(photo: Stina Stjernkvist/SVT)
So now we’ve seen all 28 performances from Melodifestivalen 2021. And out of them all, does Sweden have a serious contender for the Eurovision win in May? We’d say it probably has two. One of which we got served to us last night.
Here are the results after last night’s votes;
Finalist: Eric Saade – Every Minute
Finalist: The Mamas – In The Middle
Andra Chansen: Efraim Leo – Best Of Me
Andra Chansen: Clara Klingenström – Behöver Inte Dig Idag
5th: Tess Merkel – Good Life
6th: Lovad – Allting Är Precis Likadant
7th: Sannex – All Inclusive
It was a predictable top two, but then that’s because it was such a deserved top two.
Earning one of the two places in the final, we have The Mamas. Last year’s Melodifestivalen winners who graciously accepted the invitation to compete once again after their chance to represent their country at Eurovision was taken from them. They gave a clever nod to last year’s success, by wearing the exact same outfits and hairstyles as they did in their winning performance from 2020. But, not wishing to trade in or dine out on any former glories, before the first chorus they had switched it up into The Mamas 2.0. A fresh look, a renewed energy and a strive forward towards a new year and goal. From that moment until the very end of their performance, it was difficult to keep a permanent smile from your face. They delivered a classy performance of ‘In The Middle’, full of both joy and warmth, engaging the viewer (and voter!) with ease. On name and circumstance alone, most of us believed that The Mamas deserved a slot in the final. But in the end, no one can deny that their place in the line-up on March 13th has been rightfully earned by what this contest is all about – a knock-out song and performance. We do believe that they’ll have a harder route to ending up at the top of the table in that final, however – simply because ‘In The Middle’ is a lot more low-key than last year’s ‘Move’. But after showing us last night’s performance, they’re certainly not to be counted out.
Now, if we look away from winning Melodifestivalen for a second, and move on to the slightly more serious business of winning Eurovision, that’s where our second qualifier of the night comes in – ‘Every Minute’ by Eric Saade. Out of all 28 songs, it’s ‘Every Minute’ that sounds most like a contemporary hit that could be a radio staple across the continent (well, that and ‘One Touch’ by Kadiatou – but that’s another conversation for another day). And that, paired with such a can’t-take-your-eyes-off-it performance, equates to a package that Sweden could arrive with to Eurovision as (at best) a serious contender to take the win, or (at the very least) an entry with which it could hold its head high and defend its reputation as the powerhouse that it is in the pop world. They’d be represented by an artist that, despite representing Sweden at Eurovision in 2011 and giving his country a third-place finish, would be making a fresh impression on the Eurovision stage – because the Eric Saade we saw perform ‘Every Minute’ last night is in a different league to the one we saw perform ‘Popular’ all that time ago. He’s ten years older, a lot more mature, and with a very different kind of confidence within his performance. He performed it like he was all set to take a step up in his career. Doing the same in Rotterdam in May wouldn’t just be beneficial to him, though, it would be doing a service to Sweden’s competitive chances too.
The next two weeks will reveal far more about each song’s popularity than what we already know, and we’ll be able to see what’s taking off on YouTube, what’s becoming a hit on Spotify, what’s impressing people internationally, and what’s charming Swedes domestically. But, based on the last four weeks of 28 performances, and what we know now, we believe that – in terms of Eurovision success – Sweden’s best bet is to focus their attention in the final on two songs: ‘Every Minute’ by Eric Saade and ‘Little Tot’ by Dotter. May the best song win!
You can find all 28 performances from Melodifestivalen 2021 on SVT’s YouTube channel.
And you can find all of the finalists, plus the best of the rest, on our Best New Pop playlist;