As the Swedish population grapples itself with returning Melodifestivalen to it’s proper home in Norrland, Skellefteå’s Kraft Arena was the host location for this weeks heat which, given the past few weeks was hoping to spice up the competition a little bit and produce some leaders in the competition.

Eddie Razaz – Alibi
❗ Personal Favourite
Skellefteå.01.Eddie Razaz

He looked really familiar to me when I saw him first, and given that I don’t watch Swedish Idol (for somewhat obvious reasons living abroad) I would never have known that he was in it if it weren’t for some research. But then it hit me, he looks a bit like Edward af Sillén (of whom I’m a major fanboy and hoping one day will be my partner in crime and fabulousness (read deeper into that please)) but with a more bad-boy attitude. On a song level it’s very similar to David Lindgren’s entry, but is far superior in a lot of ways. It’s catchier, better lyrics, and actually is frankly a better performance. However, his style was very lacking and he needs a better stylist. Glitter on the knees, really? Christian cross earring, really? You could be so much sexier if you simplified a bit!

Elin Petersson – Island
Skellefteå.02.Elin Petersson

Well this year’s web joker wildcard officially crashed and burned, but at least she got to make an appearance into Melodifestivalen. I really couldn’t get into this generic song and I was just irritated that it continued on with very little attention grabbing details. I usually like to support the under-dogs but this one just couldn’t get any steam and crashed hard!

Ravillacz – En riktig jävla schlager
=> To Final

Fascinating that the somewhat comic relief of the evening ended up qualifying to the final directly versus the favourite. Consisting of Tommy Körberg (who looks 4x his original size), Claes Malmberg, Johan Rabaeus and Mats Ronander they returned us to the schalger dansband times and made every smile with glitter. Really cheesy, but sometimes Sweden likes the cheesy entry by famous people. Though in retrospect is this song really better than that of Swedish House Wives? I don’t think so, and in the grand scheme of schlager-rights the wrong one qualified. However, great to see that some traditions are upheld in the competition!

Amanda Fondell – Dumb
Skellefteå.04.Amanda Fondell

Well the title of the song sums up the whole performance which was, for lack of a better expression a hot mess. The mirror getup was uninspiring and it felt like she was just performing a ridiculous photo-shoot with sexy pouty expressions the whole first part. The song was uninspired to my ear and the lyrics were horribly mispronounced in English. Really, another Idol gone flop, tragic but I’m not going to a cry a river over this one at all!

Martin Rolinski – In and Out of Love
=> Andra Chansen
❗ Personal Favourite
Skellefteå.05.Martin Rolinski

I didn’t recognize Martin from being in BWO until he opened his mouth and sang. He looks completely different, and somewhat better in some ways and worse in others. What he brought to th evening was a jam-packed performance that was musical and interesting to watch. Very creative, very well executed song that is catchy (as all his other songs are) and quite frankly is better than Andra Chansen. Though it’s odd, that the second chance round is shaping up to be much more dramatic and competitive than the actual Final (strange eh?). I think that the sexy dancing, and coloured paint in boxes is a super sexy-hawt idea, good job Martin!

Caroline af Ugglas – Hon har inte
=> Andra Chansen
❗ Personal Favourite
Skellefteå.06.Caroline af Ugglas

I quaver with this one when it comes to if I like it or not. As most people know, Caroline has a very distinctive voice and style, and quite frankly I don’t think it suits the song in the slightest. I prefer my ballads extremely strong, or airy light, and not a scratchy jazz-rock feeling that she personifies. Fantastic performance, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just on the fence as to whether it’s a personal favourite. I love Caroline, I think she’s a great performer, and she’s quirky (to say the least), but all in all, it’s a god song and deserves to qualify!

State of Drama – Falling
=> To Final
❗ Personal Favourite
Skellefteå.07.State of Drama

What a completely unexpected turn of events; I actually like this song. It’s classic and catchy, and sufficiently good but truth be told it’s destiny should have been for Andra Chansen for the final, and truth be told I don’t think that thy expected it either. Either way, it’s such a 2000-something hit and I guarantee that it will be a radio hit. It has that “sound” that the radio needs! A pleasant surprise and whoah hot guitarist.

Janet Leon – Heartstrings
Skellefteå.08.Janet Leon

There was a lot of talk about this one, being the song that Agnes denied to sing, and the catastrophe rehearsals and that it was supposed to be the winner this year (this was on several other blogs that I read in terms of predictions). When I listened to it, I was thinking okay this is definitely the style of the songwriter, but it was awkward. Too much of a mix of modern dance song with a pop and slow R&B tempo that at times is too Lady Gaga rip-off for my taste. I had difficulty finding rhythm in the entire performance it left a lot to be desired for me. I wonder now what kind of results the competition will have seeing that the favourite is now out!

Well the north sure knows how to do a party, and things heated up this week on several ways. For one there were better quality songs, and now that we only have eight more songs to hear, I’m praying that the quality of songs improve, and the winning song is found in the final heat. Who knows, we might just have a lacklustre competition this year in Malmö…