Ida Hallquist, Bromma.
Caroline Ellingsen, Svedala.
Julien Keulen, Stockholm.
Nike Sellmar, Piteå.
Luka Nemorin, Kristinehamn.
Sebastian Rydgren, Järfälla.
Klara Almström, Spånga.
Albin Tingwall, Sigtuna.
Carmen Toubia, Habo.
Vera Arkelid, Berlin.
Ruby Lindén, Skövde.
Participants can now apply to the program digitally – an effect of the pandemic pushing away audience contact – in 2020, “Idol” participants often had to perform their songs from hotel rooms during the Friday finals.
The changes have had positive effects in broadening the range of participants.
— If you had to stand in a queue like in the old days, then I would never have applied, I think. Now you could sort of search in secret, says Ida Hallquist.
Featured in TV series
At 28, she is this year’s oldest participant and also a mother of two. With a background as an actor in the TV series “Ack Värmland”, the jury already recognized her when she stepped into the audition.
— It was eight years ago that it was broadcast and it did not immediately lead to people recognizing me in town. But many have had the feeling that they can’t quite place me, but that I am familiar.
During Friday’s qualifying final, broadcast live from Kungsträdgården in Stockholm, the number of participants was halved to eleven who are now ready to set sail on the “Idol” adventure. Jury member Katia Mosally is doing her second season. She describes it as fantastic – but frustrating – that this year’s idols maintain an unusually high musical level.
— I’ve been walking around all weekend and been angry and sad because some had to go home. The producer said she heard me yell “No!” in the mic for every person who went out. Maybe I’m too emotionally invested in this really, she says with a laugh.
Several of those who had to leave in the final of the qualifying week were favorites of Katia Mosally. The jury had to hand out a total of five “wild cards”, a way into the final if the viewers did not choose to cast their vote for the right person.
— Sometimes viewers don’t know what’s best for them, and we try to help there. But it’s not enough to just have a good voice, I try to see the big picture and think about potential for development. “Idol” is a process where you see who is ready for the real artist life. Someone who doesn’t have an absolutely perfect voice might be the one who develops the most.
Last year, Icelandic Birkier Blær took home the victory in “Idol”. This year, the Dutch ballet dancer Julien Keulen has been given a place among the eleven – something he was convinced was impossible.
— I thought that maybe I would make it to the qualifying week and then it would be over. In the past I have applied for “The Voice” in Holland, but my manager at the Royal Opera did not let me have time off. Now I have taken a leave of absence and think that this could be a good platform to start working with music for real.
TT: Why did you want to invest in a new career?
— In ballet, your career is over at 35, but in music there is a chance to last longer – look at Stevie Wonder. I feel a bit old at 25, because Ruby (Lindén) is 16 and I don’t understand how she can be so talented. But I still try to think I’m under 30.
However, being the youngest in the group is not always an advantage. Ruby Lindén describes how she is constantly reminded of her age – and has different rules of conduct than the rest of the participants.
— I’m not allowed to leave the hotel after 9 p.m. But in a way it’s good, because I’m becoming more disciplined. I then go to bed and really get to sleep in.
TT: Are you betting on a final place?
— It’s clear that I see myself in the Tele2 arena, but I see everyone else there too. Everyone is so insanely talented that I start crying as soon as someone sings extra well.