Men battling for Melodifestivalen win to take Sweden to the Eurovision Song Contest
Four men in battle Melodifestivalen to be Sweden’s first male Eurovision winner
Just 10 days before Sweden picks their Melodifestivalen winner to send in search of a sixth victory at the Eurovision Song Contest, four men are leading the race to become Sweden’s ever male soloist Eurovision Song Contest winner. Sweden’s first two Eurovision Song Contest victories came via bands, and the last three have all been female solo artists. That could all change this year with Eric Saade, Jon Henrik Fjallgren, Mans Zelmerlow and Magnus Carlsson all tipped to lead the betting for a Eurovision win if they are selected to fly the Swedish flag in Vienna at the 60th Eurovision Song Contest.
For those looking for a bit of pre-Eurovision musical entertainment, the Swedish final is broadcast in HD live on the Internet at 7pm UK on Saturday 14th March on www.svt.se. With four strapping Swedish men fighting with such strong songs to capture the Melodifestivalen crown, will one of these make it through to represent Sweden at the 60th Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna on May 23rd?
Eric Saade – Sting
Eric is back for a 3rd time at Melodifestivalen, he won with his last effort in 2011 and is hoping to return to the Eurovision Song Contest for a second time. His song ‘Popular’ took third place in 2011 and he hopes to match Carola’s effort in going from third to first with a second Swedish representation.
Eric Saade knows how to play to the camera and whilst no longer a teen heart-throb, he remains easy on the eye. His live vocal performance may be shown up against more seasoned singers such as Mans Zelmerlow and pith-perfect Magnus Carlsson this year through. In the semi final, he seemed a little breathless towards the end of the performance but that should be sorted out in time for the Melodifestivalen final and certainly before the Eurovision Song Contest if he wins next Saturday. The choreography also looks a little messy and chaotic compared to some of the other entries – Magnus Carlsson’s dance troup have a more polished performance and this might detract from Eric’s chances with so many boys competing for the teen-girl text vote.
The song ‘Sting’ is very catchy and uses modern language you’d expect to see on Facebook and Twitter. It stands out a mile from most of this year’s balladic Eurovision Song Contest entries and although many countries are yet to declare their entries, it has to be an automatic leader on the bookies’ charts.
Jon Henrik Fjallgren – Jag ar fri (Manne leam frijje)
Jon Henrik’s Sami heritage represents an automatic Eurovision voting bonus if Sweden sends this to Vienna. The Sami community lives around the Southern arctic circle, and spread across voting Eurovision countries of Norway, Finland and Russia. A new heart-throb in Sweden after his 2014 appearance in Talang Sverige performing Sami Songs, he carries momentum into the final that might be too strong to stop. This is a strong song with strong identity and his official music video show’s he can go toe-to-toe with Eric in the looks department and may well have already bagged the best body in Sweden award for his music video.
The concern is that there isn’t much singing in the song from Jon Henrik. Much of the vocal comes from the backing singers and with three lifted above the stage as angels, it might take some of the viewer’s attention away from Jon Henrik, particularly with the stronger staging of Mans Zelmerlow’s entry and camera-pleasing choreography from Magnus Carlsson’s team.
Mans Zelmerlow – Heroes
Mans is a long-time Melodifestivalen favourite in Sweden. He’s finished in the top two twice as a performer and hosted the show in 2010. He’s known in Sweden for his dashing looks and gentlemanly persona and has hosted the summer hit tv show Alsang Pa Skansen for three years, becoming a much loved presenter known to the whole of Sweden. His Cara Mia and Hope and Glory entries were more mainstream pop than this year’s presentation, but this shows his development as an artist and raises the standard rather than trying again with a previously successful formula.
Heroes uses some creative display interaction with cartoon characters working with him through the song. It’s possibly the best gimmick of the year in Sweden and would bring something new to the Eurovision stage. As well as the clever staging, Heroes is one of the most musically progressive entries and would be worthy of commercial success across Europe if this wins the Swedish final. Mans is becoming the Gary Barlow of Sweden and could be set for UK and US success on the back of this very strong song.
Magnus Carlsson – Mot Mig I Gamla Stan
Magnus Carlsson is no stranger to European music success as a member of the pop sensation Alcazar Neither is he a stranger to Melodifestivalen, competing every year but on from 2000-2007, with Barbados, Alcazar and as a soloist. As a solo artist, he took fifth place in 2005 and the song ‘Lev Livet’ was a number one hit in Sweden. His star in Sweden fell a little after that but his popularity is back to its heights as he has developed a strong style and is now regarded more as an artist than a performer.
Mot Mig I Gamla Stan (Meet me Downtown) is pure traditional ‘Swedish Schlager’ and the genre still has a huge following in Scandinavia. The song is likely to go down well with the Saturday night voting public and its likeability spreads from grandparent to grandchild. It’s pure pop and might be considered a good choice in a good year for a good old Swedish party song if the Swedish puvlic are aware of what the rest of Europe picks for Eurovision and if they try to vote for a contrast, the ballads being picked all over the place might just see this song sneak through to the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.
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