Get to Know the Finalists of Melodifestivalen Semi 3

Unlike the last two semis in Sweden’s massive Melodifestivalen selection, this week’s edition’s two big names are NOT predicted to be in the battle for final places. And a couple of contest debutants could snatch up those two tickets to the Stockholm finals March 7th.

The first of tonight’s contestants is the honest-to-God rock band Outrigger.  Unlike most rock in MF, Outrigger’s entry sounds real and not a pop schlager in rock drag.  They are widely tipped to place in the top two this week.  Their entry into the world of MF was this YouTube clip of them doing their interpretation of last year’s winner “You”, that attracted the attention of that song’s composers (and got them a new song  composed for them by that same songwriting team):

Second up is another band, EKO, who were the first entry known for 2014.  EKO snatched their place in MF when Svensktoppen chose their best upcoming act last summer, which automatically qualified the band for this year’s Melodifestivalen.  Their entry for MF is interesting but not tipped to come anywhere near qualification.  But here is their earlier single “Yellow”: 

Entry number three comes from the third contestant in Sweden’s single 2012 season of X-Factor, Oscar Zia.  Cute without being spectacularly handsome, and a pleasant but not great singer, Oscar is verrry ambitious, and is expected to win a lot of young votes to qualify him to the finals:

The most widely-known and experienced of the names in this week’s semi is Shirley Clamp, whose previous MF entries have run the gamut from second place in the finals to scoring last in her semi and not qualifying.  Her 2004 “Min Kärlek” was a huge MF hit, but this year’s entry “Burning Alive” is expected to finish out of the money:

State of Drama came out of nowhere last year to nab a completely unexpected spot in the finals with 80s retro ballad “Falling”. This year’s entry is considered a better song, but without the element of being new and fresh, can they nab a place in the finals in 2014?  They are battling Outrigger for votes from the rockish fans, but should make at least the top 4 and an Andra Chansen ticket:

CajsaStina Åkerström is a longtime star of Swedish adult contemporary radio, and her entry this week is the only one in Swedish.  Her popularity and professionalism should bring her into the top five this week, and maybe a space in Andra Chansen:

Ace Wilder has a current, fresh sound that fits perfectly into the world’s pop music of 2014.  Unfortunately, Sweden has a history of NOT rewarding tough, cocky young female singers with many points in Melodifestivalen, so she will likely finish just outside the medals platform this week:

The other big name in semi 3 belongs to 1990s dance music star Dr. Alban, who is pairing up with singer Jessica Folcker for his debut in MF.  Fans were expecting a lot from this duo, but so far they don’t appear to be living up to expectations:

Tune in today at 11am Pacific 2pm Eastern to svt.se/melodifestivalen and you can watch the show streaming live.  Not as hit-studded as the last two weeks, this week’s semi is more even and could bring a few surprises! Before the show, you can also listen to 2.5 minute versions of the actual entries here.

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