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Melodifestivalen 2017: Heat 4 Betting Preview

I doubt the other acts will get much coverage in this heat with a returning Eurovision winner closing the show. There are two other direkt returnees in Jon Henrik Fjällgren and Wiktoria, both hoping to beat the law of diminishing returns. On top of that, we have a couple of acts capable of causing an upset. All we know is it’s Loreen +1.

Heat Four: Skellefteå – Feb 25th

1. Jon Henrik Fjällgren feat. Aninia –  En värld full av Strider

No surprise Fjällgren has been sent to perform at the most northerly of this year’s heats in Skellefteå; it’s not quite his home crowd, but it’s as close as he’s getting this time around. Expect the same format as in 2015, but with the addition of Aninia making this a joik duet. Fjällgren benefitted from the pimp slot in 2015, and with the likes of Loreen and others in this heat, andra chansen could be the best result. His brand of 1990s Enigma and panpipe moods does have appeal, but we’re getting nothing new second time around.

2. Alice – Running With Lions

From ballad to midtempo now, Alice has a song written by Wrethov, one of several composers behind Margaret’s Cool Me Down, as well as many Melfest hits. Andreas ”Stone” Johansson cowrote Nonetheless from Melfest 2015, which finished last in the first heat. Second slot in the running order doesn’t fill me will confidence considering Alice hasn’t released any music since 2010, thus doesn’t have as high a profile as the other artists in this heat.

3. Les Gordons – Bound To Fall

We’re still waiting for a Svensktoppen nästa selected artist to qualify, and if the song title is anything to by, I think we’re in for an longer wait. Les Gordons’ electro-punk Svensktoppen nästa song, Need to Feel, was quite distinctive, so if they can bring the same sort of vibrant energy to Melfest, maybe there’s a small hope of andra chansen.

4. Wiktoria – If I Lay Me Down

Wiktoria’s Save Me was one of the big chart successes last year and finished second to Frans on the televote. The international jury didn’t show it as much love, which was surprising given her virtuoso vocal delivery of a modern, chartable song. Since then Wiktoria has struggled with her follow-up singles, Yesterday RIP and Unthink You. She returns with two of last year’s writers, but loses the Avicii connection. Wallin is more than capable of writing a hit, but given Wiktoria’s lack of recent commercial success, I can’t call her a sure-fire direkt qualifier. Despite being a highly engaging performer, Wiktoria can sound rather shrill at times. If this song isn’t as catchy as Save Me, the negative aspects of Wiktoria’s performance could leave her exposed. I have her finishing 2nd or 3rd. If the song is good, though, the sky’s the limit!

5. Axel Schylström – När Ingen Ser

Back in 2013, Axel received a 16,000 volt shock which left him with 70% burns and ended his budding football career. Just two years later he made the semi-final of Swedish Idol 2015. A further two years on, his harrowing, yet inspirational story will surface again and I can genuinely see the Swedish public getting behind him. Whereas Linus Svenning’s Brother narrative was overplayed, it seems Axel doesn’t want to dwell on the past, and instead wants to compete on a level playing field. We know there will still be some recognition of his achievement and that’s what makes him an interesting qualification prospect and certainly worth a few quid at 3/1.

His writing team looks a little bare, but Ashnai earned a credit for Ace Wilder’s Don’t Worry. The guys over at Scandipop have Axel describing his song as a torch anthem.

BACK AXEL DIREKT 3/1 (small stakes) @ BET365

6. Sara Varga & Juha Mulari – Du får inte ändra på mig

Sara Varga last took part in 2011 with Spring För Livet, and qualified to andra chansen from the same penultimate slot in heat 4. She returns with duet partner, Juha Mulari, to perform another ballad. He sounds a bit like Serhat, though we’re not expecting him to don a white suit and throw a few shapes to a dated 70s disco tune. The song is written by Varga and pianist, Lars Hägglund. I think it’ll be difficult for them to not only shine in this upbeat sandwich, but to also stay ahead of Fjällgren’s popular joik.

7. Loreen – Statements

The Melfest and Eurovision 2012 winner, Loreen, was the surprise name in this lineup and instantly entered the outright market as the favourite to win. The 33-year old has enjoyed a strong post Eurovision career, but even that has petered out of late. Paper Light was one of the bigger recent releases, yet even that only peaked at #25 in the Swedish charts. With the Debs and Anton Hård af Segerstad in the writing team, we should hopefully get a more radio friendly track instead of the artistic, left-field releases Loreen has become accustomed to. Furthermore, we’re guaranteed a stylish stage show and the moist international juries won’t be able to resist awarding her points.

Having said that, the initial opinion here is that Loreen will be using Melfest to inject a few vitamins into her wilting career and will be happy to make the final and compete near the top of the scoreboard. I’m expecting her to be a contender, but at the moment I’m happy to oppose the short price. If she has a killer song and is willing to go to Eurovision, then maybe we should start booking hotels in Stockholm for next year.

FRIDAY UPDATE:

So the main question is can Loreen win? I have to admit that I oppose Loreen early on, and having listened to today’s snippet, I was very pleased with the position. The staging has changed that feeling a tad, as makes what is unintelligible noise, quite memorable. There’s no doubt that Loreen makes the final, the big question is does she win Melfest and go on to do well at Eurovision. That analysis will come in later articles.

As expected, the strong pop song comes from Wiktoria with Fjällgren serving up a decent opener. Axel may play a part in deciding who goes direkt with Loreen, as his upbeat entry may drain away support from Wiktoria. In that instance, covering Fjällgren might be a wise move.

Prediction:

  1. Loreen
  2. Wiktoria
  3. Fjällgren
  4. Axel

Does Loreen need Eurovision again?

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43 comments

  1. It definitely looks like Loreen’s package is totally different than what we witnessed a few years ago.

    https://twitter.com/eurovisionqueen/status/834445430729633793

    • Considering that the lyrics have also been published on SVT’s website, if it ends up in Eurovision this could realistically swallow up a lot of news articles about it being a “political protest song” of some sort. Any publicity is good publicity after all.

      Now let’s see if the actual song is any good first…

  2. I just hope Wiktoria can nail this heat,go direkt, and then win MF as well.It would make driving around Co Durham today backing her in Hills shops worth it after they limited me to £4.22 online.Hearing their staff trying to say Melodifestivalen was interesting..Iv taken Nano down to a small profit because i dislike the song and its far better invested in Ms Johansson’s corner.Iv kept Loreen in close range after her drift today,but il have her no more than break even i doubt by Saturday.

    • I wouldn’t be certain of her going direkt, but I expect her to find her way to the final and do very well. I’ve a small stake on Axel, who I think will surprise people on Saturday. On the outright, I’ve got Ace and Nano as my biggest greens and have a small amount on Benjamin. I’m staying away from Loreen for now, since her price has been low since December.

      • Iv got Ace a big green,Nano small green now,and every other direct green.Only small red is Loreen who i will make evens probably and if she wins so be it.I was lucky in that i didnt back Foo at all and Mariette only after her big drift,and 365 offered a 3x+ cash out on my Benjamin bet as they were in to 6s,but was 30s on Betfair.For some crazy reason i also had a few quid on Owe at 180/1,i think after listening to the podcast that he might sneak a place.Only let down this year had been Ajax.Her song is utter garbage.A decent artist would of said no way am i singing that rubbish.
        Im not worried if Wiktoria had to go the AC route.If her song is turbo charged country style it will get big exposure between the heat,AC and then the final i expect.
        I agree Axel is dangerous in the heat and iv kept him in range on the outright.Getting Nano early made things pretty easy,but gosh i dislike his song.

  3. There was a crazy 2 minutes on the Betfair markets late afternoon with Loreens price shortening and Nano price driting. Even Sweden price shortened to 6.2 but now out to 8 available. This was expected to happen when the snippets of songs came out and reports from rehearsals etc. There have been mixed reaction to Loreen with one person blogging about the rehearsal etc. “This is winner” but someone at Aftonbladet about the rehearsals has stated that although Loreen has the best song in this semi it might still miss the final and is not a potential Eurovision winner. They also stated that Wiktoria has the catchiest song out of all the 28 in this years line up.

    When the short rehearsal clips come out tomorrow (Thursday) people will then get an idea as to what is going on then judge for themselves. There will no doubt be a flurry on the betting markets again to be expected.

    I wonder how many of Sweden’s audience watching Melfest on Saturday on viewing and hearing to Loreens song for the first time will get it and vote for it or be thinking what is this and not vote for it. It will be interesting to see as to which way this will go.

  4. Everything about Loreen’s whole appearance looks, well, “staged”. The first chorus, in which we should hear the kid choir singing “statements” is right after the 1:00 mark :). Yes, there are some nice layers about the song, but still have to see the whole package. It all boils down if SVT want Loreen in Kiev or not. If yes, the juries will have to mark it down as a winner and it will be especially interesting what will be the running order in Stockholm.

  5. Ok, first things first, Loreen and Wiktoria to the final, Axel and Jon Henrik Ac.

    In the final, I think it will be a tight run thing between Nano, Mariette and Loreen. They’ll be fairly close the way the app vote works and it will come down to the juries. Personally I think it’s job done with Loreen, they’ve got the hype from her returning, she’s got some exposure now we’ll give her a credible second place and go with something contemporary and radio friendly.

    Surprised to see the odds contract on Sweden, I think they’ve got a 4th or 5th place at the very best. Open goal this year if any country steps up.

    • Contemporary and radio friendly is the definition of what Wiktoria has.

      Seeing what Tobbe is posting and also in the SVT live blog, it seems like Loreen has gone for a totally different concept than she did with Euphoria five years ago. What was a very bare concept has turned into a lot of pieces falling into places.

      We have: curtains + flags + women in Loreen wigs. It looks like a Sia video, with a “Maddy Ziegler” pulling faces, followed by an old lady in her 70s. It depicts scenes from the French revolution, the iconic moment in Vaxjo when a women hit a neo-nazi with a handbag and other historical facts.

      So, IMO, it’s quite simple: the song is not as good as Euphoria and her chance to shine is the whole package. But I do not think it’s a PR-stunt and she will go for the 1st place, because it looks too tidy and a lot of work put into it, just to be satisfied with the second place. You don’t try like this if you are not interested in a win. It almost looks too well thought out and too enginereed. It beats what Mans had by a mile.

      If she gets the W, well that’s a whole different question. I will say it again: SVT has the power and the traction to go for the win in Kiev with this. It’s a matter of wanting it or not. Of course the web-poll is not a very good instrument to predict the outcome, but 60% looks like a lot right now. I would not want Loreen a big red in my book right now.

      • See what you’re saying.
        I suppose until Saturday we’ll just be guessing how/if it will come together and don’t get me wrong, she could win Melodifestivalen I’m just not sure she’s plan a. My book on mf has free runs on Wiktoria, Ingrosso and Mariette, everything else is a few pence green but I focus more on qualification to the final.

        • Likewise several punters here, I am definitely not rooting for Loreen, as all the value, if there was any at 4.1 – 4.5, is totally gone. But, again, if she was not trying to win, why she would resort to such lengths just to put this in place?

          On the other side, I really cannot see how Ingrosso places higher than Wiktoria, Loreen, Nano and Mariette.

          • Could beat Wiktoria, but yeah he’s not a top 3. I’ll even up my book after I’ve seen this semi and decide whether I should put some/all on Nano or Loreen.

          • Robin Bengtsson is beating Benjamin Ingrosso in the final 100%, although I don’t think either are contenders for Top 3.

        • Loreen’s here as an artist to promote her new material. She’s a performance artist. Ambitious shows like this are just what she does. Just because nobody else has flags and dry ice doesn’t mean she or SVT want that song in Kyiv.

  6. I’m laying Loreen to be top 2 in this heat if anyone’s interested.

  7. Based on those first 30 sec’s “Statements” will indeed turn out to be very different than “Euphoria”. Is that its strength? I’m not sure.

    Look, one can disagree with me, but “Euphoria” still was a very memorable disco/Eurodance pop stomper. Even without the staging, the song was simply too strong not to win. It has a very catchy melody with memorable belting and high notes from Loreen.

    Obviously the final stage package enhanced its chances. It made the ‘looks’ of “Euphoria” way more ‘arty’, beautiful and especially unique and original. But I still think the defining winning element was….the song itself and the fact that it was nothing more than a damn good pop song.

    Now I’ve seen “Statements” and it kind of wants to outperform the artistry of the stage package “Euphoria” showed us. It’s good to be different and original, but it should still be voteable. And I’m not sure if that’s the case with “Statements”. Then the song fragment….it doesn’t stick to my mind as much as I’d like that to happen. Personally, I like it, but melody-wise it’s also more ‘complicated’. And let’s not forget…not every Sia-song or Madonna-performance is potential winning material.

    To me this could very well work on the MTV Awards. But I think it slightly lacks the mainstream quality to go all the way to a 7th Swedish victory. But hey, let’s wait and see :-). I’m curious about the full performance.

    • “Obviously the final stage package enhanced its chances. It made the ‘looks’ of “Euphoria” way more ‘arty’, beautiful and especially unique and original. But I still think the defining winning element was….the song itself and the fact that it was nothing more than a damn good pop song.”

      Which is why it always sounds SO good when everyone else covers it…

  8. Sweden now LPM 5.8 on Betfair looks to challenge Italy 5.1 to be the favourite again.

  9. I’m sort of with Ben, in that I don’t see Loreen as the obvious qualifier people have expected her to be, and I think it could be nip and tuck. Statements has the intro of Californication and then goes off to form a bizarre hybrid of sounds. It’s not bad musically, but my real gripe with this is that it doesn’t sound at all suited to a competitive environment, and visually it looks like a tribute to the Grey People.

    • I must be missing something about the song because i don’t get it and i can’t help but wonder if the journos and people are over reacting to it with whooping and applauding it as the best thing since Euphoria are doing so because its “Loreen” (who won by a landslide in 2012) and they automatically think that she is going to win again in May by a landslide. If the song was being sung by someone else and Loreen wasn’t competing would the journos and people be whooping and applauding it in such a manner as they are now doing so and i think that they will not be doing so.

      If Loreen ends up going to AC instead of Direkt then i suspect her price to win MelFest and the price of Sweden in the outright win market will drift outwards. There will no doubt be outrage by the fans etc. if she ends up going to AC just like the outrage when Margarent didn’t win the National Final of Poland last year.

      • I think you cannot compare Loreen to Margaret. She is an ESC winner and she can actually sing. Being in the pimp slot is as clear as a guarantee for direkt, as far as I am concerned. If Lisa Ajax had a 59% backing in the SVT web vote, we would be all over her for qualifying direkt.

        For all the hype and popularity, it’s difficult to see Loreen to AC.

        • I was comparing the level amount of outrage given that will occur in comparison to the outrage that Margaret got should Loreen end up going to AC. I wasn’t actually comparing Loreen to Margaret on a person level. Yes, it would be hard for Loreen not to end up going to AC because of the hype around her.

      • I’m still baffled anyone ever thought anything ever of Margaret. She was never going to win Eurovision with that song any sooner than whats-her-face Jestem in 2011.

        From what I’ve heard of it, Loreen’s song isn’t bad by any measure. I’ll most certainly be buying her next album. But no, it’s not suited to Melodifestivalen, which is basically like saying Bjork isn’t suited to Heart FM radio. I’m sure it will be audiovisually striking and powerful and I get that she’s there for the love of performing and getting a message out and promoting her new material, not necessarily to win, but if it’s not instantly loveable and if the people of Sweden don’t see it as their 2017 Eurovision entry (do they even view MF as their Eurovision national final or something in its own right?) then it won’t get the votes and it could easily cause a shock by getting to the final via AC.

        To risk a fiver on the chance of winning £100 at 1.05, I’ll take that chance.

    • Loreen’s staging has leaked online,the flags were props for broomsticks.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeEZhN7ZJFk

  10. I might be missing something with regards to loreen‘s song, but I think it’s one of the biggest hyped up songs in my time following melfest. I could understand it if it was warranted but it’s not anybody else comes out with this song it’s not qualify direct or getting to a/c either. Layed Loreen early doors and where the staging changed gav’s feeling I went the other way and layed again. Also layed a bit on Sweden @ 6.6 on the outright. Might regret it tomorrow night having seen it but more than happy at the moment.

  11. Someone posted a comment in the ESCForum Sweden thread a tweet to Schlagerprofil asking How did the public react to Loreen. The response from Schlagerprofil was “Hmm. It wasn’t a great response here. Good. Not great. It might be to strange for the people here?”

    Perhaps this song with the staging needs to be seen from a TV audience view in order to get it whereas the studio audience cannot clearly see it to get it with being close to whats going on? I guess we will be able to see how it comes across when we see the performance on screen Saturday night and then decide yay or nay from it.

  12. Audience Poll:

    1. Wiktoria As I Lay Me Down 205 röster 28,3%
    2. Jon Henrik Fjällgren feat.Aninia En värld full av strider 167 röster 23,1%
    3. Loreen Statements 119 röster 16,4%
    4. Alice Running with lions 118 röster 16,3%
    5. Axel Schylström När ingen ser 71 röster 9,8%
    6. Les Gordons Bound to fall 42 röster 5,8%
    7 Sara Varga & Juha Mulari Du får inte ändra på mej 2 röster 0,3%

  13. Loreen placed 3rd in the melfestklubben poll, which Wiktoria won quite clearly

    1. Wiktoria As I Lay Me Down 205 röster 28,3%
    2. Jon Henrik Fjällgren feat.Aninia En värld full av strider 167 röster 23,1%
    3. Loreen Statements 119 röster 16,4%
    4. Alice Running with lions 118 röster 16,3%
    5. Axel Schylström När ingen ser 71 röster 9,8%
    6. Les Gordons Bound to fall 42 röster 5,8%
    7 Sara Varga & Juha Mulari Du får inte ändra på mej 2 röster 0,3%

  14. The only thing about the Audience Poll is she finished 2nd in it with euphoria . Then went on to win melfest still think she goes direct tomorrow night.

    • Though there is a difference between missing out on first spot with 3 percentage points, and just barely clinching third.

      That being said, I also think she’s more likely than not to qualify directly.

  15. Just some notes on the audience poll:

    Fjällgren is on home turf and did perform twice tonight along with Alice. Wiktoria only performed twice, and to win from 4th slot emphasises how catchy her song is.

    The fact Loreen almost finished 4th is concerning. Her performance is probably a hard sell for the young studio audience. Even so, if the audience can’t quite get the staging, they should be getting the song. The fact is, there’s isn’t much song there. It’s disjointed and lacking a hook. Plus isn’t not the sort of song Sweden traditionally sends to Eurovision.

    She most likely goes direkt, but on name alone, she really should be doing much better on that poll to call it a certainty.

  16. Time for a crazy prediction, I want congratulations if it is correct.

    1st wiktoria
    2nd loreen
    3rd axel
    4th Sara Varga & Juha Mulari !!!
    5th jon henrik
    6th alice ( eurofans will outrage)
    7th las gordons

    • Nvm, I didn’t know that the snipped of varga and Mulari was from minute 2 to 3, sara varga will come last jon hendrik 3rd axel 4th.

  17. Really pleased Wiktoria managed to win the audience over.Seeing her performances at Lotta på Liseberg,Sommarkrysset and Sommarlov last year confirmed for me she is a top drawer artist and hugely talented.Delivering turbo charged songs like the ones she does isnt easy.Put her acapella and you see how strong across the range she really is.She has a knack of wrapping herself around a quick melody.
    More hooks than a Filipino fisherman.I hope she can push for the win.AC wouldnt be a disaster because her song will grow i expect.
    Jon is always dangerous,and Alice has a great song.We might see 4 from this heat make the final.

  18. Nano is now back as favourite to win MF. Loreen is 2nd. http://eurovisionworld.com/?odds=melodifestivalen

    Also Sweden now back to 6’s in Betfair outright market.

  19. While many may say that what we witnessed is art, I think half of it is just a Sia-inspired choreography. Damn…

  20. Wow congrats, to everyone saying that loreen wouldn’t qualify directly.

  21. Staging killed it for Loreen, needed to be more normal to compensate for the difficulties of the song.
    I think it’s Nano’s to loose, given the International Juries will probably go strongest for him and everything will be relatively close on the televote. Quite a competetive year overall but nothing to threaten for the win.

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