With rehearsals for the first heat of Melodifestivalen 2022 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. Ahead of the first heat, Sami and Dominik review today’s rehearsals and share their thoughts.
Bananas – Malou Prytz
Sami: I have to say I prefer Malou’s previous entries over this, especially “Ballerina”. I think I am just getting old when the lyrics make me cringe a bit. This is clearly inspired by the current trend of bring back the early 2000s pop-punk, but I think it’s just trying way too hard. I like Malou a lot, but she definitely deserves a better song than this.
Dominik: I love this rock and rebel vibe we get from her. Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and so many other female pop stars went from funny pop to rock/pop and I’m here for it. Malou is bringing us so much energy with her band and four backing dancers. She starts off at the middle stage but goes to the main stage for the first chorus and spends the rest of the time there. Definitely a song I would listen to more often. And the lyrics are so relatable… “I should be working out, but it’s heavy and I’m sweaty”! I know the feeling…
Som du vill – THEOZ
Sami: We have seen this done many times at Melodifestivalen by Eric Saade, Danny Saucedo, Anton Ewald, Benjamin Ingrosso and all others, but it would not be Melodifestivalen without one. THEOZ definitely can be the next big star in Sweden and this is a great launch of his career. I am sure we will see THEOZ in the final but it probably will end up to similar position as “Dandi dansa” did last year.
Dominik: This was such a wow moment! This is going to be a huge hit. THEOZ is only 16 and making his debut on the big Mello stage. We get choreo, four dancers, and a lot of energy. Back in 2019 Malou was second in the running order when she made it to the final with “I do me”. I can totally see this happening with “Som Du Vill”! Banger which will end up in the final either directly or via the semi-final!
Let there be Angels – Shirley Clamp
Sami: I always welcome Shirley Clamp back to Melodifestivalen with open arms, but sadly this song just goes nowhere. Shirley is able to show off her great vocals, but you easily forget about the song itself. If this was in Swedish, it would probably have a bigger impact on me, but now it comes across as just another generic ballad.
Dominik: I read mixed reactions to this before I saw the rehearsal and yes we had songs like this before, nonetheless, Shirley is selling this. I love the chorus. It gives a feeling of warmth and being where I belong… a Melfest. It might not come far but it’s a lovely song. During the whole performance, Shirley is alone on stage. The stage is very dark, only gets some lights during the chorus. I like it and I’ll belt this out on repeat when it’s out!
Moving Like That – Omar Rudberg
Sami: I know Omar has lots of international fans and I’m sure every single one of them will absolutely love this. Omar looks so confident on the stage, without coming across arrogant. He seems to love his time on the stage and I’m sure the Swedish public will also have fun with Omar. Let’s hope they also vote!
Dominik: Now this is catchy af! You wanna dance to it the second it starts. Omar is on stage with two backing dancers and they really perform the hell out of this song. I do not know how where the journey will go on Saturday, but this will have lots of fans.
Hallabaloo – Danne Stråhed
Sami: As much as we need a one pop boy, we also need a Swedish legend in Melodifestivalen. This doesn’t have as big impact as some of the most memorable ones, such as “Rena rama ding dong” or “Guld och gröna skogar”, but it’s quite sweet as it is. Of course won’t stand a chance in this heat, but probably manages to grab some points from the older voting groups.
Dominik: I mean this is cute. It’s not as uplifting and powerful as Hasse Andersson in 2015 but it has i’s charm. I feel like this will do good with the higher age groups. Difficult to predict. Danne is on stage with a six people band and they perform on the middle stage. Could work well if the audience is 100% in.
Hold Me Closer – Cornelia Jakobs
Sami: I’m sorry but I am not feeling this at all. Cornelia clearly puts a lot of emotion to the performance, but for some reason, the song isn’t strong enough. It might surprise us all on Saturday night or people in Sweden go for the more uptempo songs. I wouldn’t surprised, if we had another “Cry” (by Dotter) here.
Dominik: This is love! It is modern, powerful, and simple. Cornelia has an amazing voice and the song is perfect for her. She is on the middle stage the whole time and is playing with the camera with some close shots and the lights are very simple but effective. Not too much. This could have its own moment on Saturday! Yes!
Innocent Love – Robin Bengtsson
Sami: When I saw the performance of “Innocent Love” the first time, I was smiling with tears in my eyes. This is just pure happiness and I am sure it will be even better with the audience in the arena. As Robin Bengtsson told us in our interview, the performance is made for the live audience. I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite of the songs Robin has competed with, but definitely one to watch for in the final.
Dominik: I loved all of Robin’s entries so far and I feel like they might get better and better. Unlike his other entries, which are amazing, “Innocent Love” is so powerful, catchy and Robin is giving this so much energy on stage. He starts on the main stage with his band, then goes to the middle stage, and LED lights come down from the ceiling (pic above). We get a key change and I feel like this is everything. A huge pop banger which should be his fourth in a row DTF. Thank you, Robin!
Based on the performances we saw today, we are predicting the following result on Saturday’s show:
|Direkt til finalen||Innocent Love |
|Innocent Love |
|Direkt til finalen||Moving Like That|
|Hold Me Closer |
|Andra Chansen||Som du vill |
|Som du vill |
|Andra Chansen||Bananas |
About Melodifestivalen 2022
The first heat of Melodifestivalen 2022 will start 20:00 CET on February 5. Two songs will qualify to the final and two songs will be sent to the semi-final round.
Former Melodifestivalen participant, Oscar Zia, who competed in both 2014 and 2016, will take on hosting duties this year. More details about further hosts and guest acts will be revealed in due course. Meanwhile, eager fans can still purchase tickets to the shows here. Below are the dates for each show:
- 05 February: Heat 1
- 12 February: Heat 2
- 19 February: Heat 3
- 26 February: Heat 4
- 05 March: Semi-Final
- 12 March: Final
Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest
Beginning their Eurovision history in 1958, Sweden have always maintained an excellent record of results. Yet it was not until 1966 that Sweden reached the top three for the first time. The Swedish entry, ‘Nygammal vals‘ finished in second place at the contest in Luxembourg City, still the only time Sweden have finished second. Later it was 1974 when Sweden truly began their legacy in the contest. After earning their first win with, ‘Waterloo‘. Of course, launching ABBA into global success.
Consequently Sweden have won a further five times – Herreys (1984), Carola (1991), Charlotte Nilsson (1999), Loreen (2012) and Måns Zelmerlöw (2015). As well as finishing in third place six times second place finish in 1966, they have never finished as runner-up again. Therefore Sweden are the second most successful Eurovision nation behind leaders, Ireland seven wins.
Last March, Tusse was selected to represent Sweden in Rotterdam with his song ‘Voices’. Not to mention that he prevailed against strong competition from 2011 podium finisher, Eric Saade and 2020 entrants, The Mamas. During the contest in Rotterdam, Tusse qualified from the first Semi-Final, in 7th place and in the Grand Final, Sweden finished in 14th place with 109 points.
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.