From iTunes downloads to Spotify streams to the odds thrown down by betting agencies, it would seem that the Melodifestivalen 2014 final is a tale of two singers: rising star Ace Wilder and Schlager Queen Sanna Nielsen.
They bring two dramatically different styles (and two different shades of blonde). It’s a battle playing out on the front pages of newspapers across Sweden. When Wiwi opened his copy of the Metro on Friday morning, this is what he saw.
The Swedish headline translates roughly as, “Mello-Theme: A fight between pop and schlager”.
It’s an assumption built on some solid foundations. Sanna, the seven-time finalist, is always the bridesmaid but never the bride. Older voters have grown accustomed to seeing her at #melfest, and surely she is their sentinmental favourite. But young voters now dominate the televote, and they are perhaps too young to remember even “Empty Room.” Ace may be older, but she looks younger. Even with the dark mascara there is something highly relatable and warm about her. She’s the unfinished, slightly messy foil to Sanna, the somewhat programmed, always-on-brand Miss Sweden type.
Momentum appears to be on Ace’s side. In the hours leading up to the Melodifestivalen final, she had pushed Sanna aside in nearly every poll and ranking we could find. Let’s review.
Ace Wilder tops Melodifestivalen artists on Spotify
Swedes are streaming Ace’s “Busy Doin’ Nothin'” almost as much as they are streaming Katy Perry’s single “Dark Horse”. Ace finished the week as the third-most streamed artist in Sweden with 977,806 plays. Sanna Nielsen was all the way down in 13th position with 605,115 plays. Linus Svenning was 21st with 458,229 plays of his song “Brothers”.
Note: It’s true that most of the people who use Spotify are 15 to 30 years old. But those people also vote at Melodifestivalen, so it seems to offer some insight into how Saturday might go down.
Ace is trying to remain calm.
Does iTunes signal a win for Ace?
Ace also overtook Sanna on iTunes earlier this week. At the end of the day on Thursday, Ace had climbed to #4 with “Busy Doin’ Nothin'”, which put her just ahead of Sanna and “Undo”. The only other Melodifestivalen act in the Top 10 was Helena Paparizou, who sat in position #8.
On Friday morning Ace released her hot new video. That may have played a role in her rising popularity. By the end of the day she had climbed to #3 on the charts. Sanna fell to #6 and Helena stayed steady at #8. Perhaps some of y’all saw how sweet and charming she is in our interview.
Melodifestivalen betting odds
Following #melfestrobotgate, Swedish betting agencies pulled the plug on all Melodifestivalen betting. But betfair, a betting exchange, still has its odds listed. I know some of you technical folks will point out it’s not a classic betting agency, but the exchange is still telling. Ace and Sanna appear to be the only ones with any chance of winning.
This is how betfair had them listed on Friday evening before the dress rehearsal. Sanna was on top and Ace was second.
1. Sanna Nielsen 8/11
2. Ace Wilder 7/5
3. Helena Paparizou 23
4. Oscar Zia 24
5. Yohio 26
6. Alcazar 39
7. Anton Ewald 43
8. Ellen Benedikston 51
9. Linus Svenning 89
10. Panetoz 94
After the rehearsal Ace had taken the lead for the first time since Melodifestivalen started.
1. Ace Wilder 8/11
2. Sanna Nielsen 5/6
3. Helena Paparizou 24
4. Yohio 35
5. Oscar Zia 43
7. Alcazar 51
7. Anton Ewald 51
8. Ellen Benedikston 66
10. Linus Svenning 94
10. Panetoz 94
Melodifestivalen rehearsal: The Exit Poll
Following Friday night’s dress rehearsal, Sweden’s Melodifestivalen Club conducted a survey of 507 audience members as they left Friends Arena. Once again Ace came out on top. Note: We assume Panetoz came ninth, but the results, published in Aftonbladet‘s Schlager Blog, leave them out.
1. Ace Wilder (131 röster, 25,8%)
2. Sanna Nielsen (78 röster, 15,4%)
3. Alcazar (67 röster, 13,2%)
4. Oscar Zia (60 röster, 11,8%)
5. Anton Ewald (41 röster, 8,1%)
6. YOHIO (37 röster, 7,3%)
7. Linus Svenning (30 röster, 5,9%)
8. Helena Paparizou & Panetoz (27 röster, 5,3%)
10. Ellen Benediktson (9 röster, 1,8%)
SVT fan poll
Ace has also won SVT’s fan poll. Helena Paparizou finished second, and Sanna was third.
Can Ace ride her momentum all the way to victory? Will the jury’s help Sanna or Ace more? Let us know in the comments box below!
See our #melfest reviews and rankings on the Wiwi Jury page. You can also keep up-to-date with the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.
Photos: Courtesty of SVT
Wow, this was pretty accurate. Definitely was a battle between 2 ladies. Surprising part was how well Alcazar did.
I was away from my machine and missed it, but word has it that Sanna won by TWO POINTS over Ace! Alcazar 3rd and Helena 4th.
I want Helena to win, but being honest it is going to be Ace. Her song is so incredibly catchy, it’s hard not to like it, despite her average vocals.
I’ll stick to Helena’s lyrics. She’s a survivor.
Ace,Sanna,Helena,Ellen or Oscar to win. Top five please all of them please!!!!!
I heard a rumour that the Tolmachevy Twins will be representing Russia this year, can anyone tell if this is valid or not?
GO ACE! she went from zero to hero within a few weeks, good for her
I just saw the latest BetFair odds, and Alcazar and YOHIO are gaining on Helena for 3rd! It’s still between Sanna and Ace for the win.
People were still not too sure that Anouk would finish in the top 10 at last year’s ESC; then her video that was released after her semifinal performance sealed the deal and she finished 9th. Will Ace’s video put her over the top at Melodifest?
This is the Swedish singles charts:
1- Ace Wilder
6- Linus Svenning
7- Sanna Nielsen
28- Oscar Zia
33- Helena Paparizou
Ellen and Yohio aren’t in the Top 60. Also, JEM is at 31 and State of Drama is at 39
http://www.sverigetopplistan.se here’s the link if you want it, I can pretty much say Ace is almost definitely winning the televote.
Hahaha that pic of Sanna and Ace! Love those girls but I’m rooting for Sanna. It’s her time!
Haha Ace is so tiny, no wonder why everybody thought she was younger than Sanna 😛
I agree with what others have said, Ace has more international appeal, I think she would do better than Sanna if she goes to ESC. For as much as I think Sanna deserves to finally win MF after 7 attempts, I must admit I like Ace’ song more.
Spotify is free so is irrelevant make an extrapolation based on the number of reproductions with Mello votes. It’s more realistic what happen on iTunes and let me tell you… NOBODY has first place in the pocket. Let’s see what happen. Hopefully Sweden will choose someone who has a good song and actually can sing.
@Mex. I believe only you laughed there!
“Sanna Nielsen is the new Leonardo Dicaprio. He will never get an Oscar. She will never win Melodifestivalen. If Sanna does win Melodifestivalen, it will be Anna Bergendahl all over again.”
I’m laughing out loud! 🙂 So true!
Im going to vote for Sanna with undo. Im going to vote everything I have…
GO SANNA UNDO !!!!!!!
Ace Wilder has to win. Her song is unique and is not going to blend into the mass at eurovision.
Undo is a good song but to regular nothing surprising..if we send Sanna we will end up at about 14th place….
Sanna with undo to win !!! nuff said!
Where is poll from Aftonbladet?
2. Sanna Nielsen
3. Helena Paparizou
4. Linus Svenning
5. Ace Wilder
7. Ellen Benediktson
9. Anton Ewald
10. Oscar Zia
Please not Ace… I don’t like it :/
BTW, the picture of Ace and Sanna facing each other is epic! 😀
Ace all the way!
The good thing is that “Busy Doin’ Nothin” has an international appeal. If Ace Wilder does win Melodifestivalen, makes it to the Final in May, but doesn’t make the top 10, her song would have still been exposed to half a billion people worldwide. It would launch a huge international career for the girl. It’s still a win/win. Sanna Nielsen is the new Leonardo Dicaprio. He will never get an Oscar. She will never win Melodifestivalen. If Sanna does win Melodifestivalen, it will be Anna Bergendahl all over again. If Helena Paparizou does win Melodifestivalen, it would be Dana International… Read more »
Ace to Denmark, please!
I’m rooting for Ace! She has been my favourite since I heard it for the first time in February 😀 love it! I’m gonna vote until I have no money left on my phone! (I also have a feeling that Ace won’t be very popular among the juries) GO ACE!
Sanna is also great and I could live with her being chosen but her song is a bit “too normal”! Hopefully Ace will win the televoting and therefore pass Sanna (and the others)
if its only between sanna and ace, i’ll root for ace.