Tonight, Sweden will offer a last chance to the eight lucky losers placing third and fourth in the respective semi finals of melodifestivalen. In duels, they will knock each other out until only two remain, and these two take the last two spots in the final.
I must admit that I find the final line-up pretty bleak so far. Not at all the hit-packed pop fest I would have hoped for.
Maybe tonight's round can shuffle the cards a bit. But predicting the outcome is not the easiest. Here is my brave attempt, how wrong could one possibly get?
Jenny Silver vs Love Generation
A very interesting meeting between the new and the old. The old Abba-formula versus modern dance pop.
Or is it so modern? Here and there in "Dance Alone" I hear echoes of "It's Raining Men"; in the beginning of the chorus I am semi-expecting a "hallelujah". Would we have found this as modern had someone else than Red One written it?
Jenny Silver sings awfully well, but her performance is a bit too busy and over-worked for my liking. The song is good, but when I see her on stage I feel a bit exhausted before the whole thing is over.
I predict that Sweden has had enough of going gaga over Abba. I think Love Generation will win the first duel.
Loreen vs Sara Varga
According to the papers, Loreen has been dissatisfied with her own stage show and was rumoured to change everything about it for tonight. I can understand her - her song is difficult and would need to help the listeners, guiding them to the point where everything falls into place and explodes in your face.
Sara Varga has the whispering bossa nova in Swedish, and manages to create an intimacy between her and the viewers. Closeness when Loreen offers distance.
Swedish viewers tend to favour things they can embrace easily. I would be surprised if Sara Varga didn't win this round.
The Moniker vs Linda Pritchard
The Moniker is fun and wild and quirky, but not too much. Not enough to scare the average viewer off. He still feels like a one-man-version of Rongedal, only three years later.
But then Linda Pritchard sings so wonderfully. Long, difficult notes bound to impress people, especially if she nails them despite the flu the papers are reporting that she battles with.
Usually, vocal chords beat cheerfulness. Sweden will prefer Linda Pritchard in this duel.
Shirley's Angels versus Pernilla Andersson
Just like Jenny Silver, I can't help feeling that Shirley and her angels are trying too hard. The dancing might be impressive in its own right, but it doesn't match the song. The ladies sing about their hearts being broken, while they look more like they were in the middle of an aerobics class.
And then Pernilla Andersson comes in with her guitar and is simplicity itself. A small oasis where the viewers can breathe and focus on the lyrics in Swedish.
I predict the large audience will select Pernilla Andersson. Shirley's hope is that the large audience is tired of televoting at this point of the programme and only the hard core fans are still at it.
If I am right (what are the odds?), then Love Generation would battle it out with Sara Varga, and at this point Sweden might start thinking of the international final that lies ahead.
Then Linda Pritchard would take on Pernilla Andersson, a very close race indeed. Maybe the Swedes would feel more comfortable with the singer/songwriter on their couch after all. By now they will be able to sing along with her song, while Linda still sings well but nobody has any hang on her song as yet.
My final tip is that Love Generation and Pernilla Andersson will make it to the final. Either that or that my prediction will go belly-up already after the first duel.