When Loreen won in Baku in 2012 I wrote somewhere (not here) that the best thing that could happen to the ESC was to have a hungry and passionate Sweden that could hunt for victory every year and raise the bar for everyone in the competition.
I also wrote that I dare Sweden to snatch the title of having most ESC victories from Ireland within ten years of Loreen's victory. Maybe they could equal the record already next year?
After the 28 acts taking part in next year's Melodifestivalen had been presented, Christer Björkman was quoted as saying Sweden has a good chance of winning again on home ground. According to him the songs are really good and several of them could be potential ESC winners.
I'm glad he feels that way about the songs since the list of performers is a bit... Not disappointing. There are many good names, reliable people, likeable people. People who will entertain the masses. But the big surprises were few and far between.
For my liking, maybe there was one Anna Book / Samir & Viktor / Dolly Style entry too many but then again, I haven't heard the songs. Maybe I'll be surprised.
The biggest positive surprise was definitely Krista Siegfrids being among the 28 chosen ones. It really is a big deal for a Finnish pop act to get into Melodifestivalen.
I'm also glad to see songwriting trio Sven-Inge Sjöberg, Lennart Wastesson and Larry Forsberg back. They wrote many really catchy entries a few years back but had seemingly disappeared until now.
As for winning, then? Who do I think? Without having heard a second of the songs on offer, my bet is that Molly Sandén is the one to watch. The title of her entry is perhaps a bit on the cheesy side but still. I have a feeling this could be her year.
The complete lineup for Melodifestivalen 2016 can be found here.