Last night the Wiwi Jury, our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals, read up on gender equality and headed to Sweden to review Sanna Nielsen’s Melodifestivalen song. Did “Undo” pull our heartstrings? Or did it unravel like a drag queen in the rain? Read on to find out…
Deban: Vocally, this is epic. The song is well-crafted, and although the formula is predictable, Sanna Nielsen’s performance keeps us guessing. Note to styling, hair and wardrobe: Please don’t age a beautiful twenty something year old girl. It doesn’t win votes! If the staging could be tidied up, and infused with DRAMA, then, this entry should advance to Copenhagen. It’s about time. This is Neilsen’s seventh appearance at the contest. Seventh time a charm?
Padraig: My relationship with “Undo” has been a strange one. At first, I thought it was a pleasant, if somewhat unremarkable, ballad. But then, I developed an urge to listen again… and again … and again. And now it’s one of my favourites. Anyone who says you should always go with your gut instinct is clearly speaking baloney. There’ll be no “Ctrl Z” for me, “F5” all the way. Oh, and on a sidenote, I completely agree with Deban – Sanna is 29 not 49 – please Melfest wardrobe department, quit dressing lamb up as mutton.
Angus: Sanna started off the whole shebang strong and she’s still going strong although momentum is starting to ebb from her as Alcazar and Ace Wilder snap at her heels. ‘Undo’ is an excellent entry and could do well for the Swedes. Though the lyrics could do with some kinks being ironed out (“Undo my self” would sound much better than “Undo my sad”), Sanna’s vocal and the haunting production is fabulous. The backing vocal is a little heavy in places but Sanna is by no means the only act guilty of that in the final. She’s on to a very good thing here.
Zach: Sanna Nielsen. The girl you can count on for a high quality Melodifestivalen entry whenever her name springs up in the participant list. And this year, I think she may just go all the way. I personally feel she should’ve won in 2011 with “I’m In Love,” and now I’m liking “Undo” even more than that entry. It’s the perfect blend of ballad and electro, vocals being shown off in the more acapella areas of the song, and a cool/dark chorus with awesome backing beats and words that you remember after just one listen. After seven tries, and despite my love of Helena and her powerful song, I really think Sanna deserves her shot, especially considering this song is her best entry ever.
Patrick: What a masterpiece of music! I really loved “I’m in Love” and “Empty Room” but “Undo” is amazing. Frederic Kempe did a great job as always. The melody at the beginning is beautiful and her silent voice gives it a mystic touch. And then she got me. There is this loud moment when her voice explodes and the song catapults me into my goosebumps-moment. Sanna is the sentimental favourite of Sweden and mine as well. She has the biggest chance of anyone to receive 12 points from the jury and from the voters. I think Sweden can be proud to have such a amazing singer. Lycka till Sanna!
Sami: This is so freaking overrated and I can’t see why this is so popular. It’s an okay pop ballad, Sanna is good singer, but there’s nothing new, nothing memorable and nothing interesting. I can’t see anyone else but hardcore Eurovision fans voting for it in Eurovision, so it would be a huge flop. We’ve heard this so many times. Also, the melody of verses is exactly the same as in Eric Saade’s It’s Gonna Rain, also written by Fredrik Kempe.
Anthony: An astonishing four entries composed by Fredrik Kempe himself will be in this year’s final. One of them comes from a Melodifestivalen veteran that has yet to represent the country at the Eurovision Song Contest. This one clearly has a lot more pizzazz than the ballad from fellow finalist Ellen Benediktson. Overall, “Undo” is a very good entry and I can see why it’s one of the favourites to win this year. Could I see Sweden as Eurovision title contenders with Sanna Nielsen at Copenhagen? Unfortunately, no.
James: Is it wrong if I said that when I watched this for the first time it gave me goosebumps? It did – I swear. This is a pure performance piece and with the added fact that it could easily be played on British radio without anyone battering an eyelid is an added factor that this will be simply received SO well in Copenhagen if it won. It combines a lovely simple ballad at the beginning with a powerful overload of greatness at the end – it just works. Though, my recommendation: more lights, more pyrotechnics, more everything. Surprise us! Make us cry! Otherwise this just ain’t worth it.
Franceska: I started out this song thinking that this was going to be the most boring thing ever. Boy, was I wrong. The song doesn’t change suddenly, it builds so wonderfully. Sanna’s vocals are killer, and it’s emotional without being schmaltzy.
Ramadan: This is the song that is going to win Melodifestivalen 2014? Oh really? It’s alright song but it takes quite a while to get going. There’s something in the chorus that kinda bugs me too. It’s outdated and what is Sanna wearing!?!? It’s OK. I have nothing more to say.
Wiwi Jury Verdict: 8.2/10
Final Ranking: #2 of 10