Eurovision 2018 national selections: Melodifestivalen (Sweden preview)

Always one of the biggest, if not the biggest, of the national selections, after 4 semi final shows and the “Andra Chansen” show, we’ve nearly reached this year’s final of Sweden’s long-running Melodifestivalen. 12 finalists battle it out this Saturday to take up the baton for Sweden and try to maintain their Eurovision success.

It’s been cited as a weak (even dire) year for Melodifestivalen, but I think perhaps the fandom are overreacting somewhat. It should at the very least be an exciting final as there isn’t an overwhelming favourite at present. I’ve pulled out my favourites below, plus two other songs likely to do well and I had to make a mention of the dansband that has made it to the final… There are 12 finalists in total, and you can see all of them on Melodifestivalen’s YouTube playlist.

My top 3

Samir & Viktor “Shuffla”

I have no shame in naming this my favourite from Melodifestivalen. It’s such and so catchy and I love the fact it’s in Swedish as well. Samir and Viktor are all about fun songs and in terms of the contest, this is the best song they’ve done. I fear it will get killed by the international juries, but maybe, just maybe, if the juries give them a half decent score, they might just win with a strong televote. I’d love to see them go to Lisbon – and this would rock in all the bars and clubs in Lisbon in Eurovision week!

Mariette “For You”

Always a class act, I still think Mariette should have won Melodifestivalen last year with the amazing “A Million Years” but she’s back again. The song is weaker, but still one of the best in this year’s final, and ironically, stands a better chance of sending her to the contest.

Jessica Andersson “Party Voice”

It’s a welcome return for Jessica Andersson and an unashamedly schlagerpop entry. Jessica represented Sweden back in 2003 with “Give Me Your Love” as part of duo Fame – and came 5th in the contest. She undoubtedly has Eurovision pedigree and it’s great to have this song back in the Melodifestivalen final. Very little chance it will win sadly, so enjoy for now!

Two other potential winners

From the various indications, these two are among the favourites to win on Saturday. I don’t wish them ill, but I really would prefer to see one of my favourites win as I think Sweden has sent their style music and artist for the last couple of years.

Benjamin Ingrosso “Dance You Off”

The favourite, though perhaps more by default, this isn’t bad by any means, but I don’t think it takes either Melodifestivalen or Sweden at Eurovision on any further. Great staging for sure but masks a fairly average song.

Felix Sandman “Every Single Day”

This is doing very well on Spotify in Sweden, so while it may have come through via “Andra Chansen”, it’s now the second favourite in the betting. I can’t say I’m that enthused at the prospect of this winning – we had Frans for Sweden in 2016, and a slow male ballad win for Portugal last year, so I don’t think another (slow) male ballad feels very fresh… I’m sure this has a legion on (teenage) fans, but it’s not for me.

And a dishonourable mention

Rolandz “Fuldans”

Yes, this is the aforementioned dansband… It went straight to the final and I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t get a big televote. In this instance though, we could well be thanking international juries for killing its chances to go to Lisbon. Dandbandsmusik is a peculiarly Swedish phenomenon, although it has caught on to an extent in Norway, Denmark and Finland. I won’t deny that it seems a bit of fun, but it’s not fun that the rest of Europe would necessarily understand or join in with. Best left in Sweden I feel…

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