Loreen may well have qualified easily (there are early whispers that their duel alone attracted over 900,000 votes). But she was placed to compete against ‘Kiss You Goodbye’ by Anton Hagman. It’s a song which hasn’t left the Spotify Top 30 since its release two weeks ago, and which in that time has amassed over 1.6 million plays. Anton Hagman didn’t qualify over Loreen because teenage girls have hijacked the app vote – he made the final because he’s competing with a palatable performance of a hit song. He deserves his spot next week, and that line-up is all the better for having ‘Kiss You Goodbye’ in it.
It is unquestionably a massive shame that the Melodifestivalen final isn’t going to have a song like ‘Statements’ in it, or a superstar like Loreen. But it’s actually pretty fair enough that it’s ‘Kiss You Goodbye’ that ends up there instead. Loreen took a huge shot with ‘Statements’, and with many people it unfortunately misfired widely. What she needs to concentrate on right now, is channeling all of the new found good will that she has towards her – from the millions of people who DID love ‘Statements’ – into finally getting some new music out at a regular pace. Before they all forget about how awesome she is. Again.
Oh, one more thing. After listening to the recording of ‘Statements’ all week, and then hearing her live vocal of it last night? Genuinely one of the best singers to ever set foot on the Melodifestivalen stage. It was incredible. Almost unreal – like we were hearing it on record again. We could go on into our theory of how people were just too in awe of what they were witnessing and hearing on stage, to look down at their phones and vote, but let’s not…..
See you back here tomorrow for your guide to that very strong, twelve song Melodifestivalen final.