Above, you’ve got one hot new girlband – Shirley Clamp, Velvet, Sarah Dawn Finer, and Lina from Alcazar. We got a picture of this group made in schlager dreams, at the after party of last night’s Melodifestivalen in Linköping. Just a photo-op of course, but can you IMAGINE what they’d sound like?!
Anyway, as you well know, it was heat 3 of Melodifestivalen in Sweden last night. As expected, Eric Saade triumphed with his song ‘Popular’, winning the heat and giving him a ticket direct to the final. Although it was much more than just the song that got him there. It was ‘Popular’, it was the awe inspiring performance, it was the shards of glass that littered the stage after he’d smashed his way out of an enclosure for the complex middle eight, AND it was the young man himself. The absolute star that he is. Of course he was always going to qualify to the final with all that he put into it last night, and deservedly so. He was joined in the grand final by rockabilly dansband, The Playtones. Not our kind of thing in the slightest, but again, not a huge surprise given that they’d won another public televote based TV show a couple of years ago (Dansbandskampen), and they’re immensely popular.
The two songs that passed to the second chance round were ‘I Thought It Was Forever’ by Shirley’s Angels, and ‘Spring För Livet’ by Sara Varga. Both tickets were quite gratifying. Shirley’s Angels because they’re just so fabulous and you can tell that they wanted it so much, but expected it so little. Plus, it was a nice lift for lead singer Shirley Clamp after her last appearance at the contest in 2009 left her languishing in 8th and last place in her heat. It was the start of her comeback, and also the start of Shirley’s Angels too. And we got it confirmed to us last night at the after party that there WILL be another single after ‘I Thought It Was Forever’.
With Sara Varga, all that needed to be seen was the look of disbelief and happiness on her face when it was announced that she had made it to the second chance round, rather than leaving the competition. She told us last night afterwards that she had not been expecting to progress further in the contest with so many other bigger names competing. She was in shock, but very very happy obviously. And she goes to the second chance round in the fortunate position of being the underdog, and with a lot of Swedes fully charmed towards her after seeing her reaction on getting through.
Those four performances will be available to see after next weekend’s fourth and final heat. But below, you can see the songs that were eliminated last night.
Sebastian made a surprise exit. We had expected him to be the only challenger to The Playtones for the second spot in the final along with Eric. He’s popular, his song was good, and it seemed to get a good reaction in the arena at least. But he joins Christian Walz and Le Kid among this year’s surprise exits who had to settle for 5th place.
Linda Sundblad was one of our favourites. Cracking song and cracking performance. We had really hoped that she could get a spot in the second chance round at least, but it wasn’t to be unfortunately. We’re expecting ‘Lucky You’ to be a sizeable enough hit outside of the contest though. And we don’t think that Linda is the type of artist to be in any way effected by this kind of result at Melodifestivalen. We can see her coming back and succeeding on the same level that she has before.
Sara Lumholdt’s ‘Enemy’ was our second favourite of the night after Eric. It’s an excellent song, and it had another top performance choreographed on stage to match. We’re putting the lowly result down to the fact that it was the only other pure pop number of the week alongside Eric Saade’s ‘Popular’. And really, it’s difficult to compete with that whoever you are or whatever you sing. Regardless though, of the four songs eliminated last night, it’s ‘Enemy’ which is selling the most on Swedish iTunes today. Deservedly so too, we can’t get enough of it!
Finally, Simon Forsberg was left to contend with 8th and last place with ‘Tid Att Andas’. We like this song a lot, but it’s now becoming clear that Swedish televoters just don’t want to vote for this kind of thing anymore. Disappointingly so – we do like a nice, simple Nordic ballad! Fredrik Kempe, its composer, assured us afterwards though that there will be a strong album coming out soon, showcasing Simon doing more of the same, and that they won’t be put off by the low result. Glad to hear!