Are you getting excited for the first semifinal of Melodifestivalen? Matteo is. And to get into the mood he tried to create the most complete and interesting guide you’ll ever read about this semifinal – with also predictions!

Samir Vikto

1. Samir & Viktor – Bada nakna – Fredrik Kempe, David Kreuger, Anderz Wrethov
The artists: What could be more Swedish than trashy boys trying to be young and cool and ending up sending a message of peace and community? Yes, if you read between the lines, that was what Groupie was about (no more selfishness – yes to group photos!).
Aaaaaanyway. Samir & Viktor are an “artistic couple” born after uniting a reality TV personality (Samir) and a fashion blogger (Viktor). Their first endeavour was a line of clothing promoted by the massive bangerzzz “Success”. They are definitely not singers and they are definitely not going to perform in a Swedish quality way. It’s all for the fun of it.
The composers: Apart from Hitmaker Fredrik Kempe, David Kreuger has been present with at least a song in the last two Melodifestivalen. He is also the co-author of Sanna’s “Undo” (3rd place for Sweden in Eurovision in 2014). Anderz Wrethov is mainly good looking. In all fairness he has a very long career and has written songs from very different backgrounds: from Behrang Miri’s rap about love and coming together to the dansband song “Guld och gröna skogar”, from last year.
The song: the song is probably a new way of trying to push the fun side of the duo with a radio friendly schlager. It is a sound that we’ve heard before (Ola’s “Unstoppable”), probably not the strongest and newest thing.
Chances of qualifying: If when announced I would have said DIREKT till Final, now I can see this sliding towards the fourth place – saved by the bell to Andra Chansen.

Pernilla Andersson

2. Pernilla Andersson – Mitt guld – Pernilla Andersson, Fredrik Rönnqvist
The artist: Pernilla looks and sounds like Taylor Swift in 15 years. I can imagine Taylor going back to her country roots in a few years. But whereas Taylor Swift will be forgotten, Pernilla is still a big name in the Swedish musical scene.
She has released 8 albums, won 2 “stipendium” (like Nobels: you get money for being the best at something) and already participated in Melodifestivalen with the (in my opinion) lovely Desperados. She didn’t make it through Andra Chansen unfortunately.
The composers: Pernilla herself and her guitarrist. Simple, but effective. It just means that the song has been created in a nice environment, between people with chemistry.
The song: an intimate sound that reminds of Pernilla of few years ago, but more refined and polished. I mean, there’s a bloody harp on stage!
Chances of qualifying: Andra Chansen. (If the Swedes realise that this is one of the three with real substance from this semifinal…)

Mimi Werner

3. Mimi Werner – Ain’t No Good – Mimi Werner, Göran Werner, Marcus Svedin, Jason Saenz
The artist: Mimi got to the final of “Svensktoppen nästa” in 2013, the Swedish summer competition that in the last years has decided one of the participants to the contest. There is not much to say about her: debuting artist, she has composed this song and the songs in her EP in Nashville.
The composers: Mimi herself was helped by her father Göran. He has worked with many Swedish artist (Carola and Jill Johnson being the most important ones) and has written the song “Falling” by State of Drama in Melodifestivalen 2013. His brother Håkan is married to Jill Johnson herself. Svedin and Saenz are debuting composers.
The song: like Kesha’s “Timber” is a wild west country themed dance song.
Chances of qualifying: Not convinced by this. It could be a surprise seen that there’s not much going on this week.

Mattias Andreasson Albin

4. Albin Johnsén & Mattias Andréasson – Rik – Albin Johnsén, Mattias Andréasson
The artists: Whereas we have seen Mattias Andréasson on the Melodifestivalen stage already two times (with EMD the first time in 2009 – and I still dance routine on Baby Goodbye, gesturing like they did – and alone in 2012), Albin is a newcomer. But not as a composer.
He composed Behrang Miri’s song from last year (with Måns Zelmerlöw. Who just didn’t care enough to sing on that song – thank God – and went on winning Eurovision, for those who have forgotten) and is very well known in the Swedish musical environment due to his hit “Soldat”, sang with the lovely Kristin Amparo, who qualified – and then stopped – for Andra Chansen in 2015.
I haven’t said anything on Mattias. Well, he looked like the least successful of the boyband EMD. Compared to Danny Saucedo (who has achieved a lot of second places, a few chart toppings and stealing the heart of Molly Sandén) his career looks a bit pale, but compared to the was-so-promising Erik Segerstadt he has definitely a new chance of showing off.
The composers: “Artisterna själv” (as they would say in Swedish). Which is a good thing as Albin’s biggest hit (and summer banger – like you couldn’t unhear it on Swedish radios) was written by the duo…
The song: r’n’b song – the happy version of “Förlåt mig” by Mattias – with some rap verses. A very Albin sound, the Swedish audience will be used to it.
Chances of qualifying: as of now – and seen the name on stage – possibly in the Final without batting an eyelid.

Robin Bengtsson

6. Robin Bengtsson – Constellation Price – Bobby Ljunggren, Henrik Wikström, Mark Hole, Martin Eriksson
The artist: Robin Bengtsson was a good performer right from the beginning. He came third at Idol – the oh so popular talent show that has given us Måns – but after that he got a bit lost.
It was actually in summer 2012 that the first rumors of him going for Melodifestivalen surfaced. In the lead towards Melodifestivalen 2013, Robin B was named as one of the possible entrants alongside his former Idol rival/friend Robin S. Robin S(tjernberg) went on to participate and win Melodifestivalen in 2013, leaving the audience in Malmö a bit cold. Not one of the worst places for Sweden, but not even the best.
The composers: Bobby Ljunggren and Henrik Wikström are at it again. Masters of Schlager 10 years ago (Carola’s Invincible is from the duo), they went a bit ballad-y before bringin Helena Paparizou back to stardom with a fourth place.
Mark Hole is from London. This is the biggest thing I could find about him. Not even which borough of London, just London.
Martin Eriksson had a song even last year for Kalle Johansson. It was sweet and cute – didn’t make it.
The song: a Years&Years sound with an harmonica. This could be the strongest of the evening.
Chances of qualifying: in a fair world, this would win the semifinal.

Ace Wilder

7. Ace Wilder – Don’t Worry – Joy Deb, Linnea Deb, Anton Hård af Segerstad, Ace Wilder
The artist: Ah, Ace. Ace Wilder came second in 2014. Which meant that Sanna and her perfectionism have brought Sweden to a third place. The debate is still open about whether Ace would have done anything better or worse.
“Busy doin’ nothing” wasn’t a bad song. It was actually extremely radio friendly and a good choice – but she wasn’t completely up to performing it live, as her voice was a bit trembly and faded.
She went on to have the biggest success in 2014 out of all the Melodifestivalen artists. So you clearly can understand what is SVT thinking having her back on board…
The composers: Apart from Ace herself, the team behind this song is the same team behind Heroes. Someone is in it to win it again…
The song: probably trying to recreate the same sound as “Busy doin’ nothing”, but givin it a mellower sound and working on a crescendo.
Chances of qualifying: Clearly in the final without having to sing. Which is a pity, seen that two other songs would merit more.

 

I already wrote the presentation for Anna Book before she got disqualified. Here it is, for your joy:

Anna Book

5. Anna Book – Himmel för två – Sven-Inge Sjöberg, Lennart Wastesson, Larry Forsberg, Camilla Läckberg
The artist: Anna Book had a career in the years 85-87, 96-97, 2006-2007 and 2016. I assume that SVT has some sort of weird contract with her that lets her appear in public only every 10 years. She got popular with the 1986 Melodifestivalen schlager “ABC” (she was only 15 when she sang on stage) and got famous again 20 years after that with the Melodifestivalen schlager “Samba sambero”.
The composers: Sjöberg, Wastesson and Forsberg have teamed up on Jill Johnson songs, After Dark (the drag queen act) schlager and… I would love to say much more, but no. But please, not that Camilla Läckberg is not a case of homonym. She’s THAT Camilla Läckberg, the world renowned detective stories writer!
The song: the usual schlager that we thought we got rid of. (And we did in the end.)
Chances of qualifying: Not to be negative here, but nope. (I was anyway right, see?)

Italian in the UK, with a strong preference for Sweden. I support myself tweeting (not even joking) - and that's why Social Media is my kingdom. Drama tends to follow me, hence why I really feel connected to the #skandal and #fiasko hashtags.

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