Finally, and I mean FINALLY, after what seems like the longest wait in history, we have a national final taking place. That’s a one-off, decision-making NF without any further, irritating ado. In a day or so, Denmark will have chosen their entry for 2013, and the winning artist can then start making plans for the long, perilous journey to Malmö…taken by train in about seven minutes (assuming the starting point is Copenhagen. But even if it isn’t, it won’t exactly be a long-haul trip).
Also on the agenda this weekend is Norway’s second semi final, which we now know will feature the Eurovision champion to end all champions, Alexander Rybak. Unfortunately he’s only participating as a songwriter, which was not the impression given by eurovision.tv when they announced ‘the return of Rybak’, exclamation mark. But his taking part at all is exciting news.
Also ALSO coming up is the announcement we’ve all been hanging out for: the revelation of Eurovision 2013’s master (or mistress) of ceremonies. But I’ll save my thoughts on that for somewhere down below, among all of the above. Let’s go.
Dansk Melodi Grand Prix: it’s on!
You know it! Because I just said it! Anyway, the general consensus on the Danish prospectives this year has been ‘meh’, but I must be too easily pleased since I think they’re a strong bunch. Sure, some are way better than others, but there isn’t any one I would hate to go to Eurovision. A few I’d have to come to terms with, but nothing I’d shriek and then faux-faint over.
If you’re yet to hear the ten, you can listen to them here: http://dr.dk/melodigrandprix/Artikler/ 2013/sangene.htm. Then why not get back to me on which one you want to see in Sweden?
In the meantime, here are my verdicts.
1. Jeg Har Hele Tiden Vidst Det by Frederikke Vedel – of the two Danish-language songs in the lineup, this is the best. It’s not even factoring among the favourites to win, but I think it’s one of the best things going. I like the fact that it doesn’t immediately say ‘HEY! LOOK AT ME! I’m yet ANOTHER dance track!’, instead taking a minute or so to develop into one, kind of like Donny Montell’s Love Is Blind but in a more contemporary way. I doubt it will go anywhere in DMGP, but it will be going onto my iPod (which is really a more prestigious honour anyway).
2. Human by Brinck – Denmark’s choice of ’09 returns with a less try-hard entry written and composed by himself, and I am a fan. I love Brinck’s voice, and I think it’s more suited to this sweet, catchy, almost folky song that reminds me of Sjonni’s Friends Coming Home than it was to Believe Again, which I did like, but that he struggled a little with vocally. The lyrics are just about cliché-free which I really appreciate. I think we could have our first returnee in this guy, and if the song is reworked a bit to give the latter choruses more punch, it could do quite well in Malmö.
3. I’m Not Alone by Kate Hall – for something unoriginal and a little dated, this is pretty good. It has all the elements that make for a decent pop song – it’s catchy, repetitive enough to get stuck in your head but not overly so, the chorus goes bang, and there’s a money note. Having said all that, I don’t love it, and I don’t think it’s as strong as either of the songs that come before it. If Kate pulls off the live performance she could do well, but I think she’s too déjà vu to come out on top.
4. Rejs Dig Op by Louise Dubiel – I hate to keep on comparing these songs to other ones, but this reeks of Some Nights by Fun., which I was never that gone on. It is quite rousing, and I like the militaristic sound, but I feel like the whole thing could get boring fast. Although there is potential for a cracking stage show, with drummers and fancy costumes…in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Louise appears on stage dressed in Soluna Samay’s cap and epilets. But no, I still don’t want it to go to Eurovision most of all.
5. We Own The Universe by Daze – here we have a new-generation Aqua with a song penned by Euphoria’s very own Peter Böstrom and Thomas G:son. I know a lot of people thought Euphoria was 1990s, but wait until you hear this, one of the most 90s-sounding songs I’ve ever heard. I’m afraid that just won’t fly in 2013, not with me and hopefully not with the Danish public and jury. I enjoy a bit of nostalgia as much as anyone, but please, let’s keep the stuff we grew up with firmly in the national finals.
6. Stay Awake by Simone Egeriis – Simone came 3rd in DMGP a few years ago, and now she’s the apparent favourite to win. I’m not entirely sure why. Her song isn’t bad by any means (I’m into the jungle vibe, and may have to wear some animal print for any subsequent listens) but I don’t reckon it’s up there with the best of them. She won a singing competition, so I’m assuming she can hack it live, but I just can’t see her storming to victory. And that has nothing to do with me being jealous that she can sing and is both prettier and younger than me. Nothing at all…
7. Invincible by Jack Rowan feat. Sam Gray – another dance song? Who would’ve guessed? This one is much more ‘now’ than the previous, but somehow has less substance. Again, it’s far from terrible (and I’d love the UK to snaffle it up as their entry post-MGP as Sam Gray is a Brit) but it doesn’t stand out in the sea of almost identical songs dominating global radio. In a club, totally audio, it would go off. At Eurovision, not so much. Still, as I said, it would make a solid, modern entry for the UK. Ya listening, BBC?
8. Only Teardrops by Emmelie de Forest – speaking of not standing out…well, actually this does. Mainly because it’s in the Danish selection and not the Irish selection. Yes, it’s very Celtic, and as much as I hate to repeat myself (repeat myself repeat myself) it sure is rousing. If it did win, I think it would surprise first-time listeners at the big show who would probably expect a depressing, violin-laden ballad about Emmelie being able to do nothing but sob into her pajamas because her boyfriend dumped her. It’d probably get votes just for being something else.
9. Beautiful To Me by Albin – radio-friendly, album-filler material that neither disturbs nor offends. This is possibly the weakest of the lot, but it’s still decent in my opinion. There isn’t a whole lot more to say about it, other than that it won’t trouble the top three (unless it miraculously does, in which case forget I said anything. As I will reiterate in a moment, I suck at predicting DMGP).
10. Unbreakable by Mohamed – and the award for Best Dance Pop Song Hands Down goes to…this guy! His song has that something that Invincible is missing, if not the something that could make it an ESC winner so soon after Loreen. It’s up there with Simone’s as a favourite, and this time I get it. But I’m not sure about a landslide for Mohamed either. Unbreakable sounds like the sort of thing that could easily come second. But if the staging is steered clear from anything too edgy and intimate a la Euphoria, and his vocal is top-notch (as he’s another reality-tv alumni, it should be) he could be The One.
Whew. So that’s the ten, and one of them will be flying the Danish flag in May. This is how things will work: 50% public voting and 50% jury voting (what a genius system!) will determine the top three songs. Those three will proceed to the super-final, and another round of voting will decide the winner.
In terms of the trio I want to see there, these are my picks: Unbreakable, Human and Jeg Har Hele Tiden Vidst Det. But in terms of what will actually happen…well, you now know that I have a history of totally misjudging what the Danes will go for. Still, it’s a new year and that means another chance to stuff things up, so here goes.
I’m feeling Brinck, Louise and Mohamed for the super-final, with Louise in 1st, Mohamed in 2nd and Brinck bringing up the rear. Keep in mind that is not at all my ideal situation. I just have a funny feeling about that Louise. And as I said, whichever song I like the best/predict to win often comes second.
What are your thoughts? Who would be Denmark’s best chance of success on close ground?
Norsk Melodi Grand Prix, Vol. II
Thankfully, this semi is a lot stronger than the first one, which seemed to amateur hour. But is that thanks to Alexander Rybak, or is he only the bomb when he’s composing and performing?
- Det Vakje Mi Tid by Martin Blomvik
- I’m With You by Annsofi
- On Hold by Shackles
- No One by Hank
- Ulvetuva by Fjellfolk
- Shine With Me by Haji
- I Feed You My Love by Margaret Berger
Annsofi’s is the song Rybak wrote, and it’s okay, but nothing earth-shattering. It reminds me of the depressing second half of his debut album Fairytale. But with his name stamped all over it, it’s sure to get a place in the final.
My favourites would have to be:
Det Vakje Mi Tid – I am not ashamed to admit that I LOVE this one. It’s dance pop, but not the standard kind. It’s super current, electro, slickly produced, and will be amazing if Mr. Blomvik can nail it live – a big ask considering the production on it, but…innocent until proven guilty, people. Or in this case, talented until there’s a massive onstage fail, people.
On Hold – This is another electro number, which will never qualify in a million years because none of the catchy, radio-friendly girl pop I adore in MGP ever does. I think the verses are a little stronger than the choruses, but in general it’s a song well done.
I Feed You My Love – This was not what I was expecting from a wispy blonde girl called Margaret, but I was far from disappointed. It’s intense, gritty, rock-ish and awesome, and the contrast between that and her look is vair interesting. She’s a big contributor to this semi kicking the butt of the last one.
Now, I must bring to your attention the fact that I managed to (accidentally) predict the qualifiers of last weekend’s show, so the pressure’s on to do it again. I’m listening to my gut, and it’s telling me in no uncertain terms that Annsofi, Hank and Margaret will be the lucky ones. If I’m wrong, my gut will be severely reprimanded, unless I’m wrong in the sense that my three favourites make it. Then I will be too busy dancing on my kitchen table to do anything else.
Which of Norway’s offerings would make you want to bump and grind on top of furniture? A.k.a. which are your favourites?
Who will be the host with the most?
And will they be able to outshine Anke Engelke? Half of those questions will be answered this Monday (!) when SVT reveals the lone wolf who will get to say those magical three words (that’s ‘Good evening, Europe!’ not ‘I love you’. That would be weird) to an audience of many in a few months’ time.
I think less can be more when it comes to the hosts, so the fact that it’s back to one after years of three doesn’t bother me. Three really was a crowd. The thing is, with the weight of scripted comedy and multi-lingual intros on one person’s shoulders, it has to be a really, really good person. Naturally, rumors of who it could be have been going around from the second of the single-host announcement, with everyone from Eric Saade (all the teenage girls on the planet) to the Swedish chef from The Muppets (me on Twitter) getting a mention. But it seems there’s one personality we all want, so here’s hoping SVT give us what we want and put the fabulous Sarah Dawn Finer in charge.
SDF has it all – she’s entertaining, fluent in multiple languages, an experienced hostess, and has a LMAO-worthy alter ego called Lynda Woodruff. Plus, she’s notably absent from hosting Melodifestivalen AND is apparently booked up for the entire first half of 2013…except for May. Coincidence? I think/hope not! Still, I wish it wasn’t too late to start a petition to get her the job.
The only equal alternative would be ABBA (counting them as one person, of course. They could stand on each other’s shoulders) which will never happen. But, if it turns out to be some random dude or dudette no-one outside Scandinavia has heard of, we should give them the benefit of the doubt, for they could be the next Anke. Like Lena, she came out of nowhere.
That’s the wrap for this evening, so I guess I’ll see you on the other side of DMGP and NMGP. Let me know what you’re thinking re: those finals, and who you’d like to see fronting Eurovision 2013. Please??