Last week brought us our first glimmer of quality from this year’s Melodifestivalen lineup and heat 3 promises another big step forward with Kristin Amparo & Jon Henrik Fjällgren boasting decent songs.
Heat 3 Östersund
1. Ellen Benediktson – Insomnia
First in the running order and a full 180 in terms of style and genre. Will Ellen Benediktson’s edgier and more grownup style work with the fans that voted for last year’s nice girl? I think it’s a massive risk, but maybe this year’s image refresh is designed to reset Ellen’s relationship with Sweden and propel her into a pop career.
2. Kalle Johansson – För din skull
Kalle was this year’s automatic qualifier from Svensktoppen Nästa 2014. Last year’s winners, Eko, had a song written by Joy & Linnea Deb, so don’t get excited by G:son. I think by winning Svensktoppen Nästa, these artists get access to high-profile writers who offload passable B-sides. Kalle describes his song as fun and energetic but I’d say andra chansen is the limit. The press were excited by the return to form for G:son during today’s preview, but again, I think Kalle will struggle to muster enough support to trouble the top two places.
3. Andreas Weise – Bring Out The Fire
Andreas says he has a song to win Melodifestivalen. To me, his running order slot doesn’t. The press preview suggests a Robbie Williams/Olly Murs pastiche.
4. Andreas Johnson – Living to Die
How many times will Andreas Johnson enter Melodifestivalen? Interestingly, Andreas has a new writing team in Thomas G:son and Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, so there might be a more up-to-date sound this time. In my opinion, if Christer wanted Andreas in the final, he wouldn’t be performing from slot 4. I would take andra chansen for now and lay under evens on Betfair where available.
5. Isa – Don’t Stop
This year’s new Ace Wilder? Don’t Stop has a great opportunity to stand out at this point of the heat given the songs in slot 6 & 7 are reported to be at the slower end of the tempo scale. The markets massively underrate this song and I think it has the potential to surprise.
6. Kristin Amparo – I See You
Kristin has already had a massive #1 single last year when she teamed up with John De Sohn, having previously graduated from the X-Factor franchise. She wasn’t chosen for the live shows, however. Her writers worked on Undo, Yes We Can and well as Leona’s Footprints in the Sand, which is a healthy back catalogue. Kristin has been well backed over the last few weeks following growing confidence in Sweden. We also tipped it on our preview podcast and today’s press preview added to that confidence.
7. Jon Henrik Fjällgren – Jag är fri (Manne leam frijje)
Jon is the winner of lat year’s Sweden’s Got Talent and enjoys huge public affection, even though the show’s ratings were low. I think we can expect more of the same, but with a little more pace. Jon is a 100% qualifier in my opinion, but his appeal may wane in the final when Sweden’s thoughts shift to Eurovision.Wednesday Roundup
In this heat we’re looking for the second direkt qualifier behind Fjällgren and the two andra chansen candidates. I’d say it’s between Kristin and Isa, given she has the big Taylor Swift upbeat song from slot 5. The value at the moment is backing Kristin Amparo 2.75 at BET365.
Initial prediction: 1. Jon Henrik Fjällgren 2. Kristin Amparo 3. Isa 4. Andreas Johnson
Yesterday’s snippets did very little to change my mind from Wednesday’s press preview. I do think Jon Henrik Fjällgren is a guaranteed finalist – Sweden really loves this guy. The second qualifier is between Kristin Amparo and ISA. Last night’s rehearsal show saw a massive audience response to Amparo’s song, which makes me believe the SVT snippet has held a lot back. I am in the lucky position of having ISA covered at 7s with a near free run, so whoever finishes second, I’m happy. I also laid Andrea Johnson at 1.95 with BWIN a few months ago, which was a poor bet for them to offer.
Going into tonight’s show, I recommend getting involved with Unibet’s last place market. The favourite at 1.45 is rightly Kalle Johansson, but there’s good value backing Ellen Benediktson (5.25) and Andreas Johnsson (5.0).
Enjoy the show!