Ahh yes, Melodifestivalen (or Melfest, or Mello): the biggest national final in the season to look forward to, also known as the only national final I watched live. I’d like to thank SVT for their SVT mobile app so people outside could stream the Melfest live on their phones. It also helps that a) a phone is small enough to hide underneath a textbook and b) the program could be streamed for a month after the national final, so those with crazy anti-ESC family members can still watch.
Visually there weren’t any major changes. Viktor and Samir still ran around stage with selfie groupie sticks, while Magnus Carlsson still danced on stage with his shirt untucked. Linus Svenning exchanged his usual black T-shirt for a white shirt, and Jon Henrik Fjällgren switched from a brown Sami outfit to a blue outfit. I don’t think there was anything major sound-wise, but I wouldn’t know since I watched Melfest with the sound off. Thankfully I had already listened to the songs the night before, so I could easily match the artists’ mouth movements to the sounds playing in my head.
After enjoying Möt Mig i Gamla Stan, I turned off the app to avoid watching Eric Saade’s performance and go back to actual studying instead of fake studying with the SVT app open and hidden in front of my textbook. I didn’t have a favourite act, but I knew I didn’t want Jessica Andersson (enough ballads selected already), Isa (didn’t like her song), or Eric Saade (didn’t like him) to win. It didn’t take much time on Twitter to notice that Måns Zelmerlöw (cue grumbling about not being type the letter å without having to Ctrl-c/Ctrl-v) and his song “Heroes” was probably going to represent Sweden though. Eventually he won with a record-setting 288 points, earning more points than Loreen did in 2012 Melfest. I’m not sure if it’s going to spread to the USA, though my coworkers probably already know the song because I sing it all the time at work.
From a biographical point of view (and pretty much all of Måns’s interviews), the song (and visuals) is about being a hero (ally) to someone who needs support. In his case, he mentioned how one person helped him stand back up after being bullied in school and losing all his friends, and that the live performance with the stick-figure represented him and that one ally. Given his story, and all the superhero signs pasted on the wall, my high school probably could have used the song in their anti-bullying campaign, had the song been released a few years before.
Also, since both Macedonia (FYR) and Sweden both had stick figures in their performances why not let the two meet and build bridges?