With all 28 songs performed, this year’s Melodifestivalen final is shaping up to be one of the closest in recent memory. Before that, however, we have this week’s andra chansen to contended with.
The duels format will see four 3rd placed songs pitched against four 4th placed songs. The assumption would be that the higher placed songs would win, but last year SaRaha, who was 4th in her heat, beat 3rd placed Isa by over 11,000 votes. And a year earlier, two of the 4th placed songs beat their 3rd placed opposition. It’s important to recognise that each heat has its own dynamic, so what finished 4th in one heat, may well have hit 3rd or qualified direkt when against different songs.
The duels are as follows:
- FO&O vs De Vet Du
- Axel vs Lisa
- Boris vs Dismissed
- Anton vs Loreen
I think only one of these duels is straight forward. And even though being 3rd in their respective heat is an advantage, part of the challenge is working out who actually achieved it.
Who Finished Where?
In duel one we have the tasty FO&O vs De Vet Du match up, and strangely the bookmakers priced FO&O as the big favourites. Unibet were a low as 1.2 yesterday and Bet365 are 1.6 today. If you work that backwards, it’s probably because they have a strong opinion that Loreen only just missed out on direkt, thus finished 3rd. What if De Vet Du finished 3rd and it was actually Loreen who finished 4th? Now before the fanboys reach for their keyboards and start protesting in the strongest possible terms using words of one syllable that rhyme with duck and blunt, bear with me…
The app vote has added a small amount of unpredictability into the show, especially when you have social media darlings like De Vet Du. However, there’s a fairly reliable method of tracking popularity by timing the live heart icon. I have done that for every song so you don’t have to.
Heat one saw this result:
I only timed the lightning heartbeat, rather than when it simply started beating.
Unless Boris Rene stormed the vote when the lines reopened, De Vet Du should have finished 3rd, just like when Samir & Viktor finished 3rd in their heat in 2015 and 2016, and when Sean Banan finished 3rd in heat 1 back in 2012.
Furthermore, comparing their relative Spotify streams immediately after their respective heats implies De Vet Du finished ahead of Boris. Having said that, Boris beat Albin & Mattias in andra chansen last year, even though Albin & Mattias had more than double the daily streams. But when matched with the apparent app popularity, it heavily points to De Vet Du beating Boris, and thus, Loreen finishing 4th.
What about heat 4?
As a number of people noticed on Twitter, Loreen took ages to register any support on the app. It’s like Swedish viewers were either captivated or confused by what they were witnessing and took over two minutes to decide to vote. That means Loreen has the lowest ‘lightning heartbeat’ time of any qualified act so far. Just a note to people who think Loreen can still win Eurovision: if Sweden took over two minutes to decide to vote for a song specifically aimed at them, how the f*ck are the rest of Europe going to react? Note Wiktoria clearly romped heat 4.
Anyway, back to the chart which shows Loreen in 5th place. Given her profile, it’s likely she was saved when the lines reopened, as noted above. Interestingly, the dress rehearsal audience poll shows a similar result, albeit with Loreen 3rd just 0.1% ahead of Alice, who eventually finished 5th.
The audience polls can be erratic and are never 100% correct, yet with all the circumstantial evidence above, there’s more than a possibility that Loreen finished 4th in this heat. The only red flag against this theory would be Dismissed beating Lisa Ajax to 3rd in heat 2. Even so, if you’re looking for a Melfest or Eurovision winner, it shouldn’t take over two minutes for the audience to get the song.
On to the heats…
Heat 1: FO&O vs De Vet Du
I think the bookmakers have the wrong favourite, or at least shouldn’t have FO&O so strong a favourite. De Vet Du met expectations by going to andra chansen, whereas FO&O under performed by failing to qualify direkt. Where was the FO&O fanbase? Probably wondering why their guys were performing cheap, derivative, 1990s boyband pop with an overblown, incoherent stage show. De Vet Du at least have a solid theme centred on a classic car and half naked DJ. What’s not to enjoy there?
De Vet Du lead the immediate 4-day post-heat streams, yet FO&O remain consistent at around 150,000 daily streams. That may be due to the playlists their song has been added to, so the daily churn, rather than a motivated fanbase is creating this result. Even so, over 100,000 streams is still impressive for De Vet Du nearly four weeks on from first release.
|De Vet Du||FO&O|
Heat 2: Axel Schylström vs Lisa Ajax
This is another heat where one act met expectations and the other under performed. Yet the under performing Lisa Ajax act did much better on the app, clocking up 1:45 on the ‘lightning heart’ icon, whereas Axel managed just 1:11. Likewise, Ajax is well ahead of Schylström on Spotify with over 50,000 more streams during the first few days after their respective heats. Even today, Ajax has the upper hand on Spotify, leading with 17,000 more streams.
Heat 3: Boris Rene vs Dismissed
The 4-day post-heat Spotify streams suggests this is one of most one-sided duels this year. And even though Boris’ streams aren’t setting the chart alight, as mentioned above vs Albin & Mattias, he is capable of mustering support. Moreover, in terms of staging and energy, Boris should standout against what was quite a disappointing effort from Dismissed. I suspect Roger Pontare was very close to nabbing that second heat 2 andra chansen spot.
|Day 3||63,171||Not on chart|
|Day 4||59,744||Not on chart|
Heat 4: Anton Hagman vs Loreen
Anton is just two places below Loreen on today’s Spotify chart with just 7,000 streams separating them. Yesterday that gap was 12,000, so that supposed momentum people are hoping for to save Loreen might actually be building behind Anton. And if Anton did indeed finish 3rd ahead of FO&O in heat 3, which was the most voted for heat, it’s an incredible achievement. For reference, heat 4 had the lowest voting numbers – over 800,000 less than the cute boy packed heat 3, which potentially ties in with the theory that Swedish viewers were disappointed with Loreen, didn’t vote, thus resulting in around 500,000-800,000 less votes being cast.
In terms of ‘lightning heart’ action, Anton clocked up 1:23 compared with Loreen’s 46-seconds.
The big question is does Sweden feel enough sympathy, rather than shock, over the Loreen situation? If the Eurovision fan community is anything to go by, all Swedes who failed to vote for Loreen will forever burn in hell. If you actually read comments from Swedes living in Sweden, it’s a different story with most reporting the lack of a song, confusing staging, not being able to understand the lyrics and not agreeing with the political overtones. Don’t overlook the fact that Sweden is a politically neutral country and doesn’t dabble in political hectoring. They are a respectful, diplomatic people.
Anyway, I do think there will be a sympathy vote for Loreen, it just depends if she can make up the ground to beat Hagman’s army of girls. Yesterday UNIBET offered 8.0 for Hagman to beat Loreen, which is about fair on a 100% overround, but very generous in this circumstance. I think Hagman is backable at 5.0+ which is currently available at BET365. However, Loreen will probably reach a layable in-play price on Betfair Exchange, so anything 1.15 or below will give you 8.0s in favour of Anton. If that heart doesn’t start beating fast enough during Loreen’s performance, Anton will quickly become favourite to win the duel.
Good luck with this week’s betting. Don’t go too deep, as some of these heats are extremely close.
We’ll be back next week with our Melodifestivalen Final Betting Podcast and Preview Article. If you followed Tobbe’s hints, you would have bagged Nano, Mariette and Wiktoria at big prices!