Melodifestivalen (Sweden) 2022 Reviews: Semi-Final 3

Even before any of the seven artists took to the stage Saturday evening this was already being panned as the weakest of the Melfest semis, which I guess casts a small shadow on the two acts who qualified to the final: Anders Bagge and Faith Kakembo. They’re probably not thinking too much about it, though. From the remaining entries, we’ll be seeing Lisa Miskovsky and Cazzi Opeia in a fortnight for semi-final 5.

Lancelot — “Lyckligt Slut”
Earnest ballad which has a nice lift at the end, but it’s a case of playing it very safe and not doing anything that could possibly upset anyone. Lancelot has a good dose of youthful naivety in this vocals which I guess is meant to be the main attraction, and there’s a simple appeal in this. Unfortunately, the song doesn’t have anything particularly memorable about it.

Tribe Friday — “Shut Me Up”
Everything about this sounds strongly influenced by early 2000s New York bands like The Strokes, sometimes a little too strongly for comfort. The jangly guitars, the drumming, the vocals — it’s all there. As a result, even though I love the genre, this feels like too much of a copy rather than a tribute.

Linda Bengtzing — “Fyrfaldigt hurra!”
If the winners of these semis were decided upon enthusiasm and dedication to the task at hand, Bengtzing and her banger would be in the final now, rather than being back at home. Right from the moment you see her in that bright orange dress you know you’re not in for a gentle ballad, and she spends a good deal of the song enthusiastically racing through the crowd giving high-fives, before returning to the stage to be with her dancers. Even towards the end when she sits down and seems to be winding things up, Bengtzing still has energy for once last flurry of dancing in front of a screen of fireworks. Her strength may also have been her downfall here, as she regularly sounded out of breath.

Cazzi Opeia — “I Can’t Get Enough”
There’s a strange disconnect between the song and the performance here. Opeia’s costume and staging comes across as childlike, but her lyrics are the usual fare about sexually desiring someone. That aside, it’s a catchy EDM track which she infuses with her own quirky persona, allowing it to be something more than just another banger. I’m not entirely sure what to make it this yet, but I’m glad it’s getting second chance at reaching the final.

Lisa Miskovsky — “Best To Come”
This sounds like it was made for the radio with Miskovsky’s softly-sung vocals and melodies which are easy to listen to without distracting you from whatever you were doing. And this is the problem with the song: the staging just doesn’t add enough to make this particularly noteworthy. The setting is fairly cliche: in a subway (presumably New York). Nevertheless, it’s a polished package, so I’m not entirely surprised this still ranked high enough to qualify for the last semi-final, but I will be surprised if it advances beyond that.