They may have missed out on a ticket direct to the Melodifestivalen 2021 final. But eight acts did manage to score a place in Andra Chansen — the Second Chance round that determines the final four acts to advance. They did this by placing third of fourth in their heat.
Andra Chansen is made up of four duels. Producers paired acts for the duels using two rules. The first is that acts from the same semi-final do not compete against one another. The second is that an act that placed third in a semi-final is paired against an act that came fourth in another.
The results are in, and the final four qualifiers are….
Alvaro Estrella “Baila Baila”
Paul Rey “The Missing Piece”
Clara Klingenström “Behöver inte dig idag”
Klara Hammarström “Beat of Broken Hearts”
Duel 1: Alvaro Estrella beat Lillasyster
Alvaro’s “Baila Baila” or “Dance Dance” in English, is a reggaetón party song sung mostly in English with a few Spanish lyrics thrown in for good measure. The lyrics are about dancing like devils with your one desire, even when the sun goes down. You can see it now. In the Ibiza heat with a cool cocktail in hand with beautiful sweaty bodies getting it on to “Baila Baila” on the beach. Who needs central heating when you have Alvaro warming up a cold Annexet studio and bringing the party to Stockholm?
As for Lillasyster, rock on. They delivered a proper rock concert with “Pretender” — and one seemingly filled with more strobe lights than people in Stockholm! From fire to screams, they had it all and helped us remember those sweaty nights walking on sticky floors before the pandemic.
Duel 2: Paul Rey beat Frida Green
We don’t know what “The Missing Piece” is, just please say it ain’t Paul Rey! This was among the simplest performances which made it among the most powerful. He wore a pared-back beige and white outfit and moved around between expanses of black and large orange plinths, all lit by tasteful and subtle lights. His face carried this — he felt every note and that voice was tender, sweet and all kinds of amazing.
Frida’s “The Silence” is all about hope and letting time lead you to solutions. Frida wore a 1990s prom dress inspired by nature. The green sequins worked well against the largely green and gold background, and her fiery red hair added real pop. There definitely wasn’t any silence here. Her voice, among the strongest of the night, really filled the void. It’s just a shame that she had to deliver a rather predictable song that was very ballad-by-numbers. It could have been written by a Melodifestivalen Artificial Intelligence programme.
Duel 3: Clara Klingenström beat Eva Rydberg & Ewa Roos
Clara’s “Behöver inte dig idag” has a folky-pop sound, a little bit Anna Bergandahl, a little bit Taylor Swift. And banjos, y’all! The chorus is especially good with a really uplifting feeling. The lyrics carry an uplifting message: “The strength that is in me / Makes me free from you.” There is a lot of beauty in the simplicity.
Eva and Ewa are a spirited duo who remind me of that aunt who has a little too much to drink at the family reunion. Every expense was spared in this — the costumes, the lack of staging, even the lighting…it all seemed very elementary school talent show. Weirdly, though, that works well in the current climate where we are all re-thinking how we live. Even if “Rena rama ding dong” sounds like an aggressive pick-up line, there’s charm here courtesy of the two leading ladies. It’s no wonder this is so loved.
Duel 4: Klara Hammarström beat Efraim Leo
“It’s a song that a lot of people can relate to with a lovely message, and I would say that it’s a very beautiful song that could almost have been taken out of a Disney movie,” Klara says when asked about “Beat Of Broken Hearts”. But what exactly is that message? This upbeat pop number is about how can you find the motivation to keep going on even after you face something as deterring as a heartbreak. “The beat of broken hearts / Gonna gonna make it through / Gonna find a way for you / And heal our broken parts / Never ever fall apart”, sings Klara. The songstress is direct. She’s not here for people keeping their emotions buried and putting up a strong front. “Ignore all sideshows distractions”, she commands. There’s nothing foolish about sharing your feelings — “Don’t care about the silly season”. But Klara admits that the process is tough. We might lose our way or fade away, but in time all our hearts will heal. The staging was beautiful — she dressed like a high-fashion extra from a Game of Thrones set in the future and worked a beautiful lightscape.
“I can’t go on like this,” Efraim sings in “Best of Me”. “Knew you were trouble / Ever since your first kiss.” This modern pop song has shades of Harry Styles but leans more One Direction. It’s a modern pop song, but there is something quite generic about it as a studio cut. Thankfully SVT served eye-popping staging as ever, with lots of bright white and blue-purple panels in the background, and some monochrome costumes that popped against it all.
What do you think of the winners of tonight’s Andra Chansen duels? Let us know in the comments box below!