Melodifestivalen Semi-Final 4 Preview
Week four of Melodifestivalen, brings the stage up to the northern town of Skellefteå. The biggest excitement around this heat is of course the return of Melodifestivalen and Eurovision 2012 winner, Loreen.
Jon Henrik Fjällgren feat. Aninia - En värld full av strider (A World Full of Battles)
Jon Henrik Fjällgren begins the performance on the ground with a monologue, creating a ball of light from his hand which grows to illuminate the whole stage as Aninia starts singing. Lights begin to fly from the back of the stage with CGI effects, adding to the enchanting feeling of the song. The staging is mystical, the vocals fit, and having this as the opening number up in the north is just fitting.The two vocal styles fit the song and compliment each other, and everything just works, from their wardrobe to the simple staging. A very strong opener for the 4th Semi-Final, will Jon Henrik find the same success as he did with his previous entry?
Alice - Running With Lions
Dressed in a glamours blue dress, Alice makes her debut onto the Melodifestivalen stage. The song is probably the most radio friendly song in the whole contest this year. Running With Lions is the perfect current pop sound which you could find the likes of Katy Perry singing. The wind machine is well used to give the feeling of freedom as Alice sings about being one with the wild. There is a bit of a corny moment where yellow CGI balls fly everywhere into the screen to eventually make the image of a lions head, like Simba's dad appearing from the dead from The Lion King. The staging builds with the song as Alice ends up on a lifting platform, and ends with balls of fireworks shooting down. This could be the dark horse to knock down one of the more established acts.
Les Gordons - Bound To Fall
Having been hand picked after competing in Svenskatoppen nästa last year, the indie vibe of Les Gordons seemed like fit to add some diverse sounds into this years contest. The band clad in black skinny jeans, perform on stage, with the indie sound which was popular in Sweden in the 90s, with a bit of cliched staging and Ann Sophie Black Smoke inspired background lights. A great effort from the band for what it is, however a bit out of place in a strong semi-final. It's got a nice chorus, but nothing new is brought to the table. At the end this will give the band further exposure in Sweden which is the bright side of the coin.
Wiktoria - As I Lay Me Down
Wiktoria delves more into the country genre this year with As I Lay Me Down. The sound is still trendy, and this song is upbeat and feels like a continuation of her song Save Me. We see more of Wiktoria this year as she walks around on stage, onto a bed, and we can see some nice moments with the prop. Dressed in blue dress with clear heels, we get drawn in by Wiktoria's always strong vocals. The staging is creative, Wiktoria is on point, we will see her in the contest after this week.
Axel Schylström - När ingen ser (When No One Sees)
Axel Schylström brings the energy back to the contest, being placed in the perfect spot in the running order. He makes his debut on the Mello stage with När ingen ser, and this marks the first of the entries in this heat to use more intense choreography.This is your standard Swedish pop song, well sung with a clean tone, and well danced. Axel having been known from his Idol days, proves he is ready for the bigger spotlight, and provides another strong but different debut alongside Alice.
Sara Varga & Juha Mulari - Du får inte ändra på mig (You Cannot Change Me)
Sara Varga returns to the Mello stage, this time in a duet with Juha Mulari. If there is one thing to say about Sara, she is a veteran that knows how to perform to the camera. The staging is very simplistic and minimalistic, perhaps trying to bring the charm of The Common Lennits, however the song just seems to be placed in the wrong place in the running order. The song is ok, it is sung well, but someone needed to go before Loreen.
Loreen - Statements
There is a whole separate article on this here.
Friday Audience Poll
The Swedish OGAE conducted their Friday night audience poll after the dress rehearsal and here are the results.
1. Wiktoria - As I Lay Me Down - 205 votes - 28,3%
2. Jon Henrik Fjällgren feat. Aninia - En värld full av strider - 167 votes - 23,1%
3. Loreen - Statements - 119 votes - 16,4%
4. Alice - Running with Lions - 118 votes - 16,3%
5. Axel Schylström - När ingen ser - 71 votes - 9,8%
6. Les Gordons - Bound to Fall - 42 votes - 5,8%
7 Sara Varga & Juha Mulari - Du får inte ändra på mej - 2 votes - 0,3%
Please keep in mind these are not always accurate to Saturdays results but can give an indication.