On Saturday, the 7th of March 2020, The Swedish National Selection – “Melodifestivalen 2020” will come to an end.
The competition included 4 semi-finals and a “second-chance” round. In each semi-final, the top 2 finishers advanced to the final. The 3rd and 4th places continued to the “second-chance” round and the bottom 3 finishers were eliminated.
In the “second-round” chance, the 8 contenders were divided into 4 duels where the winner of each duel advanced to the final.
Therefore, 12 artists will compete in the final. The results will be determined by 50% international jury voting and 50% public voting. The international jury will be from the following 8 countries:
Austria, Australia, Armenia, France, Iceland, Israel, Malta, and The Netherlands
01 – Victor Crone – Troubled Waters
It’s a country-pop song. Victor is wearing a black outfit and can barely be shown in the beginning. There are lights and water effects on the stage itself and on the screens.
The melody is based on guitars. I don’t want to be rude but Victor should improve his vocals significantly. The singer has limited vocal abilities and therefore he should have picked another scale. The song itself has nothing new or special to suggest. Another song with the “storm effect and lyrics”, a year after year.
Moreover, his movements on stage should be improved.
02 – Paul Rey – Talking in My Sleep
It’s a pop-soul love ballad. The melody is based on piano playing. Paul has a powerful voice. It’s hard to ignore the strong connection he has with the lyrics. The first verses are typical ballad. The next verses are rhythmic but it wouldn’t be a challenge for his voice. The strengths of the performance are Paul’s voice and emotions. I loved the backing vocalists in the background.
There is nothing unique in the song, it’s a decent ballad being performed by a strong vocalist. However, it satisfies our expectations
03 – The Mamas – Move
It’s an uptempo gospel pop-soul song. The mamas are Ashley Haynes, Loulou Lamotte, and Dinah Yonas Manna. The founding member Paris Renita left the group in 2019.
In 2019, they were the backing vocalists of John Lundvik that represented Sweden at Eurovision 2019. In the beginning, two of them have a solo section. Afterward, they all sing together in harmony. The third one of them is singing a solo after the choros. The chorus is an American gospel genre or even churches singing. It is powerful, catchy and being performed really well. The melody is based on keyboard playing and a gentle beat that develops through the song. The staging is pretty dark and the women are wearing black outfits. The song is good but lacks a surprising moment.
04 – Mohombi – Winners
It’s a midtempo hip-hop pop song. The performance starts with a smoke on the stage. There is a Latin rhythm in the song. The melody is namely based on guitars playing. On the stage, Mohombi is standing between big projectors that light in neon pink. The song isn’t rememberable enough. I had to hear it several times to remember it. In my opinion, his singing skills aren’t suitable for the song. The song itself sounds like an unfinished demo version of a song that was intended for Melodifestivalen 2004.
05 – Hanna Ferm – Brave
It’s a midtempo pop power ballad. The dominant colors on the stage are purple and blue.
The melody in the verses is based on guitar playing. The verses are pretty quiet. It seems like her energy in the chorus was better. The verses are being sung in a low voice, while the chorus is being performed in a higher voice. We can see the disadvantages of her voice where a higher voice is used. Sometimes, she sounds shouty or even out of tune.
Towards the end, there is a solo transition where she is singing almost without any melody. That part should be the peak of the song but it exposes her weakness as a vocalist.
06 – Mendez feat. Alvaro Estrella – Vamos amigos
It’s a Latin pop-rap song. The stage is designed like a street with a staircase structure.
The song starts with Mendez’s shouting “Vamos amigos“. Thereafter, the first verses of the song are being performed by Alvaro. Alvaro and Mendez are singing the chorus together. The chorus also includes a rap-singing by Mendez. The atmosphere elevates happiness and joy. Unfortunately, I don’t find anything special in the song considering the genre. The song is catchy and cheerful but it isn’t enough for representing Sweden at Eurovision 2020.
07 – Dotter – Bulletproof
It’s a power-pop ballad. In contrast to other power ballads, the song doesn’t talk about strengths but weaknesses. Dotter has a special voice with her own stamp. The first two verses are based on piano playing. She starts her performance while sitting on the stage with a mirror that presents her face. The dominant colors on the stage are black, red and blue. Dotter is singing in a soft and vulnerable voice in the verses, while she is singing in a powerful voice in the chorus. There are outstanding light effects in the chorus which elevates the song value. The contrast between the message in the lyrics and the volume of her voice is what creates the uniqueness of the song. The staging is already perfect and ready for Eurovision 2020 if it would be required.
08 – Robin Bengtsson – Take a Chance
It’s a country-pop song with schlager influences. There is a beat that develops through the song. The verses are a typical country piece with a slow rate. The chorus is more impressive and catchier. I must admit that it seems like Robin‘s voice wasn’t the best he could give us. I hope that his vocals will be improved in the final. The staging is relying on augmented reality. The backing vocalists are vital. However, the part where “We can take a chance” is being shouted is unnecessary. The song ends in the right way considering the structure of the song. One of the advantages of the performance is the self-confidence of Robin
09 – Mariette – Shout it Out
It’s a pop-rock song. The stage is pretty dark and creates a vibe of intimacy. I will start by mentioning the perfect English accent that Mariette has. The verses are characterized by a slow rate and emotional singing. The bridge and the chorus are catchy, rhythmic and powerful. The backing vocals together with the guitars playing creates a beautiful layer in the chorus. The stage is simple but effective. Towards the end, there is a section where Mariette is singing almost to herself in a personal way. Afterward, we get another occurrence of the chorus but this time the singer is playing the guitar during singing. I found her movements essential. The song has all the elements for being hit on different digital platforms.
10 – Felix Sandman – Boys with Emotions
It’s a dance-pop song. The song is namely relying on the performance itself. On the stage, Felix isn’t alone, he is companied by 4 dancers. The stage is dark with neon lights and a big horizontal lighten pipe. The majority of the singing if effortless and being heard as a talking. There is a dominant beat in the chorus that’s actually the whole lyrics of the chorus. Sometimes. the beat overcomes his singing. Felix is moving too much on the stage in the chorus while the other dancers are busy with themselves. The verses are boring and forgettable. At some point, the lyrics are just the phrase “boys with emotions”. Choosing “Boys With Emotions” will be a dreadful version of the Swedish entry for Eurovision 2018.
11 – Anna Bergendahl – Kingdom Come
It’s a mid-tempo power-pop ballad with influences of schlager music. I’m always happy to hear from a good singer like Anna who has a special voice. The song begins as a ballad that’s based on keyboards and guitar playing. The chorus is catchy, powerful and unforgettable. In the middle of the song, she is getting the support of dancers with black outfits. The lifting of a hand becomes the symbol of the song. Anna is charismatic and conquers the stage, even when she is alone on it. The melody was built and planned ib the best way regarding the genre and the lyrics. The backing vocals are a significant component in the performance. The staging is already perfect and ready for Eurovision 2020 if it would be required.
12 – Anis Don Demina – Vem e som oss
It’s a hip-hop rap song. The performance starts when Anis is shouting The main effect of the performance is a rectangle screen that shows images that look like media news or newspaper articles. I find the song messy and his singing is just too shouty, even considering the genre. In the chorus, he is getting the help of backing vocalists that overcome his singing. Afterward, 4 dancers are joining him on the stage. In the end, Anis is looking exhausted. I think that the combination of the Swedish language, rap, and messy melody isn’t a successful idea
My Personal Ranking
#1 – Anna Bergendahl – Kingdom Come
#2 – Dotter – Bulletproof
#3 – Mariette – Shout it Out
#4 – The Mamas – Move
#5 – Paul Rey – Talking in My Sleep
#6 – Robin Bengtsson – Take a Chance
#7 – Hanna Ferm – Brave
#8 – Mendez feat. Alvaro Estrella – Vamos amigos
#9 – Felix Sandman – Boys with Emotions
#10 – Mohombi – Winners
#11 – Victor Crone – Troubled Waters
#12 – Anis Don Demina – Vem e som oss
Personally, I will be glad if the winner will be any of my Top 3.
I think that the battle on the winning will be between two ladies:
Anna Bergendahl or Dotter.
I would like to remind that the last time that Sweden was represented by a woman was in 2014! It’s time for a woman representative!
The full playlist that includes all of the 28 songs of the competition is available in different digital platforms: