Earlier this afternoon we gave you the down-low on today’s rehearsal for the first semi-final of Melodifestivalen. Now it’s time to watch the Melodifestivalen videos for yourself! Below you can see one-minute snippets of the semi-finalists competing in Malmö on Saturday. Thank you, SVT! We’ve also included our predictions for Saturday evening. Who do you think will go direct to the Friends Arena?
YOHIO with “To the End”
YOHIO is back with a much more mainstream sound this year. It’s like he mated glam rock with Ulrik Munther’s song from last year and this was the result. He is rocking the black pleather and that studded hat carries with it an important message: DON’T MESS WITH THE YOHIO.
Prediction: Direct to the Friends Arena
Mahan Moin with “Aleo”
This is basically that song “Gosa” from last year with Tooji’s back-up dancers thrown in with a flash of Janet Leon. But only a flash. I’m sorry, this can hope for Second Chance at best…but even that is a stretch.
Linus Svenning – “Brothers”
Proving that people with pierced noses can be super tender, Linus’s song is an intoxicating mix of contemporary R&B, folk, and, dare we say it, a bit of magic. He’s going to be new to the majority of Swedes (who probably only know him from his Youtube covers), and that’s going to make it tough for him to get past superstars YOHIO and Helena. But we suspect he’ll get another chance to sing at #melfest.
Prediction: Andra Chansen
Elisa Lindstrom – “Casanova”
It’s like a bad version of something Linda Bengtzing would have sung…in the late 1980s…before she worked with professional songwriters. The worst of schlager rolled into three minutes (or, thankfully, one minute because this is a snippet). Thanks for stopping by Elisa, but it’s time to go home!
Alvaro Estrella with “Bedroom”
Alvaro borrows from the past. He took his sound from the 1970s, and his moving dance platform from Sakis Rouvas’ 2009 Eurovision performance. Sadly both were better the first time around. This is going nowhere fast. Boom-boom-boom boom boom boooom.
Ellen Benediktson with “Songbird”
The voice in the dark is probably saying, STOP SINGING. You have a great voice but this song is just so dull. Dull, dull, dull. This would be great in a musical after the main character has lost her man, but on its own it does nothing for me. I’m upset I’m going to have to listen to two more minutes of this on Saturday. I’ll switch to #umk14 during this number.
Sylvester Schlegel with “Bygdens son”
Sylvester looks homeless and the girl on the guitar in the black dress needs to lay off the caffeine, but this has personality! The melody is catchy, the performers have charisma, and this definitely sticks out following the snoozefest about the bird. Sweden loves a bit of quirkiness at Melodifestivalen (hello Sean Banan, Swingfly, and the guy with the flaming piano last year).
Prediction: Second Chance
Helena Paparizou with “Survivor”
She’s still got it. Some of y’all are saying you are disappointed, but you need to hold your horses until the final two minutes. Helena is a lady. And like a true lady she does not give it away all at once. Oh hellllz no. She is saving it, she is going to drop it like it’s hot, and all of y’all are going to be SMS-ing for her like no other. The song is a dance number with a rock edge. It’s like YOHIO at his best mixed with Loreen at her best. How are you gonna beat that?!
Prediction: Direct to Friends Arena
Who are YOU supporting? And who do you think Sweden will support? Which four acts will live to sing another day?
Willy Lee Adams contributed this report from London. Follow him on Twitter @willyleeadams. You can also keep up with the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following wiwibloggs.com on Twitter and Facebook.