Melodifestivalen 2015 ~ Andra Chansen Picks!

That's right, Museled readers! Another week, and another set of picks for the next round of Melodifestivalen. The semi-finals are over and now only Andra Chansen (the second chance round) remains till the big finale in Friends Arena. But before we give you our selections for these duels, let's go over what happened last week.


After a semi-decent (for once) opening number, the strongest heat of these first four weeks kicked off. It was almost unfair how much quality was packed into one heat when you consider how many weak songs and numbers have been able to advance because of the low overall standard in their respective heat.

First up was Midnight Boy's "Don't Say No" and the song was everything we wanted it to be. It fully committed to its 1980's synth-fuelled dance beat and the visuals accompanied it perfectly. Midnight Boy was an excellent performer as well. It's an absolute crime that this came last place in this heat but thankfully, the song has been doing well on Swedish iTunes.

 ~~ Read our Museled interview with Midnight Boy here! ~~

Caroline Wennergren's "Black Swan" made it past the first round of voting but sadly couldn't nab that other spot in Andra Chansen, which is a shame as we'd really have loved to see her perform this song again. She had such allure in her demeanour and also looked absolutely stunning on stage. This song was truly unique stylistically compared to everything else in the competition, in a good way. Combine the musical Chicago, a soulful big band, with just a dash of Danny Elfman, and you'll have "Black Swan."

JTR's "Building It Up" was vocally and musically better than the rehearsal clip made it out to be, made sense since we knew they could sound better than that just by browsing other videos of them on YouTube. The number was decent but we absolutely hate the "rap" break. Seriously, just drop it, break it, kill it with fire. Overall, it's a nice enough song but admittedly, it does sound a lot like the same young boy-band-pop that's come out in the last few years. It's nothing groundbreaking but a pleasant enough listen. The fact that this advanced direct to the finale wasn't exactly surprising given the voting power of the teenage-girl demographic in Sweden, but we'd still have put it to Andra Chansen instead. For your listening pleasure, we recommending the acoustic version, as it strips the song down, better showcases the boys' vocal abilities, and also minimises the "rap" break misfire.

Hasse Andersson's "Guld och gröna skogar" is a bizarre song. There's not much more we can say about it because it really doesn't translate well outside of Swedish culture. We're not even talking about the fact that the lyrics are in Swedish, but stylistically, the song is nothing that we can wrap our heads around. Apparently he is quite famous in Sweden, hence his advancing to Andra Chansen, but this isn't something we will ever listen to after the contest wraps.

Dinah Nah's "Make Me (La La La)" was robbed out her rightful spot in the finals. Robbed, I tell you! (For those who didn't watch the show, the song only advanced to Andra Chansen). Some have criticised the song for not being more lyrically innovative but who cares! The song has strong production, she sang it well, she is absolutely the one in charge on stage, and that shaky-cam during the epic dance break is phenomenal. No other song is this year's competition is this punchy and it's a must-have for every good gym/work-out/pre-gaming playlist.

Annika Herlitz's "Ett andetag" isn't necessarily a bad song. Sure, it's basically trying to be Frozen 2.0 but Annika sounds lovely singing it. That being said, it feels a little old-fashioned to stand a chance in the current music scene and it certainly wouldn't have done well at Eurovision. But it's pretty enough that you can listen and feel pleasant from doing so.

Now onto the most important number of not just the night, but the whole damn contest. Måns Zelmerlöw's "Heroes" threw down the gauntlet like nobody's business. With production that is entirely modern, a sweeping hook, the absolute best visuals this show has ever seen (with animation and a light show to enhance the song's narrative), and Måns serving up the best vocals he's ever brought to the competition, this is the number to beat. He rightfully advanced to the finale and if this song doesn't win, it will make the no-points-from-Germany//2-point victory of Melodifestivalen 2014 look like spilled milk by comparison. We've been shamelessly promoting this song by sending it to our friends and acquaintances all over the globe and the reaction has been unanimously positive: "Wow!" "I love this!" "He sounds fantastic!" "These visuals are amazing!" "How much are flights to Sweden?"
Also, in case you didn't know, grey is now the new black; you can thank Måns Zelmerlöw for that.

Per usual, we did a video review of the show that you are welcome to watch; it also includes our reaction to watching Måns Zelmerlöw's "Heroes" for the first time. Don't judge us, or do. We're not bothered either way.


Now onto our picks for Andra Chansen. First of all, we have to address the elephant in the room which is the fact that SVT's decision to use a "duels" format is a dreadful idea. Instead of just allowing the votes to speak for themselves, the duels format pits particular acts against one another and here is our big gripe about it: if you have two strong numbers competing against one another and then two weaker numbers competing against one another, those weaker numbers are getting an unjust advantage over the stronger ones.

But let's go through the terrible duel pairings and we'll give your our breakdown of the acts and our selection for who should (but might not necessarily will) go through.

Andreas Weise's "Bring Out the Fire" vs. Linus Svenning's "Forever Starts Today"

This is the pairing that has us most cross about this duel format. If all eight of these acts were evenly fighting against one another, these two would hopefully and probably both advance to the finale. But instead, they have to fight it out. Linus Svenning for some reason unbeknownst to me seems to be the favourite to win this duel and that makes us have to suppress the urge to rub our temples furiously. "Forever Starts Today" is a much better song than Linus' entry last year and he sounded okay singing it but his complete lack of stage presence and showmanship, as well as his horrendous styling, were so off-putting to us that we were actually shocked by how pleasant the studio version is to listen to when you remove his terribly weak visual element from the equation. All those back-up dancers with the drums are figuratively dragging his lifeless-self all over that stage to try to compensate but it's simply not enough.

Our Duel 1 pick: Andreas Weise's "Bring Out The Fire"

Andreas Weise's number is the total package. The song is contemporary, has a strong groove, and he sings it very well. He's also far more of a showman than we're used to seeing on the Melodifestivalen stage and his dancers are clearly feeding off of the energy he is dishing out on that stage. Regardless of whether this song advances, it's won us over to the point that Andreas Weise is now on our list of Swedish artists to keep professional tabs on. Hopefully he'll release an album or at least an EP with more songs like these and a music video that can further showcase his strong performing abilities.

Hasse Andersson's "Guld och gröna skogar" vs. Kristin Amparo's "I See You"

We've already given you our breakdown of Hasse Andersson's entirely questionable song so it shouldn't surprise you that…

Our Duel 2 Pick: Kristin Amparo's "I See You"

We're not as big a fan of Kristin's first performance of "I See you" as it did neither the song nor her beautiful voice justice. On top of that, her styling was incredibly unflattering which was upsetting to see considering that she's such a stunning woman that we think it a crime that someone clearly unqualified to handle her was allowed to give her such a dated hairstyle. (Just so we're clear, we're not saying that a woman's value should ever be about her looks, but for Melodifestivalen, we judge every aspect of the performance, including the styling, which includes the wardrobe, hair, and make-up ~ also, we're just as inclined to be harsh on the male contestants if they show up looking a mess. Case and point: Linus Svenning). So instead, we shall recommend to you the studio version of "I See You," as it's a perfect song to click on when feeling pensive and reflective.

Dolly Style's "Hello Hi" vs. Dinah Nah's "Make Me (La La La)"

Dolly Style are weeaboo trash, and it is deeply offensive to me that SVT continues to glorify such racist acts that make a mockery of and fetishise Japanese pop culture. As for "Hello Hi," it's such a horrendously bad song that I would choose living next to a construction site for five years over having to listen to this miserable excuse for music. Also, those girls can't dance to save their lives.

Our Duel 3 Pick: Dinah Nah's "Make Me (La La La)"

Thank you, Dinah Nah, for being the one act in this year's competition to make us want to turn up. We're obsessed with that shaky cam and the song doesn't just make us want to La La La; it makes us want to throw down on the dance floor, stomp, shake, and hair-flip till the sun comes up. And yes, her number's so good that we're putting it in our post twice.

Behrang Miri feat. Victor Crone's "Det rår vi inte för" vs. Samir & Viktor's "Groupie"

Initially, we were pleased to hear that Behrang Miri would be returning to the Melodifestivalen stage since his last song, "Jalla Dansa Sawa," was a fun melting pot of a dance song that we still listen to to this day. We're not going to put the official music video in because it's an English version of the song that lacks the same magic of the original. "Jalla Dansa Sawa" is a trilingual song that combines Swedish, French, and Arabic. This type of multicultural blending is so rarely seen in popular music, let alone celebrated, that it made the song's success all the more meaningful. Though "Jalla Dansa Sawa" was good enough that it should have been in the finals, "Det rår vi inte för" is more so underwhelming. Remember those songs from five years or so ago that combined musically grand choruses with impacting rap verses (like Tinie Tempah's "Written In The Stars")? hough "Jalla Dansa Sawa" was good enough that it should have been in the finals,  is basically a D-list version of that style. Instead, we'll recommend you listen to "Jalla Dansa Sawa" and dance your heart out to it.

Our Duel 4 Pick: Samir & Viktor's "Groupie"

We know that this song has been quite divisive amongst the Swedish public but it's actually been selling and streaming very well. It was even recently certified Gold. Now we won't deny that the live vocals for this number in the first performance were horrendous. But there was something so ridiculously entertaining about the number that we really enjoyed watching it. These two are all spastic energy, and watching them be chased through the venue by middle-aged cameramen while stoic Swedish audience members stood swaying awkwardly made it all the more hilarious. If you listen to the actual studio version, the song is pleasantly catchy but it's Samir & Viktor's ability to be entertaining that has us sold on this number needing to be victorious in this duel. Watch and don't be afraid to laugh. We certainly did.

***We feel compelled to take his opportunity to plug Samir & Viktor's first single, "Success," as it had a much stronger production and was all-around excellently trashy clubby music that we love to get it popping to.***


Be sure to watch Melodifestivalen's Andra Chansen round on Saturday, March 7, on at 8PM Swedish time (11AM PST, 2PM EST) and tweet along using the #Melfest hashtag.


Copyright © 2013 Something to Muse About and Blogger Templates - Anime OST.