A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Melodifestivalen: hoping for another surprise

It's time to deal with the last eight songs before we can conclude this season of Melodifestivalen, while I am still recovering from the surprise that Sweden did something completely unexpected and sent Ace Wilder straight into the final last week.

I love surprises, especially when they are good. I wonder if there is any use wishing for more of the same, another surprise on the same scale?

At first glance it doesn't look likely. On paper Alcazar and Anton Ewald should be unbeatable. That's what everyone thought beforehand and that is what everyone on location seems to think, as well as the people who listened to the longer clips. I only saw the minute-long snippets from earlier in the week.

To my own surprise I find myself liking Anton Ewald in a way I never did before. I failed to locate any charm in that kid last year, but his new song has a softness and sensibility I like. He's not the best singer  but he knows how to sell his material in front of a tv camera.

Alcazar, on the other hand. People obviously love them very much and missed them desperately and would probably vote them into the final with any old dismal ditty. Which is pretty much what seems to be about to happen. This is nothing but a tired old rewrite of Stay The Night - too little, too late.

The rest of the world forgot about Alcazar many moons ago and if they were to appear in Copenhagen most people would probably see a slightly ageing disco tribute act rather than the fabulous, sexy group that they were in their heyday. The question is what the televoting Swedes see tonight.

If there was to be a surprise - something to make every jaw in Sweden drop - what would it be?

Linda Bengtzing has a new style, similar but more mature. I really like it, but is she the right person to perform it? I have never felt comfortable with her, it never feels like she's in control of the situation. Will she be able to carry this new material in a good way?

Josef Johansson is an adorable little performer with a song that sounds like it has potential. Will he be able to keep his nerves in place and knock the socks of Sweden?

Tobson predicts: Two big surprises - Ellen and Ace - are perhaps as much as Sweden can digest in one season, but where is the fun in predicting the same as anyone else? This is what I hope for tonight more than what I think.

Anton Ewald and Linda Bengtzing to the final, Alcazar and Josef Johansson to Andra Chansen, while the fifth place will belong to Ammotrack.

Janet, Ellinore and I.D.A: thanks for trying, but it's not going to work.


  1. I had a problem with both Alcazar and Anton Ewald, and this is not the first time the same problem bothers me with them. Both acts sound to me to be relying too much on the backing tape.

    Anton sounds, again, as if he is doubling his own voice on the prerecorded vocal track and during their chorus Alcazar's live sound is buried under the prerecorded vocal track.

    Maybe my ears deceive me, but if what I hear is true these both acts are in trouble in case they reach the Copenhagen stage, where no prerecorded vocals are allowed.

  2. I agree with the danger of relying too much on prerecorded tracks or off-stage vocals. This video is quite interesting... a clip of Alcazar's live performance with enhanced microphones of the actual trio. The girls don't go up in the chorus, and poor Andreas is totally out of breath (understandedbly haha) by the final chorus! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nBI86FG7u8

    I think Melodifestivalen should be competed under the same rules as the acts will face at the actual Eurovision contest, so artists don't get tripped up by a false sense of security.