Melodifestivalen 2016 — Sweden’s longest party — has officially started. Earlier today SVT revealed 30-second snippets of the first rehearsals for semi final 1. Seven acts, including Melfest alums Viktor & Samir and Ace Wilder, wiggled and rocked and even worked water fixtures. Below you can read our first impressions from the first semi-final. Who was your favourite?

Melodifestivalen 2016: Deltävling 1 Gothenburg

Samir & Viktor – “Bada nakna”

William: Their song is all about living your life on your own terms — and for them that means skinny dipping in a Stockholm Square. They give that idea life by splishing and splashing inside a shallow pool of water, with some very Jedward-esque water spouts in the background. That looks a bit cheap. But the song itself sounds slightly more expensive than their entry from last year and composer Fredrik Kempe has def upped their game musically. The deep thumping beats and anthemic oh oh oh give me hope this will be a banger with soul. PS: In rehearsals they removed their shirts. Say yay yay yay!

Samir and viktor shirtless

Sami: It was expected that Samir and Viktor would actually bada nakna on stage, which is perhaps a bit much. The song is much worse than “Groupie” (based on this clip anyway) and it sounds really old-fashioned for fresh-faced Samir & Viktor, who do best with the ebullient and playful. It’s a big disappointment and they might have trouble making it to the final with this.

Read the “Bada nakna” lyrics

Pernilla Andersson – “Mitt guld”

William: I’m all about sleeping, but I’m not about passing out. This lacks the gentle thrust that made her song “Desperados” one of the most-played tracks on my iPod back in the day. The angelic harpist seems somewhat out of place with the guitar that Pernilla doesn’t seem to play. Perhaps this clip comes from early on in the song and an epic and emotional chorus follows? I’m hoping. Note: Pernilla actually painted that picture of the naked lady with the tiger behind her. Slay, mama!

Pernilla Andersson Mitt guld Melodifestivalen 2016 2

Sami: Pernilla’s song is very sweet, but also rather drowsy. I’m sure this would be the perfect cure for insomnia (and no, that’s not a reference to Ellen Benediktson)! The lyrics are touching — “I feel your breath on my skin, it must be what they call God” — and you can see that Pernilla has lots of experience. But I’m afraid this will end up dead last in the semifinal.

Read the “Mitt guld” lyrics

Mimi Werner – “Ain’t No Good”

William: Ain’t no good? Mimi, darling, this is so good! The Melodifestivalen debutante worked a vintage, 1970s inspired look replete with bell bottoms and a shaggy vest. She’s updated country-disco for 2016 and this oozes attitude and energy. A sea of men twist and twirl around her, but she more than holds her own. Disco numbers can get really repetitive really quickly, so we’ll have to wait and see if she can sustain this excitement for the full three minutes. One of my colleagues messaged to say “100% playback”, but maybe she’s just resting her voice. Could she pull an ISA and be this year’s breakout star? Maybe. But I have a feeling she’s headed to Second Chance.

Mimi Werner Ain't No Good Melodifestivalen 2016 1

Sami: Mimi Werner is bringing some country flavour to the contest, and while previous country music numbers haven’t done so well (see Cookies N Beans and Abalone Dots, for example), Mimi actually brings a potential qualifier! We’ve had hundreds of songs about falling for the wrong guy, but Mimi makes it sound current and fresh. The choreography looks great — and extremely well synchronized! You go girl!

Read the “Ain’t No Good” lyrics

Albin & Mattias Andréasson – “Rik”

William: Love it or lump it — English is the lingua franca of hip-hop and rap. So when Albin drops it in Swedish I just cringe. I’m not convinced he has the swagger needed to pull this off and I’m struggling to remember the melody just a few seconds after this finishes. I appreciate their energy and chemistry, but I definitely prefer Mattias in E.M.D. mode, where he was more pop and much more endearing. If this makes it to Andra Chansen it’s only because of Mattias’ reputation. The song itself deserves to be eliminated.

Albin Mattias Andreasson Rik Melodifestivalen 2016 1

Sami: “Rik” would not do well at Eurovision, but it’s a nice addition to this semifinal. It’s urban, modern and very now. The message is strong and clear: Money is not the key to happiness! Albin and Mattias also seem to have lots of fun on stage and they have great chemistry. It might end up in andra chansen, but I can’t see it heading straight to the final.

Read the “Rik” lyrics

Anna Book – “Himmel för två”

William: Anna Book — who looks like the older and slightly fleshier sister of Little Mix star Jesy Nelson — came fifth at Melfest 1986 and ninth in 2007. She will not be bettering those placings. She’s got a strong voice, but it’s wasted on this dated schlager number. She sings about a rainbow built for two, so naturally seeks to blow up the electro magnetic spectrum with lots of flashing lights and a painfully cheesy heart installation. This excerpt already sounds repetitive so I can’t imagine what the full three minutes will feel like. In any event, great energy from a lovely woman.

Anna Book Himmel för två Melodifestivalen 2016 2

Sami: En riktig jävla schlager! It’s exactly what we expected from Anna Book — wind machine, absurd choreography and cheesy lyrics! It’s timeless schlager — a genre that always has its fans. Obviously Sweden would never choose something like this, but it never fails to bring a smile to your face.

Read the “Himmel för två” lyrics

Robin Bengtsson – “Constellation Prize”

William: The staging is glorious — I’m loving the black-and-gold hues, the platform that twinkles like a constellation and the use of spotlights. But that’s where my enthusiasm ends. The melody isn’t inspiring and the chanting of “you are beautiful” sounds both cheap and monotonous. The harmonica helps break this up — but the fact they’ve had to call on it for that effect says a lot. A disappointing entry from a very competent and talented performer.

Robin Bengtsson Constellation Prize Melodifestivalen 2016 4

Sami: Veteran composer Bobby Ljunggren has penned a song that sounds very 2016. “Constellation Prize” is a feel-good, easy-listening number, but sadly it doesn’t show us Robin’s personality at all. He still sounds — and looks — great, and there’s never too many songs with a harmonica.

Read the “Constellation Prize” lyrics

Ace Wilder – “Don’t Worry”

William: The choreography slays and the dancers drop it like it’s really hot. Their moves are quirky and slightly frenetic, suggesting that a big chorus is on its way. I certainly hope so: This slice of the song isn’t doing much for me and left me just a tad disappointed. The repetition of “don’t worry it’s alright” has an Old World bossa nova feel, which I’m not really into, but I’m assuming this is just a transition in the song and not a main event. Reports coming out of the Scandinavium have made it clear this number is even louder and dancier than her hit from 2014 so I’m keeping my faith ahead of the full reveal. Ace looks way more confidant than she did on her debut two years ago — look at her droppin’ attitude and playing to the camera. The staging has an Eric Saade 2015 feel with the shadows and spotlights, suggesting producers know Ace is on to a good thing and they’re giving her the budget to do it.

Ace Wilder Don't Worry Melodifestivalen 2016 2

Sami: Melodifestivalen producers have made this semifinal way too easy for Ace. While it took a while for her 2014 entry “Busy Doin’ Nothin'” to achieve its front-page hype, I feel like people will start to like “Don’t Worry” on first listen. The lyrics are playful but they don’t come off as immature, and you could have a field day mining the meaning of her number, which talks about everything from wi-fi to preachers. There’s no way Ace isn’t heading direkt till final.

Read the “Don’t Worry” lyrics

READ MORE MELODIFESTIVALEN NEWS

Photos: Stina Stjernkvist/SVT

43 Comments
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Hebbuzz
Hebbuzz
5 years ago

Based on these short clips I van’t help but feeling quite disappointed in MF semi 1. There is NO song that I would send to the final. So it will a popularitytest, instead of a song contest. Only the two least populair artists will exit the race tonight. Ace stills sings amateuristic and off key. I think Pernilla probably has hte best song, but she will end bottom. Samir & Viktor are even worse than their former entry. They can reach the final with showing off their fantastic body shapes but the tattoos, vocals and ‘melody’ really turn me off.

dutchie
dutchie
5 years ago

@victor
Yeah, I don’t know in which era William lives but almost every European country has its own language hip hop scene. For an American it might seem slightly odd but TBH some of the hip hop I hear in my own country is better and more to the point than what’s currently coming out of the States.

Huh
Huh
5 years ago

Obviously it’s Ace Wilder and Samir & Viktor who will advance to the grand final. Though I like Robin to advance or at least reach to the Andra Chansen. And Ace Wilder still needs to tune her vocals more.

mocosuburbian
mocosuburbian
5 years ago

*vote with their eyes
same point
they shouldn’t get to the final because they’re hot but… it’ll happen anyways

mocosuburbian
mocosuburbian
5 years ago

blocked in the US 🙁
Samir and Viktor are depending on people to vote for their eyes which I feel some certain Swedes will
idk about the Swedish rap being ‘unauthentic’… rap in other languages can be just as legitimate, German seems to work kind of well with it so I’m guessing Swedish can too (then again I haven’t heard the snippet)
Ace Wilder’s staging from that one image looks intense

Victor
Victor
5 years ago

Say English is the lingua franca of rap and hip hop is too harsh! Lots of cultures rely on hip hop and rap as a means of showcasing their voice. It’s rather sad to hear that form a journalist. 🙁

Alex
Alex
5 years ago

So far Ace Wilder and Robin Bengtsson sound interesting and modern, but in general no standout tracks.

Let’s hope Sweden this year won’t have the same fate as in 2013.

esc
esc
5 years ago

NOOO the dreaded hipster tropical house crap has made its way into melodifestivalen

Thiefo
5 years ago

I’m liking both Robin and Ace, hoping for the full songs to be better than these snippets though.

Oh and I hope people won’t vote Samir & Viktor just for their abs, they’re painful to hear!

Milla
Milla
5 years ago

Aren’t the songs dissapointing every single year when it comes to Melodifestivalen? I see the same comments every year. It’s like people expect too much at times. But we have made it pretty good anyway :). And as soon as the first snippets are out then the dislikers of Melfest or Sweden in eurovision world in general take the chance to bring the whole contest down and somehow hope that Sweden will fail. Some words are just are very easy to see through. Because I personally can’t tell much about these snippets. The performance and song must stand as one… Read more »

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
5 years ago

D’OH! :-O My bad. I had to go and dig up the performance order for this contest; and it looks as if not all of the favorites will sing last every week. Only Ace this Saturday and Molly S. in Week 4.

D
D
5 years ago

Ace Wilder and Robin Bengtsson to the final and Mimi Werner and Pernilla Andersson to andra chansen. All Samir & Viktor have going for them is them being hot af, which isn’t a bad thing but their song is very weak. Albin & Matthias have the potential to be great, but idk yet. Anna Book is horrible but she’s disqualified anyways. The most predictable outcome for this semi would be
1- Ace
2- Samir & Viktor
3- Robin
4- Albin & Matthias
5- Mimi
6- Pernilla
7- Anna

But I have a feeling there might be some surprises.

oli
oli
5 years ago

1) Ace wilder
2) Robin Bengtsson
—-> Til Finalen

3. Samir & Viktor
4. Anna Book
—–> Til Andra Chancen

Andrew England
Andrew England
5 years ago

Very weak semi and very disappointed by Ace Wilder’s clip. I don’t thing the first 3 semi’s will matter tbh though as I reckon Molly Sanden will slay the competition with YOUniverse on 27th Feb

Héctor
Héctor
5 years ago

Mmmm I’m not getting your hype about Ace, the snippet sounds like any other song to me, it has nothing special. Probably, it will have the best stage of them for sure and I expect Ace will go straight to the final… On the other side, “Constellation prize” and “Rik” are my fav songs from this bunch, but surely they will go to the Andra Chasen at most. My prediction: (The first two only for their popularity, no their quality…) 1. Ace Wilder 2. Samir & Victor 3. Albin & Mattias 4. Robin 5. Mimi 6. Anna (Am I the… Read more »

Maxime
Maxime
5 years ago

My top 7 after these short snippets is:
1) Ace wilder
2) Robin Bengtsson
3) Samir & Viktor
4) Albin & Mattias
5) Mimi Werner
6) Pernilla Anderson
7) Anna Book

Steven Keenan
Steven Keenan
5 years ago

So Sweden gets a massive influx of entries and this is their choice? I know it’s semi 1 but I hope it isn’t a sign of things to come. Mimi/Ace to qualify, just eliminate the rest.

MarioMario
MarioMario
5 years ago

Very weak SF. I’d vote for Ace and either Robin Bengtsson or Albin & Mattias.

MGR
MGR
5 years ago

I like when everything is clear from the beginning. Only distinct entries are good and catchy. Generally, there are two possibilities: specific action or well-matched background where the singers in the foreground are emphasized. Is not that true?
If someone tries to deny this must produce some evidence.

davve
davve
5 years ago

SVT is in crisis right now. they have to disqualify Anna Books as her song is identical to a previous song. sadly.

davve
davve
5 years ago

OMG Anna Book will definitely be disqualified. her song is identical to felicia dunafs song in Moldovas national selection in 2014. sorry anna.

Maria
Maria
5 years ago

You can see that it seems after that part in Don’t Worry there’s going to be a drop! If there is I would be very happy! Have to say that this is a very weak semi final I expected more only Ace and Robin caught my attention.

T
T
5 years ago

Don’t Worry sounds amazing!! Can’t wait for the full song. Definitely sounds like Busy Doin’ Nothing part 2 but that’s what we all wanted 🙂

Hollandique
Hollandique
5 years ago

Ace Wilder och Samir & Viktor direkt till finalen 😀

oooops
oooops
5 years ago

My top 6.
1. Ace Wilder
2. Samir and Viktor
3. Mimi Werner
4. Robin Bengtsson
5. Anna Book
6. Albin and Mattias
7. Pernilla

Österrike
Österrike
5 years ago

meh

yst
yst
5 years ago

Ace Wilder teaser is so dissapointing 🙁

Ben Rafter
Ben Rafter
5 years ago

I honestly don’t like any of the songs, but Ace is the best!

maslo
maslo
5 years ago

lol, Albania had better songs 😀

PP
PP
5 years ago

Last year first semifinal had so many good song, this year very weak semi final. Ace song is weak copy of her entry from 2014 , I don t see Ace for strong contender for win this year.

Ian D
Ian D
5 years ago

I personally think the quality of the entries in this semi are pretty poor. The only song I though had any potential was Robin’s.

dutchie
dutchie
5 years ago

The only snippet that has some potential is Mimi Werner’s.

2015
2015
5 years ago

1. Ace Wilder
2. Mimi Werner
3. Robin Bengtson
4. Samir & Viktor
5. Anna Book
6. Pernilla Andersson
7. Albin and Mattias

I think Ace and Robin will go through to the final and Samir and Viktor and Mimi to andra chansen, leaving Albin and Mattias 5th and Anna and Pernilla 6th/7th

Melissa J
Melissa J
5 years ago

I can’t believe SVT region locked their videos! (At least for America) They’ve never done that before! WHY SVT WHY?

MTD
MTD
5 years ago

Ladies and gents, this is your predictable, boring and all the same Swedish production, not changed even once through the years. Hahaha…

Literally!

Every each of them is boring.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
5 years ago

I assume this means Ace is singing last in this round, yes? That means they’re taking the bookies’ boards seriously, and quite probably the favorite in every round will once again sing last.

pole
pole
5 years ago

@MGR this is only one deltavling… and you are saying the whole contest is garbage. Irrelevant.

David
David
5 years ago

Robin’s song is the only one that sounds remotely contemporary so far. He has my vote.

MGR
MGR
5 years ago

It looks a bit like no chance for Sweden. They have now bigger problems than Eurovision Song Contest. Maybe Norway will benefit from this.

2015
2015
5 years ago

The stage reminds me of Denmark.

A really bad song compaired to last year by Samir and Viktor.
Don’t like the style of Pernilla, but the background looks amazing.
Mimi’s song sounds nice, but not a winner.

Christoph
Christoph
5 years ago

I vote for Viktors abs!!

BB
BB
5 years ago

Samir & Viktor are hot !
The song is not…

Antranig Shokayan
Editor
5 years ago

Taking “Bada Nakna” literally was probably a good move on Samir & Viktor’s part…