A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
There is always some matter to discuss or just a song I want to share
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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Melodifestivalen 2017, semi 2

On a first listen, I wasn't too impressed by the songs in the first semi but then many of them grew on me and at least three of them turned into contenders. So I wasn't alarmed when I felt the same about week two.

Problem is most of the songs failed to grow this time around. This week embodies the problem Melodifestivalen had last year where too many songs were well-produced and sounded slick enough but were also too safe and provoked little or no emotion in me what-so-ever.

This week is clearly weaker and it makes me wonder why SVT let the general level slide already by now. Back in the day, week three was usually the weaker one.

This time around there is just one song I feel really strongly about and it will have to battle it out with some nicely produced fillers. But it is by no means obvious that Sweden will vote the way the should. Here's my prediction for this week:


Allyawan / Vart har du vart
The big problem when big names with cred enters the ESC is that they have no idea what is needed to make an impression in the short time available. The songwriters are big names in Sweden but will not stand a chance tonight with this soporific mid-tempo piece of dullness.

Roger Pontare / Himmel och hav
Not a bad effort, only very dated and a relic from what Melodifestivalen used to be back in the day. Unless Sweden is caught by unstoppable nostalgia, Roger will make an early exit.

5th place:

Etzia / Up
Happy and instant but also distant and surprisingly cold for its genre. If Etzia can give it gas and the audience falls for the roller-skate dancers it can carry as far as to fifth place, otherwise this will swap places with Pontare.

Andra chansen:

Dismissed / Hearts Align
This band got really poor reviews earlier in the week but this is a pretty decent soft rocker, dressed up in dresses and a gender queer expression. The song sounds like a more inspired entry in a Finnish final and I mean that in a good way.

Benjamin Ingrosso / Good lovin'
I suppose this is what a lot of chart music sounds like today and I like contemporary sounds in the contest. But it needs to be far more engaging than this. Young mr Ingrosso is professional and likeable but is that enough to counterbalance the lack of passion here? My guess is it's not.


Lisa Ajax / I Don't Give A
I seriously don't think much of this. A very standard radio song that tries to make itself more interesting by a completely unnecessary use of the f-word. Just like Denmark 2014. But Lisa has a very active fan base and that will lift her into the final tonight.

Mariette / A Million Years
I was never a great fan of "Don't Stop Believing". There. I said it. But this year Mariette stepped up and entered the only song I care for this week. It sounds fantastic in its studio version and should knock Benjamin Ingrosso into Andra Chansen. But who knows what sort of mess the heart app voters  could unleash?

Just like last week, I will live tweet during the show before zapping over to Sanremo. Please keep my company there.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Melodifestivalen 2017, semi 1

It's been a while. Honestly, I've been really caught up in blogging in Swedish over at Tobson och alla bidragen - why don't you go there to have a little look as well? - and I've been so slow wrapping my head around the fact there is a new season starting I even missed covering the Finnish final.

I realised I'd be unhappy with myself if I didn't write anything about Melodifestivalen, so here goes. Here are my thoughts about tonight's entries and my attempt at a prediction.

When I listened through the minute-long snippets earlier in the week, I felt like a really spoilt and ungrateful child: everyone had written so much about the exceptional quality and while I clearly heard high production values and some promising ideas, I didn't really warm to anything.

It's not you, Melodifestivalen, it's me. As soon as I listened some more and heard the almost full versions, things fell into place.


Charlotte Perrelli
I love Charlotte, so if she wants to make a toned-down little acoustic number about how lonely it can be being an icon that's fine by me. Nobody will vote for this, but she's still lovely to me.

De Vet Du
There must be a drop of justice left in this world. I know the state of things but you must be able to rely on something. Humour without humour in a song without a song. Not even kids can fall for this, can they? Be gone.


Dinah Nah
Personally I'm not terribly fond of this genre but it will probably make enough people nostalgic enough to keep it in the game beyond the first voting stage.

Andra Chansen:

Boris René
I loved Boris and his warm presence already last year and I still do. This song is pure sunshine but doesn't feel sharp enough to really capture the audience. A good opener and that's it.

The big exclamation mark of the week in my book. Cool and laid back and - if this debutant is not afraid of the cameras biting her - possibly a big surprise in the making. Possibly a contender for straight to final, despite its hopeless spot in the running order.


Ace Wilder 
Ace was my girl in 2014 and 2016 and I'd love to run with her for a third time. Clearly the song most tailor made for me in this heat. But Ace runs the risk of feeling like old news to the viewers and they could go for something else instead, despite the really catchy chorus.

Everybody loves a back story. Everybody loves a personality. Game over for everyone else - Nano is tonight's winner. Also a most contemporary song that could far in the international charts.

I will live tweet during tonight's show, please follow and discuss with me.