The national final season is in full swing. On March 3, the Andra Chansen round of Melodifestivalen is going to take place. We’ve taken a look at the entries and the procedure below, so here is the XTRA Preview & Review!
XTRA Preview: Melodifestivalen 2018
Over the past four weeks, Melodifestivalen has been touring all over Sweden. On it’s penultimate week, we are in Kristianstad, which is hosting Melodifestivalen for the very first time for the Andra Chansen round of the competition.
The Andra Chansen (Second Chance) will consist of four duels, one song who placed third in one semi-final is put in a battle against another song who placed fourth in another semi-final. Whoever wins the duel, gets a spot in the Grand Final next week.
The show will start at 20:00 CET and we will be tweeting from @ESCXTRA.
Among the participants in Andra Chansen, is fan-favourite Margaret, who debuted this year with her song “In My Cabana”. Also competing in this round is a few returnees such as Felix Sandman with his song “Every Single Day” and Mendez with his song “Everyday”.
XTRA Review: Melodifestivalen 2018 – Andra Chansen
Duel 1: Moncho – “Cuba Libre” vs. Margaret – “In My Cabana”
Tim: I really like Margaret’s performance, having a master shot for about two third’s of the song looked really great for television. As for Moncho, his song was upbeat and made you want to dance, but it didn’t connect with me as much.
Miki: It’s the tropical battle, but none of these two makes me want to pour some Piña Colada and join in on the party. Despite the fact that they are not my personal cup of tea, overall as a performance I think Margaret completely overshadows Moncho.
Vincent: The “exotic duel”, the Carribeans VS the Pacific Islands… Both songs are enjoyable and catchy, but on that matter I prefer Moncho. As for the performance, even though Margaret’s staging is far “sunnier” than Moncho’s (the stage seems to dark for his song), the “dance along feeling” is still stronger with him.
Riccardo: Let me start by saying that I enjoy both songs very much. I don’t think either should win the whole thing, but they are extremely catchy and enjoyable! I think, however, that Margaret’s performance looked more interesting and the entry stands out more compared to Moncho.
Duel 2: Olivia Eliasson – “Never Learn” vs. Renaida – “All the Feels”
Tim: They are both poppy tracks, and I have a soft spot for both of them it’s tearing me, but one of them stood out better to me than the other.
Miki: I’d call this the radio friendly/Spotify tracks duel. They both have a very mainstream sounds and they both use different neon colors as pops of color in their performances. The thing that let’s Olivia down is the kinda infectious yet annoying chorus whilst Renaida sounds very Major Lazer-ish. I would be fine with whoever wins this duel, but I would prefer to see “All the Feels” in the grand final.
Vincent: Is this the… “industrial look duel”? It’s the first common point that went to mind, though those fluorescent clothes could also look sportive? Anyway, I find “Never Learn” a bit boring, personally, while “All the Feels” is quite boppy!
Riccardo: This is a tough one because in different ways I like both entries VERY much. Judging from a performance standpoint doesn’t help me either because they both looked awesome and ambitious. After multiple listens for each, I went with the one I feel is a bit more of a dark horse.
Duel 3: Mimi Werner – “Songburning” vs. Felix Sandman – “Every Single Day”
Tim: This was my biggest fear, Christer Bjorkman loves to make drama with these duels. They’re both very different tracks, which makes my decision very difficult. However, one of them stood out in terms of captivating me and as much as it breaks my heart to say this, it’s Felix.
Miki: I am gonna keep my opinion short and precise on this one. I say Felix should have qualified directly to the final. Sadly, this means we would have to say goodbye to Mimi’s “Songburning” which I also sort of like.
Vincent: So this the “drama duel”, right? Because these two acts have barely nothing in common. So let’s see how good they are in their category: Mimi is some sort of epic, powerful song, but in that regard it could be far more epic and powerful. On the other side, the Sandman has a song that is almost boring. But you can feel how much he’s “into it”. And the staging, especially the camera angles, are epic: it’s almost like a videoclip!
Riccardo: I love the camera angles in Felix’s performance and the lightning created the perfect atmosphere for the song. That said, the song is far from being my cup of tea. For Mimi, nothing exceptional and a little repetitive but I love the feel good and uplifting vibe. Based on my personal taste, I’d pick Mimi but I think Felix got this in the bag.
Duel 4: Sigrid Bernson – Patrick Swayze vs. Mendez – Everyday
Tim: Both earworms to my ears, and I do love both of these tracks, but staging wise I love how much effort Mendez has put into his. As much as I love Sigrid’s creativity with this, Mendez just stood out much better:
Miki: This is the hardest duel to judge because I really dislike both these entries. I find them very cliche, kitsch and not something I would even want to listen to for the whole three minutes. However, I give a slight advantage to Mendez and I don’t even know why.
Vincent: This is hard… Gosh, the “boppy/happy/catchy/feel-good duel” is always one of the hardest. Unlike my comrades, I don’t find Mendez’s staging particularly more creative (it’s more creative, but not that much). I love both songs, but “Everyday” gets in my head more easily, it’s bilingual, and “Patrick Swayze” sounds maybe “too Melfest”, or at least more than Mendez.
Riccardo: I love Sigrid’s entry, very dynamic and happy, but her staging looks a little too basic for my taste, especially her outfit. For Mendez, he is a great performer, he can transmit positive emotions and his entry, though not my favorite, extremely pleasant. Besides, his staging is definitely more ambitious than Sigrid’s.
Who do we want?
The XTRA Jury, this time consisting of Tim, Miki, Vincent and Riccardo has spoken. Below you can see the acts that they want to go to the final:
- Margaret – In My Cabana
- Renaida – All The Feels
- Felix Sandman – Every Single Day
- Mendez – Everyday
Below, we’ve included a playlist for you. Which of these eight songs do you want to take the final spots for Finalen? Make sure to let us know who you like by commenting!