ButterTart's 100 Greatest Melodifestivalen Songs - 2002 to 2024

63. Panetoz - On My Way (2023)



Finalist - 10th place​



“The positioning of the white bloke really has a 'you're not part of this' energy, like when they forced Union J to add George Shelley as a member.”
@ButterTart, 06/02/2023

“Every group has its Louise Nurding”
@Kratz, 11/02/2023

“The white guy is DAGGY”
@FetchFugly, 11/02/2023

“The white one is absolutely not young enough to get away with this anymore”
@Penelope, 11/02/2023

“They really don't need the white guy.”
@GinAg (39), 11/02/2023

Panetoz, a group comprised of a talented, dynamic four piece and the world’s tallest Make-a-Wish kid, made their return to the contest in 2023 after a seven-year absence and I can’t pretend I was THRILLED at the prospect. I found their previous two entries fucking EXHAUSTING; frantic, three minute versions of They Shoot Horses, Don’t They which I can’t sit through without an inhaler nearby. And I’m not even asthmatic.

Imagine my surprise when ‘On My Way’ dropped and it immediately embedded itself as one of the highlights of (whisper it) an already strong year. Gone was the punishing cardio, replaced by a tangible sense of FUN.

On My Way is a full-on party banger worthy of inclusion in every Eurovision club night playlist for the rest of time. Buoyed by a relentlessly charismatic performance which makes the stage feel full and doesn’t lag for even a second, this is just an absolute joy. I honestly wasn’t prepared for how much I like this song; from the moment I heard the CLIP OCH SNIPPET I realised I had something to fully loon over in the final. That chorus burrows into your head on first listen, it’s easily the most instant thing they’ve ever sent to the contest.

The final performance itself felt colossal and garnered easily the loudest crowd reaction I’ve heard so far. In a show which also included Loreen and Marcus & Martinus, this was quite the feather in their collective cap. I briefly toyed with the idea that this might give Tattoo a run for its money, the crowd were so unequivocally behind it. Alas, they ended up tenth but they've nothing to be ashamed of. On My Way is absolutely their finest hour.

My only reservation is this nagging sense that one of the members is something of a weak link. I've scoured the forums but I can't seem to find any consensus on which of them it might be.
 
62. Kristin Amparo – I See You (2015)



AC - Lost to Hasse Andersson


“What a pretentious, humorless cow Amparo is!”
@RaspberrySwirl, 22/04/2015

Two years after Lucia Piñera thrilled audiences nowhere with ‘Must Be Love’, Melodifestivalen took another stab at getting sued by Adele with 2015’s ‘I See You’. Although it failed to trigger formal legal proceedings, it can at least boast one accomplishment its predecessor can’t – it’s actually good.

Kristin has the bearing of a middle manager getting the ‘Unexpected star of the show’ treatment from Michael McIntyre and turns in a boring, emotionless performance with the occasional inane grin like she’s reading moderately positive tweets about herself off the autocue.

But Butters, I hear you trill, why have you placed this poor woman so high if all you’re going to do is slag her off?

Well, that’s because I See You is absolutely bastarding PHENOMENAL. With a more engaging singer this would have been a star-making moment for the ages. To her credit, Kristin turns in a solid vocal performance but this needed something MASSIVE. The word that just came to mind is ‘resplendent’ so let’s go with that. This is a resplendent, sweeping orchestral ballad which builds to a truly gargantuan chorus. When the chorus hits, 'I See You' SOARS. I wouldn't normally gush this much about a ballad but I'm happy to give credit where it's due; if you’re going to impress me with a BPM of fuck-all, then this is precisely how you do it. It feels like it should be part of the repertoire of a proper diva - or at least an off-brand British soul singer – and I truly can’t overstate how fundamentally impressive it is that this song was even part of the contest.

I was going to suggest another Melodifestivalen artist who’d have been more suited to do it justice but I can’t actually think of anyone except Lovers of Valdaro. Suggestions below, please.
 
61. Sanna Nielsen - Vågar du, vågar jag (2007)



Finalist – 7th place


“Am I the only person who really doesn't get her fringe?”
@D5K, 24/02/2007

At this point in my life, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m the exact sort of person who thinks ‘lol vag’ whenever I see the title of this song.

Looking a bit like Sara Cox, Melodifestivalen’s spindliest spinster was on a mission back in 2007 to put the Sanna Nielsen in ‘That Sanna Nielsen’s never found a hairstyle that suits her’.

It’s a personal shame I must bear for the rest of my life that I TOTALLY slept on this song for the longest time. How or why I allowed this to happen, I can’t say. The many, many charms of Vågar (lol) du, vågar (lol) jag are a pretty recent discovery for me. I’d heard it loads before, but I don’t think I’d ever heard it.

This is what I think of as ‘proper’ schlager (i.e. probably not schlager at all by any recognised definition); it’s uplifting, it’s powerful and it’s endlessly likeable. I should have loved it from the first listen but this is what happens when you grow up near pylons; your neurons don’t always fire in the right direction.

This is Sanna at her most effortlessly charming. She’s a great performer with an endearing charisma that kind of makes me want to find the last person to have a cross word with her and punch them in the face.

Sanna is on impeccable form here, elevating an already effervescent song into proper ‘punch the air’ territory. The whole sequence from 2:30 onwards in the video above is basically what Christmas means to me :disco:. This is, any way you slice it, an outright and unapologetic BANGER.

It may not be my favourite Sanna entry yet (more on that later) but once I’ve made up for all this lost time I think it might well become a challenger.

Lol vag
 
God I miss the choreo with the backing singers.

That second verse is so painful - another victim of underestimating the low notes.
 
I was going to suggest another Melodifestivalen artist who’d have been more suited to do it justice but I can’t actually think of anyone except Lovers of Valdaro. Suggestions below, please.

This is arguably what Felicia Olsson should've come back with really (albeit when she was at her vocal best in 2013 and not her 2018 vocals :D )
 
=60. Marcus & Martinus – Unforgettable (2024)



WINNER!


“They’ll realise how FORGETTABLE it is soon enough…”
@Soldi, 09/03/2024

I think Unforgettable may be the subject of the quickest volte-face I’ve ever made. In the arena, I literally exclaimed ‘Oh Sweden, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?’, but by the time I was back at the hotel I was putting it in my top ten of the year and declaring it an unqualified triumph.

The heady notes of trance that course throughout this are an obvious siren call to a basic chav like me who lives every day like it’s 2002. It’s such a thumper that I feel immensely foolish to have ever doubted it. The production is flawless, it’s a carefully manufactured floorfiller which demands to be noticed and has even managed to get a moderately stanky leg out of me on occasion.

The presentation is also IMMACULATE :disco: the bit from 1:05 in the video is already one of my favourite bits of Melodifestivalen staging ever and these two robotic, emotionless goblins are perfect for delivering on the clinical precision of the choreography.

I don’t know how this will do in May but I’d wager it’ll do a fair bit better than most are predicting. I have a shaky relationship with recent Swedish Eurovision songs because they rarely go with the ones I particularly care for, but I’m pleased to report this is definitely one of their good ones.

For the record, I think Marcus is the sort of cool one and Martinus is the blousy one who does most of the singing. I think.
 
60. Drängarna - Piga & dräng (2020)



AC – Lost to Mendez & Alvaro Estrella



“Hang on, everyone else actually liked that?!”

“Not quite everyone.”

Statler and Waldorf (@D5K and @win_the_game), 15/02/2020

I know we’ve all unanimously agreed that heat 3 of 2024 was the most horrific, thankless ordeal Melodifestivalen have ever forced upon us, but I’d like to posit an alternative option for the worst heat of all time: heat 3 of 2020. Mohombi with a song so feeble I believe he wrote the lyrics on the way to the stage to perform it, Faith Kakembo with what science has now proved to be the most boring song of all time, Albin Johnsén just being there… even Mariette was firmly ensconced in her post-giving a shit phase at this point. There was, however, one shining beacon of light: Piga och dräng.

A stunning example of the well-known ‘turbo shanty’ genre I made up for the Stormande Hav review, Piga & dräng is an insanely bouncy, brutally catchy and utterly joyful entry. Such was its curative power, it actually delayed the arrival of Covid in Sweden by several months.

I’m shit at musical terminology so I hope you understand what I mean when I say the beat of this song feels mega chunky and satisfying, especially when paired with the visual of the dancers. From the relentless bounce to the key change to the lead singer very clearly having the time of his life, everything about Piga & dräng just works. Seriously, if this conjures nary a twitch from you then I think you need to seek the guidance of your local clergy.

Every year we get at least one collection of amiable-looking rustics popping up in Mello, and every year I hope they'll deliver something similar. We've had some pleasant ditties out of them but nothing close to this :(

Drängarna were drawn against Mendez & Alvaro Estrella at AC, which was shockingly cruel to me. It was like Sophie’s Choice except without the shit daughter to give me a clear right option. I suppose I’d rather them lose to Vamos Amigos than anything else that year, but the final would have been richer had they both got there.
 
62. Kristin Amparo – I See You (2015)



AC - Lost to Hasse Andersson


I was going to suggest another Melodifestivalen artist who’d have been more suited to do it justice but I can’t actually think of anyone. Suggestions below, please.

There aren't many that capable.

Carola might've missed her 'I'm a Survivor'/'Still Young' moment with this.

I took love all for granted
And here I'm standing by myself
Now I wonder yes I wonder
Could you ever take me back
I'm so sorry my friend
And I, I do
Yes I see you


Narratively, the lyrics are the perfect apology to the public's rage for her on stage mauling of poor Johnson years prior. Still, it feels a little bit beneath Carola to go for an apology tour, and I don't think she would ever enter aiming for anything less than divine conquest.

Here's one of her rejects for comparison:
 
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I See You is half of a lovely song. But it really suffers from feeling like Kempe just thought ’that’ll do’ as soon as he came up with the hook, and didn’t deign to write anything to go around it.
 
I See You is half of a lovely song. But it really suffers from feeling like Kempe just thought ’that’ll do’ as soon as he came up with the hook, and didn’t deign to write anything to go around it.
and sandwiched between the "you WILL vote for this" energy of Jon Henrik and the "you'd BETTER vote for this :evil: " energy of original Isa it seemed a little FILLER rather than a moment. Still, it was nice for her to appear in the interval this year which is a better fate than Midnight Boy from the class of 2015 who allegedly was DROPPED the very same evening he went out in last place :o
 
59. Jessica Andersson - Kalla nätter (2006)



Heat 3 - 5th place


“Dull. Repetitive. The backing singers are too loud. The curtains are shit. The costume is dreadful.”
@Madíson, 06/02/2010

Poor Jessan. This was supposed to be her big moment; her chance to take centre stage with a (for 2006) sure qualifier and show Sweden she was ready for the big leagues.

She chose to present Kalla nätter by wearing velour hotpants and doing unspeakable things with a chair which, for the simple, innocent Swedish folk, was apparently the equivalent of the scarlet letter. Branded a whore, forced out of her hometown and pelted with Carola-brand holy water wherever she went, the experience set Jess on a path of floor-length ball gowns and weepy ballads for years to come. Attempting a triumphant return to bare skin with ‘Horizon’ only proved beyond doubt that her countrymen were still not prepared to tolerate her flashing a bit of leg.

Kalla nätter is a bit of a ‘what if’ moment, as the song itself is utterly superb. It’s Jessan at her most shamelessly gay-baiting, so it’s not as if the hotpants even served a purpose for her target demographic. It combines elements of disco and schlager to dazzling effect, and warranted far more success than it earned.

Performance-wise, I have no complaints at all. Jessica’s vocals are on point and her staging is confident, assured and impactful which, sadly, seems to have been part of the problem. The flaps-out routine was clearly too rich for Scandinavian blood back in 2006.

I may, of course be exaggerating both the filthiness of the performance and the reaction of the public. It may well just be that they didn’t like the song that much, but that’s such an obscene notion that I think I’ll stick with the slut-shaming narrative instead.

For me, it was nice to see a schlager lout do something different. There’s never normally that much room in their Melodifestivalen performances for them to be a bit sexy so fair play to Jessan for producing something capable of eliciting a bit of a grumble around the nethers.
 
59. Jessica Andersson - Kalla nätter (2006)



Heat 3 - 5th place


“Dull. Repetitive. The backing singers are too loud. The curtains are shit. The costume is dreadful.”
@Madíson, 06/02/2010

Poor Jessan. This was supposed to be her big moment; her chance to take centre stage with a (for 2006) sure qualifier and show Sweden she was ready for the big leagues.

She chose to present Kalla nätter by wearing velour hotpants and doing unspeakable things with a chair which, for the simple, innocent Swedish folk, was apparently the equivalent of the scarlet letter. Branded a whore, forced out of her hometown and pelted with Carola-brand holy water wherever she went, the experience set Jess on a path of floor-length ball gowns and weepy ballads for years to come. Attempting a triumphant return to bare skin with ‘Horizon’ only proved beyond doubt that her countrymen were still not prepared to tolerate her flashing a bit of leg.

Kalla nätter is a bit of a ‘what if’ moment, as the song itself is utterly superb. It’s Jessan at her most shamelessly gay-baiting, so it’s not as if the hotpants even served a purpose for her target demographic. It combines elements of disco and schlager to dazzling effect, and warranted far more success than it earned.

Performance-wise, I have no complaints at all. Jessica’s vocals are on point and her staging is confident, assured and impactful which, sadly, seems to have been part of the problem. The flaps-out routine was clearly too rich for Scandinavian blood back in 2006.

I may, of course be exaggerating both the filthiness of the performance and the reaction of the public. It may well just be that they didn’t like the song that much, but that’s such an obscene notion that I think I’ll stick with the slut-shaming narrative instead.

For me, it was nice to see a schlager lout do something different. There’s never normally that much room in their Melodifestivalen performances for them to be a bit sexy so fair play to Jessan for producing something capable of eliciting a bit of a grumble around the nethers.

I skim-read Jessan's biography in a Swedish library last year and this saga is given three chapters :D Interestingly, she was either going to sing this or "Jag Ljuger Sa Bra", which had been written by Ingela Pling Forsman based on a break-up story Jessica had shared with her. In the book she says she loves Linda's version but she can't help but to consider it HER song.

She was treated very badly by the press and her manager, but the whole sorry affair did lead to the concept of "I'm sorry Sweden :redface::unsure:" which is the phenomenon where we see contestants attempting to atone for their past sins by playing their next entry very safe and with a degree of trepidation. My top 3 "I'm sorry Sweden" performances are:

1. Jessica Andersson - I Did It For Love

2. Jessica Andersson - When Love's Comin' Back Again

3. Janet Leon - Hollow
 
Bert Karlsson vomit-gate.

Kalla Nätter finishing 5th really was my ultimate personal schlagerfiaskot. No other Globen or Bust outcome was more painful.
 
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=58. Malena Ernman – La Voix (2009)



WINNER!

“Eww....those are some UGLY tits!”
Toyah, 13/05/2009

2009 can stake a very legitimate claim for the title of greatest ever Melodifestivalen. The contest featured a rich, diverse buffet of performers at the very top of their game. It needlessly over-delivered to the point that the reservoir of bangers was still bone dry by the time the 2010 roster was being assembled.

With this in mind I do find it a bit weird that Malena Ernman’s ‘La Voix’, a wildcard entrant, got the nod for Eurovision. It’s never really spoken about with the same regard as other songs from that year and doesn’t seem to have really made that much of an impact among Eurovision fans. I wasn’t following the Melody Festivals at the time so I’d be interested in hearing from people who were around back then how this came to be Sweden’s pick of the pops.

None of the above is meant as a criticism of Malena or La Voix. This has been a huge favourite of mine since I first saw it performed at Eurovision and it now occupies a comfortable slot among my favourite Melodifestivalen songs ever. Dance popera feels like a genre invented exclusively for the annual homosexual flotilla and doesn’t really exist beyond its glittery confines, which is a shame because this is such a BRILLIANT idea for a song. It’s brazen and thumping but, because it’s opera, still feels proper classy like.

Malena herself just EXUDES charisma. She looks like she’d be a proper laugh on a night out and she’s very clearly loving life in every performance of La Voix. Her voice was absolutely butchered by May, but there’s no denying that the woman has serious credentials.

La Voix is, to me, a pleasingly anomalous MF champion. I don’t know how its victory came to pass, I’m just delighted that it did.
 
I skim-read Jessan's biography in a Swedish library last year and this saga is given three chapters :D Interestingly, she was either going to sing this or "Jag Ljuger Sa Bra", which had been written by Ingela Pling Forsman based on a break-up story Jessica had shared with her. In the book she says she loves Linda's version but she can't help but to consider it HER song.

She was treated very badly by the press and her manager, but the whole sorry affair did lead to the concept of "I'm sorry Sweden :redface::unsure:" which is the phenomenon where we see contestants attempting to atone for their past sins by playing their next entry very safe and with a degree of trepidation. My top 3 "I'm sorry Sweden" performances are:

1. Jessica Andersson - I Did It For Love

2. Jessica Andersson - When Love's Comin' Back Again

3. Janet Leon - Hollow

Janet Leon standing there in that virginal white smock and not smiling under any circumstances... they really did make her suffer for letting essentially nobody down the previous year.
 
also the biggest crime is that based on the strength of Jessica's follow-up single we missed out on a potentially very poppy great album.



That was a big iPod favourite back then.

It seemed so cruel at the time, making them wait and see how they fared in the contest before giving the album green light... and now no one gets an album, even the winners.
 
58. Tennessee Tears - Now I Know (2023)



AC - 5th place​

“This is GENERIC AI PRODUCED HELL”
@Sheena, 11/02/2023

:disco: Here’s a divisive one – half of Moopy seemed to absolutely loathe it, the other half just thought it was boring and generically shit. And then came Butters with the correct opinion. That’s right, I’ve ranked Now I Know 27 places higher than Make Me (La La La). Lol, what am I like?

I was a staunch defender of Now I Know last year and my position remains unchanged. When folk-pop threatens the contest, this is how I want it to sound. Yes, the lyrics about a pair of down-home country types reminiscing about their youth are generic as hell, but it’s the melody that sells the song here. Nostalgic, country-inflected verses give way to an absolute rip-roarer of a chorus and the instrumental maintains a driving, energetic beat throughout. Then there’s that final minute where they just throw subtlety to the wind and start shouting the odds… I know you’re sitting there shaking your head and wondering ‘what’s to be done with this Butters fellow?’ but I’m telling you – that final minute is joy unconfined.

The woman is an odd wrinkle in that she has an objectively strong voice but with fuck-all tone, a bit like Cilla Black except for the strong voice. She sounds better in the EXCELLENT studio version but she does veer into shrill during the performance. Still, she gives it some proper welly and blends fairly well with the bloke’s voice.

I appreciate that this write-up will have done nothing to change hearts and minds, and that Now I Know will remain an acquired taste, but it’s embedded itself as a firm favourite with me. Melodifestivalen is a broad church so there should always be a place for a lively folk banger and a couple of Swedish hipsters pretending they’re American.
 
57. Isa - I Will Wait (2016)



AC – Lost to SaRaha



“Lots of vocal bells and whistles, but there's just no song underneath it.”
@VoR, 14/02/2016

There was a time when this would probably have been top ten in this rate. Back when my field of knowledge was a lot narrower, I Will Wait was THE Melodifestivalen ballad. It’s dipped slightly the more I’ve got to know the contest but I can’t imagine it ever not featuring in my top 100.

This is an ambitiously – almost impossibly - big ballad, gentle verses leading into a HUGE chorus which puts a slightly unrealistic weight of expectation on Isa to deliver it. The strength here is in the writing; lines like ‘I’ll see my past in the corners and cracks of your smile, and seeing your future in mine’s all I need to survive’ just WORK for me. No undoing of sad to be found here, thanks.

I Will Wait is a love letter to an imaginary partner, a tender exploration of longing, loneliness and unfulfilled dreams which could only be done justice by a 17 year old white girl from Sweden.

It features one of the more memorable staging concepts in recent years with Isa essentially voguing in slow motion to produce a shadow puppet theatre behind her. There are a ton of differences between the heat and andra chanson performances, which is unusual. The intro, the middle 8 moment with the rose and the man’s silhouette, and the billowing red curtain which occasionally resembles a vagina all disappear or reappear depending on which version you watch. I assume there must have been some sort of technical hitch with the first performance which necessitated the change. You’d think I’d look this up so I could write about it, wouldn’t you?

This still holds a very special place in my heart because 2016 was the first truly great contest I followed live. I hope Isa makes it back one day – now she’s 25 I’ll be able to notice how fit she is without feeling like a bit of a perv.
 
56. Måns Zelmerlöw - Cara mia (2007)



Finalist – 3rd place


“The whole thing reeked so much of desperation it made Linda B look positively NONCHALANT. I really find the song joyless too. Probably doesn't help that he's a man”
@VoR, 09/01/2013

Cara Mia @Tisch!

Years before romping to consensus victory with tolerable smash Heroes, Måns Zelmerlöw made his Melodifestivalen debut with dramatic banger Cara Mia, absolutely peaking in the process.

Måns is at his stage-school madam worst here – cocky facial expressions, ostentatious, jerky dancing which looks apt to dislocate a hip, and a sustained, shit-eating demeanour from start to finish. He’s also very charismatic, annoyingly, and its clear this entry planted the seeds of his later success.

There are some… choices in the staging. Our man Måns can definitely move, but the routine does sometimes descend into parody – the sequence at 2:00 in the above video is one of the stupidest dance moves I’ve ever seen. He and his dancers look like they’re trying to stay upright on a capsizing boat, which makes me question what effect they were actually going for there.

The song itself is a proper thumper. From the hummed intro to the ‘COME! CLO! SER!’ drop into the final chorus, it feels triumphant and more deserving of the win in 2007 than whatever The Worrying Kind was supposed to be. Måns sells the absolute shite out of Cara mia, navigating through those troublesome low verses to really shine in that high-impact chorus. It really feels like it builds to something climactic by the time we reach the final big note, it’s just a superbly crafted three minutes and one I’ve probably hammered too much over the years. I’d probably have rated this a fair bit higher if I hadn’t overplayed it into oblivion.

Now in his REAL MUSIC phase (he’s duetted with DOTTER, y’know), Måns has apparently disowned this and Hope & Glory – his two best songs and the ones that truly put him on the map. That’s the problem with Barratt Home owners; once they get comfortable in their semi-detached ivory towers, they completely forget where they came from. SAD!
 
55. Eric Saade – Sting (2015)



Finalist – 5th place

“The effects for this are absolutely RIDICULOUS. So obvious they want a favourite. His vocals are fucking SHIT.”
@Kala, 07/02/2015

IT’S GONNA STINK SO BAD, DRIVE YOU MAD :disco:

Four years after romping to victory with the sublimely ridiculous ‘Popular’ Eric Saade had his face freshly inflated and laminated, and made his dazzling comeback to the Melodifestivalen stage.

‘Sting’ is the only one of his entries that comes close to toppling Popular. If he sounds smug here, it’s intentional. The song is a brilliantly cunty and petulant two-fingered salute to a love rival; it’s essentially three minutes of gleefully childish gloating that he’s the one who got the girl (Presumably a doomed romance marred by dirty clothes on the floor and improperly hung towels). During the performance, Eric is grinning all over his newly colossal face and I feel like this is evident in the studio version as well. It’s such a fun, riotous and mischievous song, I totally get that he’d have an absolute blast performing it.

The staging here is strong, if a little cluttered. The first verse is especially full-on, with the silhouette effect, Oscar Zia-worthy hyperactive camera and those black and white pre-records of Eric just being a camp old sort. His performance is, as you’d expect, top notch. Vocals are cast aside like the irrelevance they are in favour of breathless choreography (including a really weird bit at 1:16 above). He even manages to look confident and assured while being hoisted aloft on a horrifically shaky window cleaning platform that looks like it’s being held up with twine.

The song itself is a whirlwind, a proper floorfiller that refuses to let up and absolutely needed someone with the presence of Eric Saade to do it justice. It also needed a singer with just the right amount of innocence and exuberance to make those lyrics tolerable; the protagonist of the song is, after all, a complete bellend.

Sting is a total fucking BANGER – insanely good fun and delightfully bratty. I’d sooner have seen this go to Vienna than Heroes, being honest.

I knew you before you were a cool kid, so screw you, right? :disco:
 
=54. Fame – Give Me Your Love (2003)



WINNER!



“Give Me Your Love is lazy Swedish-pop-by-numbers.”
@D5K, 27/12/2006


Now here’s one that never had any cut-through with me before I started making annual pilgrimages to Sweden. This song played LOADS during my first couple of visits and it revealed itself unto me in a way it never did before. The fact that homosexuality is pumped through the tap water like fluoride probably helped loosen me up to its charms, too.

Fame is a musical duo comprised of Jessica Andersson and Irrelevant Male, who met while competing in the Swedish version of Fame Academy, which is such a courageous thing to admit to. I don’t feel as though Irrelevant Male adds much to the overall package but at least we got Jessan and her sinful, forbidden legs out of it.

Give Me Your Love is a banger. So Swedish its like Ikea throwing up pickled herring all over a gay Covid-denier; it’s very, very twee. It’s also expertly crafted pop which sounded slick and polished in among its international rivals come May.

Jessan, styled in the C&A Clockhouse Rosie Ribbons Collection, is clearly having a smashing time here and wears the grin of someone who’s already planning to go solo and flash her nuisance in racy hotpants, and her voice meshes well with Irrelevant Male’s to create an effervescent, Abba-lite smasher. The chorus is fantastic and the GIVE ME ALL! OF! YOUR! LOVE! Moment is guaranteed to make people lose their shit a bit at Eurovision club nights.

Fame came back the following year with Vindarna vänder oss, which very nearly made it into the arse-end of this rate.
 
54. Elisa Lindström - Forever Yours (2024)



AC – Last place


“It’s not really SCHLAGER, though, is it? It’s just what we came to CALL schlager.”
@Sheena, 02/02/2024

2024 bags another spot in this rate with the least 2024-sounding song of the entire year.

This was Elisa’s third crack at Melodifestivalen, having failed to qualify with the astonishingly basic Casanova and the lovely but threatening Den du är. This time, she actually managed to bag a ticket to andra chansen… in the year it technically didn’t happen.

Looking somewhere between 28 and 70, Elisa already had the physical credentials to be a schlager lout so Forever Yours was a natural next step for her. This is a throwback schlager anthem which owes more of a debt to the mid-2000s than the Schlager 2.0 of more recent contests. It possesses one of the most gloriously anachronistic choruses of the last few years, a thing of thumping, euphoric beauty which offers such lyrical brilliance as ‘No evidence, I need no certification now’ :disco: :disco:

Forever Yours really has no place in a 2024 contest, which is what really makes it such a standout. It isn’t trying to be a modernised version of what’s gone before; it’s a wholehearted TRIBUTE to what’s gone before. Elisa performs the hell out of it too, absolutely charming everyone except the voting public in the process. When I saw her at Nalen the night before the final, she said it had always been her dream to sing this sort of song at Melodifestivalen so I’m pleased it became her most successful effort.

I’m not expecting a full-on comeback of the genre or anything, but this doing (relatively) well despite literally zero expectation gives me some hope that schlager might get a little more representation going forward. I mean, the obligatory sad child ballads fail without exception and yet we get several each year. Why not replace them with a genre people might dish out a polite amount of votes to?

Also, we've still yet to resolve the debate of whether this is even schlager at all :o
 
53. Mimi Werner – Songburning (2018)



AC - lost to Felix Sandman :evil:


“betraying your HERITAGE of Ain't No Good with THIS, just to make it to the most one-sided andra chansen duel of all time - was it worth it Mimi? WAS IT? (imagine for the purposes of this post I'm yelling this at Mimi Werner's skeleton tied to a chair)”
@Penelope, 27/01/2022

In the ranking of the terrible, evil things @Penelope has done in his 53 years on this Earth, his hate campaign against ‘Songburning’ ranks somewhere between telling Mumsnet that his children caught autism from the MMR jab, and convincing Jesy Nelson that the rest of Little Mix were holding her back. It's well past time I made a stand - the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Mimi, who looks like a recruitment consultant from Leeds, first entered with Ain’t No Good, but Songburning is where it’s at for me. It nods in the general direction of the country stylings of her previous effort but sticks closely to a more Melodifestivalen-friendly big pop anthem format. That sing-along chorus is suitably MASSIVE and was always going to do brisk business with me. By the time she’s leading the march of the Combat 18 drum corps to the second stage, Mimi is firmly in stadium pop territory. I was already 100% on-side during the semi and I've only grown to love it more since.

This goes big – far bigger than Mimi’s voice can comfortably accommodate, and reaches a veritable crescendo before its over. It works a lot better in studio form than it does live, but a genuine attempt was made to make a spectacle out of this on the night.

Yes, it's fair to say they went all out on the staging, what with the pyro curtain and that cool burning fuse effect. I have to question why they bothered as nothing was really expected from Songburning beyond squeaking into AC, which is exactly what happened. Even so, Mimi delivers quite the visual showstopper in the final chorus in an effort to glamour us into not noticing those rather UNIQUE ad-libs.

I shouldn’t have thought Penelope is the only poster immune to the charms of Songburning; it doesn’t exactly scream ‘Moopy fave’. It is, however, one of my most listened to entries from the past few years and, really, isn’t that all that matters?
 
52. Oscar Zia – Human (2016)



Finalist – 2nd place

“Jesus how fucking unprofessional. FUCK OFF OSCAR”
Zu, 20/02/2016

Years before he was dressing like an Edwardian sex offender to present Melodifestivalen 2022, Oscar Zia was plying his trade as a contestant. It was on his third go that he struck gold with ‘Human’.

This was the eventual runner up of the 2016 contest, and I feel compelled to point out that he was absolutely robbed by that shithouse of a winner and should have washed his hands of the whole bloody thing.

Human is absolute THUNDER. It sounds like it doesn’t even need the contest in order to succeed; it’s three minutes of drama built around a fantastic, driving chorus. Oscar’s vocals are, to say the least, patchy, but this becomes an irrelevance with the backing vox-heavy chorus hits and we can no longer hear him.

There’s a dynamism and a forcefulness to this that I really like. I know the fifteen camera angles per second aesthetic of the performance is supposed to enhance this, but it does tend to dip into parody. It doesn’t really need the seizure-inducing camerawork to get its point across – the moody stage and billowing dry ice set the tone nicely. This feels like the sort of thing Marcus & Martinus would have sent had they been born in 2016, which is intended as a compliment. It feels relevant and commands attention; it’s designed to be a moment.

This is easily the best of Oscar’s efforts so far and, at just 27 years old, I’m assuming it won’t be the last song he’ll ever bung into the contest. There was a time when a collab with Anis Don Demina seemed inevitable but that boat - barring a ridiculous Tommy Körberg cover - appears to have sailed.

Human may not have been my absolute favourite of 2016 but I sincerely believe it would have been a faultless choice to send to Eurovision.
 
51. BWO - Lay Your Love On Me (2008)



3rd place in final


“How do i put this? That BWO performance was RUBBISH!”
Toyah, 23/02/2008

Just missing out on the top 50 is ‘Lay Your Love On Me’, a slice of tits-out absurdity and part of the league of legends of the modern contest.

A more incongruous collection of performers has never graced the Melodifestivalen stage. BWO comprises improbably heterosexual singer Martin, Charlotte Perrelli lookalike Marina, and mentally unstable shitbag Alexander Bard.

BWO (which stands for Bodies Without Organs – a wanky way of saying ‘skellingtons’) are no strangers to Melodifestivalen but THIS is their defining moment. Flamboyant, pretentious, brazen, ridiculous… this is just an absolute blast of a song. The performance is a carnival of gloriously pointless excess… Jacobean ruffs! The cage lift! And the crowd pop for Marina’s string-laden spoken word middle-8 makes it clear that this song is kind of a big deal.

Special mention needs to go to the lyrics, which are among my favourite to ever grace the contest. Seriously, how can you do anything but stan for a chorus which opens with the line ‘We can dance all night with the bourgeoisie’? I’ve evangelised about this plenty of times before but ‘I don't plan to join the peace core, but I'll drop my guns and bring the bouquet’ is SUCH a banger of a line that’s so pompous, ridiculous and downright CAMP that it serves as a perfect representation of the song itself.

BWO apparently all hate each other now, as evidence during that astonishing 2016 interval medley when two of them only appeared mincing on screen in separate, pre-recorded videos.

Lay Your Love On Me is a song that I think is synonymous with the contest and fully deserves to be part of the conversation about all-time greats.

BRB, just off to dance all night with the bourgeoisie.
 
So we've actually made it to the halfway point :o

Who here thought I'd abandon this DAYS ago?

Anyway, plodding along we very much are, so let's have a recap of the first fifty (plus winners and the ten that just missed out, quite a WOOLLY top 100 is this).

51 BWO - Lay Your Love On Me 2008
52 Oscar Zia - Human 2016
53 Mimi Werner - Songburning 2018
54 Elisa Lindström - Forever Yours 2024
54 Fame - Give Me Your Love 2003
55 Eric Saade - Sting 2015
56 Måns Zelmerlöw - Cara mia 2007
57 Isa - I Will Wait 2016
58 Tennessee Tears - Now I Know 2023
58 Malena Ernman - La Voix 2009
59 Jessica Andersson - Kalla nätter 2006
60 Drängarna - Piga och dräng 2020
60 Marcus & Martinus - Unforgettable 2024
61 Sanna Nielsen - Vågar du, vågar jag 2007
62 Kristin Amparo - I See You 2015
63 Panetoz - On My Way 2023
64 Medina - Que Sera 2024
65 Kamferdrops - Solen lever kvar hos dig 2018
66 Linda Bengtzing - Jag ljuger så bra 2006
67 Pagan Fury - Stormbringer 2019
68 Hanna Lindblad - Goosebumps 2012
69 Ralf Gyllenhammar - Bed on Fire 2013
70 Sarek - Genom eld och vatten 2003
71 Anniela - Elektrisk 2011
72 Roger Pontare - Himmel och hav 2017
73 Anton Ewald - Begging 2013
74 Smash Into Pieces - Heroes Are Calling 2024
75 Dolly Style - Hello Hi 2015
76 Theoz - Mer av dig 2023
77 Martin - Du och jag (i hela världen) 2002
78 Samir & Viktor - Groupie 2015
79 Arja Saijonmaa - Vad du än trodde så trodde du fel 2005
80 Mimi Oh - Det går för långsamt 2012
81 Molly Sandén - Why Am I Crying? 2012
82 Jan Malmsjö - Leva livet 2019
83 Erik Segerstedt & Toni Damli – Hello Goodbye 2013
83 Carola - Evighet 2006
84 Katrina and the Nameless - As If Tomorrow Will Never Come 2005
85 Dinah Nah - Make Me (La La La) 2015
86 Felicia Olsson - Break That Chain 2018
87 Sara Lumholdt – Enemy 2011
88 Shirley Clamp - Att älska dig 2005
89 Clara Klingenström Behöver inte dig idag 2021
90 Eden - Comfortable 2023
91 LIAMOO - Bluffin 2022
92 Jon Henrik Fjällgren - Jag är fri (Manne Leam Frijje) 2015
93 Molly Sandén - Youniverse 2016
94 Emil Henrohn - Mera mera mera 2023
95 Timoteij - Stormande Hav 2012
96 Petra Nielsen – Tango! Tango! 2004
96 The Mamas - Move 2020
97 Brandsta City Släckers – Kom Och Ta Mig 2002
98 Michael Feiner & Caisa - We're Still Kids 2013
99 B-Boys International feat. Paul M - One Step Closer 2005
100 Elecktra - Banne maj 2024
101 Martin Almgren – A Bitter Lullaby 2018
102 Eddie Razaz - Alibi 2013
103 Fröken Snusk - Unga & fria 2024
104 EMD - Baby Goodbye 2009
105 Kikki, Bettan & Lotta - Vem é dé du vill ha 2002
106 Sonya - Etymon 2006
107 Danny Saucedo - Happy That You Found Me 2024
108 Alvaro Estrella - Bailá Bailá 2021
109 Evan - Under Your Spell 2006
110 Lisa Miskovsky - Why Start a Fire? 2012
 
Lay Your Love On Me is such a pop thrill.

I see Martin has recently been doing disco dinner nights with Goddess of Success Tess Merkel. I loved In and Out of Love too.
 
50. Oscar Enestad - I Love It (2019)



Heat 2 - 7th place​


“That dated tripe about him sticking his tiny dick into some bored housewife?”
@win_the_game, 16/05/2019

Who would have thought that ANYTHING FO&O related would have occupied a spot in my top 50? Whether as a group or individually, these horrible little bastards have a routinely terrible track record for vile songs nobody likes. Apart, that is, from Oscar Anustart.

I Love It has played in my head more or less continuously for the past five years, which I’m taking as a sign that I do, in fact, love it. This is a true disasterpiece of the modern era; a performance so terrifically ill judged that, along with the sinister lyrics, it stakes a claim to be remembered as a Dilba-style classic.

The blousy lovechild of Julian Rhind-Tutt and Paula Yates wibbling disjointedly in a Perspex box and singing about how much he enjoys sliding it up his octogenarian missus… who is this for? Who asked for this? What sort of PERVERT could actually enjoy this?

Me, dear reader. Me.

This is an understated banger, a terrific little electro-pop number with some absolutely gorgeous production to its credit. Listen to those strings before the final chorus! Listen to that bleepy bloopy intro! Oscar’s thin, reedy voice actually works in the context of this song – the instrumental doesn’t need to be overpowered by vocals; it’s rich and layered enough to be engaging as it is.

Make no mistake, this absolutely deserved to crash out in its heat. Outside of the context of a competition it was ill suited to, though, I Love It is a fucking BRILLIANT song which deserves to be recognised as the banger that it is.
 
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49. Maria Sur – When I’m Gone (2024)



Finalist - 7th place​


“Maria's was a lot of smoke and mirrors. It's like they threw everything at nothing.”
@Raining on Me, 11/02/2024

God, you people were really awful about this song a couple of months back. Terrible things were said about poor Maria while I was a loyal champion and definitely loved When I’m Gone from first listen. Don’t go back and check the threads, you’ll just see that I’m right and you’ll feel foolish.

Anyway, this came alive for me when I saw it live. She may be @kratz’s hated nemesis but I have to give Maria credit; she properly sells the track and seems far more comfortable doling out slaggy bangers than dismal ballads.

When I’m Gone is full-on modern trance which owes a lot more to the late 90s/early 00s than the ongoing EDM phase the contest is in. It does take a while to get going but when it arrives… Jesus wept :disco: Everything after 2:30 is absolute gold; this is one of the heaviest dance tracks we’ve seen at Melodifestivalen. Admittedly, that’s not saying much and When I’m Gone still very firmly occupies pop territory, but this does feel much more like a club anthem than a radio hit.

The staging also lends itself to that feel; volleys of lasers piercing the darkness and Maria herself tarted up in pleather with naught but a couple of tassels hiding her Reg Varney. It’s a striking visual that does a lot to establish that THIS, and not that shite from last year, is the artist Maria is supposed to be. And thank FUCK for that.

Maria owes a debt for Marcus & Martinus for laying the groundwork for this type of song, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d been given first refusal. If this is the direction the contest is going in with young artists then I’m fully on board. Interminable acoustic nothingness has done fuck all to nurture fledgling careers, so going to the absolute other end of the spectrum just makes perfect sense.
 

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