Melodifestivalen 2017: The Heat 4 Result!

mello999 jpg e1488116967680(photo: SVT/TT)

As well as all of the performances from last night’s fourth heat, you can now watch all twenty eight performances from Melodifestivalen 2017 over on SVT’s YouTube channel. Normally we’d link to the whole show at this point in the write-up, but in all honesty, the show itself has been sub-par this year – with the songs themselves being the only thing worth checking out. We certainly don’t want to sit through any more of the upshot of someone telling David Lindgren that he’s funny – so we shan’t inflict it on you dear readers either.

And so we have two more finalists. Both of those artists returned to the contest last night for a second time – after managing to make the final on their debut appearance too. And both returned with an even better song than their predecessors. So fair enough.

In the case of Wiktoria, she brought with her to the contest ‘As I Lay Me Down’. Which isn’t just our favourite song of Melodifestivalen, it might well be our favourite song of the year so far. Hyper and souped-up country music with the most irresistible of pop melodies – and once again Wiktoria performed it brilliantly, with an infectious kind of innocent yet excited joy. Of course it went to the final. Anything else would have been a complete travesty.

Jon Henrik Fjällgren brought with him a guest artist, Aninia. And it’s just as well he did. She provided the (admittedly awesome, and basically schlager really) chorus, while he did his usual thing in between. Of course it’s never going to actually win Melodifestivalen, but we can’t be mad because we’re really looking forward to seeing Aninia do that key change again. And maybe coming back again on her own another year.

First artist through to Andra Chansen was Axel Schyström – with a song that sounded like a cross between Boris Rene and Olly Murs. An enormously enjoyable up-tempo party track performed with a gargantuan amount of energy. And while it was never going to be a ‘direkt‘ number, it certainly deserves its shot via Andra Chansen.

Another Idol graduate who has been quiet since her success on the show, but who came back with a big bang last night was Alice with ‘Running With Lions’. It was always gonna be between her and Axel for the second AC slot. And in truth we’d have preferred Alice to get it with her rousing, string-laden, and empowering pop anthem. But when it’s between two songs on a par with each other for the same slot, it does appear more and more evident that the app voters are always gonna choose the guy over the girl….And so Alice had to settle for 5th.

Alternative rock back Les Gordon clogged up 6th place, with Sara Varga & Juha Mulari’s drippy guitar ballad dross crashing out in 7th. Awful songs, both of them. And there’s really not a lot more to say about it.

Now. Onto that other Andra Chansen slot. It was given to Loreen and ‘Statements’. The most iconic winner of the Eurovision Song Contest this century, returned to Melodifestivalen with something very different to ‘Euphoria’. Although it actually did turn out to be “an everlasting piece of art“. ‘Statements’ was a song with a political message, and it was afforded a performance to enhance that very message. The statement in question can probably be interpreted in a number of different ways. But the crux of it all seemed to be that Loreen wanted to remind her audience that in periods throughout history where countries have been divided and allowed hate to grow stronger – it’s never quite ended well for us. And that therefore the fight against division and hate has always proven to be what’s worked out best for humanity. The staging of the song was certainly striking, and there were elements of the song that were equally as engaging. But it’s undoubtedly the kind of song that for many will require more than one three minute sitting in order to fully appreciate its merits. At Melodifestivalen it just couldn’t compete in the same way as the twenty-seconds-in-and-you’re-hooked ‘As I Lay Me Down’ by Wiktoria. And so it will need to make its way to the final via Andra Chansen. Which we believe it will, and which we also believe will do it a lot of favours, in terms of those needing more than one three minute sitting to ‘get’ it. As it happens, less than 24 hours later the signs are already there. It’s gotten the most views on YouTube – more so than any of the eight finalists who were released onto YouTube at the same time. Plus, it’s also number 1 on iTunes in Sweden. And while it’s true that no one really uses iTunes anymore – someone had to be number 1. And it’s currently ‘Statements’. Her fight isn’t over just yet…

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