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Melodifestivalen 2017: Final Preview

Following a somewhat disappointing four weeks of rather generic sounding music, it seems Sweden is left with the unenviable task of selecting a song to simply make the top-5, rather than competing for the win – barring a massive surprise.

The hype ground to a halt two weeks ago when Loreen’s song arrived and the Betfair market reaction was instantly negative. Nevertheless, for every Loreen hater, there were seemingly tens of fans spamming Twitter and Eurovision message boards building a false bubble of expectation around the 2012 winner. As ever, first impressions proved to be correct.

A lower quality final, or at least one without a runaway viral song does raise the prospect of a surprise winner, especially when one views last year’s app vote, which saw second placed Wiktoria and last placed David Lindgren separated by just 3.6%!  The app vote levelled the field, but it took a viral song by Frans to break free of the pack.

So what clues are there in the running order?

  1. Ace Wilder – Wild Child
  2. Boris René – Her Kiss
  3. Lisa Ajax – I Don’t Give A
  4. Robin Bengtsson – I Can’t Go On
  5. Jon Henrik Fjällgren feat. Aninia – En värld full av strider
  6. Anton Hagman – Kiss You Goodbye
  7. Mariette – A Million Years
  8. FO&O Gotta – Thing About You
  9. Nano – Hold On
  10. Wiktoria – As I Lay Me Down
  11. Benjamin Ingrosso – Good Lovin’
  12. Owe Thörnqvist – Boogieman Blues

I would argue that the first four have been jettisoned, especially Robin Bengtsson being given the pre-Fjällgren slot. Last year, Robin won his heat and was given slot-7 and a realistic hope of landing a podium finish given his Spotify success – yet he underperformed. It’s also worth noting that Robin debuted outside of the Sverigetopplistan top-10 last year, which he has repeated again this time. Plus, his song is charting around 5th on Spotify compared to 2nd last year. As a chartable, radio-friendly song and voteable stage package, Constellation Prize was a much better fit than I Can’t Go On, which comes across as visually arrogant and cocky. Also, Robin never looks 100% comfortable with the choreography.

Ace Wilder has been given the opening slot, and unlike last year when Don’t Worry surprised everyone by finishing in the top-3, the more lowkey and inferior Wild Child looks set to struggle. Name recognition may help Ace with returning jurors, yet even that will fail to overturn the expected app-vote lag. Other than Owe’s Boogieman Blues, Wild Child is the lowest charting song of the direkt qualifiers and doesn’t even appear on the Spotify top-50.

Andra chansen also rans, Boris and Lisa Ajax, are in the prime slots for last place. Boris narrowly avoided it last year from slot 9, but he will do well to swerve it from slot 2. Nevertheless, Lisa Ajax’s I Don’t Give A… looks friendless on the various charts and I doubt the 20+ f*cks will go down well with the international juries regardless of their age or musical preferences. The word f*ck doesn’t travel well outside of the Nordics and perhaps Australia. Then there’s the way Lisa performs her song to camera as if she doesn’t actually give a f*ck. If the odds are right, Lisa would be one of my value choices for a shock last place.

Dragon slayer, Anton Hagman, should expect to be forgotten too, having been wedged between this year’s best staged songs from Fjällgren and Mariette, with boyband, FO&O, following in 8th. Anton will suffer a drop in support to these more prominent entries, but could be saved with light support from the juries, which could see him return with a better song next year. His teen girl vote rivals, FO&O should be aiming a little higher to Oscar Zia Yes We Can territory.

Benjamin Ingrosso might be the joker in the pack with that 11th slot, provided you overlook the cheapness of his song. The Swedish Strictly Come Dancing winner has the popularity to cause an upset, yet I predict the juries may quell any threat of a shock top-3 finish. Even so, it’s possible Good Lovin’ could perform better than expected on the televote. Benjamin is only a few places behind Robin Bengtsson on the charts and his late slot is probably designed to keep Robin’s vote in check.

Owe can possibly expect points from the UK jury if Simon Proctor is retuning to his position of village idiot on tour. A Hasse Andersson 3rd place might be tad ambitious given Owe didn’t have chance to build momentum from andra chansen. In his favour, Boogieman Blues does stand out and the televote will certainly be higher than last place. I suspect 5th-7th. The Playtones finished 6th in 2011, so in a longer field, 7th is about right.

That leaves four acts who require a little more detail:

Just a few places ahead of Lisa Ajax on the Spotify chart is Mariette’s A Million Years, and like her Don’t Stop Believing in 2015, momentum appears to have fizzled out. The view here is that Mariette’s 2015 entry was much stronger and more dramatic than A Million Years, which relies on bungee dancers to lift what is a nice, but fairly uneventful progressive house song. Don’t Stop Believing at least benefitted from a sense of mystery and drama in the arrangement and staging. And the Miss Li penned entry finished 5th on the televote, 2nd with the juries and 3rd overall. Entering the Sverigetopplistan at no.40 doesn’t scream shock winner and nor does it scream top-3… or 15/1 prospect. Last year Molly Sanden finished 6th with a comparably credible, yet flat entry; I predict a similar result for Mariette.

Just like in 2015, Mariette’s problems are compounded by the incredibly popular Jon Henrik Fjällgren (and Aninia), who looks set to finish ahead of her again this year. Fjällgren returns with a much stronger song, which when combined with the evocative staging and genuine Disney duet chemistry, it would be foolish to write him off just because he finished nearly 150-points behind Måns Zelmerlöw in a strong year. And going back to 2015, Jag är fri lacked the sort of epic feel that En Värld Full Av Strider has in abundance. Chart-wise, En Värld Full Av Strider has performed much better, entering the Sverigetopplistan at no.25 compared to no.53 for Jag är fri. And on Spotify, Fjällgren has been hovering around no.20, which is impressive considering his song wouldn’t have been entered on the mainstream playlists. With a less strong Mariette, Fjällgren is capable of finishing top-2 with the juries. And given Oscar Zia topped the jury vote ahead of the big commercial pop song last year, Fjällgren could easily repeat that feat. Don’t forget, he finished 3rd with the juries in 2015 from slot 4 in the running order. This time he’s in slot 5 with a stronger song in a weaker lineup. The televote could go his way too given he was 2nd in 2015. This is a Sweden’s Got Talent winner with a motivated fanbase.

Nano led the outright market immediately after heat one right up until this week when Wiktoria took over. When I first heard Hold On it sounded like an obvious qualifier, but I was unsure of it’s winning credentials: it didn’t sound instant or epic enough. These doubts increased when I saw the dull, beige staging and Nano’s lack of charisma. The extreme closeups during the verses conceal much of this, but during the chorus he really lacks energy and any sense he’s enjoying the moment. He would be more convincing if he punched the air or showed a little more determination during the chorus. It’s like he’s uncomfortable with expressing himself with this sort of upbeat song. Whereas Nano looks entirely at home throughout this slower performance when he can close his eyes and hide behind the microphone. Hold On is a great, chart worthy song, but as a package, the three key elements of song, singer and staging are at odds with each other. That may explain why Nano has been slow to catch on in the charts, only entering the Sverigetopplistan at no.23 and taking an age to hit the top-10 on Spotify. Having said that, Christer Björkman does want to give him a fair shot at the win from slot 9. The jury support should be there, but to what extent, I remain uncertain. Logically, though, the televote will be 3rd or lower if you accept Wiktoria and Fjällgren can jump ahead of him.

Judging by the app vote heartbeat timings, Wiktoria won heat 4 with ease, which justifies her favourite status ahead of Fjällgren and Nano. As I Lay Me Down may not be as palatable to the purists as Save Me, but the chorus and hook is the most effective in this year’s lineup and arguably more instant than last year’s song. The weakness, however, is the dull staging and somewhat clunky bed concept, which leaves Wiktoria hurriedly walking away from the camera to position herself for the middle-eight. The choreography isn’t particularly demanding, but it does leave her rather breathless towards the end of the song. But looking at the positives, Wiktoria boasts winning stage presence, and combined with her curly hair USP, smiley image and virtuoso vocal, there’s a lot for the juries to love. Last year the juries ranked Wiktoria 4th behind Ace Wilder, Oscar Zia and winner Frans. The televote disagreed and placed her second behind Frans. Luckily for Wiktoria, there will be at least 40 hard points from returning international jurors. And going on last year’s close contest, she’ll only need another 50 or so more points to ensure she’s top of the jury vote in a weaker year… provided everything goes to plan. Since heat 4 ended, Wiktoria has maintained a healthy lead on her Melfest rivals in the charts. On Spotify she was the first of only three acts to accrue over 1-million streams and is persistently 50,000+ daily streams ahead of her closest charting rival, Robin Bengtsson. She entered the Sverigetopplistan at no.7 and was the only Melfest finalist to make the top-10 – Robin entered at no.15. All of the key performance indicators suggest Wiktoria will represent Sweden in Kyiv as long as the juries get on board.

The Juries:

This year’s international jury will be made up of representatives from: Armenia, Australia, France, Israel, Italy, Malta, Norway, Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine and United Kingdom. I’m afraid that Cyprus’ Klitos Klitou will not be trending in Sweden this year.

Poland and the Czech Republic join the panel for the first time. The general makeup of the returning juries doesn’t appear to help any one act. I would say being upbeat or slightly kitsch would be an advantage, so Wiktoria and Fjällgren would be my immediate conclusion, with steady support for Nano and the other mid-tempo direkt entries.

Prediction:

If everything goes to plan, Wiktoria should be heading to Kyiv in May. In terms of threats, Nano, or one of the other upbeat entries could get close to Wiktoria, but I believe only Fjällgren can beat her. Therefore, my book is fairly balanced between Wiktoria and Fjällgren to mitigate the risk. Given Fjällgren is available at over 5s on Betfair Exchange, if he were to top the jury vote, he would instantly trade at a much shorter price, so he is the value bet at present.

For fun, here’s my 1-12:

  1. Wiktoria
  2. Fjällgren
  3. Nano
  4. Robin
  5. Mariette
  6. Benjamin
  7. Owe
  8. FO&O
  9. Ace
  10. Anton
  11. Boris
  12. Lisa

We’ll have our preview podcast published for Wednesday evening. There aren’t any side markets yet, but should some value emerge, I’ll post it in the comments below.

Who’s your Melodifestivalen 2017 winner?

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About Gavster

Owner & Chief Editor   I’m a qualified designer and the official geek in the crew, dedicating most of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.

58 comments

  1. So Lisa Ajax to finish last at 6.50 is value @ UNIBET.

    Again, thanks for putting the hard work for this MF, much appreciated

  2. Great as ever Gav thankyou,
    Iv everything crossed Wiktoria takes this.Iv always rated her very highly,and she has a cracking song just right for her.I spent a day driving around the Hills shops in Co Durham backing her when they didnt shorten from the 13s quickly enough.Hearing them say Melodifestivalen as they phoned them in was entertaining in itself.
    Jon is a genuine threat though i think.The staging is magical and Aninia’s delivery is outstanding.The chart positions are very strong considering this is all about the visuals and comes alive on stage.
    I have him 2nd biggest green at about 25% of Wiktoria’s even a bit at 60s.Nano i have a small green.I took him down to buy more Wiktoria even though i was fully loaded on her already.I just dont like the song at all,but worry that the app might not give Wiktoria enough gap so kept him profitable.The Esctips podcast got me him at big odds and really helped make things easy on the book.
    The rest are pretty much tiny greens or tiny reds unless there is a huge shock.
    I think Boris will be last,song is very poor,though i would rather see Ajax get the wooden spoon.The song is shocking,and her performance is nearly career destroying.

  3. Yes, I agree that lisa or anton will come last, I have a feeling boris Rene might surprise us. I bet for Anton thouth.

  4. The key thing you pointed out was the 3% difference between last and second in last year’s televote, it’s fairly plausible that if the televote is as equally tight this year, literally ANYONE could win if the jury has a runaway winner (well, anyone except for Owe obviously).

    I’ve said multiple times that I suspect that the jury vote will very much dictate the final result this year. Maybe it’s just me, but Wiktoria’s song doesn’t scream IJ winner to me. Could be JHF if they go for sheer visual impact, could be Nano if they go for chart-relevance, hell, I’m not even ruling out Ace Wilder for this, the IJ have a track record of liking her and it’s one of the more typical uber-catchy MF songs in the line up, and we know the IJ like their MF songs to be catchy. Most of the other songs seem more concerned with being radio-friendly which doesn’t always make for the best live show.

    I suspect that Owe and Lisa will be fighting for the jury’s last place. For the former, the IJ always trash the “old duffers doing Swedish-language joke songs”, see Björn Ranelid and Ravaillacz for reference. For the latter, the song is just flat out unlikeable.

    I think the top 3 will be Wiktoria, Nano and JHF, which order it ends up is anyone’s guess.

  5. My green is mainly on Nano now, about half of that on Wiktoria and a little on Fjallgren. Out of the main three, I’m expecting Wiktoria and Fjallgren to beat Nano with the public but not by enough % to overturn a Nano jury win.
    My 1-12

    1. Nano
    2. Wiktoria
    3. Fjallgren
    4. Ingrosso
    5. Mariette
    6. Robin
    7. Ace
    8. Anton
    9. Lisa
    10. Boris
    11. F o and o
    12. Owe

    I don’t think Sweden has any top 5s here but a few easy top 10’s. Not the best mf but at least it can still go three ways which makes it a bit more interesting.

    Good luck Gav and everyone else.

  6. I have the same Top 5 as Gav, in the same order. The only act I think will definitely get a solid combination of televote + jury vote is Wiktoria, and that plus her advantageous running order slot should see her win. Nano’s song is great but I don’t think its everyone’s cup of tea, the staging and vocal are both average as well. As Gav rightly states in the review, he looks awkward and uncomfortable performing this, so I would be slightly surprised if he won. Similarly with JHF, it’s a solid, evocative package with great staging, but is at risk of being snubbed by some of the international juries. In 2015, three of the juries gave him zero, whereas that was only true for one jury with Wiktoria last year.

    The ‘Ace Wilder is popular with the juries’ theory I don’t think will hold this year. Last year the juries were clearly swayed by her clever/gimmicky stage show, which she doesn’t have this time. There’s also the law of diminishing returns with her competing three times in four years.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Robin Bengtsson does very well with the juries as his stage show is very slick and impressive, and the song modern. I would prefer him to be singing “Freaking” rather than “Fucking” for the final in terms of his chances of making the Top 3, but let’s see.

    I make this point every year, but these Melodifestivalen juries are largely made up of gay men, which could give Wiktoria the edge over her rivals if the jury vote is very close. Her song is the most difficult to dislike out of the Top 5 in the betting anyhow, and I’m extremely heavily for her to be Top 3.

    • Shortly after the third semi Robin re-recorded a clean version which SVT says he will perform in the final, which for the sake of the IJ is probably a wise move. As far as I’m aware, the same isn’t true for Lisa.

    • 1. Wiktoria
      2. Jon Henrik F
      3. Nano
      4. Robin Bengtsson
      5. Mariette
      6. Benjamin Ingrosso
      7. Ace Wilder
      8. FO&O
      9. Anton Hagman
      10.Owe Thornqvist
      11. Lisa Ajax
      12. Boris René

      Interestingly there’s a case for any of my Bottom 5 to finish last.

    • Tim, how do you come to the conclusion that Wiktoria will benefit from a potential high share of gay men in the juries? I would have guessed eg Robin would benefit from this (if anyone, unsure of the impact), but honestly I have no idea.

      • Gay male fans are often huge supporters of the strong female artists competing in something. This is not just true of Eurovision but reality TV competitions as well, such as X Factor and Big Brother. Don’t ask me why, but the gays are almost always about the females. With my Facebook friends who are into Eurovision, Wiktoria is the overwhelming favourite amongst them. For this, she is their queen, just like Kim Woodburn was on Celebrity Big Brother and Saara Aalto was on X Factor. Many gay men will tell you they didn’t want Frans to win Melodifestivalen last year. The ones I know probably would’ve preferred Wiktoria or Ace Wilder have gone to Stockholm instead.

        • Interesting, thanks for elaborating. That seems to me a clear difference compared to straight women, whom I thing will be strongly overrepresented in voting for Robin (especially the 30+ women).

  7. I forgot to mention that Wiktoria entered last year’s Sverigetopplistan at no.26, so this year’s song is clearly more popular having entered at no.7.

  8. I forgot another possible factor which might affect the televote results: Sweden’s sweetheart Zara Larsson is performing as the interval (which is funny considering she’s slagged off MF in the past), who would the army of fans watching just to see her be most likely to vote for?

  9. I’d go for either Mariette or Wiktoria

  10. I think Wiktoria win jurie and win televote

  11. I was just pointed in the direction of an article that backs up my “juries could dictate the results” theory: http://escuniverse.com/2017/03/07/does-the-melodifestivalen-app-give-more-power-to-the-juries/

    Assuming that Wiktoria wins the televote, if she doesn’t win the IJ, she would need the actual winner to not have a 20-40+ jury margin above her to still have a chance of winning. I haven’t worked out the full mathematics, but you get my drift: a runaway IJ winner would dictate everything.

  12. i think i predict a nano 4th place. might be saved by juries. but the public will be tepid in voting for it.

  13. The market seems almost certain of the Top 3, so just wondering if anyone here is backing any of the outsiders? Who is vulnerable to dropping out of it and why? I’d like to hear where you’re coming from, as personally I’ve been laying most of the outsiders apart from Robin, whom I’m actually tempted to back.

    • I have made Mariette my biggest green ahead of Wiktoria. For me it’s visually the best act of the 12 songs. Running order of 7 is not too bad either especially when you factor in that it’s between 2 andra chansen qualifiers. This makes the song stand out more in my opinion. Vocally I think she is one of the best in the final if not the best. All that adds up to possibly winning the jury and if the tele vote is as close as expected it might just get her over the line. It’s a gamble I am willing to take as it was easy to make her a bigger green than the rest and thanks to Loreen flopping don’t really have big reds except for owe.

      • Mariette does have good staging, but is her song not totally average and generic compared to her excellent 2015 entry? I don’t think she can win, but I’m starting to get concerned that she could nick third place.

      • As much as I also see strengths in Mariette’s entry, I don’t get the positive views on her staging at all. For me, the bungees (running man wtf?) are a gimmicky distraction that may pull her down with juries. And her dress strongly emphasizes her non-traditional looks which may not connect with middle Sweden.

        • Just watched it back and I think her staging mostly works, although I definitely see where you’re coming from. It gives viewers something original to look at in Eurovision terms, but it gets boring after a while, as does the song itself.

  14. According to rehearsal reports, Lisa has swapped the f word for “damn”. Doesn’t make it instantly likeable but at least the impact of having “f**k what they say” bellowed at you ad nauseum in the last minute is significantly blunted.

  15. I’m currently in Norway for the next few days and it appears that the local media narrative for MF is that both Sweden and Norway could potentially select Sami acts for ESC on Saturday. They’re also hoping a meeting between JHF and Elin in Kyiv should they both win, locally it seems it would probably be a pretty big deal.

  16. Top analysis as always Gav.

    For the first time since 2014, we’ve got a fight on our hands. This is only my second year punting on Melfest, yet it’s amazing how many times I’ve had to restructure my book this time around! It’s been a very open contest, but I don’t agree that it has been a bad one song wise. It doesn’t have a viral hit, but there’s still some good songs in there that I’ll definitely be playing on repeat for a while yet (go, go Boogieman, go!). My only gripe would be the make-up of the final. Loreen and Adrijana were both among my favourites this year with songs that were daring to be different, but just couldn’t catch on with the younger app-voting audience. The final is worse off and lacks that edge without them.

    My book has Jon Henrik & Aninia as my biggest green, followed by Wiktoria, and Mariette. I’ll break-even if Nano wins. I’m not 100% onboard with Wiktoria for the win like some punters on here are. Save Me is still a marginally better song, with more energy and intrigue than As I Lay Me Down. In an interview with Wiwibloggs, she said (I’m paraphrasing) that Melodifestivalen only came about because Justin Forrest had the song for a while on his files, and thought I’d be a good idea to send it in. It Doesn’t feel she would have been compelled to sing it otherwise. All that said, her performance is stronger this year. The question though is the juries. They didn’t warm to her last year, and I still think there’s a couple of entries that they’d rank ahead of her.

    My tip to win is Jon Henrik & Aninia. I kept quiet about it at the time, but it was the only snippet this year that gave me the wow feeling I look for in winners, and on stage the chemistry of the duo makes it really stand out. En Varld ful av Strider just has that epic, ethereal feeling about it; I could imagine it being the theme tune to Avatar 2 (whenever that gets made). I see it topping the televote, and coming 2nd/3rd with the juries, but I expect it to be close between them and Wiktoria overall.

    1. Jon Henrik & Aninia
    2. Wiktoria
    3. Nano

  17. I’ve made a video showing my bets for tomorrows final. Have a look!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZrClnRyqNA

  18. The Spotify charts were updated today and here is the last week:

    1 Wiktoria (3) 2.033.630
    2 Robin Bengtsson (5) 1.554.925
    3 Nano (7) 1.451.645
    4 FO&O (10) 1.246.174
    5 Benjamin Ingrosso (12) 1.209.363
    6 Anton Hagman (18) 1.036.111
    7 JHF & Aninia (23) 894.639
    8 Mariette (26) 836.552
    9 Lisa Ajax (34) 680.366
    10 Ace Wilder (51) 508.432
    11 Boris Rene (63) 366.163
    12 Owe Thornqvist (74) 270.845

    Wiktoria built an unassalabile lead, having the only song with more than 2 million streams. On the other side, Mariette and JHF are relying solely on their staging, as they did not hit 1 million streams.

  19. My prediction:

    1. Wiktoria
    2. Robin Bengtsson
    3. Jon Henrik Fjällgren feat. Aninia

    or

    1. Robin Bengtsson
    2. Wiktoria
    3. Jon Henrik Fjällgren feat. Aninia

  20. 1. Freaking beautifull man
    2.wiktoria
    3. JHF
    4.Nano
    5. Ace wilder
    6. Marriette
    7. Ingrosso
    8. Owe
    9. Foo
    10 Boris
    11 Anton
    12. Ajax

  21. Wiktoria wins audience poll at 17.4%, 1% ahead of Nano:

    1. Wiktoria – As i lay me down 100 röster/votes 17,42 %
    2. Nano – Hold On 95 röster/votes 16,55 %
    3. Robin Bengtsson – I can’t go on 83 röster/votes 14,46 %
    4. Anton Hagman – Kiss You goodbye 53 röster/votes 9,23 %
    5. Benjamin Ingrosso – Good lovin’ 43 röster/votes 7,49 %
    6. Mariette – A Million years 33 röster/votes 5,75 %
    7. FO&O – Gotta Thing about you 33 röster/votes 5,75 %
    8. Owe Thörnqvist – Boogieman Blues 30 röster/votes 5,23 %
    9. Jon Henrik Fjällgren & Aninia – En värld full av strider 29 röster/votes 5,05 %
    10. Lisa Ajax – I don’t give a 27 röster/votes 4,70 %
    11. Ace Wilder – Wild child 26 röster/votes 4,53 %
    12. Boris René – Her kiss 22 röster/votes 3,83 %

    Anton got to perform twice, can’t see how he would have done that well otherwise.

    http://blogg.melodifestivalklubben.se/2017/03/10/publikundersokningen-visar-wiktoria-vinner-melodifestivalen-2017/

  22. Public vote in Friends Arena

    1. Wiktoria – As i lay me down 100 röster/votes 17,42 %
    2. Nano – Hold On 95 röster/votes 16,55 %
    3. Robin Bengtsson – I can’t go on 83 röster/votes 14,46 %
    4. Anton Hagman – Kiss You goodbye 53 röster/votes 9,23 %
    5. Benjamin Ingrosso – Good lovin’ 43 röster/votes 7,49 %
    6. Mariette – A Million years 33 röster/votes 5,75 %
    7. FO&O – Gotta Thing about you 33 röster/votes 5,75 %
    8. Owe Thörnqvist – Boogieman Blues 30 röster/votes 5,23 %
    9. Jon Henrik Fjällgren & Aninia – En värld full av strider 29 röster/votes 5,05 %
    10. Lisa Ajax – I don’t give a 27 röster/votes 4,70 %
    11. Ace Wilder – Wild child 26 röster/votes 4,53 %
    12. Boris René – Her kiss 22 röster/votes 3,83 %

  23. If the arena vote was as close as posted, imagine what will happen tomorrow, with the app in play. Therefore, it is becoming clearer and clearer that the winner will be decided by the juries, with the televote having a diminshed impact.

    The question is: if JHF has the jury vote, is he able to put up a good televote? I think placing 9th is way too low. But yet again, this poll has Owe being ahead of him. Which is … dunno the word for it yet

    • I have no problem seeing Owe doing very well in the televote, though.

      • Better than JHF? That’s the point… I mean, he was 3 votes shy of Mariette…

        • No idea, I just meant there are acts in this audience poll that I would be more surprised to see beat JHF, like FO&O or Benjamin.

          Re Mariette she was apparently out of tune tonight (bad timing for a jury rehearsal), perhaps that cost a few votes.

    • JHF had only 51 jury votes in his last time. There is no reason to believe that this time he will make the jury too good.

      • …apart from the better song.

        • Heartbeat showed that the audience likes this song less…

        • and Aninia,she is superb.The app is making things very difficult.If it lifts everyone close to the televote winner the jury will decide the result.SVT might have to make changes going forward if there is too big a split.Very interesting final,but not one you want any reds if you can help it on the top 4 in the book.

          • Today’s vote would translate into a three-way battle between Wiktoria, Nano and Robin, if we don’t count the juries.

            Wiktoria 82
            Nano 78
            Robin Bengtsson 68
            Anton 44
            Benjamin Ingrosso 35
            Mariette 27
            FO&O 27
            Owe Thörnqvist 25
            JHF 24
            Lisa 22
            Ace 21
            Boris 18

            Expect it to be tighter, though. If you remember last year, Frans was one point behind Oscar after the juries, but was boosted by the public. The 4,9% between him and Wiktoria accounted to only 23 points.

  24. Bengtsson the value bet now. Looks like he nailed it tonight. Better audience poll than last year also. top 3 at least on the cards. Mariette messed up so that’s the jury vote gone. Jury winner wins by the looks of it.

  25. A lot of the discussion is (rightly) about the app voting and expected close televising points, but it appears to me the same is quite likely on the other side of the scoreboard. It’s difficult to make a convincing case for any of the top 5 significantly crushing the jury vote either(and for that reason I don’t think Mariette wins as I can’t see her jury score being sufficient to make up for her televote total.)

    With no confidence whatsoever I say the guilty pleasure pips the all round consistent scorer – 1. Bengtsson 2. Wiktoria.

  26. Ok my finished book and expected result,
    1 Wiktoria,
    2 JHF
    3 Robin
    4 Nano
    Last, Boris.

    Its the tightest year i can remember due to nobody quite having the killer punch.Good luck everyone and enjoy the final.

  27. I have changed my mind a little since the other day.

    1. Wiktoria
    2. Robin Bengtsson
    3. Nano

  28. Ok, time for my prediction.
    1. jhf
    2. wiktoria
    3. nano
    4. Marriete
    5. Ace
    6. Robin
    7. benjamin
    8. Foo
    9. Boris
    10. Owe
    11. lisa
    12. Hagman.

    Also Benjamin is a value bet for last bet, because the votes of the young women will go to 4-5 different songs.

  29. So many acts failed to deliver a solid performance during last night’s jury rehearsal, so I think Nano and Mariette’s chance of making the top-3 have gone down. Therefore, I think Wiktoria and Robin are now the main contenders with Fjällgren being the dark horse if the juries ‘get it’.

  30. Robin having his odds more than slashed in half is pretty dramatic though. What are the main reasons? I can see:

    * Other acts not being at their best at jury rehearsals
    * Him being close to winning the audience poll
    * Him winning the “eurojury” by SVT did
    * Removal of crotch close-ups and “fucking”

    Personally I still find it tacky, but I can of course see how the above would cause the odds to shorten. Any reason that I’ve missed?

    • Unibet has also priced the “to top the jury vote” market, with Nano (2.25), Wiktoria (2.75) and JHF (4.25) as the main runners, if I remember. After last night, Robin’s odds, who were at high 5s, low 6s all the time, were slashed and are in a free-fall to 2.25.

      Now that’s a pretty big movement and the arguments to stand behind it are pretty slim: as Gav already mentioned, the song is not jury-bait, being weaker than last year’s Constellation Prize, while every seasoned punter knew what his routine was from the previous round, without a drastic change.

      So, long-story short, I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but I think it’s quite likely for Robin to top the jury vote, with several acts like Mariette and Nano having serious trouble.

      • I don’t think Robin’s song this year is weaker at all. And it has a very elaborate and impressive stage show, which is just the kind of thing that the international juries can go for – just see Ace Wilder’s undeserving third place with them last year for an example of that.

        I also think some of the juries will overlook Mariette and Nano’s problems in the rehearsal from last night, and I could see both of them still doing quite well with that constituency.

  31. No, I think you’ve got them all. I didn’t know the crotch shots had been removed, thanks.

  32. Ingrosso to beat Mariette at 4.0 with Unibet looks to be good value. Later running order, better Spotify stats and a more votable singer all point to him beating her with the public and if her jury performance was as dissapointing as I’m hearing it could be very close between the two.

    • It was 3.00 before yesterday’s rehearsal and the public continued to back Mariette, regardless of her problems. Now it went back a little, to 3.5.

  33. I haven’t changed my outlook for Robin. He still in 4th/5th place territory as far as I’m concerned. Neither Mariette or Nano nailed the vocal, but it’s not something to get hung up about. The overall impression of the package matters more. Frans and Ace were far from being vocally perfect and still made the jury top 3.

    The audience poll confirms that the support for Wiktoria hasn’t faded. Bit surprised by JHF only coming ninth, but then again the those who attend the rehearsals and vote are fans of the show, they’re not his target audience.

  34. I think Sweden has got a massive problem on their hands with this system, from the viewer’s perspective. Basically, whoever manages to earn 15-20 pts in the jury vote has won this. Basically, in a close year, the jury will almost surely decide who goes to ESC, as they did tonight.

    The 20 pts that Robin had translate into 4,5%-5% of the vote. But Lisa Ajax, the last in the televote, got 6,7%, while Nano got 12,3% (or smth like that). Basically, with the app, the field is so level that you really can’t do anything without the juries.

    • Another idiotic situation is that the Czech jury wasted 12 pts on Lisa Ajax, awarding 0 points to Wiktoria or Ace. Lisa got 4 other points from the other 11 juries. Boris got 14 points from Poland and the Czech Republic, while Wiktoria got 0. Yes, I had Wiktoria a green, the biggest one, but how on Earth managed Boris, with an inferior song, to leapfrog her in the jury’s rankings?

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