Sunday, July 02, 2017

Melodifestivalen 2017: Week 4, Skellefteå 25.02.2017

A couple of weeks ago, Melfest paid tribute to Hasse's home region.  Now it was the turn of Skellefteå native David Lindgren to pay tribute to his home city - a very lively "You Can't Stop The Beat"-style opening number "i Skellefte"

By the way, for the first minutes of the show, SVT gave us all a fright with the 'broadcasting is temporarily unavailable' message.  There was also some competition tonight from Dansk Melodi Grand Prix. Now, I would usually watch DMGP but had made the decision not to watch the full show, purely based on my lack of enthusiasm for the final line-up of songs this year, but just caught the superfinal later on.  Finals were also taking place tonight in Moldova and Ukraine.

But back to Melfest.  Connection restored and time for this week's line up of songs.

"En Värld Full Av Strider" - Jon Henrik Fjällgren featuring Aninia. 

A postcard in the snow.  I feel the need to throw in yet another shallow note here - I forgot just how hot this guy is...

But what about the song?  Well, it was very mystical, with magical and epic staging.  I had quite a bad time during the week in the lead up to the 4th semi-final, so this song was just what I needed.  I was floaty, and pretty, the audience waved their lights in the air and there was even a key change.  A bit too much oversinging by Aninia though, who has the wind machine turned up to 11.  I think we may see her again in Melfest.  They hugged at the end.  Awww.

"Running With Lions" - Alice.

Another former Swedish Idol contestant.  Alice sailed through Stockholm in her postcard.  "Running With Lions" was another song in that very on-trend modern-midtempo style a la Sia.  Flippin' eck, there are even lyrics inspired by Titanium here ("shoot me down but I get up").  And you know what I think of Titanium...ok I'll shut up now.

Alice is likeable and it was quite an ok pop song but not too memorable.  There were some good bits in it though and I might listen to it again.  Tonight's show seemed to have a nod to the Melfest of old, as the wind machine was working overtime again.

"Bound To Fall" - Les Gordons. 

Chosen from the preliminary Svensktoppen Nästa round but surprisingly not in the 2nd song 'draw of doom' slot for a change.  Les Gordons are a sort of indie rock band - there are so few rock bands in Melfest now, so let's appreciate a bit of much needed musical diversity. This wasn't much of a song but it was ok.

"As I Lay Me Down" - Wiktoria. 

After her reasonably successful debut last year, it was inevitable that she would return to Melfest very quickly and see if she could improve on that 4th place.  She wasn't wearing the projection-suit this time although that stupid logo made a brief appearance just to remind us of last year. This song was another country-flavoured pop song, a bit more appealing than "Save Me" but the one thing which still annoys me is her tendency to over-sing.  So I concluded that I would probably like this song better if it wasn't belted out so forcefully.

"När Ingen Ser" - Axel Schylström.

Axel, yet another former Swedish Idol contestant (from 2015) is a real survivor with an incredible back-story: 70% of his body was burned after being electrocuted in 2012.

With this song, Axel brought back the upbeat boy-pop which was once a regular feature in Melfest. This was an energetic number which I thought had a little bit of the "Don't Worry" about it.  Lively and well-performed, and well-deserving of a place in Andra Chansen.

"Du får inte andra på mig" - Sara Varga and Juha Mulari.

Sara is like the anti-Wiktoria - a singer with a small voice.  This song was the calm before the Loreen storm, but unfortunately it was a real sleeping pill of a song and had no real redeeming features. How did this make the final 28?  Sara was very different looking from her last appearance on Melfest, dare I say: I think it was fair to say that she has had "work" done.  Quite a lot of work.

"Statements" - Loreen. 

I hadn't had the chance to listen to the song clips for heat 4 so this was my first listen on the night.

On the one hand, it was a compelling performance piece - obviously Loreen attempted to create yet another "everlasting piece of art".  But on first viewing/listen it just came across as deliberately obscure and incoherent.  The song was called Statements, but I couldn't make out any of the unintelligible lyrics.  If there was a story or a point to be made, it struggled to get through.  That was only my view; many Loreen fanatics were lapping up the song with glee and declaring it the best thing since "Euphoria".

Hasse performed the interval act song with Nisse Hellberg. (pictured above)

Just what was the point of that Zeynos drycleaner sketch, apart from an excuse for some Melfest cameos from Lill Lindfors, Anna Book and Tommy Nilsson?

The question in everyone's lips was....just what would David do in the green room tonight?  As it turned out, he sang a song to the tune of Bra Vibrationer and produced his scissors.  And then Hasse threw iced water over him.  I guess David was just trying for a few GIFs this year?

Vi har ett resultat:

To the final - Wiktoria and Jon Henrik and Aninia
To Andra Chansen - Loreen (shock!) and Axel Schylström
5th - Alice Svensson
6th - Les Gordons
7th - Sara Varga and Juha Mulari

Needless to say, there were frenzied reactions on social media to Loreen *only making it to Andra Chansen*.


But she's Loreen, the Melfest/Eurovision legend, and this song will grow on people, and by the time next week comes, everyone will love it and it will completely walk Andra Chansen.


She only made it to Andra Chansen and she was even lucky to make it there.  Who's to say that she would win in a duel?  Particularly when against a newcomer whose fanbase will mobilise and app-vote till they can app-vote no more.....

As for me, I watched the clip and listened to "Statements" quite a lot in the lead-up to Andra Chansen. The song grew on me, and I probably came to the first of the above conclusions.  Not for the first time, I would be very, very wrong......!

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