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!

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RL
Guest
RL

I was acting as a photographer in semi final.

There were several problems with this act.
1. First play for journalists – volume was way low.
This song needs to be played LAUD. It lost some of its momentum there…
2. Competition – Ravaillacz got ALL media attention.
3. Clothes – scene covering dress, that did not look great in TV. But caused problems during repetitions. Once she was pulled back with it…
“There’s never an excuse for a full body suit” – fully agree
4. Dance routine has some strange looking moves

Zolan
Guest
Zolan

My fave was “Burning Flags”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSG_MxE-Xn0

Janet was one of several uptempo all-rounders, but did show potential for a stronger performance this time around. Disco Lives!

Paul
Guest
Paul

In 2013 it was like:
1. Tell The World I’m Here (Ulrik Munther)
2. Bed On Fire (Ralf Gyllenhammar)
3. You (Robin Stjernberg)
4. Heartbreak Hotel (Yohio)
5. In And Out Of Love (Martin Rolinski)

Alex
Guest
Alex

The problem with You as a song is that it’s so difficult to perform. I was worried about whether Robin would pull off as good of a performance in Eurovision as he did in the Melodifestivalen final – I mean, there’s a reason he had to go through the Second Chance round. And to be honest his performance in Eurovision felt like he was really laboring to sing the song. Yes, it is hard to sing, but the song should sound like effortless euphoria to the listener (no pun intended on Loreen’s song). It felt more like a vocal exercise… Read more »

Charles
Guest
Charles

Comparing Euphoria to Heartstrings is like comparing a piece of art to a puddle of mud. Sweden rarely sends their best craft in dance pop to MF and Euphoria was a rare gem that thank God it won … everything else, in the likes of Heartstring, is nothing more than an ordinary vulgar same old same old lame dance gay club piece of rubbish, we’ve all heard too many times. Aviici has all the right reasons to celebrate: he gives meaning to his music, and he does not need Eurovision to prove that (it would be far too damn good… Read more »

Pablo Nava
Member

I would’ve gone with Ralf all the way. Bed on Fire had an amazing staging and a big voice. It would’ve been the best host country defending song.
You was so boring and nothing really special other than high notes.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Pitchy vocals, man. I’m not really surprised at the result, in retrospect. My favorite dance pick in that semifinal was definitely Alibi, though.

Ravaillacz were amazing, actually (read the translation of the lyrics). In spirit they were my pick to win the whole damn schlager, I mean contest.

Arianna
Guest

I like this song, but New Colours is better, so hopefully she keeps upping her game & brings it for Melfest ’14 🙂

Anthony Ko
Editor

Dammit! I was supposed to say that I’m also glad Sweden DIDN’T send Yohio to Malmö this year.

Anthony Ko
Editor

Charles, I’ve always wanted to see a first ever dance entry win the Eurovision Song Contest and thankfully, Loreen has done just that with ‘Euphoria’. And which country did she represent? Yep, Sweden, the country that is currently setting the standards for the dance music scene. First, it was the Sweden House Mafia and now Avicii.

“Heartstings” was also one of favourites from a dull year, but at the same time, I’m also glad Sweden send Yohio to Malmö this year. However, Robin wasn’t my first choice and from all those in the final, I would’ve picked Ulrik.

eurana
Guest
eurana

I agree with Charles. Sternber was the best in 2013. Stop dances on Eurovision.

paco
Guest

Beyoncepower

D
Guest
D

I agree 100%. “Heartstrings” was AMAZING and my #1 choice in Melodifestivalen 2013. I agree it was a pretty low-quality year too. “You” was an ok song but didn’t deserve to win, “Heartstrings” definitely deserved the win, or at least to qualify for the final. I can’t wait to see Janet’s song for Melodifestivalen 2014 and I’m sure it’ll be even better than this one! 😀

Pablo Nava
Member

Janet has a LOT to do. THis tune was great and very infectious. Everyone has HUGE expectations

Alex
Guest
Alex

It was my favourite. Too bad..too bad.

dhani
Guest

off topic: Poland returns to eurovision!!!

Charles
Guest
Charles

Are you serious? Are you still pressing the same frustrating button that a song like this, a typical dance piece of rubbish like so many millions out there should have won? Look at what happened to all the dance crap from Ireland and Slovenia .. leave the dance on the dance floor on a Saturday night club. Fredrik Kempe should step out of his gay comfort zone of plastic made music and showcase something worth believing for once. Robin was a remarkable winner and had an amazing song, why is everyone so against thus kid even to this day is… Read more »