Monday, February 9, 2015
Semi 1: Sweden strikes again
In retrospect, the thing that puzzled me the most could have been foreseen. Really. I just hoped people would prefer Molly Pettersson Hammar to Jessica Andersson.
Molly's entry was raw and a bold opener while Jessica went for an elegant but highly predictable ballad without a single trace of excitement throughout.
There has been speculations all over if Molly's chances were ruined by her being the first performer of the night and that several viewers were busy downloading the new voting app, therefore not being able to vote for her. Fiddling with the app could of course have distracted quite a few people from listening properly as well, possibly resulting in a lower number of televotes as well.
Add to this how reluctant people often are to vote for the first song - how can you know how it measures up to the rest of the songs and all that?
Looking back there is also another little thing that should be taken into account. While Molly gave an excellent vocal performance, she somehow failed to work the cameras and go through the screen. Jessica performed like the professional she is and probably felt as present in the Swedish living rooms as if she had been sitting there doing her thing on the sofa like a family member.
Another Molly did a lot better in the voting (together with buddies Holly and Polly). Predictable but unfortunate. "Hello Hi" wants to be upbeat, charming and whimsical but is little more than tired. I would have preferred the Ryd/Söderberg duet in Andra Chansen and doubt we will see the dancing dolls in a final.
Eric Saade most probably won his semi and gave a really slick performance, but quite possibly Behrang Miri & Victor Crone fared even better. Since the Andra Chansen-entries are available for radio play and streaming already after their semi, "Det rår vi inte för" has the possibility of growing really popular in the coming weeks.
All in all, a strong start and an entertaining show where especially Sanna Nielsen impressed in her new role as host. Some tweaking and some more attention to the scripts and this will get really good in time for Stockholm.