Eurovision 2021

#SWEDEN: #LiveBlog Of Melodifestivalen Andra Chansen– #JoinUs From 20:00 CET

God kväll Europa och god morgon Australien! This is Stockholm calling! Tonight we’ll find out which lucky 4 acts are still in with a chance to represent Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 – it’s time for Melodifestivalen’s Andra Chansen!

Sit back and relax, and let Eurovision Ireland’s own James Scanlan entertain and inform you. As always, feel free to tell me what you think and give your opinions about tonight’s Final and who your favourites are! I might even shout out to you in the blog!

Our show tonight is coming to us courtesy of SVT, live from Annexet in the Swedish capital Stockholm and will be hosted by Christer Björkman and Shirley Clamp. 8 competitors have been paired off into 4 duels. The winner of each duel will progress to the final of Melodifestivalen next weekend! The duels are as follows:

Duel #1
Alvaro Estrella “Baila Baila”
vs.
Lillasyster “Pretender”

Duel #2
Frida Green “The Silence”
vs.
Paul Rey “The Missing Piece”

Duel #3
Eva Rydberg & Ewa Roos “Rena Rama Ding Dong”
vs.
Clara Klingenström “Behöver Inte Dig Idag”

Duel #4
Klara Hammarström “Beat Of Broken Hearts”
vs.
Efraim Leo “Best Of Me”

If you want to join in all the fun in Sweden yourself, you can watch the live stream of Andra Chansen HERE

LIVE BLOG STARTS HERE!!

I know you all LOVE Melfest, but you’re far to early!! Come back at 20:00 CET / 19:00 GMT / 14:00 EST and join the fun then!

@eurovisionireland

Join us tonight at eurovisionireland.net for the Live Blog of Melodifestivalen 2021 Andra Chansen #Eurovision #Sweden #melodifestivalen2021

♬ In The Middle – The Mamas

Yes, I admit it! This will be my first time watching a Melodifestivalen show! I know, the horror! So make sure you join me as I pop my Melfest cherry in just 25 minutes time!!

15 minutes till show time – grab your snacks, get a blanket and sit back for all the fun and games in Sweden!

Here we go!

Here are our hosts for the evening, Shirley Clamp and Sweden’s Mr Eurovision, Christer Björkman

Before we go on to the duels, a quick look at the acts already qualified for next week’s final… including Charlotte Pirelli, The Mamas and Eric Saade. Also taking a look at the duel line up tonight and a look at fans watching around Sweden… I remember reading once that something insane like 75% of the ENTIRE population of Sweden tunes in to watch the Melodifestivalen final! Which is amazing! ❤

So… some of the contestants are blindfolded and stumbling around trying to catch Christer Björkman…. yes, I’m confused too…

Off we go to song number #1 in Duel 1!

Alvaro Estrella “Baila Baila”

A very Latin and calypso sounding song to kick us off tonight, Alvaro’s smile shows he’s in his element and he loves being on stage. The song has a great rhythm but feels a tad ‘safe’ as a potential Eurovision entry… which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if Sweden are gunning for that legendary 7th win… But that being said, it’s colourful, light and boppy and Alvaro performs the song well. A great ditty to kick us off!

Lillasyster “Pretender”

Wow… I mean… talk about a gear change! From something very light and easy going, a very intense, very guttural rock performance with a noticeable country twang to it! It’s very dark and aggressive… not the kind of thing I expected to hear at Melodifestivalen at all! But it’s a fantastic song and this could do well on a Eurovision stage – I suspect their neighbours Finland would appreciate this enormously! (Not that getting 12 points in an issue in the Scandi bloc 😉 )I really enjoyed that – both the vocals and the pyro on stage!

While we recover from the epicness of the first duel, our hostess treats us to a melodic Swedish ballad

The moment Carola found out she’s been inducted into the Eurovision Ireland Hall of Fame… oh sorry, Melodifestivalen Hall of Fame….

On to the 2nd Duel!

Frida Green “The Silence”

Although I was a little sceptical when I saw Frida looking an awful lot like Batman’s Poison Ivy, vocally I can’t fault her at all – such a rich and heartfelt voice! Flawless! The song is beautifully performed and Frida gives a very accomplished and confident performance… oh wow, that note at the bridge! Divine! This is the kind of ballad I love and it builds beautifully throughout. And judging by the reaction for our viewers, I’m not the only one to think so! I’m even softening to the wardrobe choice! Brava Frida, that was sublime!

Paul Rey “The Missing Piece”

I hate to go on again about costume choices, but where Paul looks so young (seriously, is he old enough to take part?!) wearing a big jacket like that just makes him look like he’s borrowed his dad’s coat! Vocally, he’s very solid, it always makes me smile when I hear a non-native English speaker (I’m assuming) speak/sing with quite a Cockney accent. This song is quite modern sounding, but I feel ironically like there is a missing piece… haven’t worked out what though. On the whole, a good effort though!

As we come down from that Duel, Jan Johansen of Se Pa Mig fame gets a spot in the Melodifestivalen Hall of Fame

Can’t believe we’re already half way through the acts! Sanremo this ain’t! And we’re not slowing down, it’s time for the 3rd Duel!

Eva Rydberg & Ewa Roos “Rena Rama Ding Dong”

This. Is. GENIUS!!! Jaja Ding Dong it ain’t, but it’s hilarious! Ewa and Eva come to life as they perform and everything about this performance is entertaining! The elderly backing dancers, the scripted bickering between them, the easy to singalong lyrics, the cringy dance moves… while I think some fans of the contest would be apoplectic if this got anywhere near the contest, I’d be delighted if this won outright – this is the kind of laughter and fun the world needs in 2021!! Bravissima ladies, that was possibly the highlight of the night for me!

Clara Klingenström “Behöver Inte Dig Idag”

As soon as this started, I thought pairing a slow ballad with a riot like the song that came before seemed unfair. But, the melody has picked up and it’s a lot more up tempo than I thought it would be. At first Clara seemed very nervous, but she’s relaxed into the performance. She connects well with the camera and the result is quite an intimate feeling performance. It’s also nice to hear Swedish being sung, off the top of my head I can’t remember the last time we heard Swedish at the contest itself (suspect it was the late 1990s). Not a bad little song at all! I enjoyed it

Tommy Koerberg reprises his 1988 Eurovision entry, Stad I Ljus – he’s still got it!

Barbados singer Magnus Carlsson also gets a spot in the Melfest Hall of Fame – and judging by the amount of groups he’s been a part of, he’s a familiar face to many Swedish Eurovision fans!

Well, here we are – the last duel!

Klara Hammarström “Beat Of Broken Hearts”

If you asked a random European to describe what they think a Swedish woman looks like, they would describe Klara – a pretty blonde with blue eyes! Giving us a very polished and slick routine with the light shows and effects as she moves, Klara’s vocals are also great and she performs the song effortless. It’s like a classic Eurovision pop ballad by numbers, but it’s a fantastic example of the genre! I really enjoyed that, and whoever is following her, I would be worried right about now… that’s what a winner looks like!

Efraim Leo “Best Of Me”

I can’t go on? Oh no, not again!! Once was enough! Another performer who looks like he’s only just old enough to enter the contest, Efraim gives us a very modern sounding song, a slick performance and he connects well with the camera. I know I said whoever was following Klara should be worried… but if there was a performance that could match her energy and stage production values, this is it! Wonder if he’s trying to channel Johnny Logan vibes in the white tracksuit? That was a great song to end the night on!

Former Melodifestivalen host Ulf Elfving gets his spot in the Hall of Fame – and he seems really chuffed!

Here is all the information you’ll need to vote tonight. You’ll also probably need to be in Sweden…

While we have a bit of a recap, I’m going to compose my thoughts on what I’ve seen and try to predict the outcome of the duels. BRB!

It’s been quite a strong night in Stockholm and I can see why Melodifestivalen is so loved – I should have maybe watched sooner! But who do I think will win the duels? Honestly, some of them could go either way, as they were both strong competitors, but this is how I think tonight will play out – based on both a mixture of gut feeling and personal music tastes:

Lillasyster “Pretender”

Frida Green “The Silence”

Eva Rydberg & Ewa Roos “Rena Rama Ding Dong”

Klara Hammarström “Beat Of Broken Hearts”

What do you think? Do my Top 4 match your own?

What? Mum, I can’t talk now, I’m duetting with Christer Björkman! I’ll call back later!!

Britt Lindeborg, Eurovision lyricist whose works including Sweden’s 1984 winning entry Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley also gets a spot in the Melodifestivalen Hall of Fame, as does singer, composer and producer Ola Håkansson!

Time for some music and interval acts while the votes are counted! Including Love Fool! How 2000 and something!

Yes, that is Benjamin Ingrosso!

So here’s a techno DJ dressed as a monk, playing piano like Phantom of the Opera in a monastery… I had to include a picture, otherwise no one would believe me!!

This pandemic has hit us all hard, I guess…

Sweden, we have a result!!

Winner of the first duel is… Alvaro Estrella with “Baila Baila”!

Winner of the second duel is… Paul Rey with “The Missing Piece”!

I’m doing well so far!

Winner of the third duel is Clara Klingenström and “Behöver Inte Dig Idag”

0/3 for me so far…

Winner of the 4th and final duel is Klara Hammarström and “Beat Of Broken Hearts” – hurrah, I got one right!!

Well! I think the fact I’ve never watched Melodifestivalen before showed through in the end… only 1 right prediction out of 4… how embarrassing! Oh well!

Thank you for reading along with me tonight, I’ve been James, this has been Andra Chansen, thank you Europe and good night!

Author: James Scanlan
Source: SVT

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