Welcome to the first ESCtips Melodifestivalen preview article where we’ll try to assess the runners and riders form heat 1.
It’s fairly clear that the buzz around this heat will be for returnee, Eric Saade, but don’t be fooled into thinking this heat is about one song. There is another automatic finalist buried among the remaining six songs and certain value to be had once the betting markets are published.
Heat 1: Göteborg – 7th February
Jessica Andersson – Can’t Hurt Me Now
Jessica is a Melodifestivalen veteran having already competed six times and has already represented Sweden in 2003 as part of the group FAME. The 41 year old covers a number of genres, but her 2010 ballad, I did it for Love was perhaps her best effort. In 2007, Jessica lost out to Sanna Nielson in an andra chansen sing off. And in 2006, Kalla Nätter didn’t even qualify, so her Melfest lengthy record is far from perfect.
Looking at the writers for clues, Gibson was responsible for Sanna’s Empty Room and Molly Sandén’s Why Am I Crying?, but like Andersson, she does have one or two schlagers in her back catalogue. More recently Thomander has also worked with Sandén, in addition to Charlotte Perrelli and even Eric Saade. I think we can expect a ballad or mid-tempo pop-ballad. As for progression, I would say andre chansen is the ceiling.
Behrang Miri feat. Victor Crone – Det rår vi inte för
This is quite a strange match up considering their contrasting styles. Are we in for a serious performance from Crone with Behrang delivering Sean Paul-esque flourishes? To do well, I think it needs to replicate the spirit of Jalla Dansa Sawa.
With Albin Johnsén in the writing team, it confirms a rapping element. However, Tony Nilsson brings his successes with Ulrik Munther and Darin to the mix, which throws up the potential for a competent piece of chart-worthy pop.
This isn’t the only duet in the heat, so it will be interesting to see how they stack up against each other. Obviously the Swedish lyrics are a massive caveat when considering direkt till finalen, though I wouldn’t rule out andra chansen.
Dolly Style – Hello Hi
Dolly Style got the nod over Yohio’s girl group who were thought not to be ready for the contest. Even so, I wouldn’t have either group on my list for qualification. If it was a group of boys indulging in cosplay, maybe female support would push them quite far. Given it’s a group of girls mucking around, I can’t say I’m hopeful about their chances.
Writer Emma Nors and Palle Hammarlund are responsible for this, which gives us a platform for what to expect. Jansson was on the credits for Elisa Lindström’s Cassanova, so I think we’re in for a bubblegum pop entry that is likely to struggle.
Molly Pettersson Hammar – I’ll Be Fine
Molly is a 2011 Idol graduate and finished 4th. Robin Stjernberg was runner up that year! To me, this looks more like an attempt to launch a career, though her writers have a decent history in the contest, which make Molly a decent outside prospect.
Lisa Desmond has Anna Bergendahl, Timoteij and the official Stockholm 2013 Pride anthem as her main credits. Lundgren has also worked with Timoeij in addition to Benedikton’s Songbird and Yohio’s Heartbreak Hotel with Tim Larsson. Gavin Jones is working with Zara Larsson who has already had two platinum singles this year.
Elize Ryd & Rickard Söderberg – One By One
Rickard is an opera singer whereas Elize Ryd specialises in rock/metal. This is an interesting match up and suggests either something epic, or horrific. I’m leaning towards the former and I’m expecting fairly decent showing from this duo.
Elize is in the writing team, so it seems the song was written with Söderberg scouted to be the male lead. Karl-Ola Kjellholm has worked with Tiesto, so should know his way around an epic tune or two. He’s also credited with Helena Paparizou’s Survivor and Sunrise Avenue’s Lifesaver. Sharon Vaughn also worked on Survivor and Benedikton’s Songbird.
Daniel Gildenlöw – Pappa
Daniel is 41 year old vocalist and musician who has worked with the likes of Dream Theatre as well as being in many groups.
Pappa is a self-penned song and I’m expecting it to be a rock-ballad. The vocals should be top notch, but given Daniel’s profile, he might lose out to Elise & Rickard who should be competing for the same rock/ballad votes.
I’m not expecting much here and anticipate Daniel to be sandwiched between strong songs. Toilet break!
Eric Saade – Sting
Like Helena and Yohio last year, all the talk in Göteborg will be focussed on one man: Eric Saade. He says he hasn’t come to win Melodifestivalen, but to win Eurovision. Saade is a confident guy, but I seem to remember Anton Ewald appearing rather assured last time around, so I would take it with a pinch of salt. What you must consider is that Eric’s pop career has taken a downward trajectory, so there’s a sense he needs this opportunity more than Melodifestivalen needs him. Just something to consider before you put your house on him winning Melfest.
On the plus side, Saade has rekindled his partnership with Fredrik Kempe (Manboy & Popular), who is widely considered to be the king of hooks. David Kreuger & Hamed ”K-one” Pirouzpanah worked with Kempe on Sanna Nielson’s Undo and Oscar Zia’s Yes We Can, so I think is safe to say we can expect a fairly infectious hook!
The one certainty is that Eric Saade will be a finalist.
Please share your thoughts on heat 1 below…