Ok, so what went down last night? Well let’s just get the results out of the way first. Here’s what happened after the votes were counted;
To the final: Winners – Mohombi
To the final: Shout It Out – Mariette
To Andra Chansen: Piga & Dräng – Drängarna.
To Andra Chansen: Vem E Som Oss – Anis Don Demina
5. Crying Rivers – Faith Kakembo
6. Late – Amanda Aasa
7. Livet Börjar Nu – Albin Johnsén
Any upsets there? Not especially. The two slickest pop songs with the most universal appeal got the two available slots for the final, with the two most energetic and memorable performances grabbing the places in Andra Chansen.
So the bottom three were all deserved? The songs, not really. But the performances – most definitely. To begin with, 7th-place finisher ‘Livet Börjar Nu’ was dead-on-arrival and sounded so off-key that it might well have actually been the noise of the death knell of someone’s career being extinguised before our very eyes.
And the other two? Here’s where it gets slightly more complicated. ‘Late’ is clearly a well-made, wonderfully produced, contemporary song that could well have been competitive in the hands of a more competent performer. But Amanda Aasa, who we’re sure may well have a perfectly decent career gigging around Sweden as it is, looked completely out of her depth on the Melodifestivalen stage – like someone who had entered a competition to be there, forgotten all about it, ended up having her name pulled out of a hat to win, and then had to go through with it all, much to her terror. The competition winner part is at least correct, anyway. It’s a shame that the song wasn’t able to get a better shot at this competition, but at least we have it to enjoy on Spotify. Which we know we will be doing, a lot. ‘Crying Rivers’ suffered from much the same fate – an interesting, well-composed song with a difference, completely unsold by an underwhelming performance.
Yikes. But to be honest, it wasn’t just the 5th and 6th-place finishers that were good songs let down by mediocre performances. Mohombi’s ‘Winners’ was pretty lucky to have gotten the result it did – voters were clearly more willing to locate the great song hidden under a largely forgettable performance, that was just a bit lacking in.
Lacking in what? Well, the overriding takeaway from last night’s show was the irony in the fact that the most memorable thing about it was the interval act in which Lina Hedlund sang a song about going through everyday life by adding in a little pizzazz to every task to make it more enjoyable (and we’d recommend watching that right here). In every Melodifestivalen heat there are usually one, sometimes two performances that are lacking in the pizazz stakes. But to have four out of seven being guilty of lacking in that area, made for a pretty underwhelming evening’s entertainment – even through the songs competing, by and large deserved to be there. If anything, the week’s selection of songs should be commended for their diversity, their quality and how contemporary they are. But what should have been up there as one of the most interesting and memorable heats of Melodifestivalen in recent years, instead deflated into one of the flattest. And it was the performances that let the four guilty parties down – which all could and should have been avoided. We were ever so thankful in the end for Mariette’s ever-reliable passion, Anis Don Demina’s infectious energy, and Drängarna’s own brand of schnapps-fuelled pizzazz.
You can find the best of this week’s songs on our Best New Pop playlist.
You can find the performances on SVT’s Melodifestivalen YouTube channel.