SUPER SATURDAY #6 | Välkommen to the most momentous of Melodifestivalen moments!

It’s a bittersweet symphony, this life. After five Saturdays of frenetic and not-so-frenetic (in the case of After Dark) app voting, wanton wind machine usage, and results that made us say ‘Um…really?’, Melodifestivalen 2016 has reached its final stage…literally.

The traveling circus has set up shop in Stockholm (as Eurovision will in a matter of months) and the original line-up of 28 – if we’re including the booted Anna Book – has been narrowed down to 12 (presumably, the others have been fed to the lions by now). It is exciting, anticipating this imminent last installment, but it’s also depressing to imagine life after Sweden’s 2016 ESC entrant is named and famed. Seriously, what did we do in those dark days prior to Deltävling 1? I don’t know, but we’re going to have to start doing it again as of Sunday *sniffs pathetically with head buried in latest edition of Scan magazine*.

For now, though, let’s forget about things that are not Melfest-related, and focus on what’s ahead of us – i.e. things that ARE Melfest-related. When I say that, I mean it – I’m choosing to forgo discussing such things as 1) Australia’s second-ever adult ESC entry, and 2) Lithuania also selecting their song this evening, to give the Swedish selection the attention it deserves. I expect my honorary Swedish citizenship, hand-signed in glitter pen by Christer Björkman, to arrive in the post any day now.

As Ace Wilder would say, don’t worry – I’ll get back to Dami Im and (probably) Donny Montell in due course. But just nu, let’s preview and predict one of the greatest and most competitive Melfest finals in recent history!

 

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  1. Håll Om Mig Hårt by Panetoz
  2. My Heart Wants Me Dead by Lisa Ajax
  3. We Are Your Tomorrow by David Lindgren
  4. Kizunguzungu by SaRaha
  5. Human by Oscar Zia
  6. Don’t Worry by Ace Wilder
  7. Constellation Prize by Robin Bengtsson
  8. Youniverse by Molly Sandén
  9. Put Your Love On Me by Boris René
  10. If I Were Sorry by Frans
  11. Save Me by Wiktoria
  12. Bada Nakna by Samir & Viktor

 

That’s certainly a good-looking, good-listening programme. And that’s not even factoring in the star-powered interval act SVT have planned for us (more on that later). There are so many songs and acts I want to see succeed this evening, and only a few I wouldn’t be devastated to see fail. You can find out which are which without further ado. 3, 2, 1, review!

 

Håll Om Mig Hårt by Panetoz

My verdict I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – these guys make me so happy, and all they have to do is exist (and ideally, release some music every now and then). It’s no surprise that I was jumping for joy when they emerged victorious from their Andra Chansen battle last weekend. Håll Om Mig Hårt is weaker than 2014’s Efter Solsken, but it’s still the same brand of effervescent, crowd-pleasing tropical pop, and there could be no better opener for tonight’s final. Will it win? Of course not. Will it even come close? Nope. But will we enjoy it whether we want to or not? Obviously.

My ranking 7th

Predicted ranking 12th

Would it work at Eurovision? No

 

My Heart Wants Me Dead by Lisa Ajax

My verdict Stringing toilet paper from the ceiling has never looked so glamorous! No, Lisa didn’t get the best of deals when SVT were budgeting to cover staging costs. But that doesn’t stop MHWMD from being a killer pop ballad performed with aplomb by Sweden’s 2014 Idol champ (marinated in on-trend metallics). I love everything about this song, bar the lack of more dynamic staging. Zara Larsson would be proud to have this track in her repertoire.

My ranking 6th

Predicted ranking 9th

Would it work at Eurovision? Yes

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Toilet-papering houses is so last year…arenas are where it’s at.

 

We Are Your Tomorrow by David Lindgren

My verdict David is the epitome of an Eric Saade-endorsed manboy. He’s adorable, in other words. But how he managed to go direkt yet again is a mystery to me, particularly when his song is just so…nice. Nice, competent and reasonably catchy, but nothing more. There’s no real substance to it, and it’s not going to be a contender now we’ve reached the pointy end of the comp. Sweden might have an affinity with this guy, but the international juries won’t – and even Swedish voters have the likes of Frans and Robin on hand to choose over David this time. Which is fine…I’m happy to console him when he fails miserably.

My ranking 11th

Predicted ranking 11th

Would it work at Eurovision? No

 

Kizunguzungu by SaRaha

My verdict Yes, this is Waka Waka + Aleo + Haba Haba in a tidy three minute capsule; and yes, despite the African overtones, it’s Swedish pop-by-numbers right down (or should I say, right up?) to the key change. But it’s also so high-energy and so much fun that I’m irresistibly drawn to it. Plus, I am yet to find a better word than ‘kizunguzungu’ emerge from 2016. You do give me kizunguzungu, SaRaha…as a result of too much DAMNED DANCING.

My ranking 9th

Predicted ranking 7th

Would it work at Eurovision? Yes

 

Human by Oscar Zia

My verdict Cards on the table: this is my favourite. And I can’t help thinking it would be the best Melfest-turned-Eurovision song Sweden could possibly pick tonight, even if there’s little to no chance they’ll actually pick it. Oscar isn’t the world’s best vocalist, but his charisma, the power of Human, and the Academy Award-worthy cinematography of his staging (camera shots have never been used so effectively) compensate for that. He looks like a 50s film star on stage, but the rest of his entry is totally contemporary – and together, it’s a magic combo. Still, it’ll be a miracle of Paula and Ovi proportions if he manages to win.

My ranking 1st

Predicted ranking 8th

Would it work at Eurovision? Yes

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Oscar: clearly a fan of T-Bird-meets-funeral chic.

 

Don’t Worry by Ace Wilder

My verdict Way back when Ace was the outright favourite to win Melfest, I wanted to love her comeback entry so I wouldn’t mind when she walked away with the victory. A lot has changed since then, including the fact that there’s a new kid on the block who’s likely to pip her at the post. What hasn’t changed is my attitude towards Ace herself – I still find her as unlikable as I did in 2014, when she was the devil to Sanna’s angel as they both perched on Melfest’s padded shoulders. I do, however, love Don’t Worry. But I don’t think it’s a winner. Simple as that.

My ranking 8th

Predicted ranking 2nd

Would it work at Eurovision? Yes

 

Constellation Prize by Robin Bengtsson

My verdict It’s apt that Robin sings ‘You’re a star’ in the chorus of Constellation Prize (I still can’t wrap my head around that title) because he was the star of semi final one. Armed with a harmonica that he was definitely playing *wink* and eyes that could convince me to do pretty much anything (one lingering look, and I’d beat Frans to robbing a bank and the post office too), Robin charmed us all then, and he’ll be doing the same tonight. I hope he nabs a great result, if topping the table is out of the question (which is isn’t, necessarily). If he can hypnotise the international juries with those peepers, AND rank highly with the Swedish public, he could be the second Robin to represent Sweden on home soil. Stranger things have happened.

My ranking 2nd

Predicted ranking 3rd

Would it work at Eurovision? Yes

 

Youniverse by Molly Sandén

My verdict Molly can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned. She is flawless, and proved it when she put in a final-worthy performance a few weeks back. Granted, Youniverse is not the landslide-win type of song I was expecting given that Molly and her man-candy Danny Saucedo co-wrote it, but it still kicks butt. This is a tough year, and it will be an uphill struggle rather than an easy stroll for Molly to take it out. I’d be ecstatic if she did, but she might need to try a few more times to find the perfect formula – and/or drop by when the competition’s not so fierce.

My ranking 3rd

Predicted ranking 4th

Would it work at Eurovision? Yes

Molly-Sanden-Melodifestivalen-2016-Youniverse

Like we believe ALL of that wind is coming from the fans, Molly…

 

Put Your Love On Me by Boris René

My verdict Whether in a little box or a litter box (once you’ve heard that, you can’t un-hear it) Boris has my heart for sure. This is my jam of the year so far, and I’m stoked we get to experience the pure joy of it once again in the final. Proving that you don’t need showy staging to have get places, Boris uses the fancy footwork from his football past to full advantage, and that helps make him a worthy participant tonight. I’m sad to say that he’ll probably end up in the bottom six of the twelve – but he should be proud to have made a successful Melfest debut, and in doing do, put a smile on the face of everyone who isn’t a soulless robot. Go ahead, Boris – putcha love on me!

My ranking 5th

Predicted ranking 10th

Would it work at Eurovision? No

 

If I Were Sorry by Frans

My verdict If we’re destined to have a runaway winner, it will be Frans. Having topped the Spotify and Sverigetopplistan charts and been the odds-on favourite since his semi performance, he’s on the right track to outwit, outplay and outlast much bigger names, which I’m quite pleased about (it makes Melfest less predictable in a way, and means it’s still a launching pad for relative unknowns/former child stars). There is a charm and authenticity to If I Were Sorry – an air of ‘no, we’re not trying too hard for once’ – that we last saw in Robin Stjernberg’s You, and that makes it dangerous. I know it’s not hugely popular outside of Sweden, but I think it will be a cool choice if it does what’s expected. But…will the non-Swedish jury members warm to it, or just think ‘WTF?’.

My ranking 4th

Predicted ranking 1st

Would it work at Eurovision? Yes

 

Save Me by Wiktoria

My verdict Contrary to IIWS, Save Me is all about what happens to/on Wiktoria on stage. The girl is an amazing singer, and I want her hair chopped off and glued to my scalp stat (in a non-creepy way) but without those incredible body projections, she would need someone to save her. Don’t get me wrong – I am a fan of this song (it’s the kind of thing I imagine Taylor Swift would have been releasing right now if she’d remained within the realms of country music). But I’d be far less keen to sit through it if Wiktoria simply stood and sung, sans the series of projections. With those in her corner, I’m expecting her to debut successfully by squeezing into the top 5.

My ranking 10th

Predicted ranking 5th

Would it work at Eurovision? Yes

wiktoria-star1-jpg

After Melfest, Wiktoria will be installed in Sweden’s national art gallery as a permanent exhibition.

 

Bada Nakna by Samir & Viktor

My verdict I’m happy to hear that these boys will be as close to nakna as possible on primetime television tonight. Why not venture all the way down Trash Avenue? After all, it would be un-Samir & Viktor-like to show restraint (and not nipples). These two are the weakest singers in the field, and Bada Nakna is no Groupie. As a result, they won’t be heading back to Stockholm for ESC purposes unless they’re hitting up the Euroclub. That’s expressly why we should just sit back and enjoy the final song to be performed tonight…in all its moist, shirtless, pantless glory.

My ranking 12th

Predicted ranking 6th

Would it work at Eurovision? No

 

 

Okay…so that likely took you as long to read as it will take the Mello final to start, happen and finish. But that’s SVT’s fault for having so many songs competing. In summary, my predicted scoreboard (minus any actual scores, because I don’t want to make that much of a fool of myself) looks like this:

  1. Frans
  2. Ace
  3. Robin
  4. Molly
  5. Wiktoria
  6. Samir & Viktor
  7. SaRaha
  8. Oscar
  9. Lisa
  10. Boris
  11. David
  12. Panetoz

I do think that ultimately, Frans will be our winner for 2016. But his is not necessarily an open-and-shut case kind of victory like Måns’ of twelve months ago. Back then, MZW had the sort of mass appeal that won him both the international jury vote and the televote. But in 2014, Sanna Nielsen placed second in the jury vote and won the televote; and in 2013, Robin Stjernberg did the opposite, winning the jury vote and placing second with the Swedish public. My point is (yes, I have one!) that Frans will most likely win the televote, but if he’s placed second or lower with the juries, he may not win the whole shebang. It’s hard to guess which act the juries would opt for instead, but you could argue that the likes of Ace, Robin, Molly and Oscar have more mass appeal, and might be more easily “gotten” by non-Swedes. And if the points/percentages are right, we could see a close call feat. Frans with a metaphorical silver medal round his neck.

So who, if anyone, has the best chance of toppling the favourite? Ace or Robin, with Wiktoria as an outsider. I’d love to say that Oscar – my main Melfest man – could hit the heights required to score an ESC ticket, but it seems there’s too much in the way (third time lucky in 2018, perhaps?). There really are a ton of great songs in this final, and too few top five places (five, funnily enough) to be allocated accordingly. Samir & Viktor should come last in my opinion, but they won’t. Any other act really doesn’t deserve that dishonour. I’ve predicted Panetoz because, as wonderful as they will be as the show’s opening act, I think the fun will fizzle out come voting time when Swedish voters get serious (and I don’t think the juries will rank them particularly highly either). I get the impression they’ll just be happy to be there, having made it this far though.

What do you think? Are there some shocks and surprises in store for us in Sweden, or will Melfest turn out to be massively predictable after all? Place your bets, people!

 

Now, to finish off, I’m going to bask in the ambience of Europe’s most epic NF for a little longer as I identify what I’m most looking forward to seeing and hearing in Friends Arena in a few hours’ time:

  • Oscar Zia in action I haven’t laid eyes on his kick-ass performance since his semi-final (though I have snuck in a few plays of Human in studio) so I’m dying to see it again. I do think we’re human, and I would like to take a look once again, Oscar.
  • Molly lost in her Youniverse Because who wouldn’t want to watch the Mollmeister do what she does best and generally be all of our beauty and talent goals in flesh-and-blood form? Anyone else also hoping Danny will show his beautiful face on this occasion?
  • Lynda Woodruff’s triumphant return SHE’S BACK! I can’t get enough of Sarah Dawn Finer, as herself or in character as the EBU’s most incompetent employee. The big question is, will she work in a mention of Azerjaiben?
lynda_woodruff

Oh, how I’ve missed that stunningly attractive face!

  • The Melfest medley of a lifetime SDF again. Magnus Carlsson. Nanne Grönvall. Anton Ewald. BWO. These are just some of the artists from Melfests of yesteryear who’ll be taking to the stage to reprise their entries while we wait for the votes to be tallied. I CANNOT CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT. Interval acts don’t usually have me peeing my pants at the prospect of witnessing them, but this one’s different. Sorry for the over-share.
  • The moment vi har ett resultat I don’t want to hear Gina Dirawi utter that phrase for the last time, but I do want to suffer through the agony of the voting sequence. Remember, it’s the kind of process we’ll be seeing at Eurovision, so think of the drawn-out tension as a dress rehearsal for May.

 

Aaaaaaaaaaaand I’m done. There is more I could say on the subject of M to the E to the L to the O to the…well, you get the idea. But then I’d need to print it, bind it and market it as serious bedtime reading, and that’s too much hassle.

Speaking of bedtime…I’d better go have my last pre-Melfest power nap. I might see you on Twitter later for the main event, but if not, enjoy your Saturday whether you’re watching Melfest, watching Lithuania’s Eurovizijos (?) or doing something else entirely (???). We have so few Eurovision entries left to be picked/premiered, so let’s hope we get a few great ones tonight!

 

Until next time,

 

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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 12, 2016, in Eurovision 2016, Melodifestivalen and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Ali Nella Houd

    Well done, Jazwiener! Your silver (and beyond) was a tad out, but you nailed the gold.

    Speaking of which, this one’s (officially) for you, Wolfi …

    Our intrepid Zoë goes in search, not so much of the Yellow (Golden) Submarine, but perhaps of the goose that laid the golden … boobie?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha … it all looks a bit too much of everything, doesn’t it? XD
    But maybe “Hans in Luck” would be just amazed by it? Or do you think he would change her again into something … more precious?
    I guess she should definitely ask Vanessa (à la recherche de) Paradis as a consultant what to wear on semi final night!
    My wish: she should look like ‘Dorothy Gale’ (but without Toto ;)) in a colourful dress (and not in ‘Midnight gold’), plus the rainbow’s on stage is important. I definitely would like that! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ali Nella Houd

    Yes, I think Vanessa would wisely insist that Toto stay home with Boo, Pistol and the rest of her ex’s menagerie. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ali Nella Houd

    Apols, Jazzië, for the ongoing Zoëfestation of your site — you’re probably wishing the ZoStro were ‘encore loin d’ici’, n’est-ce pas? — but I had to share this one with Wolfi too.

    Danny should certainly be applauded for having what we downunder might call a “red hot go” at LD’I here. Perhaps if I (miraculously) get beamed up to Gamla Stan in May, Wolf and I can have a crack at butchering our own impromptu a cappella rendition (and watch Jaz bring up her half-digested meatballs on the cobblestones in disgust …).

    That said, I don’t think it augurs very well that Danny seems to sing ‘enivré dans l’ambulance’ — Hmmm, could that really be a sign of how things might end in wee hours of the 15th May!?!! …

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Haha … How great is that! Thank you for sharing it, Ali!

    Danny’s version of ‘Loin d’ici’ is simply irresistible XD. Gets a big like from moi (same for his socks)! 😉

    Yes, of course, we would do our own ‘Loin d’ici’ (I’m in!), if that miracle (hopefully) really happened, just for Jaz!
    Probably she will run away with disgust, horrified by our great voices (?), but maybe there’s also a chance that she could like our version more than Zoë’s original? It’s a 50/50 chance, isn’t it? Anyway, the fun’s ours, and that is what counts at Eurovision, not?

    BTW, sometimes little miracles happen when you least expect them; that’s what I would say about the Azeri entry 2016. In this case, I expected nothing, in other words ‘a Bianca song’ by again Swedish songwriters, and I got … it all. It’s a fantastic song on last minute this year.

    Back to Danny: I would say he could improve his French a little, just a little! That is probably the only thing we would do better in our version since the lyrics are not so difficult. And ‘enivré dans l’ambulance’ is more of a worst case scenario than a comfortable situation, I guess?!

    Well, Ali, that point is yours! No, that’s a ‘douze’ from moi! 🙂
    Should be in the list of ‘Greatest covers of all-time’ (haha!).

    Again thanks for sharing and until next time ….

    Wolf 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ali Nella Houd

    Ok, here’s a delicate topic. So, I do think Azerbaijan has one of the catchier slow female songs, but I think one big difference between Samra and me, based on her song’s lyrics, is that I actually want my miracle to happen, whereas she seems to imply she’ll be better off, and a better person, if the miracle does NOT happen (i.e. if she and her ‘boy’ do split up). In my book, that takes some wind out of her song’s sails: why do we want to hear someone sing about a miracle that they don’t want? It’s Ann Sophie’s 2015 ‘Black Smoke’ scenario, but here, in the chorus, we are being asked to contemplate the opposite outcome – a phoenix relationship, rising miraculously from the ashes of their two burnt hearts (to continue Ann Sophie’s metaphors). I know, I know – I’m over-analysing (again). But these sorts of things do affect my enjoyment of the songs, especially if they could have been avoided by a simple and subtle shift in the (verse) lyrics. Why don’t these fools ever consult me beforehand? Sheesh! Perhaps Danny McEvoy has done a rendition that somehow makes sense of this madness … I’ll check. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ali Nella Houd

    So, here ’tis. I think I prefer Danny’s version overall, but there’s still an elephant in the room, and I don’t mean the one on Danny’s T-shirt: the fact that people like me are screaming to the heavens – “Please, God, don’t waste a miracle on reviving this irretrievably broken, dead and totally stuffed relationship – there are much worthier causes, like … getting Ali to Gamla Stan!”. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes, you’re absolutely right! Getting Ali to Gamla Stan is, of course, MUCH worthier than anything else. 😉 I’d like to charter my spaceship (you know, the Major Tom one) for you to make it easier and possible, if that could help?

    Concerning the Azeri ‘Miracle’ I see that song in a different light. I am very happy that Samra doesn’t sing a song about the ‘usual’ (Karl William Lund) miracle in that normal sense where we already know so many songs about. The ‘Miracle’ by Samra is one of the very few songs this year I can personally build a connection to, because to me it is about self-knowledge that it can also be a miracle to finally have the strength to draw a line under an already gone relationship or some other non-worthy happenings in the past. The ‘miracle’ here stands for the freedom in your mind to finally feel open again. And that to me is the positive message in this song. I understand that you see a similarity here to “Black smoke” on the surface, but Ann-Sophie’s song was far more destructive than Samra’s is. I just see the good aspects in ‘Miracle’ that “Black smoke” never had, in my opinion. So the deeper meaning of it lies underneath, and that is not a “wasted” miracle, at least not for me.

    BTW, I also truly like Danny’s version of the song. That’s the perfect song for him and his voice, and it really shows what a great song ‘Miracle’ is and that it also can sound good with other arrangements.

    And finally, to me, your mentioned “elephant in the room” is the tree of knowledge, huge and wise and miraculous. 😉

    So this must be a part of my personal top 10 in 2016, not far behind “The last of our kind” which also means a lot to me, even if no one else likes it.

    -End of Wolf’s philosophy- (Amen) 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ali Nella Houd

    Ahh, I see. Hmm …

    So when she says: “gonna take a miracle to heal this love” she means to heal the pain caused by the failure of their love?

    Perhaps there’s a missing comma:
    “Gonna take a miracle to heal this (i.e. the pain), love”?

    And when she says “gonna take a miracle to save us now”, it’s not saving them as a couple she’s talking about, but saving each of them, individually, from the negative consequences of their failed relationship?

    A very novel and intriguing interpretation, Mr Wolf! … (Insert quizzically-raised-eyebrows emoticon.)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. YES, that was exactly what I heard in “Miracle”, Ali!

    I know, my philosophical approach here is very much “thinking around the corner”. ;D

    And my interpretation was definitely “saving each of them”, not “saving them as a couple”.

    And, sorry, I didn’t hear the missing comma in the song ;), I should have read the lyrics instead of just listening to the song.

    But probably you’re right, and that wasn’t the meaning at all?!

    But I’d like to hear it this way, the other Interpretation wouldn’t be mine too. There I would agree to what you said before. 😉

    Nice greets from Germany,

    Mr. Wolf 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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