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Melodifestivalen Andra Chansen Tips and Review

This is the week where 8 rejects from Sweden’s Melodifestivalen compete in knockouts to determine the final four songs competing for Melodifestivalen victory.

The important thing to think about firstly is to try and work out who was 3rd in each semi and, therefore who was 4th. We can make a prediction of this because it is always set up so 3rd plays 4th in these knockouts.

The one I am most confident about finishing 3rd is Rema Rama Ding Dong, which would make the following combinations.

Alvaro Estrella (3rd) vs. Lillasyster (4th)

Paul Rey (3rd) vs. Frida Green (4th)

Eva Rydberg and Ewa Roos (3rd) vs. Clara Klingenström (4th)

Klara Hammarström (4th) vs. Efraim Leo (3rd)

The one that makes me doubt this is that it assumes Efraim beat Clara into 3rd place - but it’s very possible both were a distance behind the top 2 (The Mamas and Eric Saade) and therefore just a big young vote for a C-list pop star got that 3rd place.

Remember also the voting system in these duels. Each of the seven age based blocs gets one vote to give, and the televote is equal to one vote. This gives 8 points in total, and you need 5 to win. 4-4 is a tie, and the most votes wins in that case. It means that effectively the 30-44 age group is the decisive bloc in who goes through, as there are more young voters on the app than older.

The Alvaro/Lillasyster duel I find the most interesting. Both songs have had decent success streaming and on YouTube, with Lillasyster (2.0 on Unibet) benefiting most from being released in heat 1. The problem here is that Alvaro’s (1.8 on Svenska Spel) style is exactly the type of generic haven't-we-heard-it-all-before that Melodifestivalen voters go for, and that Lillasyster’s track, despite being popular, is very heavy rock and so easy for many to vote against. Kids will go Alvaro, and Lillasyster will need all the other blocs to win. Checking Andra Chansen history we have only once had a rock song win a head-to-head duel, and most get crushed by a huge margin at this round.

Would love to see Lillasyster in the final, but I have to tip Alvaro here based on track record.

Paul/Frida battle for duel two and it’s a battle of the ballads here. I was impressed by the staging in Paul Rey’s (1.55 on Svenska Spel) live performance, which came together by the Saturday night well, whereas Frida Green (2.4 on Unibet) never quite made ‘The Silence’ work as a package. Paul’s winning comfortably on statistical metrics as well, and I suspect being the well known name (he’s done plenty of SVT TV work in the past year) means this is most clear of the heats.

Hate tipping an odds on favourite, but 1.55 is value on this duel and I suspect it will shorten as the week goes on.

Duel three pits the two songs in the Swedish language together, which has had quite a few fans in uproar. This is also the one that I’m least confident about. Clara Klingenström (1.45 on Unibet) really picked up the strong female character vibe from Thursday to Saturday to make Behöver Inte Dig Idag into a votable package - and one that resonates clearly with where Sweden is politically. I’ve heard the style done better, but not inside Melodifestivalen itself, and the song has plenty of traction here. Reminds me of how Only The Dead Fish Followed The Stream caused an upset in 2013. Eva Rydberg and Ewa Roos (2.75 on Svenska Spel) have THE preschool song though, and I note how it is still a trending YouTube video (almost level with Tusse).

I fully get Clara should be the favourite here, but there’s something about voting for the Swedish grannies that can’t be ignored - and if they get the kids vote do they get their parents too? I remember how SaRaha beat Isa in a shock victory in somewhat similar circumstances in 2016 to go through Andra Chansen and I can see the same type of vote coming into play here. Should Eva and Ewa drift further, perhaps to over 3s, it might be worth a punt.

The final duel sees Klara Hammarström (2.1 on Unibet) up against Efraim Leo (1.75 on Svenska Spel). Now I don’t like Efraim at all and think it is very much the Anton Hagman of this draw. But Anton Hagman did defeat Loreen in 2017 at this very stage. Yet again Anton would likely not have beaten Loreen had the voting system been as we have today as it is theorised that Loreen’s votes mainly came from the older voters. Does Klara have the song that the adults are going to like more? It’s hard to say, both of these songs in their own way are packaged for a teenage audience and I think Klara is the more coherent ‘Eurovision’ package, but I’m not sure if that’s my own bias against the songwriting camp style of song that Efraim brings to the table.

If pushed I’d probably bet on Klara here, but I’d kick myself because I should know better if Efraim goes through.

Finally, the question should be if any of these are worth a triple figure punt to ‘do a Stjernberg’ and win Melodifestivalen after coming through Andra Chansen. The short answer is no, the favourites have what they need to do to score from both sides of the leaderboard in a way none of these do. That said it would be far easier for Lillasyster to be top half in a Melfest final than it would be to defeat Alvaro Estrella in a head-to-head.

I could also see Paul Rey (jury) and Clara Klingenström (public vote) scoring a decent result in the final. When the last place market opens up for Melfest there is a chance that a qualification from Efraim or Frida Green would see them as favourites for that spot, and could be worth jumping on quickly before they shorten.

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