Melodifestivalen 2021: Getting the show off to a good start

February 2, 2021

Lena Philipsson


After a long time waiting, the season with Prosecco every Saturday, excited fans and uninteresting interviews with the classic questions “how does it feel?”, “how are the preparations?”, “what is the feeling right before you enter the stage” begins! That’s right, I’m talking about the mother of all national finals, Melodifestivalen!

The first heat is always special. Nobody is tired of Melodifestivalen yet and there’s a 50 percent chance that the winner is there. Last year I was around 500 metres from the Arena in Linköping (and also turned down an offer of a free ticket to the front row in the arena from a Danish friend  when The Mamas won the first semi-final.)

This year both Danish fans and Swedes need to watch the show at home instead. I actually think that it will be a better show when the focus is only on the television cameras instead of the forgotten arena audience.

In every semi-final, the former Melodifestivalen general and producer Christer Björkman ends his time in Melodifestivalen by hosting the shows accompanied by different famous Swedish people.

First out is the amazing singer Lena Philipsson who won Melodifestivalen in 2004 with “Det gör ont” (It Hurts) and finished in fifth place in Eurovision in Istanbul. The Swedish audience also recognizes her with her from many Melodifestivalen hits such as “Kärleken är evig”(1986), “Dansa i neon”(1987) and my personal favourite “Om igen”(1988).

Lena Philipsson
Lena Philipsson. Photo: SVT / Jan Danielsson.
Christer Björkman. Photo: Jan Danielsson / SVT

Participants Heat 1 – February 6

1. One Touch
Artist: Kadiatou
Song writers: Joy Deb, Linnea Deb, Jimmy “Joker” Thörnfeldt, Anderz Wrethov

2. Pretender
Artist: Lillasyster
Song writers: Isak Hallén, Jakob Redtzer, Martin Westerstrand, Ian Paolo Lira, Palle Hammarlund

3. Horizon
Artist: Jessica Andersson
Song writers: David Kreuger, Fredrik Kempe, Markus Lidén, Christian Holmström, Jesper Jakobson

4. The Missing Piece
Artist: Paul Rey
Song writers: Fredrik Sonefors, Laurell Barker, Paul Rey

5. Tänker inte alls gå hem
Artist: Arvingarna
Song writers: Stefan Brunzell, Nanne Grönvall, Thomas G:son, Bobby Ljunggren

6. Fingerprints
Artist: Nathalie Brydolf
Song writers: Andreas Stone Johansson, Etta Zelmani, Laurell Barker, Anna-Klara Folin

7. Dandi dansa
Artist: Danny Saucedo
Song writers: Danny Saucedo, Karl-Johan Råsmark

Danny Saucedo. Photo: SebastianSandblad, Chiliboyproductions AB
Kadiatou. Photo: Paulina Torbjörnsen, Universal

When gigs are cancelled and the music industry is in danger because of the pandemic, even a metal band like Lillasyster finds Melodifestivalen interesting. The band had a big hit with a metal cover of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and are debutantes in the competition. I even think the lack of the audience is a reason behind Danny Saucedo’s return to Melodifestivalen. Even if he made it clear how disappointed he was regarding his second places in 2011 (“In The Club”) and 2012 (“Amazing”), I don’t think a win is the goal this year with the strange song title “Dandi Dansa”.

As the big Melodifestivalen and Eurovision nerd I am, I mostly look forward to seeing Jessica Andersson, who won Melodifestivalen in 2003 as a part of the band Fame with their song “Give Me Your Love” that finished in fifth place in Riga. This year’s entry is described as a “powerful and hopeful” song, which is a “challenge to sing”.

I’m also looking forward to seeing the dance band Arvingarna who won Melodifestivalen in 1993 with the song “Eloise” and finished in seventh place in Mill Street. Last year, they returned to the competition with the happy and energetic song “I Do”. This year, their song “Tänker inte alls gå hem”  (I’m not going home) is described with “happiness, party and speed and action with four nice fellows”, which is exactly what we need right now.

Arvingarna. Photo: Ricky Tillblad, Sony Music Entertainment Sweden AB

There are many strong names among artists and composers in the first heat, which makes it difficult for me to guess the result. But I will give it my best shot!

To the final: Danny Saucedo and Kadiatou.

Danny’s reputation, talent and charm saves him from a potentially strange and different song. The former Idol runner-up Kadiatou has a modern feel, with song writers who normally make music to world stars

To The Second Chance: Arvingarna and Paul Rey.

Arvingarna is much loved by Swedish people, as with the Nanne Grönvall (Melodifestivalen winner 1996 with “Den Vilda” among others) as one of the song writers. Paul Rey’s mid-tempo song with gospel from last year leaves good opportunities for a better placing this year.

Fun Fact: did you know that Andreas Stone Johansson, the songwriter behind “Fingerprints”, performed by Nathalie Brydolf, even competes as a songwriter for Norway this year with the favorite “Hero” by Raylee? He was even one of the song writers behind Sweden’s Eurovision entry “Too Late For Love” with John Lundvik in 2019.

What do you expect from the songs and artists from the first heat of Melodifestivalen 2021? Let us know in the comments below!

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