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Music meets Reality TV with Så mycket bättre 2020! Posted by on Nov 6, 2020 in Culture, Living in Sweden

Så mycket bättre cast, 2020. Photo: Pär Bäckstand, TV4

Så mycket bättre / So much better a popular music meets reality television show by Swedish network TV4. The 11th season is currently airing and it’s all the gossip in the music and entertainment world. If you like the diversity that Swedish music has to offer and enjoy a good cover song, this is the show for you. This week, we’ll learn some basic words to describe the show and I’ll introduce the cast using Swedish. 

How does it work?! Musicians from varying genres and eras come together to cover each other’s songs. So if you’d

Orup performing Carola’s “Främling” in 2014, Photo: TV4

like to hear a dansband (dance band) artist covering a hip song, you’re in luck! The format has changed from 6 to several more in these last two säsonger (seasons). During the inspelning (filming) of this show, the deltagare (participants) spend time together on the island of Gotland, living in the same house together, called Grå Gåsen – it’s a bed and breakfast, so if you become a superfan of the show, you can even stay there! 

During performances, all the folks are seated around the same table with the guest of honor at the head. Each cover artist presents their tolkning (interpretation) of a well-known song to the original artist. It’s always an överraskning (surprise) as to who covers which songs, but it ends up always a really genuine, humble tribute from one artist to another. I lived in Sweden during the second season in 2011, that featured Laleh, Mikael Wiehe, Timbuktu, and Eva Dahlgren…need I say more?! I was hooked! 

Should we meet this seasons’s deltagarna? Here are their photos on Aftonbladet if you’re curious. Below, we’ll run through all the musicians and use a few Swedish words to describe them as provided by TV4’s website.

Helen Sjöholm

Sveriges största musikaldrottning → Sweden’s biggest Musical Theater Queen

Lisa Nilsson

En av våra mest folkkära och älskade sångröster på den svenska artisthimlen
One of our most beloved songstresses of Swedish “artist heaven.” 

Markus Krunegård

2008 släppte sitt soloalbum med sången “Jag är en vampyr.”
His solo album came out in 2008 with the song “I am a Vampire.”

Plura Jonsson

Eldkvarn-sångaren och älskad programledare för egna matlagningsprogram.
Singer of the band Eldkvarn and beloved host of his own cooking show.

Tommy Körberg

Tommy är en av våra mest folkkära sångare, skådespelare och musikalartister.
Tommy is one of our most beloved singers, actors, and musical artists. 

Jakob Hellman

Han slog igenom med buller och bång 1989 då hans debutalbum ”… och stora havet.
He broke through with a bang in 1989 when his debut album …and the Big Ocean.

Lili & Susie

Systrarna och popduon med stora framgångar på de svenska hitlistorna.
The sisters and pop duo have had big successes on the top charts.

Silvana Imam

Rapundret som skivdebuterade 2013 med albumet Rekviem.
The rap wonder debuted in 2013 with the album Requiem.

Newkid

Newkid har snabbt klättrat till toppen av R&B-täppan
Newkid has quickly climbed to the top of R&B territory.

Loreen

Loreen slog igenom med sin vinst i Eurovision Song Contest 2012.
Loreen broke through with her win of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012.

Benjamin Ingrosso

Vinnaren av Melodifestivalen 2018 som tagit musik-Sverige med storm. 
This winner of the Swedish Song Contest in 2018 has taken the Swedish music scene by storm.

Ana Diaz  

Grammisnominerad artist, låtskrivare, kompositör och musikproducent. 
Grammy-nominated artist, songwriter, composer, and music producer.

Want to watch it? It’s live on TV4 and airs each Saturday. You can stream it online for free, IF you live in Sweden. I actually wrote to TV4 to see if there was an option for folks to watch abroad. Unfortunately, there’s not. For those of us who live outside Sweden, we’ll have to depend on YouTube. 

The third episode airs this week, so there’s two episodes of covers to enjoy. Below are my two favorite covers that have been done so far. I highly recommend taking a moment to get a sense of the original song BEFORE you watch the new version, okej?! Enjoy!

Lisa Nilsson covers Ana Diaz’s “100”:

Benjamin Ingrosso covers Silvana Imam’s “Tänd alla ljus“:

 

What did you think? Anyone else out there love Så mycket bättre as much as I? 

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About the Author: Chelsea B

Chelsea is a Swedish language instructor and translator living in Minnesota, U.S. She has a degree in Scandinavian Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College and has experience living and working in Sweden from north to south! In her free time, she enjoys cooking, hiking, listening to music, and practicing slöjd, the Swedish word for handcraft.