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Melfest Artists Announced

Updated: Jan 6, 2021

We have 28 runners and riders now announced for Melodifestivalen 2021. As expected, many big names are confirmed, with SVT already getting the Danny Saucedo vs Eric Saade battle going, announcing the former first and the latter last over their three day announcement window.

The first odds are already out with Swedish bookie Svenska Spel (Danny 3.85 and Eric 5.5), and these two start off as favourites. While both great performers, both have talked down their chances to Aftonbladet, Sweden's most read newspaper, meaning I suspect they are here for exposure and showbusiness in these coronavirus hit times. With Danny singing in Swedish and Eric singing a 'sexy' song both may have question marks when it comes to getting enough jury points to be in contention.

Dotter, last year's 2nd place artist by a single point, moved from double figures to 7.30 on Svenska Spel's release. Dotter was overhyped by many last year and, as much as Bulletproof was a good track, Dotter still has a previous second last in a semi final to her name and isn't a performer with a vocal that will blast it out the park. There will need to be something as visual as her shoe last year to make it click. Plus, the autobiographical entry for 2021, Little Tot, might be a step too brave for Melodifestivalen. Sometimes as a pundit you have to hold your hands up and not understand what is happening, and this is one of those moments. There are minor rumours, now SVT has upped their English language social media presence, that viewers may be able to vote from abroad (perhaps as an extra jury?). That would have likely given Dotter the edge last year.

The other two favourites to mention are Tusse, the 2019 Idol winner and The Mamas, last year's Melodifestivalen winner (both 9.1). Tusse has a very intriguing style, sometimes overperformed, but a Joy/Linnea Deb written song called Voices could play into that nicely and I'm expecting a track similar to Oscar Zia's Human (2nd in Melodifestivalen 2016). The Mamas have been spoke about for a long time and the understanding is that they had many songs written for them at the various summer songwriting camps. I have a minor reservation that songwriters Robin Stjernberg and Jimmy Jansson might be a little too vanilla, and that this might not be gospel enough to let them flourish. That said, their win last year with the App vote was surprisingly comfortable, especially from 3rd in the running order, and a feel good song well sung might be all you need in these post pandemic times.

Assuming all is as traditional with Melodifestivalen, I will assume we have 50% international juries in the final and their taste will hit towards the English language hits. I also assume the app is relatively unchanged giving an extra boost to various shades of pop music rather than any of the rock/hiphop/urban songs promised to give diversity. I also rule out former winners Charlotte Perrelli (17.0) and Jessica Anderson (60.0), with their promised schlager sounds, while fabulous, just at not what Sweden wants at Eurovision any more.

Kadiatou (26.0), another former Idol contestant, has a good composer line up that promises feel good English language pop. Idol might be a good proving ground for performing in settings like this year with no audience, but I wasn't wowed by the performances I have seen. There is plenty of time to choreograph three minutes though. I'll also highlight Patrik Jean and Efraim Leo (both 54.0) as outside picks. Both have written their songs themselves and have described their entries as being danceable, without being dance music. My head is imagining tracks like John Lundvik's Too Late For Love and also The Bubble, which really came up the rails to finish 2nd in Melodi Grand Prix 2019.

We have no semi finals yet, so there is less information to go off than normal. Right now I can see one of The Mamas, Eric Saade or Danny Saucedo opening or closing the 28 song starting field, and whoever is closing will likely see odds shorten. Remember though that trying to predict the hands of the SVT gods is the devil's work.

Top Tip:

I promised this season that any returning artist would be kept green in my book. Yet regardless The Mamas at 9.1 is great value. They will sing well, and get a strong jury performance, and their style of music is so App vote friendly. We all underestimated their appeal in the press bubble last year, but this year just a crafted pop song that gets you to do a little boogie might be all it takes. The moral pull of sending last year's artist is also one that can't be ignored. SVT didn't particularly want The Mamas last year, but they may be harder to stop in this 2021 season.

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