Melodifestivalen 2015 ~ Semi-final 4 Picks!

It's the moment we've been waiting for, Museled readers! The rehearsal clips for the final semi-final of Melodifestivalen 2015 have gone live. Not only does this mean another post for us to write in which we give our picks for this week, we have finally gotten a peek at the highly-anticipated comeback of Måns Zelmerlöw! But before we get to those, we'll include our review of last week's show. But if you prefer, go ahead and jump over that. Here we go!


Last week's show kicked off with a pre-filmed/recorded number that initially had a nice rhythm going. It transitioned into live singing and performing that became dancey with punching keyboard. Unfortunately, the supporting "singers" could not even begin to hold their own live once it was time for them to be in charge (seriously, who gave them a mic?) so hopefully SVT will return them to the background. Now on to the entries themselves.

Ellen Benediktson's "Insomnia" may have been an improvement from last year (it would have been hard not to be), but we were a much bigger fan of her outfit and hair than we were the song itself. It lacked drama, punch, or any real impact. Also those nasally vocals any time the song picked up did nothing but grate on our nerves. The softer parts might have worked better if they had been in tune.

Though Kalle Johansson's "För din skull" (For your sake) didn't advance past the first round of voting, we quite enjoyed the song. Even the glitter shower at the end suited the youthfulness of Kalle himself as it came off like a milestone of that age, be it prom or graduation. Kalle has a lovely voice and the fact that his songs are usually done in Swedish adds an extra authenticity to his artistry. "För din skull" is much like a hug that gives you exactly what you need upon receiving it and Kalle is someone we'll be keeping an eye out for. Keep making that feel-good music, boy!

Andreas Weise's "Bring Out the Fire" was in a league of its own in this semi-final, though Andreas himself was robbed out of a direct advancement to the final, as Sweden opted instead to send him to Andra Chansen. With some of the best vocals of the night and more showmanship than any other act, it was entirely clear that this is a man who knows how to work a stage. The song did just what we've been imploring all to do: excite us! Even the dancers turned up, no doubt being inspired by Andreas' skilled performing abilities. It'll be another week before we can see if Sweden does the right thing and votes this through to the finals, and Andreas has already promised us that he'll kill it at AC. Go, Andreas, go!

Andreas Johnson's "Living to Die" rightfully came in last place and we honestly have no idea how such a seasoned Melodifestivalen veteran could fall so far. The song was bleak, the vocals were weak, and it was as if he was barely present for his own number. But hey, at least his suit was nice.

In a surprising, more like shocking turn of events, Isa's "Don't Stop" advanced straight to the finale and we couldn't be more put off about it. The song was such generic garbage that we're fairly certain we'll be browsing Tumblr instead of paying attention when this song gets played again in the finale. Isa is a decent performer but we can't even begin to pretend to like this song. Not only is it a knockoff of Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" (a song we already disliked to begin with), it's not even the first knockoff in this competition! (Reminder that Eric Saade's "Sting" is the summer-discount version of Ariana Grande's "Problem"). We're not put off by Isa herself, and would be happy to give her another listen if she puts out a better song(s), but as for "Don't Stop," it's really more like "Please Stop."

Kristin Amparo's "I See You" claimed the other spot in Andra Chansen, much to the surprise of many, but we actually prefer the studio version to the live one. In the live version, it felt like she was really trying to push the song forward because of the large venue she was in when really, if she just sings the song and lets it relax and have its quiet moments, the impact is actually greater. We highly recommend listening to the studio version, as it does the song, her voice, and her hair far more justice (sorry, we had to throw that hair bit in because her stylist must have been drunk to think that that unflattering elderly-aunt-do was a good idea when she already has such big, gorgeous hair on her own. Fix it!) If she ever competes again (next year, perhaps?), we would really love for her to do a big uptempo dance number. Her vocals are so strong that even with a large production on the track itself, we have no doubt that she could still be the star over all of that. Besides, doing just that is precisely what has gotten her as much popularity as she has.

Jon Henrik Fjällgren's "Jag är fri (Manne Liem Frije)" (I am free) advanced straight to the finale, just as everyone knew it would, and he had all the support of the audience (also not surprising, considering that this semifinal took place further north in Sweden than the other semifinals). Clearly, a great deal of time and effort went into developing the stage production and it really showed. He also generally sang well, and looked good too (especially since he got rid of that dreadful pornstache he was sporting at the press conference). We can only imagine the pride so many people across Sweden must have felt to see someone in Melodifestivalen that they could finally relate to, and we couldn't be happier for them. Remember folks, representation matters!

 We did yet another video review of this semi-final that you can watch here:


Now onto this week's entries!

1) Midnight Boy - "Don't Say No"

We love-love-love camp 80s music. Then again, calling 80s music "camp" is a bit redundant. But when we heard that Midnight Boy's whole angle is that he makes 80s music, we really didn't know if we'd like what he'd put out. From what we've seen from past Melodifestivalen acts who have done songs that are very clearly inspired from the 80s (or hell, even the 50s), we haven't cared for it one bit since it's been little more than poorly executed imitations. But upon actually hearing this clip, it's not bad! It seems like Midnight Boy and his whole team are well studied on the 80s and how to stylistically make his music of that era but still work in the 21st century. Even Midnight Boy's vocals sound much like various singers of the 80s, a bit melodramatic but not necessarily in a bad way. Also those dancers on stage turning on the "come hither" factor and rubbing on themselves totally suits the number. We still don't know if this will place well considering how much stronger this heat is compared to the others but we're actually looking forward to hearing this in full now.

2) Caroline Wennergren - "Black Swan"

It's a little difficult to put a finger on what this song is supposed to be so there's not as much for us to comment on as some of the other acts. But still, there's a sort of femme fatale allure to it and Caroline herself looks stunning on stage. With her cheeky rasp serving up something we've not heard before and those legs (seriously, Caroline, you are a knockout!), we're hoping this one will throw down on Saturday.

3) JTR - "Building it Up"

This felt like a somewhat odd clip to choose from the song. Based off the other things we've heard from JTR, we feel like the song will probably be better than the sum of this one small section and that we'll quite enjoy it. However, since these write-ups we do are largely based on these rehearsal clips, we'll just say that the song seems good, but maybe not quite good enough in this heat to advance direct to the finale. Still, it seems fun, youthful, and catchy and they'll probably snatch up a fair few new teenage fangirls after this.

4) Hasse Andersson - "Guld och gröna skogar" (Gold and green forests)

Right. This feels entirely dated, but we're pretty sure that's the whole point. We're not trying to be mean about this, but we're really not a fan of the song. Stylistically, it's nothing anywhere near the sort of music we'd normally listen to nor is it something that we think is right for the Melodifestivalen finale/Eurovision itself.

5) Dinah Nah - "Make Me (La La La)"

This year has been lacking in upbeat dance numbers but fear not, Dinah Nah is here to give us what we've been missing! Most (but not all) of the Melodifestivalen songs we keep listening to years later are the more upbeat ones and it seems like this could be added to that playlist. From our preliminary research, Dinah Nah seems like an artist that's not afraid to get down and dirty with her dance pop, which we love when artists do, so here's hoping that this makes us "La La La" all over ourselves.

6) Annika Herlitz - "Ett andetag" (One breath)

This is the woman who does the Swedish Elsa in "Frozen" (in case you didn't know already, Sweden dubs their "children's" films). So it should surprise no one that this is basically Let It Go 2.0. It's an understandable move considering how much (unwarranted) hype that song has but regardless of the fact that she sounds good singing this song, we're not sure if this one will make the cut for us to download after the heat is finished.

7) Måns Zelmerlöw - "Heroes"

*picks self up off the floor* We're absolutely salivating after this clip. Of course we're not surprised that we love this song but we couldn't help but worry that we'd built up the hype too high in our minds but leave it to Måns Zelmerlöw to fully deliver and then some. Though we love his past dancey/schlager entries "Cara Mia" and "Hope and Glory," this song seems like it suits who he is as an artist much more. The visuals also work well, as the animations and light show are appealing to look at but overall things are kept dark enough to create allure and serve up some provocative mood lighting. He's flexing the hell out of this number and as for the vocals, we always knew Måns was a fantastic singer but WOW, that sweeping hook is right in his vocal sweet spot and immediately sank into us. (Seriously, we already know that hook will be in our head all day at work). From the song itself, to the staging, and Måns' vocals, this number is downright intoxicating. Have we mentioned that this is only from a 30 second rehearsal clip???

Final tally ~ Our ranking, based on the rehearsal clips, is as follows:

Direkt till finalen (Direct to the finale): Måns Zelmerlöw's "Heroes" and Dinah Nah's "Make Me (La La La)"
Andra Chansen (Second Chance Round): JTR's "Building It Up" and either Caroline Wennergren's "Black Swan" or Midnight Boy's "Don't Say No" ~ This is the strongest heat yet but at the very least, this would be our top 5 for now!
6th: Annika Herlitz's "Ett andetag" (One breath)
7th: Hasse Andersson's "Guld och gröna skogar" (Gold and green forests)

** Friendly reminder that this is not a prediction of Saturday's voting results, but our preferences**

Be sure to tune in at 20:00 Swedish time (11:00 am PST), February 28, on SVT's website to watch the third 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!


  1. REally love these posts because I never hear about these songs and I love discovering "new" music. Can you link to some songs in your next post please? Spotify or SoundCloud or youtube? I keep googling so I know what you're talking about.

    Please keep posting about this though!


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