A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Monday, February 22, 2016

Finland & Sweden - semi 3 roundup

Finally things heated up for real at this year's melodifestival. Week three delivered no less than three songs I am likely to carry with me for quite some time and another two that are clearly good enough.

Oscar Zia has grown a few sizes as a performer and really had something to say. His performance was the delight of the week and it was a relief when he made it straight to the final. As for Lisa Ajax, her song shrunk a bit instead when I heard it in full. The pretty repetitive chorus reminded me of Eko's "Red" - one of the most underrated entries of recent years - but this one never really took off. No idea what Sweden saw in it.

It was also sad to see Swingfly and - especially - After Dark fail. Sweden's most popular drag act almost won the whole thing twelve years ago but now it seems nothing in the concept is tickling the senses of the audiences anymore. It seems that the traditional train finally left the station and left the old schlager standing on the platform.

Maybe Anna Book should be grateful for getting disqualified instead of having a bad result? And is there reason for Linda Bengtzing to worry?

Tobson's current top 3 in the final:
1) Oscar Zia / Human
2) Ace Wilder / Don't Worry
3) Robin Bengtsson / Constellation Prize

As if by magic, things also got a lot more interesting in the last of three semi finals in Finland as two of the entries managed to push all kinds of buttons and build up enough attitude to come across as credible candidates for victory.

Finland is a country with a soft spot for rock music and Barbe-Q-Barbies provided a refreshingly energetic and slightly aggressive performance, adding that final edge their entry lacked in its studio version.

The real exclamation mark for me was Sandhja and her crazy backing group who managed to propel a good song into something almost ecstatic. The part that comes after the chorus - where the backing vocalists go bananas - is one of those rare moments I miss so often in Finnish entries. The part where you add that little extra bit that makes all the difference.

Sandhja's performance made me so happy I am ready to overlook that the rejected songs were disappointing and the third qualifier was nice but average.

Tobson's current top 3 in the final:
1) Sandhja / Sing It Away
2) Mikael Saari / On It Goes
3) Barbe-Q-Barbies / Let Me Out


  1. Interesting. Are you truly considering Sandhja could go all the way?
    As a dark horse, maybe. At the moment I still see it being between Saara and Mikael.

    There might be a chance of surprise if the other won the jury vote and the other the public vote and a third act came second in both. That could be Sandhja then!

    1. Sandhja had a joy and energy to her performance that I feel almost everyone else lacked. If people want something refreshing in the final, there is all to play for.

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    3. She is having some difficulties singing live in low register, but otherwise I would not mind this song as the Finnish entry at all. My favourites Annika and Kimmore have the same trouble whilst Saara and Mikael sing almost without any flat note.

  2. If the Swedish audience is tired of the "same old thing", then Linda Bengtzing should a little bit anxious. If one can trust the 30 second snippet, her song seems to be exactly the same song she has sung five times before.