SUPER SATURDAY #5 | Thoughts on the new tracks of 2016 + my top 28 + Swedish second chances!

The title of this post pretty much says it all – besides letting you know that I actually haven’t got the time to review and predict the Estonian or Polish finals. I do have time to pass judgment on the songs that have become Eurovision entries since last Saturday, however. And to unveil my first official ranking of the year. AND to put Melodifestivalen’s Andra Chansen round under the microscope to see if I can guess who’ll walk away with the four performance slots in next weekend’s final. So all of the above is what I will do – right here, right now.

Well…in a minute.

Just so you know I know what’s going on in the Eurovision bubble over the next few nights, here are my traditional bullet points.

Tonight:

  • Estonia’s Eesti Laul – the final (will there be a Stig and Elina-style runaway winner? I suspect not)
  • Lithuania’s Eurovizijos – the semi final (believe it or not, the end is in sight)
  • Poland’s Krajowe Eliminacje – the final (Edyta, Margaret, or neither to Stockholm?)
  • Sweden’s Melodifestivalen – the Andra Chansen round (eight must become four)

Sunday night:

  • Romania’s Selecția Națională – the final (Mihai Traistariu’s chance to redo Eurovision)

Monday…sometime:

  • Macedonia present their song for Kaliopi (and she’s got her own big shoes to fill)

Now, let’s talk about the select stuff I have the chance to cover.

 

The songs and artist selections of the week, summed up in a sentence

Because ain’t nobody got the freedom for a full-length analysis – not with the week we’ve had.

  • LoveWave by Iveta Mukuchyan (Armenia) I don’t know if I’m impressed or disappointed by this unstructured, ethnically-tinged vehicle for Iveta’s raspy vocals.
  • Dami Im (Australia) She’s no Delta Goodrem (sadface), but X Factor champ Dami has the talent and dress sense to stand out in Stockholm – the only missing piece is a spectacular song.
  • Sing It Away by Sandhja (Finland) This reminds me of Belgium’s entry, but I prefer Laura to Sandhja (though I am glad Finland didn’t send Saara Aalto).
  • J’ai Cherché by Amir Haddad (France) Oui, oui and OUI.
maxresdefault

He’s more than all white as far as I’m concerned.

  • Pioneer by Freddie (Hungary) Hot singer + hit song = something that could be powerful on the Eurovision stage, and very successful for Hungary on the scoreboard.
  • Made of Stars by Hovi Star (Israel) If a song could be on the soundtrack of a West End musical, but a) isn’t, and b) isn’t Bohemian Rhapsody, then I’m not particularly interested.
  • Nessun Grado Di Separazione by Francesca Michielin (Italy) Classy, effortless Italian pop is a grande amore of mine, and this song is no exception (but please, please sing in Italian, Francesca!).
  • Heartbeat by Justs (Latvia) This is just/Justs brilliant, and features one of the most latch-able choruses of the year so far – Aminata, you’ve done it again.
  • Falling Stars by Lidia Isac (Moldova) The studio version, I’m keen on; the live version…well, Lidia positions herself right in the heart of screechy territory.
  • The Real Thing by Highway (Montenegro) This scares me and kind of appeals to me at the same time, but I expect it to perform terribly in its semi final.
  • Slow Down by Douwe Bob (The Netherlands) Bob’s style isn’t my bottle of Heineken, but even I can hear that Slow Down is a good example of folk/country that will do a decent job of leaving the Walk Along incident in its dust.
  • Icebreaker by Agnete (Norway) It’s incredible how Norway is managing to send two different songs to Eurovision 2016 without breaching any rules or regulations.
  • You Are The Only One by Sergey Lazarev (Russia) Sky-high expectations not met by a song that could have been lifted straight out of Eurovision 2006.
  • Blue and Red by ManuElla (Slovenia) You’ve got to do better than a Taylor Swift: 2008 Edition impersonator to impress me, Slovenia – what a step down from Here For You.

If you were wondering where the songs I’ve summed up here would factor in to a ranking including the rest, you’ll find that just below. If you weren’t, then feel free to skip to the Swedish section.

 

It’s here, and it’s uncertain! My first ranking of the 2016 season, revealed

I did put a ranking together a few days ago (not for publication’s sake but out of curiosity) and it was considerably different to the one below. What can I say? I’m fickle. This latest and first-to-be-publicised list includes all of the songs confirmed for Stockholm AT THIS PRECISE MOMENT – so Malta, who are still deciding whether Ira Losco should be a Chameleon or something else (I like to think they’ve got a backup track entitled Komodo Dragon waiting in the wings) is not included.

And so, for anyone who cares, this is my current top 28:

  1. Ukraine
  2. Hungary
  3. Italy
  4. France
  5. Latvia
  6. Norway
  7. Belgium
  8. Germany
  9. Spain
  10. Moldova
  11. Ireland
  12. Denmark
  13. Albania
  14. Georgia
  15. Cyprus
  16. Armenia
  17. Iceland
  18. United Kingdom
  19. Switzerland
  20. Russia
  21. Montenegro
  22. Bosnia & Herzegovina
  23. Netherlands
  24. Israel
  25. Finland
  26. Belarus
  27. Austria
  28. Slovenia
top3

I have a ridiculously photogenic top three on my hands, if I say so myself…

With fifteen songs still to be premiered or picked, there’s a lot of room for movement in all of our lists. But I want to know who’s topping yours at the moment…and who’s sitting un-pretty on the bottom. Let me know in the comments, and I (might) send you a gift basket.

 

Meanwhile, in Sweden: It’s time to give out the last remaining final tickets!

 Andra Chansen, the stage of Melodifestivalen that’s as fun to pronounce as it is to watch, has arrived. And, like last year (but not the year before that), there are four places left in the Friends Arena final for tonight’s competitors to fight for.

SVT, as usual, have paired up the eight songs placed 3rd and 4th in the semi finals, ensuring that none of those who went to AC together will be up against each other again. In the process, they’ve come up with some duels that can only be described using the letters W, T and F. And that makes a few of them hard to predict. Let’s take a closer look.

 

Duel 1: Håll Om Mig Hårt by Panetoz VS Hunger by Molly Pettersson Hammar

panmol

I’ll start with a confession: I would have bet my entire trip to Stockholm on Panetoz being pit against Boris René tonight (but I’m glad I didn’t). Don’t get me wrong – I’m relieved that both acts now have a shot at progressing from AC. But if SVT wanted to ensure the Melfest final was a variety show, they shouldn’t have given up an opportunity to eliminate one of two songs in a very similar vein. But ANYWAY, back to the duel that IS about to take place…this is a tough one. There are two very different artists and styles butting heads here. Panetoz are the masters of fun, energy, and transferring all of the above to the audience. Molly’s got a hunger, but I’m not sure it’s a hunger to win – there’s something lacking in her performance package (perhaps some of the Panetoz fun and energy). It isn’t vocal ability – she’s certainly got the monopoly on that in this duel. My personal winner is Panetoz, and I think they might have Molly cornered…but it’s not a given.

Who I want to win Panetoz

 Who WILL win Panetoz

 

 

Duel 2: Rik by Albin & Mattias VS Put Your Love On Me by Boris René

albbor

Here we have two repetitive songs up against each other. As much as I adore Albin and Mattias as artists, I have to admit that Rik is repetitive in an annoying, couldn’t-they-think-of-anything-else-to-fill-three-minutes kind of way, whereas it’s purely the chorus of Put Your Love On Me that uses the five title words and basically nothing else. Boris’ song and performance have so much more to offer, and he’s the clear winner of the second duel in my opinion.

Who I want to win Boris René

 Who WILL win Boris René

 

 

Duel 3: I Will Wait by Isa VS Kizunguzungu by SaRaha

isaraha

This is perhaps the weirdest pairing of the evening (Molly PH versus Isa? No? Okay then). I’m a big fan of both songs, but I think Isa may be trying too hard to get somewhere. Vocally (and physically), she’s can’t measure up to the lofty standards I Will Wait sets for her. SaRaha, on the other hand, owns Kizunguzungu, and is clearly completely comfortable and in her zone with Afro-pop. It’s not too intense, and she’s not straining to belt it out – which is the opposite impression I get from Isa. I think SaRaha’s ease and confidence (plus her sensational Spotify stats) will see her through to the final tonight.

Who I want to win Isa…SaRaha…I DON’T KNOW!!!

 Who WILL win SaRaha

 

 

Duel 4: Rollercoaster by Dolly Style VS Bada Nakna by Samir & Viktor

dolsam

Ah, finally! A duel that makes sense. Almost-novelty against almost-novelty. We need to get rid of one of these acts/songs, and I think Rollercoaster will be the one to get the silver platform boot. The force that is Samir & Viktor shouldn’t be underestimated, despite the fact that they didn’t manage to go direkt this time around. Their fans will be out to compensate for that “injustice” by systematically destroying Dolly Style via a tsunami of televotes. I can totally live with that.

Who I want to win Samir & Viktor

 Who WILL win Samir & Viktor

 

 

Sadly (seriously, have some tissues at the ready) that’s all I’ve got time for, folks. After all, a good-quality pre-Melfest nap must take priority over not napping.

As always, leave your thoughts on any recent or imminent Eurovisual happenings down below. And – this is not optional – enjoy this second-last Saturday of national final season while it lasts!

 

Until next time…

 

2015sig

 

 

About Jaz

I'm Jaz, I'm 25, and I'm 110% Eurovision-OBSESSED. The contest is one big party, and I like to keep it going 365 days a year - that's why I write about anything and everything ESC on my blog. Come join the fun, and I promise you'll never have a nul-point experience! www.eurovisionbyjaz.com/

Posted on March 6, 2016, in Eurovision 2016, Melodifestivalen and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Ali Nella Houd

    Hellooo Jazooo.
    Happy to “say yay yay yay” to quite a bit of your current list: Ukraine, Italy and Belgium and perhaps others of your top 10 are also in my (still slightly amorphous) top 10, but I am feeling more generous than you are to Georgia, Cyprus and of course (ahem) l’Autriche. Heading off to listen to Serbia for the first time right now, and praying it is good. (We need more good. Pleeeease?!)

    Like

  2. Ali Nella Houd

    Doh! So, ok, my consarnit time machine isn’t working so I couldn’t actually leap forward four days and listen to Serbia, but I do know that it is at least four sevenths good, because it’s called “Goodbye”. I’m sure that’s a factoid we all wanted to know. 😛

    Like

  3. Hej Jaz,

    after a quite disappointing Super Saturday (and a very disappointing Sunday) #4 last weekend I still have high hopes that we will get some more top 10 entries this weekend, at least from our high-quality Melfest final, which I am already excited about.

    Here is my list of favourites for Saturday night’s last and final Melfest show (Is this already the last one? *insert a sad face here*):

    1. Molly Sandén –Youniverse
    2. Boris René – Put your love on me
    3. Robin Bengtsson – Constellation price
    4. Wiktoria – Save me
    5. Oscar Zia – Human
    6. Panetoz – Håll om mig hårt
    7. David Lindgren – We are your tomorrow
    8. Lisa Ajax – My heart wants me dead
    9. Frans – If I were sorry
    10. Ace Wilder – Don’t worry
    11. SaRaha – Kizunguzungu
    12. THE BOYS with NO VOICE – Bada Nakna

    I’d be very happy if “Youniverse” won on Saturday. I think it’s the only song of the
    twelve that could lead Sweden to another victory this year, IMO, and I hope Molly
    (and Danny) will win the (bus/tram) ticket to the Globen Arena. But I would also do
    the ‘Bellarosa’ jump if Boris or Robin took the trophy. XD

    My #4 – #6 would be potential top 10 entries for the ESC, just perfect for the host
    entry to do well, but not winning again.

    My #7 – #9 I’d see outside the ESC top 10 this year, probably with a result like Robin
    got in Malmö, because these songs are all not outstanding enough to get a great
    result on the scoreboard.

    My #10 – #12: if one of these three won, that would be my worst case, in my eyes
    and ears! Here I would predict a result lower than #20 in the Grand final, because
    none of these entries has anything special, neither the songs nor their presentations.
    It’s all just standard to fun material that at least I don’t want to see and hear in a
    Eurovision final.

    So, my hopes and wishes are HUGE for Molly Sandén to win Melfest on Saturday. If
    there is any justice in Melfest, she should make it to Eurovision this year, pleeeaaase!!!

    Finally, for our last decision in Lithuana, I’d want my favourite Lithuanian artist, that is
    Donny Montell, to succeed, but I think it could also be Erica Jennings to Eurovision
    this year, which would be, well, second-best! 😉

    Have a fantastic and exciting Melfest final night with (hopefully) the right winner,
    #teamMollyandDanny!

    Wolf 🙂

    P.S. BTW, this already got me lyrics-wise, completely timeless and a strong grower to my delight (and … THAT HAIR ;D!!!):

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a confession to make. Of all the 2016 Eurovision entries so far (except for Croatia and Serbia which I have yet to hear) not one has grabbed my ear, twisted it, and exclaimed “HERE I AM, ALL GLISTENING AND NEW AND READY FOR YOU” perhaps I expect too much though….
    Granted I’ve only heard each song once, but at this time last year I was already head over heels for FYRM, Slovenia, and Ireland to name a few.

    From this years crop of potential songs two of the three I favored washed out of their NF and the third would face the monumental task of overtaking Molly or Ace or (god forbid) those half naked boys in MF.

    My not-so-super-Saturdays to date:

    Norway’s MGP did not disappoint in that it disappointed. The Hungry Hearts should have driven off stage and straight to Stockholm for ESC. What more do you need Norway? A swift hit with a 2×4 between the ears? The rest was a garbled mess that culminated with a prisoner trapped under Agnete’s staircase (was that just how I felt watching the results?) as she icily took first place. When I realized I was trying to convince myself that “Anna Lee” wouldn’t be a bad choice I felt shame. There’s nothing completely terrible about Icebreaker, depending on which section of the song(s) you like, and the chorus was stuck in my head after just two listens, but it’s just not…right. Maybe you get laughed at a little for sending Laika, but these Nordic seemingly cousins of Verka Serducka have eternal ESC clip history written all over them. Aliens dancing with half-disco ball heads? Yes! And it’s refers to a dog. In space. How does this not even get a chance in the Super Final? UFFDA, Norway, UUUUUFFFFFFFFFDDAAA I say.

    Eesti Laul handled their final more appropriately. I’m content with Play and would put it top 5 at the moment, if forced to make a list. I believe Stig’s protege, Juri, could do quite well. He does resemble the tv character Doc Martin a bit, don’t you think? It is another song from the final that has been ear-wormed in my head: Lonely Boy by Kea. The song is radio friendly, without being annoying, and Kea’s voice is so smooth, her stage presence so natural, and the singing with the guitar riffs on top of it was magic in its own way.

    As for Melodifestivalen, I can only hope Robin and Boris finish as high as Wolfgang’s rankings! It is the year of the guys for me at MF. Robin swept me off my feet and Boris makes me want to get back on them and dance. Seriously, it is hard to sit still when I listen to Put Your Love On Me. Since I’m not the only one who hears that Boris wants to put my heart “in a litter box”, I can hope that he’ll eventually make a video for the song and he’s dancing around in a giant litter box! Okay, okay, maybe not a great idea….it would definitely have to be a clean litter box. Isa and Molly PH couldn’t hold a candle to what they did last year, imo. I wasn’t particularly interested in either song even for Andra Chasen. Samir and Viktor must be part cockroach; they keep coming back somehow *trains weary eye on teenage girls*. Pity their not slotted to “perform” mid-show which would coincide nicely for a bathroom break. Overall I do like the quality in MF this year and look forward to the final, even if it is Molly’s Youniverse to control.

    Lycka till everyone!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m sorry to tell you this, Amy…but after a surprisingly brief social media stalk session, I can confirm that Robin Bengtsson is spoken for. Why I’m surprised that someone with THOSE EYES is not single, I don’t know. Bitter disappointment is my strongest feeling anyway. And my fantasies of an ostentatious wedding on a Swedish archipelago (fantasies in which you don’t hook him first) have gone down the drain. #melodrama #delusion #whereohwhereismyswedishhusband

      Like

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