On November 28 SVT announced the list of artists singing in the third and fourth semi-finals of Melodifestivalen 2014. Folks were thrilled to learn that veterans like Alcazar, Linda Bengtzing and Oscar Zia would be competing again. That’s all good. What’s better, however, is that Janet Leon, who made her Melodifestivalen debut in 2013, is coming back for more.
The Swedish-Persian singer competed in the third semi-final last year. First off, I really want to express my opinion that the 2013 contest was BEYOND lackluster. In 2012 I had two or three favorites in EACH semi-final. (I still love you Afro-Dite, Dead by April ain’t got nothing on you!). In 2013 I had four favorites IN TOTAL, almost all of which failed terribly. The final was an utter disappointment. I won’t even get into Sean Banan, the fact that only one woman was in the final (Louise was my favorite by the way), or the ultimate cop-out Sweden pulled by choosing Robin and his drunk dancers. Well, I’ve gone on my mini rant, time to review the song!
After listening to “Heartstrings” a full time through, I immediately think it’s a perfect representation of the kind of Swedish music we’re familiar with. Pounding beats, gracious amounts of cool synthesizer, and a sexy woman who by some unfair miracle has a good voice as well, making us all feel bad about ourselves. Classic Sweden. The song itself is extremely catchy, and while I normally dislike songs that use nonsensical lyrics like “na na na”, this song uses it in a way that seems to make sense, and isn’t overbearing. The live performance in the semi-final was very good.
Quick aside: There’s never an excuse for a full body suit, no matter how hot she looked in it, and this is coming from a gay man. At least she didn’t look like the excrement of a diamond mine, *cough Marie Serneholt *cough.
In any case, she seemed to have good vocals, even if she relied on her backing singers a little too much. I give her props for executing a nice dance routine along with the song, still managing to hit notes while moving. That takes really good vocal control. But to my shock and disgust, Janet came fifth and was eliminated.
The results of that semi-final seemed to be some kind of sick joke. Amanda Fondell, the WINNER of Swedish Idol, came seventh. Janet and her amazing dance-pop song came fifth, Caroline af Ugglas was relegated to the second chance round, and the old cronies group Ravaillacz won the entire semi-final. I’m still amazed how this semi-final turned out, but looking at the quality of the contest as a whole and who qualified in retrospect, I can’t say it’s completely shocking. But the good news is, Janet seemed to take it all in stride. She got on with a new album, and released her new song “New Colours” for Stockholm Pride, determined to not let a stupid Melodifestivalen vote get the best of her. You go girl. You’ll always have a fan in me!
Zachary Thomas is Wisconsin-based correspondent for WiwiBloggs.com. Follow him on Twitter @CheerZach. Then follow the team from wiwibloggs.com on Twitter at @wiwibloggs to keep up with the latest Eurovision news and gossip!