Rotterdam 2021πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ͺ Sweden

πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ͺ Melodifestivalen 2021 rehearsals – complete review of semi-final 2

With rehearsals for the second semi-final of Melodifestivalen 2021, currently underway, the press were allowed to watch the rehearsals of the seven competing artists, who will take part in Saturday’s show.

In the lead up to Saturday’s show, you are now able to listen to the one-minute clips of the songs right here. Thirty-second preview clips of the performances have also been released. Ahead of Saturday’s show, Nathan and Tim, review today’s performance and share their thoughts.

Anton Ewald – “New Religion”

Anton Ewald performing ‘New Religion’ on stage © Stina Stjernkvist / SVT for Melodifestivalen 2021

Nathan W: What a way to open the show. I just couldn’t take my eyes off the laser light show that fills the stage, with Anton right at the center of it all. It’s an interesting choice to hear Anton Ewald opt for a live backing vocalist, however, it does really enhance the track. This is really the definition of a modern pop bop.

Tim: Anton is back, and he straight away brings his A-Game as soon as the song starts. The laser lights and the way it is used throughout its performance compliment the song very well. Anton is showing once again his capability as a performer, and he does it very well.

Julia Alfrida – “Rich”

Julia Alfrida performing ‘Rich’ on stage © Stina Stjernkvist / SVT for Melodifestivalen 2021

Nathan W: Isn’t this “Royals” by Lorde? Julia makes great use of the video screens at the back of the stage to show some form of an audience. However, for a mid-tempo pop song, it feels very empty that she remains alone for the full three minutes on the stage itself.

Tim: I definitely agree with Nathan, when the song really reminds me of ‘Royals’ by Lorde. Personally for me, the song is ‘average’, and it does not much of an impact. However, I do like the fact that they tried the staging, because it’s really beautiful, despite her being alone on stage.

WAHL feat. SAMI – “90-talet”

WAHL & SAMI performing ’90-talet’ on stage © Stina Stjernkvist / SVT for Melodifestivalen 2021

Nathan W: This is what I’ve been waiting for! This late-80s sounding tribute to the 90s is a really refreshing entry, led by two hip-hop artists who can sing as well as rap. The staging for this is really uplifting, bold and bright and the camera angles, video screens and camera cuts really make this one of the most dynamic entries in the contest this year. Don’t write this one off on Saturday night!

Tim: Okay, I have to be honest, I did not know what to expect from both WAHL and Sami. However, as soon as I saw the performance, I was impressed with the 90’s vibe that they were giving off, and the performance give you off such a good vibe. Regardless of the result this Saturday, I will probably be listening to this quite a lot.

Frida Green – “The Silence”

Frida Green performing ‘The Silence’ on stage © Stina Stjernkvist / SVT for Melodifestivalen 2021

Nathan W: What a lovely dress Frida is wearing to deliver her ballad this week. A competent and confident vocal performance too, but there isn’t an awful lot of staging besides some smart spotlighting.

Tim: First of all, you can really tell Anna Bergendahl was behind this track, so I’m happy she co-wrote this. What I love about this song, is that you don’t need much. Frida has proven herself as a vocalist and she gives the song justice, perhaps even elevating it.

Eva Rydberg & Ewa Roos – “Rena rama ding dong”

Eva Rydberg & Ewa Roos performing ‘Rena rama ding dong’ on stage © Stina Stjernkvist / SVT for Melodifestivalen 2021

Nathan W: Well. This will either come first or last, no in-between. It’s absolutely batshit crazy, and yet that is really what we expected when this pair of musical theatre veterans paired up for a Melodifestivalen duet. There are four excellent backing dancers who really bring this very fun and lively entry to life. I suspect that international viewers will not have a CLUE what is going on on Saturday night, but this could be a huge hit with the audience at home.

Tim: I agree with Nathan, when I also say that this song will land either in the final or eliminated as soon as the first round of voting has taken place. I mean, they’re both veterans in their field, and they perform the song very well, and it does give you good vibes. Pretty sure this will go for the younger vote just for the comical staging. We probably won’t understand it, but the Swedish viewers will.

Patrik Jean – “Tears Run Dry”

Patrik Jean performing ‘Tears Run Dry’ on stage © Stina Stjernkvist / SVT for Melodifestivalen 2021

Nathan W: Last year’s winning co-writer gets himself a beautiful début entry this February. Firstly, the colour pairing of Patrik’s outfit and the screens on the floor make for an extremely pleasant on the eye performance. The backing dancers really elevate this song further but it’s fair to say that Patrik has the best male vocal in this heat. A really lovely catchy pop song which could prove popular.

Tim: It takes a lot of guts, to come and debut as an artist, after co-writing the winning song from 2020. I have to say, comparing the song to what he has released so far as an independent artist, and I have to say that he really elevates his work on ‘Tears Run Dry’. For the performance, he stays true to himself, it’s very artistic, the backing dancers complement the staging of the song. This is the one you shouldn’t miss.

Dotter – “Little Tot”

Dotter performing ‘Little Tot’ on stage © Stina Stjernkvist / SVT for Melodifestivalen 2021

Nathan W: We all had expectations, didn’t we? Well, rest assured… they haven’t just been met but totally surpassed. Of course it’s not Bulletproof 2.0, but why would you even want that? How do you follow a much-loved runner-up entry? Like this. A beautifully catchy uptempo pop song with clever production, building and building to a joyous crescendo and staged very simply but to perfection. This year, for the first time, Dotter is even joined by backing dancers for this entry and “Little Tot” will be a contender to win.

Tim: After achieving her best result in last year’s contest, Dotter is back once again. Before watching the rehearsal, I did not how she would surpass ‘Bulletproof’, but Dotter manages to bring something different to the table. So for those who were not keen on ‘Bulletproof’ last year, I’m pretty sure this is the thing that would change your mind.

Our Predictions:

Based on the performances we saw today, we are predicting the following result on Saturday’s show:

ResultNathan WTim
Direkt til finalenDotter
Little Tot
Little Tot
Direkt til finalenEva Rydberg & Ewa Roos
Rena rama ding dong
Patrik Jean
Tears Run Dry
Andra ChansenWAHL feat. Sami
Anton Ewald
New Religion
Andra ChansenPatrik Jean
Tears Run Dry
Frida Green
The Silence

About Melodifestivalen 2021

As previously reported, due to COVID-19, all the shows will take place in Annexet in Stockholm. You are able to find out more about this week’s show, by reading our guide here.

The first semi-final of Melodifestivalen 2021 will start 20:00CET on Febrauary 6. Two songs will qualify to the final and two songs will be sent to the andra chansen (second chance) round.

Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest

Sweden has participated in the contest 59 times since its debut in 1958. They have missed only three contests since their debut (1964, 1970 and 1976). Since 1959, the Swedish entry has been chosen through Melodifestivalen. In 1997, Sweden was one of the first five countries to adopt televoting, and have continued to innovate the technology behind the contest whenever they host.

Sweden is one of the most successful countries at the contest, winning six contests so far. Notably, their wins span their participation history; their victories span five decades with ABBA (1974), Herreys (1984), Carola (1991), Charlotte Nilsson (1999), Loreen (2012) and Måns Zelmerlöw (2015). They currently have the second-highest number of wins, behind Ireland’s seven.

What are your first impressions of the competing songs this week? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram, and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see our reactions to the news in the upcoming months.

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