A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Tobson predicts: Melodifestivalen 2018 - semi 3

We are already at week three and yet there has been no real obvious winner in sight. It seems the people on location in Malmö see great things in the making but I only have the one-minute clips and I am maybe not as convinced.

So far I think MF 2018 is a stronger collection of songs than we had a in few years but the final really runs the risk of becoming as streamlined as it has been lately, where slick visuals beat music and performance skills every time.

I still live on the hope that several of this week's entries will explode in my face once I see them on tv and flower into real favourites. But as of now, here are my somewhat restrained thoughts on them:

01. Martin Almgren / A Bitter Lullaby
Something as unusual as a solid piece of songwriting (in general the songs are better in this respect this week, not so many whooo's and oooh's and yeah's instead of real lyrics) - this is a singer liked by the people and a song that would have won hands down in Denmark or in Malta. Not really my bag even though I understand what others see in this.

02. Barbi Escobar / Stark
I have a thing for the hopeless entries that I know nobody will vote for. Unless Barbi makes a mess of this live - reports suggest she might do just that - this could be one of the songs I'll keep listening to, but it has no hope of doing better than 6th at best tonight.

03. Moncho / Cube Libre
Everyone does the link to Sweden 1987 here, this makes me think more of Herreys' "Sommarparty". Every single component in this makes me cringe and I have no idea how anyone thought this would make a great entry in 2018. Panetoz minus Panetoz equals Pointless.

04. Jessica Andersson / Party Voice
Finally some modern pop and schlager mashup of the kind Helene Fischer masters to perfection. Easy to grasp, reasonably updated, most appealing. The problem here is that Jessica Andersson is not quite Helene Fischer, so to speak. Will this get too cold for the larger audiences?

05. Kalle Moraeus & Orsa Spelmän / Min dröm
Kalle is the kind of performer that Stockholmers assume that everyone outside of Stockholm loves. He is a bubbly and likeable personality that works well in different tv shows, but he never seemed to go through the screen as a performer. This entry also feels very seen and heard before, like it had already been in MF 2010 or so.

06. Dotter / Cry
The big hot favourite and the one I really want to love. But. I don't see it after 60 seconds. Will this knock Sweden over somehow or is this a Kristin Amparo or Isa-I-Will-Wait situation coming up? Contemporary pop with cred performed by a girl isn't usually what the regular Swedish voter goes for.

07. Mendez / Everyday
Another song expect to sail easily into the final. Maybe the short clips are playing tricks on me but I don't see the appeal here either. This whole formula feels very tired and Mendez himself makes the same sort of impression. Did Sweden really long for him to make a comeback?

So I am confusion. I have no idea what the people in Malmö - who say this is a super strong week - hear that eludes me in the short clips. For once I will assume they know better than I do.

Tonight's prediction is this:
Final: Mendez and Jessica Andersson
Andra Chansen: Martin Almgren & Dotter
Fifth: Moncho
Out: Kalle Moraeus and Barbi Escobar

Tonight I won't live tweet but my impressions will sooner or later appear on Twitter.

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