A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Monday, February 13, 2012

Sweden, semi 2: anyone can be a finalist

Just arrived back home in Helsinki and had a very quick look through the eight performances of this week's melodifestivalen semi final. No show, no sketches, no excitement, just the performances.

I already knew the outcome anyway, so I wouldn't have been as surprised as I gather quite a few people must have been after the live show. Or as surprised is I surely would have been.

One of the disadvantages of melodifestivalen is the average Swedish televoter and the eternal inability to think outside the box and only go for predictable choices. And at first, the result was pretty predictable indeed. In other words, my two favourite entries crashed and burned and ended last and second last.

Mimi Oh was a bit too sweet and inexperienced and too heavily influenced by Swedish starlet Veronica Maggio to really stand a chance.

Andreas Lundstedt was equipped with a lovely song with a bit of a too frosty feel to win through with the larger audience, further encumbered by the fact that the glossy performance distracted rather than enhanced the whole package.

When singing about heartbreak, longing and hatred it is never a great idea to wear the widest smile in town.

But then the results took a sharp turn away from the expected. Thomas di Leva, loved by the masses for many years already, missed out completely and left the field open for almost anyone to go to Globen.

Ulrik Munther wasn't really a surprise, given his fanbase and status as something of a Swedish Justin Bieber, but I know my jaw would have dropped had I seen the qualification of David Lindgren on live television.

I hear that he can sing, I see that he can dance. But I don't get this. At all.

Maybe the (pretty monotonous) song will grow on me in time for the final, but I find this tailormade for any token entertainment show on Swedish tv where they love people with bubbly personalities who sing well and dance well and who can do a tiny bit of breakdance without being in any way edgy or dangerous.

David Lindgren will have a great future on television and in musicals. Good for him. But if the Swedes send him to Baku, I'm afraid it is bad news week come May.

But if this song can qualify, anyone can. And that makes melodifestivalen more exciting again.

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