A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sweden, semi 2: Tobson predicts

Something tells me that a general feeling of being a bit tired has invaded the Melodifestivalen team this week. Last week, there were a number of small (and some not so small) mistakes during the live broadcast, mistakes of the kind that would normally be unthinkable on a large production like MF.

This week, the preview online show was interrupted due to technical problems and today the full-length clips we had last week are nowhere to be found.

So I will predict tonight's outcome judging only from the short clips shown since Thursday. Not easy since you have no idea how the songs will progress and develop, but here's my guesses anyway.

1. BROLLE - 7 Days And 7 Nights
If last week kicked off with a surprisingly modern sound, we have the complete opposite coming this week. Rockabilly sounds and a massive chorus in the background. Nothing new under the sun, but Brolle has a certain charisma and presence as well as a certain notority that will come in handy when the televoters are let loose.

2. LOREEN - My Heart Is Refusing Me
I love the electro sound of this song, and the way the quite anonymous verse leads up to a vocal explosion in the chorus. Probably too aggressive and introvert to please the people in the Swedish sofas on a Saturday night, but Loreen is making the most of what she has to work with. Hopefully the ending will be restrained, it would be a shame if she started wailing the whole thing to bits.

3. BABSAN - Ge mig en spanjor
And then a little bit a humour. If that is the way you wish to define this. Which you probably will do if the mere sight of a man in a dress makes you roll on the floor with laughter. Women, drag queens and eurovision seen through the eyes of very heterosexual white men, in other words square, old-fashioned and not very funny. The chorus is pretty catchy, with a hint of old "Rasputin", but if this qualifies then something is rotten in the Kingdom of Sweden.

4. ELISABETH ANDREASSEN - Vaken i en dröm
Bettan is back in form vocally and it is good to see her dare relying on just being herself in a big ballad. The bad news is that this ballad would have had a pretty distinct taste of dust already fifteen years ago when Ireland and others gave us serious overdoses of the genres. Big, pompous and not very catchy, and the Eurovision Queen seems unlikely to be king of the hill this time.

5. SANNA NIELSEN - I'm In Love
Sanna Nielsen would have gone to Belgrade in 2008 had the televoters had their way, now she is back again but with a more traditional pop schlager. Very tastefully arranged and with elegant, classy verses it somehow fails to feel like anything more than a pleasant little bagatelle. Not a bad one, though, especially as Sanna has that certain something that usually convinces the people to vote for her. A possible qualifyer, but it wouldn't have been with anyone else singing it.

6. THE MONIKER - Oh My God!
The Moniker (aka Daniel Karlsson) is yet another talent popping out of Pop Idol, now looking for the big break with a larger audience. He offers a sound of the 60's, with a bit of psychedelia in the song as well as on the big screens, where happy mushrooms are dancing around to the bouncy beat. Consists of many bits and pieces of various shapes and sizes, but if the puzzle falls into place this could be a favourite with the people who voted Rongedal into the final three years ago.

7. ANNIELA - Elektrisk
Another piece of electropop with a sweet little girl with quite a good little voice. Likeable and positive, but also more or less impossible to remember. After several hearings I still remember nothing. Not a note. That can not be a good sign. Could perhaps have been better if they would have dared slowing the tempo down, making it sexy instead of jaunty. What do I know?

8. CHRISTIAN WALZ - Like Suicide
I have a little feeling that the EBU would not be all smiles about this title in their family friendly song contest, but that is a problem for later, possibly. In this week of somewhat anonymous entries, this one stands out at least for me with its sophisticated sounds and strings. Christian Walz has not had a hit since 2004, however, which must count as a disadvantage now. Will the audience remember him?

My prediction:
In an anonymous week, I find it likely that the audience will embrace things that feel familiar and/or for songs that stand out. So my prediction is that Brolle and The Moniker will make it to the final, while Christian Walz and Sanna Nielsen gets a second chance.

As for the fifth place, it would be nice for somebody like Loreen to get the extra exposure, but it could just as well be Bettan ending in that spot. Or Babsan. But that would be a shame.

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