Melodifestivalen 2015 ~ Semi-final 2 Picks!

Hello, Museled readers! Previously on Melodifestivalen, our dear Molly Pettersson Hammar was scammed out of her rightful place in the finale because of a phone app malfunctioning. Sound ridiculous? Well that's because it is. The 3 acts to not advance were the first 3 of the running order so it's clear that it's not just a coincidence. Admittedly, we didn't lose any sleep over Daniel Gildenlöw's last place standing. Also jilted out of a spot in the finale or even Andra Chansen was Rickard Söderberg and Elize Ryd's "One By One," which delivered equal parts melodrama and solid vocals. Dolly Style were so bad we had to mute it, and then stop watching as our eyes started to ache watching the horrendous choreography, which they couldn't even execute well. (At least in Japan when we pump out manufactured pop groups, if they're supposed to dance then they will do so with precision and flair). Behrang Miri's "Det rår vi inte för" was entirely overshadowed by the introduction of it, in which song-composer Måns Zelmerlöw stole the whole show by wearing one just-snug-enough grey shirt that made us audibly react for a lengthy duration. Jessica Andersson sparkled, literally, with the underwhelming "Can't Hurt Me Now," but at least made the emotionality of the song believable. Then finally came Eric Saade with his highly anticipated Melodifestivalen comeback, "Sting." The song was an Ariana Grande "Problem" knockoff, and perhaps equally shocking was the fact that he didn't seem to be owning the choreography; the choreography was owning him. We also did a video review of the semi-final 1:

The hosts weren't as bad as last year, but still left much to be desired. They need to never have Robin Paulsson sing again, and if I never hear any and every version of "Undo" again, it still wouldn't be soon enough. There was also some bizarre correspondent, Filipa, that appeared to be doing some sort of bit but it was so cringe-inducing that we had to just glaze over and go to our mental happy place until it was over. Why is it so hard for SVT to find some people with charisma to do the hosting and corresponding?

But moving on to semi-final 2, the rehearsal snippets have been released, which means it's time for us to give our picks for "direkt till finalen"/"Andra Chansen." We were actually quite underwhelmed by these rehearsal snippets so we're hoping that more of these songs pack a bigger punch on Saturday, but here we go!

1) Linus Svenning - "Forever Starts Today"

We groaned when we first heard that Linus Svenning would be back, as his song last year was just so bleak and dreary. It was all wrong for Melodifestivalen. We're not against songs that are heavier in emotion, stemming from a deeply personal place, but if your song doesn't melodically and rhythmically energise us then we're disinclined to like it as a Melodifestivalen song. That being said, "Forever Starts Today" is a vast improvement over last year. The staging is also a wise choice. What we've seen from Linus has made him out to be a boring performer, so what better way to compensate for that than throwing a bunch of people on stage to hit some drums? It certainly won't out-do Ryan Dolan's "Only Love Survives" though in the gratuitous shirtlessness department, which is a shame.

2) Emelie Irewald - "Där och då med dig" (There and then with you)

Who even is this girl? This song is melodrama in all the wrong ways. "One By One" was good melodrama, because the song had movement, solid vocals, and took the viewers on a journey via wind machine, but this song just falls flat. Watching this just makes us think that Emelie Irewald should be off doing a gig in some run-down art house, or a local musical theatre production. If this gets higher than last place, she should consider that a victory.

3) Samir & Viktor - "Groupie"

As you'll have seen, this act has earned our spot for the featured photo of the post, which last week was a declaration of our favourite act. This time, we more so chose the "Groupie" photo because we can't stop cackling at this epic photoshop misfire. Also, since when is "Groupie" a word for selfies with multiple people? Last time I checked, a selfie was still a selfie regardless of how many people are in it. Stop trying to make "Groupie" happen, people.

As part of our research leading into this semi-final, we looked up Samir & Viktor beforehand and checked out their first and only single, "Success," and we actually quite enjoyed that. We even downloaded it onto our phone, and have greatly enjoyed bopping to it. "Success" is the type of song that you listen to and immediately inspires images of having a good time being in a club in Sweden because you're dancing the night away, but also because you're laughing at the wasted fjortis' stumbling all over the place trying to find someone to bring home to their flat. So we were hoping that "Groupie" would deliver that same type of clubby fun. Instead, it's coming across like a bad sequel doomed to flop at the box office. The "ojojoj"s might be back, but this rehearsal snippet hasn't shown us anything remotely catchy enough to warrant a spot on our phone. For now, we'll just stick to "Success."

4) Neverstore - "If I Was God For One Day"

We had to know we'd eventually have to sit through a mediocre rock number, as there's always at least one every year, but it doesn't irk us any less to finally have it upon us. Here's the thing about rock music, we actually enjoy the genre. The problem is that none of the rock songs that come up through Melodifestivalen are anything less than "meh." We didn't even know how much of a mess people could make of rock music until we started watching this contest every year. If you are an act that insists on entering with a rock song, make it epic! Make me feel like I can conquer the world if I just have your song playing in the background, a la Fall Out Boy's "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark." Get a groove going like virtually everything in Little Richard's catalogue! Get some entertaining lyrics going that tell a story, like "1985" or "Stacy's Mom." But above else, do not crank out a cheap knockoff of somebody else's work. Be original.

Oh and in case you couldn't tell already, we don't like this song. It does absolutely nothing for us.

5) Marie Bergman & Sanne Salomonsen - "Nonetheless"

Before we say anything, we want to make it clear that we truly admire and respect the way Melodifestivalen, and really the Swedish entertainment media in general, treats their celebrities as they get older. Unlike in Hollywood, we get the sense that these acts are given more respect instead of being tossed out like yesterday's garbage, and that is highly commendable. However, it seems quite clear that this act is here solely to appeal to the 45+ age demographic. Admittedly, it makes sense. It's smart business to cover all your bases, which is part of why Melodifestivalen is so successful. There's something for everyone. But much like most of this weeks line-up, we just don't care for this song. These ladies are able to stay in tune, which we're happy for, but this song is just so boring that we might not be able to stay awake for it. We've said it once and we'll say it again: if you don't excite us, we're not going to route for you in Melodifestivalen.

6) Magnus Carlsson - "Möt mig i Gamla Stan" (Meet me in Old Town)

This was supposed to be the number that gave us delicious Schlager that we love to indulge in, but sadly, this feels entirely dated in a bad way. After how hard Alcazar threw down on that stage last year with "Blame It On The Disco" (come on, people, their entrance was in a giant disco ball! A GIANT DISCO BALL!), it's not like we don't love the disco-infused dance pop. But that song had far better production. It was sleek, cheeky, and even the choreography had a good mixture of disco and modern movements. But this song needs a 21st century make-over to achieve that sort of balance.

7) Mariette - "Don't Stop Believing"

First of all, Mariette needs to read up on cultural appropriation, white privilege, and get a better understanding of the issues black people face with their hair. That rat's nest on her head makes me positively gag. The song itself isn't terrible and considering how much of a train wreck this line-up appears to be from these rehearsal snippets, it might be one of the better songs of the night. However, we're not a fan of this staging at all. From the mood lighting and flowing outfits, it's reading dangerously close to hitting 'Ctrl + C' ~ 'Ctrl + V' from Loreen's creative mind. But hey, stealing the artistic musings from a brilliant WOC?

Final tally: Roughly 4 of these songs might be good enough for Andra Chansen, but we're not thrilled at the thought of any of them going to the finals while Molly Pettersson Hammar is still left out in the cold. No but really, Molly, come inside. It's Sweden, you'll freeze to death, and that cannot be allowed to happen since we need you to save Swedish pop music.

Be sure to tune in at 20:00 Swedish time (11:00 am PST), February 14, on SVT's website to watch the second semi-final. You won't be able to vote unless you're actually in Sweden but you can watch from anywhere in the world! Also, tweet along with the #Melfest hashtag. To all the entries, break a leg!


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