Now we are down to the final 8 entries of the 32 chosen to compete to be Sweden’s Eurovision 2014 representative. This is a stronger group than Semi 3, but after having heard the first 24 in the past three weeks, there are a few assumptions we can make about which entries Sweden’s televoters may take to heart.
After EKO finished in last place in Semi 3, we can prognosticate that this week’s similar “hard electro rock fronted by a girl singer” I.D.A. probably won’t be embraced by the voters. After last week’s “lovely lullaby in Swedish by a classy female singer” failed for CajsaStina, we probably can discount the weaker version offered this week by Ellinore Holmer. And after the fiery “Survivor” by Eurovision winner Helena Paparizou only squeaked through to Andra Chansen in Semi 1, we can probably not count on Janet Leon making it that far with a weaker, less memorable midtempo ballad.
So then we have five remaining entries to battle it out for the two final slots and two tickets to the Andra Chansen “second chance” round. Allowing for the possibility of a surprise, here are the final positions as I see them.
Ammotrack is a traditional hard rock band with a song that is not as current or innovative as Outrigger finished in third or fourth with last week, so I am hoping they don’t rise any higher than 5th. Here is a clip of their past “Hitman” o you can get a feel for their style:
On the other end of the scale, last year’s debutant Anton Ewald has proved that he has a potent voting base, and even though this year’s song is a bit more mature and sophisticated and less hook-filled dance pop than 2013’s “Begging” he is as sure a lock for a final place as we have seen this year, so let’s put him in 1st. Here is his 2013 Melodifestivalen breakthrough:
Linda Bengtzing has been a standard-bearer for old-school happy schlager in Melodifestivalen since 2005, and has never once missed the finals in her previous four attempts. This year she has upped the energy and added a more current electro sound which has some journos wondering if her fans will stick with her tonight. But many of them add that this year’s entry is a much higher quality than the song she brought in 2012 which went straight to the finals, so I am tentatively putting her into a tie for 2nd this week. Here she is in 2008 with “Hur Svårt Kan Det Va?” :
Alcazar has been a welcome presence in Melodifestivalen for 11 years, and have finished as high as third place. This year they have thrown a great deal of money into a fantastic production and costumes, though their song seems to be very recycled from bits of their old hits. I put them in a tie for 2nd with Linda, so one of those two will make the finals and the other goes to Andra Chansen. In 2005, they made top five with “Alcastar” and brought back the giant disco ball gimmick in a bigger and better form for this year:
The entry I have picked for fourth place tonight comes from young contest debutant Josef Johansson, who has been nicely furnished with a song of SUPER high quality from the team that brought you “Euphoria”. “Hela Natten” is a big anthemic ballad in Swedish that sounds like the entries that Thomas G:Son has usually saved for Spain. A great song, and if Josef can break through the tv screen and connect with the audience, he could be a contender for that second ticket to the finals. Here is his earlier single “Baby Baby”:
Now last week we got our biggest surprise and reminder that the televoters don’t always follow the expected path, so don’t take any of these predictions as gospel truth. It will be very interesting to see who might be a shock finalist this week, and we will have to wait a few hours…