In the first of a regular series, we discover more about each of the competing acts in Melodifestivalen 2020. Tomorrow sees the first semi final which takes place in Linköping, where 7 acts will battle it out with the top 2 acts going directly to the Final in Stockholm, 2 acts will go to Andra Chansen in Eskilstuna and three acts will leave the competition. Do you know much about each of the acts? Read on and find out…
The Mamas – Move
(Melanie Wehbe, Patrik Jean, Herman Gardarfve)
Loulou Lamotte (40) from Malmö
Ashley Haynes (34) from Washington DC, USA
Dinah Yonas Manna (40) from Stockholm
The Mamas are well known to Eurovision fans as the backing singers to John Lundvik at Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv with ‘Too Late For Love’ where they helped him to finish in fifth place. The fourth member of the group, Paris Renata, has since gone on to other projects but the three remaining ladies decided to stick together as a group after the amazing reaction they had, and they released their debut single ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ late last year as well as a successful theatre tour around Sweden. They describe their song as a powerful up-tempo number with a strong positive message!
INTERESTING FACT: After the success of the band in Eurovision 2019, American born Ashley made the decision to move to Sweden full-time, where she is still trying to get used to the cold weather!
Suzi P – Moves
(Joy Deb, Suzi Pancenkov, Aniela Eklund, Malou Ruotsalainen, Chanel Tukia, Kenny Silverdique)
Who: Suzi Pancenkov (17) from Bjuv, just outside Helsingborg
Suzi P found fame when she was discovered on YouTube by Swedish rapper Linda Pira, and since then has become well known in the Swedish rap scene. She released two singles in 2019 called ‘Shunon’ and ‘Livin La Vida’ and she is now ready to hit the Melodifestivalen stage for the first time. Her song is a catchy hiphop song with lyrics mostly in Swedish, with a few English phrases here and there.
INTERESTING FACT: Altough she was born and brought up in Sweden, Suzi is from a mixed Swedish-Croatian heritage.
Robin Bengtsson – Take A Chance
(Jimmy Jansson, Karl-Frederik Reichhardt, Marcus Winther-John)
Who: Hans Robin Gustav Bengtsson (29) from Svenljunga, Västra Götland
We all know Robin Bengtsson as Sweden’s representative at Eurovision 2017 in Kyiv with ‘I Can’t Go On’ where he finished in fifth place. He first found fame in Swedish Idol in 2008 when he came third. He first entered Melodifestivalen in 2016 when he finished fifth with ‘Constellation Prize’. Since his appearance at Eurovision, Robin has released a number of successful singles including ‘Friendzoned’ and ‘Liar’. ‘Take A Chance’ is a powerful song about falling in love at first sight.
INTERESTING FACT: Robin owns his own barbershop in Stockholm, so look him up if you fancy a trim next time you’re there!
Malou Prytz – Ballerina
(Thomas G:son, Peter Boström, Jimmy Jansson)
Who: Malou Trasthe Prytz (16) from Ryd, Tingsryd
Malou may still only be 16 years old and still at school, but she is entering Melodifestivalen for the second year in a row after her successful debut in 2019 with ‘I Do Me’ which was seen as a shock qualifier for the final, and no one was more surprised than Malou herself! Since Melodifestivalen last year, Malou released her debut EP ‘Enter’, the lead single of which, ‘Left & Right’ had great success on Spotify. ‘Ballerina’ is a departure from the pure pop energy of her last entry with a darker tone about breaking free when the going gets tough.
INTERESTING FACT: Former Melodifestivalen entrants Isa and Ace Wilder are part of Malou’s team this year, Isa as a backing vocalist and Ace as a choreographer!
OVÖ – Inga problem
(Jaouli Akofely, Nicholas Frandsen, Lukas Nathanson, Nickie Osenius)
Jaouli Akofely (32) from Stockholm
Nickie Osenius (30) from Stockholm
Although OVÖ, which stands for ‘Om Vi Överlever’ which translates as If We Survive, are entering Melodifestivalen for the first time, they have been together as a duo since 2017 when they got together in Stockholm. They released their debut single ‘Kvicksand’ in 2019 and they have an EP due out later this year. Their song translates as ‘No problems’ and they describe it as a love song about conquering obstacles, and never giving up on each other!
INTERESTING FACT: Each of the guys has a nickname, Jaouli is known as ‘Finess’ and Nickie is known as ‘Ivory’
Sonja Aldén – Sluta aldrig gå
(Bobby Ljunggren, David Lindgren Zacharias, Sonja Aldén)
Sonja Aldén (42) from Huddinge
Sonja is entering Melodifestivalen for the fourth time, after previous appearances in 2006, 2007 and 2012. Her best place was 6th place in the final in 2007 with ‘For att du finns’. That song catapulted Sonja into a big star in Sweden and she’s now released seven solo albums, plus two Christmas albums with Sanna Nielsen and Shirley Clamp. She’s also a successful songwriter and has written for the likes of her close friend Shirley Clamp, and she also co-wrote Lithuania’s Eurovision 2004 entry, ‘Little By Little’ by Laura and The Lovers. ‘Sluta aldrig gå’, which means ‘Never Stop Walking’ is classic emotive ballad about keeping going when times are hard.
INTERESTING FACT: Sonja was actually born in St Albans, England, but moved back to Sweden when she was a small child.
Felix Sandman – Boys With Emotions
(Tony Ferrari, Parker James, Peter Thomas, Philip Bentley, Nicki Adamsson, Felix Sandman)
Who: Karl Felix Wilhelm Sandman (21) from Värmdö, Stockholm County
Felix is back for his third appearance at Melodifestivalen. His first attempt was with his previous band FO&O in 2017 with ‘Gotta Thing About You’ which finished in 11th place in the final. Felix made his debut solo appearance the year after, when ‘Every Single Day’ finished in second place behind Benjamin Ingrosso, but the song became a huge hit in Sweden. Since then, Felix has released a number of singles, including two with the aforementioned Benjamin Ingrosso and he enters Melodifestivalen 2020 as one of the hot favourites to win the ticket to Rotterdam. His song is described as a modern pop song with powerful lyrics about it being okay for boys to let their feelings out.
INTERESTING FACT: Felix is also a successful actor, having one of the starring roles in ‘Störst av allt’ in 2019 (Known as Quicksand outside of Sweden), a drama about a shooting at a school. You can check it out on Netflix.
You can watch the first semi final LIVE at svt.se/melodifestivalen. The action kicks off at 2000 CET on Saturday 1 February 2020. As always we will be live blogging the show, so come join us!