On Saturday, February 12th, Heat 2 of Melodifestivalen will take place in Stockholm. Seven more artists will be hoping to reach either the final, or semi-final 5, for the chance to represent Sweden at Eurovision 2022.
After a technical problem during heat one with the app, the results were purely based on a phone vote. SVT has now fixed the problem, which therefore means it will hopefully not happen in the coming shows. The results of Heat 1 were:
Direct Finalists: Cornelia Jakobs – ‘Hold Me Closer’ and Robin Bengtsson – ‘Innocent Love’
Semi-Final 5: Danne Stråhed – ‘Hallabaloo’ and Theoz – ‘Som Du Vill’
Here are all the songs and artists taking part this week.
LIAMOO – ‘Bluffin’
LIAMOO returns to Melodifestivalen after 3 years for his third attempt. In 2018, his entry ‘Last Breath’ placed 6th, and in 2020 his song with Hanna Ferm – ‘Hold You’ – came 3rd. This time, he will be hoping to take ‘Bluffin’ to the top spot and represent Sweden in Turin. Two of the songwriters behind his song make up the band Medina, who will be taking part in Heat 4.
‘Bluffin’ is very modern and would fit perfectly on the radio. He’s definitely here to win, and you can tell from how expensive both the song sounds and the staging looks. LIAMOO is a performer, and he sells this well. Staging wise, think Benjamin Ingrosso ‘Dance You Off’. However, where that suffered from people thinking Benjamin wasn’t in the arena, this strikes a balance between polished, music video style and incorporating the audience with wide shots. You can see part of his performance here.
Niello & Lisa Ajax – ‘Tror du att jag bryr mig’
Niello (Niklos Grahn) makes his debut at Melodifestivalen with Lisa Ajax, who has entered the contest three times previously. In 2016, she placed 7th with ‘My Heart Wants Me Dead’, and placed 9th in both 2017 with ‘I Don’t Give A’ and 2019 with ‘Torn’. Niello is a rapper and electronic hip/hop artist, probably best known for his 2013 single ‘Legenden’.
‘Tror du att jag bryr mig’ is radio-friendly pop. Lisa Ajax, as always, puts in a great vocal performance. It’s very colourful and makes good use of the props. Whether it will make a big impression on voters is unclear -it may make it to semi-final 5, due to how accessible it is. You can see part of the performance here.
Samira Manners – ‘I Want To Be Loved’
Samira Manners also makes her debut this year in Melodifestivalen. She’s been making music since she was a child. Her music is representative of her own personal experiences, and she now looks to share her story with Sweden on the Melodifestivalen stage through her song, ‘I Want To Be Loved’.
Her performance is very simple, with a lot of gold lighting. The song is very low-key and something we don’t actually see a lot of in Melodifestivalen – maybe a little too understated. Samira sings in the British-style accent that was prominent in the early 2000’s (Kate Nash, Lily Allen), which could probably be put down to her being half English. You can see part of Samira’s performance here.
Alvaro Estrella – ‘Suave’
It’s likely you’ll already know Alvaro Estrella if you’ve watched Melfest since 2020. This will be his fourth attempt as the lead artist and 3rd in a row – something that is extremely uncommon to see in the competition. In 2014 he made his first appearance, coming 6th in the heat with ‘Bedroom’. In 2020, he teamed up with Mendez for ‘Vamos Amigos’, which came 12th in the final. Last year, his song ‘Baila Baila’ came 10th.
Aside from his own entries, he’s been part of many successful Mello and ESC performances as a backing dancer and vocalist. In 2011, he danced for Eric Saade, who placed 3rd at Eurovision with ‘Popular’. In 2012, he was one of Danny Saucedo’s dancers for ‘Amazing’ – which came second to ‘Euphoria‘. He was a backing vocalist for 2nd placer Azerbaijan in 2013, and for Russia in 2016, who came 3rd. He performed with 5th placer Robin Bengtsson in Kyiv in 2017 and provided vocals for Alexander Rybak in Lisbon in 2018.
‘Suave’ is another Latin pop entry and uses more Spanish than his previous entries. Alvaro obviously is both a dancer and singer, so incorporates both into his performance. This is not like how his last two entries were staged, it’s darker and a lot more polished – a lot of red and fire elements. Probably his best Melodifestivalen entry to date. You can see some of it here.
Browsing Collection – ‘Face In The Crowd’
Browsing Collection are set to make their first appearance in Melodifestivalen with ‘Face In The Crowd’. They describe their music as ‘catchy hard rock with punk attitude and metal influences’.
Their song is heavy, but not too much that it becomes inaccessible to viewers who don’t necessarily like that style. A female rock band is a welcome addition to the contest and adds a great dynamic to a pop-oriented heat. There are a lot of flashing lights in the performance, which later become replaced by pyrotechnics in the final half. You can see part of ‘Face In The Crowd’ here.
John Lundvik – ‘Änglavakt’
John Lundvik is the second Melodifestivalen winner to be taking to this stage this edition, and will be hoping for the same outcome as former winner Robin Bengtsson, who made it directly to the final in Heat 1 with ‘Innocent Love’. John is a successful participant already, coming 3rd with ‘My Turn’ in 2018, and first in 2019 with ‘Too Late For Love’ – making history as the only contestant to get 12 from every single member of the Mello jury. At Eurovision, he placed 5th and was joined by The Mamas, who then themselves went on to win Melodifestivalen 2020 with ‘Move’, and placed 3rd in 2021 with ‘In The Middle’.
This year, John is back with a song in Swedish. It has become almost a tradition that songs in Swedish don’t usually end up winning – the last to do so and remain in its native language at ESC was ‘Kärleken är’ all the way back in 1998. Could John be the one to change this?
‘Änglavakt’ is ‘My Turn’ if it was in Swedish, basically. John is in all white and is alone on the stage. It’s probably not a winner, but due to his recent success on Swedish TV, it’s just another step in reminding people that he is also a music artist, as well as a TV personality. He sings it very well and will appeal to the same voters who liked his 2018 effort. You can listen to it by clicking here.
Tone Sekelius – ‘My Way’
Tone Sekelius is another Melodifestivalen newcomer. With over 305,000 Youtube subscribers, Tone is clearly popular and will be hoping that these followers translate into votes for ‘My Way’. She’s already made history as the first transgender participant in the contest.
‘My Way’ is a very meaningful song, and Tone sings it brilliantly for someone making their debut. The song is almost performed like a ballad, but it isn’t, so it does feel a little stiff at times. Tone looks beautiful, and the song is a great way to close the show – but maybe will struggle to get out of the heat. Either way, it’s a nice addition to this weeks lineup. You can hear part of the song here.
You can see our reactions to the songs and rehearsals here.
This week, the interval act will be announced during the dress rehearsal. Last week, we saw Eric Saade take to the stage to perform a medley of his Melodifestivalen entries before being introduced to the Hall Of Fame.
You can watch Heat Two of Melodifestivalen here: SVT
Which songs are you excited to hear in full? Have you already got a favourite? Be sure to let us know!