A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Friday, January 31, 2014

Sweden 2014: melodifestivalen begins

It is arguably the national final of all national finals, the Queen Bee of Eurovision selections. Most countries could never dream of putting the effort into selecting their eurovision entry that SVT does every year.

From now and for the next six weeks, melodifestivalen will completely dominate the Swedish showbiz and the ratings of all other shows up against it will sink like stones in the oceans.

After a relatively lean 2013, it seems everyone really wants melfest to be back with a bang and most reviewers on location in Malmö seem to think it is.

An old version of the MF logo. It doesn't look like this anymore, kids.

Last year, I decided not to watch any clips or hear any sound bites in advance, preferring to wait for the live broadcast for a first impression. After seeing the minute-long snippets of all songs available on the melodifestivalen website, I think I might revert to the same tactics as last year.

These snippets really show very little. It is very early rehearsals, singers don't give it their all, focusing way more on getting used to the stage and the cameras. These short selections usually let the songs down as well. I hope the eight songs will be better than these clips suggest.

I'd like to think Helena Paparizou is bound for the final, but you never know. Had Sarah Dawn Finer sung that same song it would have Copenhagen written all over it, but the question is if Sweden really loves Helena enough to pay attention to her. I hope they do.

Otherwise there is always a surprisingly anonymous Yohio, the return of the dated Swedish dansband schlager and an emotional song in Swedish delivered by a very tattooed young man. As for myself, I hope Alvaro Estrella's dirty little pop number will grow on me when I see it in full.

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