Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT
2015 hasn’t even ended yet, but a lot of countries are already busy selecting their song for Eurovision 2016. The Netherlands have selected singer-songwriter Douwe Bob and FYR Macedonia will send Kaliopi (ESC 2012) again. For Bosnia & Herzegovina Deen (ESC 2004)gets company from singer Dalal. Sweden, known for their huge preselection called Melodifestivalen, have announced the hopefuls in 2016’s competition. A Bit of Pop Music takes a closer look as the first predictions are rolling in!
Like every year, there are a lot of returning artists who tried their luck in an earlier year of Melodifestivalen. In the first heat, taking place on the 9th of February, Ace Wilder returns. The pop starlet almost won the contest in 2013 with her insanely catchy ‘Busy Doin’ Nothin’, finishing in second position after Sanna Nielsen. After that she released another EP with the addictive single ‘Riot’ so we know she is able to write contagious pop tunes. She is back in the competition with a song called ‘Don’t Worry’. Melodifestivalen needs another sassy uptempo anthem and Ace can serve this. Let’s hope her vocals will be a bit more convincing than last time. In the first heat, she gets competition from Victor & Samir who finished in 8th place last year with ‘Groupie’ and are still popular with Sweden’s youth. Pernilla Andersson made it to Andra Chansen with her country style in 2011 and is back in 2016. Other than that we see the return of schlagertastic Anna Book and the possibly promising Mimi Werner who will release her debut single soon.
In week two we see Krista Siegfrids popping up. The Finnish singer shook up Eurovision in 2013 with a gay kiss at the end of her performance of the cute pop tune ‘Marry Me’. It didn’t leave a lasting impression though as she finished in 24th place in the final. She is from the Swedish languaged part of Finland and wrote a track in her own language called ‘Faller’. Sounds interesting already! Melodifestivalen should be thankful that Molly Pettersson Hammar is willing to return. The singer didn’t survive last year’s first heat which caused controversy. Her ‘I’ll Be Fine’ became a hit though and she returned last summer with the delicious ‘Something Right‘. I expect ‘Hunger’ to be another soulful power anthem. Isa who made it to Melodifestivalen’s final in 2015 will bring us another pop tune and means business, working with Mans Zelmerlöw’s songwriters. David Lindgren is ready for another shot after a 4th and 8th position in 2012 and 2013.
Round 3 has some new names to offer, but also the comeback of Oscar Zia who had a hit with his Melodifestivalen collaboration with Behrang Miri and reached 8th place on his own in 2014 with ‘Yes We Can’. His song for 2016 is called ‘Human’ and he co-wrote it himself. Swingfly, who reached 5th place in 2011 with ‘Me And My Drum’, returns together with Helena Gutarra with the song ‘You Carved Your Name’. 2014’s Swedish Idol winner Lisa Ajax will give it a try this year, with a song interestingly called ‘My Heart Wants Me Dead’. Furthermore we have afropop artist SaRaha in this round with a track called ‘Kizunguzungu’. Sounds like fun to me!
Heat 4 naturally features the biggest favourite, which at the moment is Molly Sandén. She has been going strong in Sweden since her fifth place in Melodifestvalen 2012 with the beautiful and powerful ballad ‘Why Am I Crying’. She recently had hits with songs like ‘Phoenix’, ‘Freak’ and ‘Like No One’s Watching’. Her song for 2016 is called ‘Youniverse’ and she co-wrote it with her boyfriend Danny Saucedo, who is known for his second places in Melodifestivalen. This will probably be a cute love song and bookmakers are already betting on Molly to win. Martin Stenmark, who represented Sweden in 2005 with ‘Las Vegas’, will return in Swedish language, just like his attempt in 2014 where he reached Andra Chansen. Let’s see if he will get into the final again this year. Linda Bengtzing had a rough year in 2014 when she participated in Mello for the fifth time and didn’t even reach Andra Chansen while she always made it to the final in her first four attempts. Brave to come back, but will she make schlager successful again? Also Dolly Style and Panetoz return after a relatively successful first try, hungry for more!
A Bit of Pop Music is expecting the most from Molly, Molly and Ace at the moment, but we will have to wait and hear the track to judge! Happy Eurovision Season!
This is what the ladies did recently: