Frans vs. Everyone - Melodifestivalen Finale Preview
As we close in on Sweden’s selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, we enter the weekend with one of the strongest lineups for Melodifestivalen in recent years.
The last five weeks have brought us to the final 12.
The 12 Finalists
In order of performance:
- Panteoz – Håll om mig hårt
- Lisa Ajax – My Heart Wants Me Dead
- David Lindgren – We Are Your Tomorrow
- SaRaha – Kizunguzungu
- Oscar Zia – Human
- Ace Wilder – Don’t Worry
- Robin Bengtsson – Constellation Prize
- Molly Sandén – Youniverse
- Boris René – Put Your Love on Me
- Frans – If I Were Sorry
- Wiktoria – Save Me
- Samir & Viktor – Bada nakna
Panetoz are set to open the show with their high-energy performance that we have come to love, this year with the song “Håll om mig hårt“. This will be their third weekend in a row performing, which can be a bit draining, but the group seems to miraculously keep up their energy. We had a chance to talk to them at the Welcome Ceremony in Stockholm City Hall.
Lisa Ajax came to fame in Sweden when she won Idol back in 2014, and the public was still behind her three weeks ago when she went directly to the finals.
Her song my “My Heart Wants Me Dead” is very reminiscent of something Selena Gomez would do in her early career, it is obvious she is poised for great things here in Sweden. We spoke to Lisa about what the difference in pressure is between being in the finale of Idol compared to Melodifestivalen.
The Peter Pan of Melodifestivalen is back, and is hoping the third time will be a charm.
David Lindgren has “We Are Your Tomorrow” which focuses more on vocals than choreography this year, but involves an elaborate laser show at the beginning. We spoke to the Mello veteran on his thoughts about all of the break-out contestants this year.
SaRaha’s brand of Afro-Pop has been doing well in the charts here in Sweden and has benefited from the exposure she has gotten from Melodifestivalen. She is a great example of how you can successfully bring in elements of other cultures into a song contest.
We spoke with SaRaha to see where she sees her future heading.
Oscar Zia is back, and this time, it is a much more personal song with “Human“. Having co-written the song, the lyrics are much deeper and mature compared to his last entry “Yes We Can“. This results in a much more emotional performance, which really shows how connected he is with the song. Strong personal connections like that result in powerful performances.
Ace Wilder, along with Molly Sandén, was a heavy favourite going into this year’s contest, even before anyone had heard her song. This was based off of Ace‘s performance the first time two years ago, when she came up as an underdog and eventually ended in up in a close second place with “Busy Doin’ Nothin“.
We talked to Ace at the Welcoming Ceremony, where she revealed how this all affected her performance in the first round this year, but that she has been improving since during the rehearsals.
The first to be a break-out star this year, Robin‘s song “Constellation Prize” has enjoyed attention on the Swedish Spotify streams. The song is well performed, and very catchy.
We spoke to Robin about his reaction to his success, and about other break-out stars.
The favourite to win along, with Ace Wilder, had a bit of a scare on the journey to the final. One and a half weeks before the first public performance of her song “Youniverse“, a 30 second clip leaked on Amazon putting the song in danger of disqualification. The song was allowed to stay in the contest, and helped generate some great PR.
The song which is co-written by her boyfriend Danny Saucedo is performed flawlessly, and might lead Molly to the Eurovision stage for Sweden this year.
Another new break-out star, Boris has proved to be both loveable and charming. “Put Your Love on Me” has you swaying around, and enjoying some 90s nostalgia. The song is executed perfectly and will propel the professional footballer to future hits in Sweden.
We asked Boris if he feels any pressure going into the finals.
If this year was about the break-out stars, Frans would have to top the list. His song “If I Were Sorry” has topped the Swedish singles chart two weeks in a row. It seems all the pressure is on this young 17-year-old to pull through this Saturday night.
We caught up with Frans at Stockholm City Hall about how he has been since he shot to fame.
The break-out star from week two, Wiktoria probably has the best vocals out of all of the finalists. Her song “Save Me” was written by writers who have worked with Avicii and One Direction. Wiktoria is the bookmakers’ second favourite going into the finals, but how is she handling this?
Samir & Viktor
The Swedish pop duo has done well topping the Swedish iTunes charts and Spotify streams, until Frans topped them. They are back with another infectious song with “Bada Nakna“, teaching international fans some new Swedish phrases.
We caught up with Samir & Viktor at the Welcoming Ceremony to see if there were any other important Swedish phrases for Eurovision fans to learn before they make their trek to Stockholm this May.
Måns Zelmerlöw returns with a slower ballad rendition of “Heroes“. Instead of the stick balloon figures, we have children filling the roll in this new version, similar to Loreen‘s opening of the first semi-final of Eurovision 2013.
15 acts over the past 15 years are presented in a high-paced medley that will bring a smile to everyones face. The songs are all kept at a similar rapid pace, so nothing feels out of place.
The Medley Acts
- Dj Mendez – ”Adrenaline”
- Mariette – ”Don’t Stop Believing”
- Timoteij – ”Kom”
- Brandsta City Släckers ” Kom o ta mig”
- Linus Svenning – ”Bröder”
- Sarah Dawn Finer – ”Moving On”
- Magnus Carlsson – ”Live Forever”
- Caroline af Ugglas – ”Snälla, snälla”
- Andreas Johnson – ”Sing for Me”
- Nanne Grönvall – ”Håll om mig”
- Anton Ewald – ”Begging”
- Kikki & Bettan – ”Vem e de du vill ha”
- BWO – ”Lay Your Love On Me”
- Charlotte Perrelli – ”Hero”
- After Dark – ”La Dolce Vita”
It will be a contest to see if anyone will be able to top Frans. It is clear that the international fans have not warmed to the young artist as Sweden has, which has become apparent to Christer Björkman. At the Welcoming Ceremony, Björkman was confident that Melodifestivalen this year would produce another Eurovision winner. ESC Reporter learned from an insider in the international jury that they were all instructed to give points to the song which would do well at Eurovision and not to their personal favourite.
It is clear that the win will depend on how many low points the international jury purposely gives Frans to counter balance to strong televotes. There is no doubt that the jury has been flooded by Frans being in the Swedish press, and the message “vote for who would do best at Eurovision” must have been a hint as to how they should vote.
We can assume that the jury would favour Wiktoria, Molly, or Ace as a stronger act to send to Eurovision over Frans, it will be exciting to see who they will go for.
We spoke with Christer Björkman on this year’s Melodifestivalen line up and a bit on Eurovision and where the focus of the shows are heading.
The final of Melodifestivalen 2016 airs live tonight from the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden at 20:00 CET, where this year’s Eurovision host country will select their representative.