Though ostensibly it’s about choosing Sweden’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, very few of the songs chosen for Melodifestivalen have much of a chance of making it through.
Melodifestivalen is the Swedish pre-selection process that takes place over six weeks during February/March each year.
I’ve been following the show for many years, and have actually attended one grand final.
There were seven songs chosen on tonight’s first heat, and they followed the usual selection of a couple of young up and comers (targetting the teenage audience), a contemporary artist (targetting their parents), a couple of previous entrants back for a second, third or fourth time (targetting a bit older), and finally a “dansband” artist (targetting the grandparents). It’s the kind of show a few generations might watch together.
I don’t think any of the songs this week have much of a chance of making it through to Eurovision. There were no songs or performances that instantly held it up there with some of the songs Sweden has sent through to win in the last few years, such as “Heroes” or “Euphoria”.
My favourite song this week was by Cornelia Jakobs, where she reflects on a relationship being “the right person at the wrong time”. I loved the absolute passion, and authenticity she achieved in a three-minute pop song. Though a couple of songs this week were in Swedish, most were in English, including this one.
Also this year, it was nice to see an actual audience. Though I noticed there was a gap between people due to COVID, I couldn’t see a single person wearing a face mask. But hey, that’s Sweden and they’ve gone down a different COVID path than many other countries.
Another feature of this week’s heat was an appearance by previous winner, Eric Saade who was inducted into the Melodifestivalen Hall Of Fame.
I was also pleased to see Oscar Zia as this year’s host. He’s a good singer, a personable host, and also provides some good eye candy.