There was a fair bit of “eye candy” in the second heat of Melodifestivalen, the competition which chooses Sweden’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. From the opening number (a cover of Saturday Night Fever’s “Stayin’ Alive” featuring male pole dancers), and later, David Lindgren (the host) appearing in tighty-whities, to the homoerotic charm of Samir och Viktor, there was much to recommend.
Though not up there with the overall brilliance of Petra Mede’s work, the production numbers in this year’s Melodifestivalen have been terrific. In particular, Petra Marklund’s performance of “En tuff brud i lyxförpackning” (A tough bride in luxury clothing), with markedly older female backing dancers, showed strength and sophistication, with a nod to the past, as Lill-Babs performed the song many, many years ago at Melodifestivalen.
There were two remarkable things about the songs in the second heat. First, the large number of which were sung in Swedish, bucking the more recent trend of having songs mostly sung in English. Second, the overall quality of the melodies. There were no terrible songs, and no terrible performances in my view. It seems like even Samir and Viktor who have previously entered with “novelty songs” have had some singing and dancing lessons. Their song, Shuffla, was my favourite in this week’s heat, combining an awesome saxophone solo with a fun sing-a-long, and a rap in Swedish. It would be fun to see them make it through to Eurovision.