Swedish viewers votes Eric Saade and The Playtones through to final in Sweden

Four young artists have made it through to the final so far, and tonight it was time for two more artists to join them. One of this weeks favourites, Eric Saade, was sent straight through to the final and he was accompanied by The Playtones. Sara Varga and Shirley’s Angels will get a second chance to compete for a spot in the final.

The songs

Song number 1: Linda Sundblad– Lucky you (Linda Sundblad, Johan Bobäck, Fredrik Thomander, Anders Wikström)

Linda is accompanied on stage by 6 female dancers. In the beginning of the song the dancers all have red electric guitars which they pretend to play on and then just dances around with. The viewers don’t see how, but after a while the dancers leave their guitars. Probably because it’s easier to dance without them. Linda  wears a black short dress with a big red heart on the on the front and a black jacket. Linda sings "Lucky, lucky you" over and over again in the refrain in this catchy feel good song. There are hearts all over the stage, on the stage floor, on the backdrop, on the clothes and as it turns out, also in Linda’s right hand. Linda laughs and seem relived when her performance is over.

Song number 2: Simon Forsberg– Tid att andas  (Fredrik Kempe)

This is a classical Melodifestivalen ballad signed Fredrik Kempe. The song grows during the verses and really explodes during the refrain. Simon is all alone on stage and does a great job delivering the song. Keeping in mind that he is a debutant it’s almost impressive that doesn’t seem nervous. The lyrics are beautiful and full of feeling. In style, the lyrics remind me a little of Shirley Clamp’s Med hjärtat fyllt av ljus from 2009 and Erik Linder’s song Hur kan jag tro på kärlek from 2010.

Song number 3: Sara Lumholdt– Enemy (Niclas Lundin, Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad)

When Sara starts to sing she is standing behind a glass table. In the middle of the first verse she climbs on top of it and stays there for a while and then joins the dancers on the floor. After a while she climbs back up on the table until one of the dancers lifts the end of the table and Sara slides of it. This is a song in a kind of middle tempo with a strong beat. In spite of the slow tempo there is advanced choreography. Sara is accompanied on stage by six dancers, two of them also being Sara’s choir. Sara has a lot of experience performing on stage from her time in A-teens and it shows even though she seem a little nervous from time to time. The lights and the backdrop vary in blue and red.

Song number 4: The Playtones– The King (Fredrik Kempe, Peter Kvint)

All the band members are on stage accompanied by two female dancers dresses like air hostesses. This song makes me believe that I’m back in the 50s, there is electric guitars and contrabass with a genuine 50s sound. Some of the band members have a hard time finding the cameras but that will probably not make any difference to the viewers. This is pure entertainment and that should be all that matters. The audience in the arena seems to like this, they shout with joy during and after the performance.

Song number 5: Shirley´s Angels– I Thought It Was Forever (Robin Abrahamsson, Alexander Bard, Bobby Ljunggren, Henrik Wikström)

This is yet another song in middle tempo. Both Shirley and the angels start the song in front of a screen which they dance in front of. This is a great number with a scent of Eurovision Song Contest, I can’t help thinking about Ani Lorak’slighted box on stage in 2008, even though the songs don’t resemble each other at all. The voices of the girls really blend together nicely and take the song to a higher level. After a while the screens are removed and the girls are accompanied by three male dancers. There is also a choir on the side of the stage that you barley never see. Despite of the middle tempo and the kind of sad lyrics this is a really powerful performance. The girls are all dressed in black with sparkly details on different places on their clothes.

Song number 6: Sebastian– No One Else Could (Andreas Alfredsson Grube, Sebastian Karlsson)

This is a song with lots of energy and in the same genre as Andreas Johnson’s and Melody Club’s songs. Sebastian is accompanied on stage by four female dancers, all dressed in black and with the same haircut. Sebastian has done this before and seems calm and relaxed on stage. The backdrop is in red and yellow and sometimes changes in to showing an enlarged image of Sebastian. This is a song with hit potential that has a refrain that immediately sticks to your brain like chewing gum.

Song number 7: Sara Varga– Spring för livet (Sara Varga och Fredrik Boström)

This is a bossa inspired song about abuse. In the beginning of the song Sara stands by the microphone stand but throughout the song she takes the microphone and walks across the stage. This genre suits Sara Vargas soft voice and her frailty is enhanced by a white, long dress with gold details. Sara is one of two artists singing in Swedish this week. The lyric is really moving and I suspect that the viewers will shed a few tears in front of their televisions. If you translate a piece of the lyrics it would sound something like this: "You don’t hurt if you love, which you say that you do. Run for your life if you love it, it’s not worth fighting back".

Song number 8:  Eric Saade– Popular (Fredrik Kempe)

The song starts off with something that sounds like someone whistling the refrain from Lili & Susie’s Oh mama. You will also recognize the Oh mama refrain in the refrain of Popular when Eric starts to sing "I will be popular, I will popular". But somehow the resemblances of the songs don’t really matter, you almost forget about it during the verses. This is a really spectacular performance on stage. Eric sings and dances a lot throughout the whole song. Two weeks ago I called Danny’s performance and dancing the tightest ever in the history of Melodifestivalen. I might have to take that back now since Eric Saade’s performance is even more spectacular and advanced than Danny’s was. He is accompanied on stage by four male dancers and four glass screens. At the end of the performance the screens are formed as a box and shattered with Eric inside of it. After the glass box is shattered two more dancers joins Eric on stage.

The show

In addition to this week’s artists we also met former Melodifestivalen participant Lena Ph in tonight’s show. Lena was legendary producer Harry Storm’s student this week. She opened the show with her new song Idiot. She was also the interval act singing a new version of her song Dansa i neon (Dance in the neonlight) in English.

A theme this year seems to be the hosts making fun of all of the prejudice and rumors about themselves. During the last two semi finals almost all of the sketches and host performances have been about either themselves or headlines from previous week’s newspapers. This was also the case tonight when the hosts is stopped in the entrance when the guard doesn’t recognize them.

The result

After the first round of voting the hosts will announce which five artists that got the largest amount of votes. The artist with the largest amount of votes will go straight through to the final. The other four artists are qualified into another round of voting.

After the second round of voting one more artist is sent to the final, two artists will have to go through the second chance heat to get to the final and one artist is out of the competition.

Eric Saade was the artist with the largest amount of votes and went straight through to the final. Still competing was The playtones, Sara Varga, Sebastian and Shirley’s Angels. Sara Varga and Shirley’s Angels were the ones sent to the second chance heat and The playtones was also sent to the final in Globen. The rest of the artists of this heat finished in following order:
5. Sebastian
6. Linda Sundblad
7. Sara Lumholdt
8. Simon Forsberg

Source: SVT, EuroVisionary.com
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