The field at Melodifestivalen is always deep. Acts that could win the final in other European countries often fail to make it out of their semis in the Swedish selection. In honor of the countless #melfest acts that are rejected by the Swedes but loved by so many outside of Sweden, we present 13 of our favourite Melodifestivalen songs that should have made the final. And don’t hate: We know this list only scratches the surface, so will be publishing more in the months ahead!

Love Generation — “Dance Alone” (2011)

March 5, 2011 is a day that will live in infamy—for on that day our beloved Love Generation were eliminated in the Andra Chansen contest in Sundsvall. Dressed in cat suits that had the strange effect of making them look like slutty penguins, this quartet worked an elevated platform (and two years before Bonnie Tyler did) and turned the stage into a runway. The moment where they walk in unison toward the audience still makes me want to bust out a wind machine and dance. The message of the song is fantastic, and fits well with those of us who draw energy from haters: sticks and stones may break our bones, but your shade just drives us forward.

— William

Janet Leon — “Heartstrings” (2013)

Melodifestivalen 2013 was a complete joke, and the fact that Janet Leon did not even qualify from her semi final is the most laughable part of it. Honestly, how did she lose out to that horrible old crony act? It is beyond me, and the rest of the Milky Way Galaxy. “Heartstrings” was an amazing entry, sporting a backing beat that makes anyone dance, a level of sass #melfest had never seen, and such a high level of energy and vocal effort. The stage routine was incredibly choreographed, that dance during the first “na na na” part was SO FIERCE!! My biggest Melodifestivalen injustice by MILES. I’m just glad she didn’t let it affect her. Keep doing you Janet! You’re awesome!

— Zach

Alcazar — “Headlines” (2010)

Alcazar made the Andra Chansen with this entry, but the Swedes denied them a spot in the final. The group’s fourth Melodifestivalen attempt starts out with the flamboyant Andreas Lundstedt softly whispering into the camera about having your number on his underwear…but it soon turns into another floor stomper that makes you want to move. The group sings about a little light that’s gonna let them shine and fly, and that they do on stage in their over-the-top electric pink outfits and matching 80’s hairdo’s. “Headlines” represents all that is good about schlager, and in a relatively mediocre Melodifestivalen year (I mean, Anna Bergendahl won!) it was a shock to see them fall short the Final. Thank God they didn’t give up and wowed us all last year!

— Vebooboo

Loreen — “My Heart is Refusing Me” (2011)

Before there was “Euphoria”, there was “My Heart is Refusing Me”. Loreen took this to the Andra Chansen on her debut #melfest appearance, but failed to make it to the final, losing out to Sara Varga in the first round (the same act that took out Love Generation in the second round). Whatever! It is Loreen’s second most successful song, and was even revamped into a dance track. Eat it, haters!

— Colin

Linda Pritchard — “Alive” (2011)

Just like Velvet, Linda Pritchard was one of those artists who started her career in Melodifestivalen with a supporting role (in her case, a dancer), and then decided to go solo. In 2010, she participated with her song “You’re making me Hot-hot-hot”, using her dancing skills to make the stage explode with energy. She returned in 2011, this time with something completely different: A ballad, co-written by Frederik Kempe and Oscar Görres, Linda’s boyfriend. The song started mysterious and magical, with silent piano beats like Kempe ballads often do (“Undo”, “Moving on”, etc). It had the typical key change in the chorus and it grew stronger and stronger until it reached a bombastic climax! The wind machine was turned on, Linda fell on her knees for the final chorus, and it all ended so heroically that everyone was sure it would qualify for the final. In Andra Chansen, Linda lost to The Moniker, leaving scores of #melfest fans devastated. Even though it failed to reach the final, the song is still loved by many fans, who probably also love the enchanting acoustic version.

— Ori

Shirley Clamp — “Burning Alive” (2014)

Beautiful Shirley Clamp has participated in Melodifestivalen six times—and never won. Her emotional ballad “Burning Alive” is, in my opinion, her best entry so far. The lyrics by Sharon Vaughn were truly meaningful and emotional: “There’s fire on the ceiling of the world”, “I lock all the doors but you get through to me” and “Tell myself, what the hell” are just two examples. The music, the vocals, the stage direction — this just worked on every level. When wind effects were combined with the smoke, it gave me the feeling of flying. The camera stills at the beginning were so atmospheric, and Shirley herself looked stunning in this Angelina Jolie-like dress. The song finished sixth in the third semi-final. I’m still asking, WHAT THE HELL SWEDEN?!

— Billy

Eddie Razaz — “Alibi” (2013)

“Alibi” must have been too good for Eurovision as the song written by Thomas G:son and Peter Boström placed only sixth in its deltävling. The song could have been a hit anywhere in Europe, with its electronic sounds and amazing bass. The lyrics aren’t just non-sense either, even if the song is a proper club track. Eddie Razaz might not be the best singer in the world, but he surely delivered a magnificent show with his six female dancers. That choreography is just smashing!

— Sami

Behrang Miri – “Jalla Dansa Sawa” (2013)

Now this is rap we can live with! Behrang Miri showed up at Melodifestivalen 2013 with some major character. He brought the energy levels of a Jessy Matador and the fun of Sean Banan—but managed to be less annoying than both of them. This was summer fun during the Swedish winter, and it broke my heart when he lost to Anton Ewald at Andra Chansen. Added bonus: We see a young Oscar Zia providing backing!

— William

Erik Segerstedt and Tone Damli — “Hello Goodbye” (2013)

So close, but so far. “Hello Goodbye” by Erik Sagerstedt and Tone Damil made it to Andra Chansen and failed to qualify. Maybe it was because Tome is Norwegian? Yet after Melodifestivalen this song got a lot of air time and peaked at #14 on the charts. Tone liked working with the Melodifestivalen guys so much, she even got together with Eric Saade. Lucky her…

— Colin

Caroline af Ugglas – Hon Har Inte (2013)

The “forgotten” Caroline af Ugglas entry, “Hon Har Inte”, follows on with the retro sound that we (and the Swedish public) grew to love from “Snällla, Snälla“. Unfortunately – and unlike Caroline’s 2009 entry – it stalled in Andra Chansen; to this day, I can’t really understand why. It’s actually a much more emotional song than “Snällla, Snälla” in my opinion, as Caroline questions why a former lover has left her for someone new. What really makes it stand out too is the performance, as Caroline is joined by identically dressed “backing singers”, who only perform and mime the song in the background, signifying that she actually is not alone and that this is a situation faced by many women. 2013 was probably not the year to have a “girl power”-esque anthem in Melodifestivalen though based on the final results. Maybe this was why in the Andra Chansen performance, Caroline performed by herself – an odd choice that I believe loses part of the intrigue about the song. Regardless, given what *did* make it through Andra Chansen that year, there’s no doubt in my mind that Caroline deserved her spot in that final.

— Chris

Charlotte Perrelli — “The Girl” (2012)

I have to admit, I am a Charlotte Perrelli fan. It’s cheesy and I’m a sucker for cheesy Swedish songs. First place with ‘Take me to your heaven’ was a deserved spot, but ‘Hero’ deserved so much more than 18th. She wanted to take another shot to represent Sweden in 2012. Songwriter Fredrik Kempe wanted to have a second chance after ‘Hero’ with ‘The Girl’. We had to wait a few weeks before we could see Charlotte in action. She was in the fourth heat but was the first one to climb on the stage. This girl really wanted to get through the semi-finals as she pulled out a really expensive screen which projected her movements. She did amazing and I was singing and dancing along, she had to go through! Sad note: When it came to Danny Saucedo and her, I knew it was the end for Charlotte. Was it the fact that she forgot the lyrics, her plastic looks or are the Swedes just tired of Charlotte? I just know that I loved the song and that she did deserve to go through. I hope to see her again next year!

— Denise

Pink Pistols — “I Am Somebody” (2014)

If it were a brisk opinion on “I Am Somebody” you were after, I’d probably let words like fierce, realness and werk tumble out of my mouth and that wouldn’t really do Pink Pistols or their #MelFest song. Granted 2014 was the first Melodifestivalen I ever actually watched in its entirity, but there’s an electricity tingling in the performance of Pink Pistols. In the first place they didn’t actually rely on much of the all too omnipresent pre-recorded backing vocals. And second “I Am Somebody” is drawn from a pretty elite school of drag-pop that’s actually credible as well as incredibly camp. There’s a thumping baseline throbbing throughout the song and the production is dizzyingly catchy. And if we’re bringing fierceness into it this is a pretty savage thing: the bedazzled thrones kind of say it all.

— Angus

Timoteij – ”Stormande hav” (2012)

You have to admit, we all loved the four adorable gurls who participated as Timoteij at the 2010 Melodifestivalen. Their brand of folk pop with those lovely voices helped them reach fifth place, which happened to be the highest placing for an entry sung in the Swedish language. I was more than happy when I found out the four of them were coming back to Melodifestivalen two years later. The second I heard ”Stormande hav” I was in love with this song and I was sure it would do even better than ”Kom”. I was shocked when they had to go to Andra chansen, and I fell into a deep depression when that was their last stop. Since Johanna has left the group, there are now only three. Let’s hope that the other girls will take a third chance and show us how lovely folk pop can be!

— Mike Bos

Photo: SVT

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disposableatomizer
6 years ago

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Jake
Jake
7 years ago

I never realized that Charlotte forgot the words…that’s hysterical…I do think she got hurt by Danny’s landslide win…but if you can’t remember the lyrics then maybe you should get cut

LEAPerce
LEAPerce
7 years ago

I tend to hate uptempo dance numbers in Meldest (like Alcazar Blame It On The Disco this year), I think they are far too outdated.

I mean, I appreciate that Eric Saade and Loreen are both uptempo etc, but both songs had class (especially Loreen’s). I think for example Pink Pistols were just tacky?

Marco
Marco
7 years ago

You maybe will think that I am crazy but Sean, den förste banan was the best song in 2012 after Euphoria and Amazing… In fact its better than Copacabanana

I agree with My Heart is Refusing Me because Loreen was sooo robbed too

in this year JEM, should have been in the final instead of Panetoz and Mahan Moin instead of the BORING Ellen Benediktson (I still can’t understand how she managed to get more votes than Helena P)

Sj
Sj
7 years ago

If we look from 2010 to 2014, I agree for Alcazar 2010, Love Generation 2011, Loreen 2011, Linda P 2011,Charlotte 2012 and Eddie 2013
But where are on this article Jenny Silver 2010,2011, Lovestoned 2010, Shirley Angels 2011, Afro-dite 2012, Sonja Alden 2012,Andreas 2012, Love Generation 2012, Martin R 2013, Cookies ‘N’ Beans 2013, Amanda F 2013, Swedish house wives, Martin S 2014, Janet 2014

Charles
Charles
7 years ago

Apart from the amazing Loreen and her “My Heart Is Refusing Me” … everything else here (well I’ll take away also Mrs. Clamp as well for other reasons) … is pure snooze stuff or true rubbish. The idea that a great MF song has to be uptempo and dancy just showcases a complete lack of music perspective and a not-deep enough connection to music, just another excuse among thousands already there to dance along to something, to be entertained in the most cheesy way possible … And who cares? Listening to music that limits itself to be the repetition of… Read more »

Paul
Paul
7 years ago

I liked two of the so-called “losers”
Melodifestivalen 2003 – Maarja “He Is Always On My Mind”
Melodifestivalen 2009 – Velvet “The Queen”

SpirK
SpirK
7 years ago

I watched the entire Melodifestivalen only this year and have heard the songs from 2013 so I will list songs only from these years:
Top 2014 injustices:
-Burning Alive
-Set Yourself Free
-Hollow
-Red
-Love Trigger
-Around The World
I liked many others but these are all in my top 10 (which means Melodifestivalen final) except the last one which is 11th. I also really liked Fight Me If You Dare, Echo, Cassanova, Glow, Aleo, All We Are etc.
Top injustices of 2013:
-Burning Flags
-Breaking The Silence
-Dumb
-Island

Thiefo
7 years ago

I agree with a lot of these, specially Alibi, Burning Alive, Stormande Hav, Jalla Dansa Sawa and of course My Heart is Refusing Me. I also would add Love Trigger and Echo from 2014. The thing with Melfest is that, in my opinion, the quality of many of the entries is so high, a lot of good entries that could’ve done well, even won are left out of the final by a number of reasons, some of them take a few listens to appreciate them and with the rules of Melfest is impossible to get familiar with them before the… Read more »

marklebron
marklebron
7 years ago

Most of these songs are really bad. Especially The Pink Pistols’. Disgusting.

Oostenrijk
Oostenrijk
7 years ago

these were the 13 worst songs I have ever listened to….

Ian
Ian
7 years ago

I really enjoyed Josef Johanson’s Hela Natten this past year, that definitely belonged in the final.

Bb
Bb
7 years ago

“Road Salt” by Pain of Salvation and “My Heart Is Refusing Me” by Loreen are the two songs I feel most strongly about that should have reached the final.

Alex
Alex
7 years ago

Actually, I just watched Aleo again, and my comment’s a bit too harsh… she can sing, but the song is rather all over the place and it doesn’t seem to have worked out for her. Besides, it wasn’t even the most cringe-inducing performance in the semifinal. (Alvaro Estrella singing notes that are too high for his vocal range)

Alex
Alex
7 years ago

@D: Aleo? Really? She couldn’t sing… I haven’t been watching Melfest for long enough to say much, apart from that I liked a fair number of the ones listed here. Stormande Hav is the most obvious choice for me… especially considering that Timoteij lost to Top Cats. Ugh. The Girl and Jalla Dansa Sawa were also great, and the fact that The Girl got 5th place in its semi behind Dynazty and the cheesy couple that sang the same notes an octave apart from each other was just ridiculous. There were a fair number of others that I really liked… Read more »

Adam
Adam
7 years ago

@DJ Tiggeh
Well, this is is a list of songs that should have been in the final but wasn’t. Both Nanne and BWO were in the finals but just didn’t win, which could be the basis of another melfest article heh!

I also missed “My Heart is Refusing Me” and Heartstrings” but also “Underbart” by Kalle Moraeus, “När änglarna går hem” by Martin Stenmarck and “Echo” by Outtrigger.
Risky choices perhaps but they really stood out for me!

DJ Tiggeh
DJ Tiggeh
7 years ago

Wait what????

Where is Nanne – Hall om Mig?

Where is BWO – Lay Your Love on Me & Temple of Love?

Flawed list is flawed!

D
D
7 years ago

Hands down agree with “Heartstrings”, “Hon har inte”, “My Heart Is Refusing Me”, “Burning Alive”, and “Stormande hav”. Everything else I completely disagree with. I HATED “I Am Somebody” so much, I can’t stand campy songs like that and it’s songs like this that turn MelFest into a guilty pleasure type show here. Alcazar also adds to this reputation and I’ve never enjoyed a song they’ve released. Also, every song Charlotte Perrelli has ever released is horrible and I don’t know why people like her. Some songs I’d include are: -“Hela natten” (2014) -“Aleo” (2014) -“Glow” (2014) -“Set Yourself Free”… Read more »

A.D.R.SWE
A.D.R.SWE
7 years ago

Nice list but I think there are a few songs you forgot (that I really like) -Amanda Fondell – Dumb (2013) -Manda – Glow (2014) -Janet Leon – Hollow (2014) -Mattias Andreasson – Förlåt mig (2012) -Josef Johansson – Hela Natten (2014) -JEM – Love Trigger (2014) -Cookies N Beans – Burning flags (2013) -Therese Fredenwall – Breaking the Silence (2013) -Carolina Wallin Perez – Sanningen (2012) -Abalone Dots – På väg (2012) -Pernilla Andersson – Desperados (2011) -Jenny Silver – A place to stay (2010) -Anna Maria Espinosa – Innan alla ljusen brunnit ut (2010) -Sibel – Stop (2010)… Read more »