One might be excused for feeling somewhat underwhelmed by this year’s Melodifestivalen lineup, but fear not, because Björkman has a habit hiding Ace Wilders, Frans Jeppsson Walls and Robin Stjernbergs in the running order. The usual suspects have submitted songs, so don’t be too alarmed by the lack of recent returnees.
On to our early thoughts for Karlstad…
Heat 1 Karlstad – February 3rd
1. Sigrid Bernson – Patrick Swayze
The former ‘Dancing With The Stars’ professional could be one of the surprises in this heat if Kamferdrops disappoints. Set to a ‘Dirty Dancing’ theme, Patrick Swayze maybe the perfect feel-good song for app voters if staged right. However, going first in the running order makes it the lively ‘Boris Rene’ show opener, rather potential shock contender. The writing team aren’t particularly well known, but it’s best to hold fire until the song previews are available.
Press feedback: Capable of top-4 placing. Very influenced by Dirty Dancing and Black Eyed Peas.
2. John Lundvik – My Turn
35-year old former sprinter turned singer-songwriter, John Ludvik, makes his Melodifestivalen debut. I’m not expecting great things from John, yet his main writer, Jonas Thander, has writing credits for Demi Lovato, Fifth Harmony, Ariana Grande and Magnus Carlsson! Slot 2 sort of seals his fate, though.
Press feedback: Gospel-led ballad. Great from slot 2.
3. Renaida – All The Feels
One of Renaida’s writers, Peter Barringer, had a hand in writing Kasia Mos’ Flashlight. I would have changed my name by now if I were responsible for such trite lyrics. As far as I can see, the writing team haven’t got any major credits to their names, so just like in Swedish Idol, Renaida might be aiming for a sixth-place finish.
Press feedback: Zara-Larsson-esque with Sia-meets-Rhianna verses.
4. Edward Blom – Livet På En Pinne
G:Son might be among the team of cooks trying to fuse gastronomy and Melfest stardom together, but one suspects the result to be more Hells Kitchen than Masterchef.
Press feedback: A weird mix of foodie lyrics with Cliff Richard Congratulations influences.
5. Kikki Danielsson – Osby Tennessee
The well-known and popular Kikki Danielsson returns for her 10th Melodifestivalen and I feel winning for a third time isn’t high up on her list… or indeed Mr Björkmans’. With that in mind, I would say 4th-5th represents a good finish for what is a ‘making up the numbers’ act.
Press feedback: Same old country entry, but competent.
6. Kamferdrops – Solen lever kvar hos dig
This remix of Kikki Danielsson’s Jag Trodde Änglarna Fanns probably offers a small hint of what to expect from Kamferdrops. However, most viewers are eagerly awaiting the stage show, which is expected to be a highly creative, 3-minute, psychedelic trip – the precise level of whatthefuckery just depends which brand of opioids Heidi is on at the time.
Press feedback: Very similar to Jag Trodde Änglarna Fanns cover with a sax solo.
7. Benjamin Ingrosso – Dance You Off
The winner of the ‘hairiest arms 2017’ accolade returns with virtually the same writing team that brought us the popular Good Lovin’. Dance You Off is described as a “minimalist club track” and is darker than last year’s entry. That’s not quite a red flag for me, but more of an amber light. This seems like PR speak for cementing Benjamin’s career going forward – so getting a decent result in the final.
Benjamin was a narrow runner-up to Mariette in last year’s second heat, despite performing from the pimp slot. Nevertheless, he should still be the standout in this weakened heat, though I would be looking to oppose Ingrosso at this early stage.
Press feedback: Should be direkt in what is an open, but low quality heat.
This is a low quality heat on paper, with only Benjamin Ingrosso and Kamferdrops standing out. Björkman would want an act like Kamferdrops in the final for variety, whereas there’s 2-3 versions of every other act in the upcoming heats. Sigrid looks to be the only act capable of upsetting this prediction.
The bookmakers have the front three favourites for qualification about right at this point. Circa 1.7-1.85 for Kamferdrops and Sigrid doesn’t appeal without hearing the songs.
Ingrosso is the obvious qualifier given how low the standard is, but beyond his amazing staging, there’s not much of a song. The remaining direkt place looks likely to go to either Kamferdrops or Edward Blom. Tobbe Ek told me yesterday that Blom is very nervous, so I don’t recommend going too heavy backing the TV chef. 8/1 was available yesterday and 4/1 as late as last night. Current Blom odds don’t appeal, as this sort of act could drift in-play. Combination bets are available at UNIBET.
My plays so far have been to lay Renaida and Sigrid. Nether have presentations or songs capable of beating three of the later, more distinctive packages. I’ve also backed Blom at the odds mentioned above along with Kamferdrops.
Who will face the drop in Karlstad?