Saade and Zelmerlöw favourites for Melodifestivalen 2015
The TV shows may still be a couple of months away, but Swedish Television has now announced the 28 singers and songs that will be competing in next year's Swedish Song Contest, Melodifestivalen.
The 28 songs will be fighting it out in February and March next year for the right to represent Sweden in Vienna. Five prime-time TV shows will lead up to the grand final, televised live from Stockholm's huge Friends Arena. Who will follow in Sanna Nielsen's footsteps and represent Sweden in the Eurovision?
Many of the names will ring familiar to followers of the contest, with people like Jessica Andersson, Andreas Johnson and Magnus Carlsson competing for the 456th time. Well, almost. But there are some new names, while some of them are completely unknown, others do have their followers, like the duo Samir and Viktor. Samir is best known for being in the scandalous docu-soap Paradise Hotel, and has almost 300,000 followers on Instagram alone. They had a big hit this summer with the song "Success".
Other throwing their hat into the ring for next year are a Swedish band fresh from the Australian version of X Factor, called JTR, where they finished in seventh place.
"Every Swede has some kind of relationship to Melodifestivalen", they told Radio Sweden, "We all grew up with it. We wanted a positive, uplifting pop-song, and that's what it is. It's poppy, building it up. I think everyone wants to win, but there's a lot of good competition, so who knows?
Another singer who got her big breakthrough this year is Kristin Amparo. She too is a veteran of talent shows, competing in the Swedish version of X-Factor, but is probably best known as the vocalist on the huge summer hit "Din Soldat" together with rapper Albin. Her recent success led to some in the music industry warning her off competing in Melodifestivalen, worried it may damage her career, but competing in the show has been a dream for her, she says.
"It's been with me all my life", she says, "I grew up with it. I love those kinds of traditional things. Even though it has changed in many ways, the song is still the main focus. I like that. And I also like plenty of the old songs from before. In Swedish you say they are like "pearls". I want to say to my grandchildren one day that I did it, and that I'm proud of it."
Kristin Amparo has written her song herself, together with veteran Fredrik Kempe and David Kreuger. She describes it as "a warm intimate song" with only piano and strings.
But while she is one of the newcomers to the contest, other names will be more familiar to Eurovision aficionados. Marie Bergman, Ellen Benediktsson, Caroline Wennergren, Linus Svenning and Behrang Miri are even more familiar names that will all try their luck again.
But even though the general public and the media still have yet to hear the songs, two favourites have already emerged.
Eric Saade, who won with Popular in 2011 is back, and with his sights firmly set on winning Eurovision in May. His biggest challenger to the crown may well be pop singer and TV host Måns Zelmerlöw, who last competed in Melodifestivalen in 2009 and has since hosted the show. He says he is in the contest to win it.
"It's an amazing song", he says, "it's very big, very epic in a way, and there are a lot of elements that you could use on stage with effects and so on. I wouldn't participate if I didn't think that this song had a shot at winning. But as long as I have a good run and I do my best... that's quite boring but it's the truth."
The contest will also see the first ever entry in the Sami language. Jon Henrik Fjällgren will sing the song "Jag är fri (Manne Leam Frijje)".
Here are the entries in next year's contest:
Semi 1: Gothenburg, 7th February
- Can't Hurt Me Now
Artist: Jessica Andersson
Songwriters: Aleena Gibson, Fredrik Thomander
- Det rår vi inte för (It can't be helped/We can't help it)
Artist: Behrang Miri feat. Victor Crone
Songwriters: Behrang Miri, Albin Johnsén, Måns Zelmerlöw, Tony Nilsson
- Hello Hi
Artist: Dolly Style
Songwriters: Emma Nors, Palle Hammarlund, Jimmy Jansson
- I'll Be Fine
Artist: Molly Pettersson Hammar
Songwriters: Molly Pettersson Hammar, Lisa Desmond, Tim Larsson, Tobias Lundgren, Gavin Jones
- One By One
Artist: Elize Ryd & Rickard Söderberg
Songwriters: Elize Ryd, Jimmy Jansson, Karl-Ola Kjellholm, Sharon Vaughn
- Pappa (Dad)
Artist: Daniel Gildenlöw
Songwriter: Daniel Gildenlöw
Artist: Eric Saade
Songwriters: Fredrik Kempe, Hamed ”K-one” Pirouzpanah, David Kreuger, Sam Arash Fahmi
Semi 2: Malmö, 14th February
- Don't Stop Believing
Songwriters: Miss Li, Sonny Gustafsson
- Där och då med dig (There and then with you)
Artist: Emelie Irewald
Songwriter: Emelie Irewald
- Forever Starts Today
Artist: Linus Svenning
Songwriters: Aleena Gibson, Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, Fredrik Kempe
Artist: Samir & Viktor
Songwriters: Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, Kevin Högdahl, Maria Smith, Viktor Thell
- If I Was God For One Day
Songwriters: Thomas G:son, John Gordon, Jacob Widén
- Möt mig i Gamla stan (Meet me in the Old Town)
Artist: Magnus Carlsson
Songwriters: Thomas G:son, Lina Eriksson
Artist: Marie Bergman & Sanne Salomonsen
Songwriters: Andreas Stone Johansson, Allison Kaplan
Semi 3: Östersund, 21st February
- Bring Out the Fire
Artist: Andreas Weise
Songwriters: Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, Henrik Janson, Thomas G:son
- Don't Stop
Songwriters: Isa Tengblad, Johan Ramström, Gustaf Svenungsson, Magnus Wallin, Oscar Merner
- För din skull (For your sake)
Artist: Kalle Johansson
Songwriters: Martin Eriksson, Thomas G:son, Thomas Karlsson
- I See You
Artist: Kristin Amparo
Songwriters: Kristin Amparo, David Kreuger, Fredrik Kempe
Artist: Ellen Benediktson
Songwriters: Ellen Benediktson, Anderz Wrethov
- Jag är fri (Manne Leam Frijje) (I am free)
Artist: Jon Henrik Fjällgren
Songwriters: Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Erik Holmberg, Tony Malm, Josef Melin
- Living To Die
Artist: Andreas Johnson
Songwriters: Andreas Johnson, Bobby Ljunggren, Karl-Ola Kjellholm
Semi 4: Örebro, 28th February
- Black Swan
Artist: Caroline Wennergren
Songwriters: Nicklas Eklund, Joel DeLuna, Aimee Bobruk
- Building It Up
Songwriters: JTR (John Andreasson, Tom Lundbäck, Robin Lundbäck), Erik Lewander, Iggy Strange Dahl
- Don't Say No
Artist: Midnight Boy
Songwriters: Johan Krafman, Kristofer Östergren, Olle Blomström
- Ett andetag (A breath)
Artist: Annika Herlitz
Songwriters: Amir Aly, Maciel Numhauser, Robin Abrahamsson, Sharon Dyall, Sharon Vaughn
- Guld och gröna skogar (Gold and green forests)
Artist: Hasse Andersson
Songwriters: Anderz Wrethov, Elin Wrethov, Johan Bejerholm, Johan Deltinger
Artist: Måns Zelmerlöw
Songwriters: Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, Joy Deb, Linnea Deb
- Make Me (La La La)
Artist: Dinah Nah
Songwriters: Dinah Nah, Dr Alban, Jakke Erixson, Karl-Ola Kjellholm