Rehearsals for the first semi-final of Melodifestivalen 2021 are well underway in Stockholm. And while media can’t have their usual presence, SVT has switched to online listening sessions for the studio versions of the competing songs. Join us as we bring you our first reactions to the seven competing entries in semi-final one.

Seven acts will compete in the first semi-final of Melodifestivalen 2021. Two acts will go directly to the grand final, while another two will get another shot in the andra chansen round. Fans will get their first listen of the semi-final one entries when 60-second snippets of the songs are released on Thursday.

Melodifestivalen 2021: Semi-final 1 first reactions

Kadiatou – “One Touch”

Sample lyric: Lights and fireflies / My mind is on it’s way up to the sky

This is the most radio-friendly of the seven songs in this week’s semi. “One Touch” is a modern electro-pop number, perhaps in a similar vein to older Dua Lipa hits. The song elevates to a pop-drop chorus, which has never been especially successful at national finals or Eurovision. But on the plus side, it’s sure to mean we’ll be treated to some mighty dancing! Kadiatou has a great voice and the song seems well matched to her talents. It’s perhaps a little too repetitive to work as a Eurovision entry, but it’s sure to do well for itself regardless. (Robyn)

What a great start to Melodifestivalen 2021! Get ready for a modern up-tempo pop sensation. I’m not sure if it is the cold Swedish climate, but listening to Kadiatou gave me goosebumps. This is a well-produced party song that could really surprise on Saturday. It will be interesting to see how Kadiatou performs on stage and what the visuals will look like. If she can deliver a well choreographed dance-show I can see this song going direkt till final. (Tobias)

Lillasyster – “Pretender”

Sample lyric: “Got your red hot venom flowing all through my veins”

A classic “devilwoman” rock song, where the singer gets all hot and bothered over a woman who done him wrong. The song starts with a simple acoustic guitar opening, and builds before exploding into a chaotic rockstravaganza (“MOOOOOUTH!!!!”). Here’s the thing though — it has a massive arena rock sound that seems to demand a large rock audience. So will it work in an empty room? If Lillasyster can pull it off, they may go far. (Robyn)

The first rock-themed song of the year. I have to say that even though I’m not a fan of this genre, it wasn’t too shabby! Melodifestivalen is not known as the main arena for rock music but “Pretender” has a melody that I think may appeal the wider audience. (Tobias)

Jessica Andersson – “Horizon”

Sample lyric: “So light up the world and paint the horizon / Light up the world for us”

Like “Pretender”, “Horizon” also starts with a simple acoustic guitar opening. But that’s where the similarities end. Jessica takes us on a warm, nostalgic journey through childhood. There are multiple key changes (but not in a bad way) and a gospel choir brings depth and heart. It perhaps has a similar uplifting vibe to “Love Shine a Light”. Fans of Jessica’s schlager dance-pop might be disappointed, but the song hits plenty of emotional cues, Jessica sounds great and it looks like she is going to bring something epic with her giant dress train! (Robyn)

The gospel-inspired songs continue again this year, but this time with Jessica Andersson. For most of us this is a bit of a surprise as Jessica is more known for her schlager, up-tempo pop songs. The song builds more and more until a choir joins Jessica. It sounds impressive but for those of you who are waiting for a pure pop song “Horizon” will not be what you might have wished for. (Tobias)

Paul Rey – “The Missing Piece”

Sample lyric: “I’m done with being the strongest / Baby, it’s the smallest things you do that make that picture so big”

And again — a simple acoustic guitar opening. But “The Missing Piece” sticks closely to that style akin to an Ed Sheeran type of modern folk-pop song. Lyrically he’s comparing himself to a jigsaw puzzle, which is unusual, but on the other hand, jigsaws are so hot right now. It’s a really cute, romantic and uplifting song. It has a cinematic feel to it, like it should be the soundtrack to a scene where two lovers finally realise they were meant to be together. (Robyn)

Paul Ray is back again, but this time with a song that is more minimalistic and harmonic than last year. It sounds a little bit like Ed Sheeran and I’m sure it will be a radio-friendly song but I am not convinced that “The missing piece” will be a ticket to the final. (Tobias)

Arvingarna – “Tänker inte alls gå hem”

Sample lyric: “Och ropen ekar över taken / Hej, hallå, är det nån som är vaken” (“And the cries echo over the rooftops / Hey, hello, is anyone awake?”)

This is the kind of song that not many Eurovision fans are super fond of, but it’s very necessary to Melodifestivalen. Arvingarna are serving fun, joyful schlager-pop. It builds to a big chorus, full of good vibes. Let’s call it a classic style rather than old-fashioned. “Tänker inte alls gå hem” will deliver three minutes where the audience can just forget their worries and smile. One way or another, this will end up in the grand final. (Robyn)

Arvingarna do not let us down. They deliver another typical Arvingarna-song with a catchy refrain and modern schlager. The song is a pure energy pill and is exactly what we need during these strange times. Look out for Arvingarna on Saturday! (Tobias)

Nathalie Brydolf – “Fingerprints”

Sample lyric: “Your fingerprints / They’re lingering / Like an ink on my skin”

Surprisingly, this ended up being my favourite of the semi. “Fingerprints” is this semi’s ballad, with a simple but effective arrangement. It’s based on piano and Nathalie’s voice, which is a little reminiscent of Kate Bush. The chorus is especially compelling. The song adds in some electronic and orchestral flourishes, all to good effect. And there’s a satisfying bit dramatic moment (“doof doof doof!”) that comes in at the right point. It probably won’t appeal to everyone, but it should be even better live. (Robyn)

Having Nathalie  Brydolf  perform her ballad right after Arvingarna could potentially put her in the shadow. “Fingerprints” is a beautiful song but in order to really stand out “Fingerprints” requires a powerful performance on stage. (Tobias)

Danny Saucedo – “Dandi dansa”

Sample lyric: “Jag säger dansa / Lite macarena / Jag säger dan, dan, dan, dandi, dan” (“I say dance / A little macarena / I say dan, dan, dan, dandi, dan”)

Ok, this isn’t the Eurovision slayer that many fans were hoping for, but it’s not a bad song. “Dandi dansa” is like a cross between Justin Timberlake’s “Dance With Me” and Benjamin Ingrosso’s “Dance You Off” — extremely funky. The song lends itself to having dance-heavy staging — and we know Danny can deliver this. All up, it feels like a song that was written to accompany staging, not a strong song on its own. With a lyrical reference to the simple dance of the “Macarena”, there’s the suggestion that the song may be aimed at TikTok dance challenges, rather than slick Michael Jackson-style moves. (Robyn)

This is probably one of few artists that most of us are looking forward to in Melodifestivalen. Danny brings a funky and soul-inspired number, and it works out well. The song is playful, but I am missing a strong and memorable refrain. For those of you who were hoping for another hit like “Amazing” I can tell you already that you will be disappointed. Only the staging can save Danny and I hope we will see a great dance-show. (Tobias)

What do you think? Which songs are you excited to hear on Saturday? Which entries do you think have the best shot of making it to the grand final? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more Melodifestivalen news here

 

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
32 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Stephanie
Stephanie
3 months ago

Ha my birth country! I think Arvingarna could be the surprise of the evening. Cause a Swede loves a good schlager!!! So they could well go straight to the final!

Tonks
3 months ago

I really hope for Danny, maybe I’m only still sad that he didn’t represent Sweden in 2012

Yannis
Yannis
3 months ago
Reply to  Tonks

Are you sad the he did not represent Sweden in2012? The year the Sweden won with the most streamed Eurovision song in Spotify and one of the fan favourite songs!!!

Gustav
Gustav
3 months ago

OMG OMG OMG Why am I feeling so down after reading this. I love Amazing and Party Voice, but I guess I will be soooo disappointed this Saturday 🙁

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago

It seems we’ll have a good variety of genres on this semi. It’s good to see some rock in Melfest!

JessicaFan
JessicaFan
3 months ago

If Jessica is eliminated, I’m gonna cry !!! Let’s hope the best for her ??

Joe
Joe
3 months ago

I kinda wonder what would happen if Arvingarna won

Linus
Linus
3 months ago

As a swede i guess this for NOW.
Final: Danny Saucedo
Final: Natalie Brydolf
A.C Jessica Andersson
A.C Arvingarna
5.Kadiatou
6 Paul Rey
7.Lillasyster

Lolek
Lolek
3 months ago
Reply to  Linus

As a non-swede, I am curious why you suspect Nathalie may do well? Is it based off of Robyn’s first impressions? Or did Nathalie leave a strong impact following her stints on Bachelor Sweden + singing contests? Genuinely curious 🙂

Linus
Linus
3 months ago
Reply to  Lolek

this is BEFORE i even have heard them. I can hear them tomorrow 13.30. Its based on Robyn and that ballads if they are REALLY good can go the final.

Last edited 3 months ago by Linus
Lolek
Lolek
3 months ago
Reply to  Linus

ahh ok 🙂

Anna
Anna
3 months ago
Reply to  Linus

As a fellow Swede and if I put myself into the perspective of the typical Swedish viewers mindset, then I would say this might be more accurate:

Final: Danny
Final: Arvingarna
A.C: Lillasyster
A.C: Jessica
5: Kadiatou
6: Paul Rey
7: Natalie Brydolf

Rifki
Rifki
3 months ago

spoilers like these are not completely necessary if the songs aren’t even publicly released. something like what MGP this year does (releasing each semi’s songs 4-5 days before their scheduled live performances) is better, if SVT ever wants to do it in future years.

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Rifki

I think it’s better to just completely wait until the actual performance on the night, Sanremo-style.

Rifki
Rifki
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

that is excessive restriction, IMO. at least a few days before the show, songs should be released.

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Rifki

Either way, songs should be listened to for the first time in full, not just 60 seconds…

Stian F
Stian F
3 months ago
Reply to  Rifki

I totally agree… The last few years I have been so underwhelmed by the Swedish songs as they are all the same and mass produced, and truth be told, not many have been staged very well either and have had bad vocal performances. I am left with a bad impression of the songs… Then i hear them in studio versions on spotify afterwards and some songs I thought was bad turned out not to be so bad anyways… But i prefer to have this good feeling about a song before i see a bad performance that might ruin my impression… Read more »

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
3 months ago

“One Touch” having a pop-drop chorus worries me as it was the song I was probably most interested in out of this bunch. I mean, it doesn’t mean it’s automatically out of it but that’s something that it’ll have to overcome.
Glad they’re using Robyn’s reactions for this article as she does usually serve the taste. 😉

Tom
Tom
3 months ago

In my opinion by lyrics I think Danny and Kadiatou will be in the finals with Paul and Nathalie going to Andra Chansen. Sadly that means we will lose Jessica but you never know, anything could happen.

Reverb
Reverb
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom

You are so clever

Lorenzo Celli
Lorenzo Celli
3 months ago

Aren’t they releasing a 1 minute snippet like every year? Or am I wrong?

NICK79
NICK79
3 months ago
Reply to  Lorenzo Celli

Tomorrow

Lorenzo Celli
Lorenzo Celli
3 months ago
Reply to  NICK79

Oh, great

Teeks
Teeks
3 months ago

How can multiple key changes EVER be a bad thing?!

Milan
Milan
3 months ago
Reply to  Teeks

Hallelujah!

Denis
Denis
3 months ago

To bad there won’t be an audience poll this year, they used to hint at things.
That said I can imagine Danny won’t be the bop many hoped for, his songs are written for the stage rather than work on their own. But i do stil think he will make it through either straight to final or AC!

Edward
3 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Gutted that there won’t be audience exit polls. I got so much enjoyment from how unexpectedly rigorous and accurate those were and from the great analysis they got from the Melfest EN twitter/podcast team.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
3 months ago

Since I’ve always been a big sucker for piano ballads there’s a large chance it’ll be my favorite of the evening also.

Sebastian
Sebastian
3 months ago

Wow okay, this seems to be a quite strong semi. Atm it could go either way I feel like. Maybe not a winner in this heat idk, we need to hear the songs, but definetly a strong heat it seems like. Nathalie seems interesting, and also Kadiatou

Diana
Diana
3 months ago

Danny going in that direction is not a surprise. His recent songs has been major hits in Sweden, even bigger than “Amazing” and “In the club” and that’s probably the direction “Dandi dansa” is heading towards.
Kadiatou, Paul Rey and Arvingarna sound like they are gonna be bops! Looking forward to Saturday

Erasmus
Erasmus
3 months ago

I knew Nathalie would have a good song…
also excited about Danny, Paul and Kadiatou…
lowkey gonna be a tough semi – Jessica and Arvingarna are also popular in Sweden, while the four mentioned above will probably have a better song (again probably).

Lolek
Lolek
3 months ago

Thanks for sharing your reaction to the studio cuts, Robyn! Partially surprised but partially not surprised by Danny’s song. It seems like perhaps he’s going in a direction that is more “him”.

You’ve got me especially intrigued over Kadiatou and Nathalie’s songs.

Regardless, I’m looking forward to seeing this semi!

Last edited 3 months ago by Lolek