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EUROVISION BY JAZ X EUROVISION UNION | Reacting to another blogger’s top 10 Melodifestivalen entries from the last 10 years

Fun fact: It’s been a hot minute (as in about three years) since I collaborated with anybody via this here blog. So when my talented and equally ESC-centric amigo Anita from Eurovision Union floated the idea of a pre-Melodifestivalen fling between our sites, I was like:

What we decided to do, just before the 2019 competition kicks off this Saturday (!!!) is each make a list of our top 10 favourite Melfest tracks from the last ten years (that length of time was hard enough…having any more songs to choose from would be torture). Then we’d swap our rankings and judge each other’s awful and/or excellent tastes when it comes to Europe’s biggest and best NF. So that’s what we’re doing today, basically!

Here’s Anita’s judgment of MY top 10 Melfest entries, 2009-2018. Check out her site if you haven’t already, because it is a Eurovision news-and-review lover’s fantasy land. And then keep reading mine to see what I think of her top 10 songs.

PS – By the way, we decided to consider songs that won Melfest as Eurovision entries, so we haven’t included any on either of our lists. If we’d forced ourselves to consider Loreen, Måns, Sanna etc, there wouldn’t have been room for anyone else.

 

 

#1 | Good Lovin’, Benjamin Ingrosso (2017)

There are two things you need to know about me in case you didn’t already: firstly, I’m a big Benjamin Ingrosso fangirl; and secondly, I was there in Friends Arena two years ago when he performed this song live at the Melfest final (something I drop into conversations as often as possible). I’m telling you this stuff so you’re prepared for the doubly-special place Good Lovin’ has in my heart. Should it have been his winning entry instead of Dance You Off? Definitely not. Were the giant baked-potato-in-foil props a good idea? Not so much. But those things aside, this is just one song in an endless string of slick, catchy and super-streamable Scandipop produced by Benjamin. It was a great Melfest debut for him and I listen to it on a far too regular basis. Nope, can’t fault your taste on this one, Anita.

 

#2 | Hold On, Nano (2017)

I may as well lay my cards on the table immediately: when I was sitting there in Friends Arena back in 2017 (told you I liked to mention that at every opportunity), it was Nano I wanted to win. Looking at it now, I’m glad Robin Bengtsson got his turn – but in a parallel universe, Hold On made for an awesome Eurovision entry and didn’t need treadmills to do it. One of my favourite things about Nano, this song and his performance of it was that none of it screamed typical Melfest. It was polished but had rough edges, was presented with more shadow than light, and wasn’t fronted by a buff, precision-choreographed teenage male soloist with perfect teeth and a head packed with hair product. Nano gave us something that felt true and stood out for that reason. Overall, his entry was like Rag ‘n’ Bone Man meets Rudimental, and I was totally there for it.

 

#3 | My Heart Is Refusing Me, Loreen (2011)

The original but not the best – that’s how I’d describe Loreen’s Melfest debut. That’s only because what came after it was Euphoria, and no mere mortal could ever hope to top that (or have something they’d done prior be considered better). MHIRM had substance and style, and it’s aged well enough that it could probably compete in 2019 and nobody would say it was dated. I’ve always liked the slow-burn structure of the song – how it builds into a dance track with a dark-disco feel gradually over three minutes, never making me feel like waiting for the climax to come is boring. Melfest 2011 is actually the first edition of the NF I watched as a fan who actually knew what ‘NU KÖR VI!’ meant, and I remember this song being my top pick at the time…and being devastated when it failed to get out of Andra Chansen. In all honesty, I think it’s a better song than eventual winner Popular, but it probably wouldn’t have the hit the heights of 3rd place at Eurovision.

 

#4 | Youniverse, Molly Sanden (2016)

Okay, so it wasn’t third time lucky for Molly at Melfest…and we haven’t seen her there since (she’s been too busy releasing epic non-competition music, most of which can be found on her latest album Större). But Youniverse was a solid effort, once you get past the wordplay of the title which messed with my mind at first. The writer and former English major in me loves the imagery and perfectly-rhymed lyrics – I mean, ‘We’re stars wrapped up in skin, the light comes from within’ is practically poetry. And the part of me that appreciates atypical pop songs (as opposed to cookie cutter, ultra-predictable pop songs) applauds the electronic dance-pop of the verses that alternates with the power ballad-esque choruses. There was something missing from the overall Youniverse package that prevented it from stopping Frans – and a few other acts – in his tracks, and it’s not my favourite Melfest entry of Molly’s (that “honour” goes to 2012’s Why Am I Crying?). But it’s sophisticated, unique and as I said, solid.

  

#5 | Put Your Love On Me, Boris René (2016)

Realistically, I could sum up how I feel about this number in one word, and that word would be YAAASSSSS!!! But you guys know my motto is ‘Why use one word when you could use 1500?’. So here goes. Who would have expected an ex-soccer player to contribute more to the Melfest lineup than some fancy footwork? Boris René delivered that by the truckload, but he also had a) above average vocal abilities, b) tons of charisma, and c) a heart that was IN A LITTER BOX. I don’t care if it’s supposed to be ‘little box’, I hear litter every time. Regardless, this entry is 100% pure joy and makes me so happy whenever I hear it (which is at least once a day, voluntarily). I’m glad Boris used the same formula for his follow-up Her Kiss, which is equally as effective as a musical happy pill. Either song popping up on a top 10 list is just plain old-fashioned good taste. 

 

#6 | To The End, YOHIO (2014)

I bet you thought as this point that I was going to be annoyingly complimentary about all of Anita’s Melodifestivalen favourites. Well, it took a while, but we’ve arrived at one that I don’t dislike exactly…but I definitely don’t think of it as a personal best of mine either. To The End was YOHIO’s attempt to go one better than he did in 2013, when he lost out to Andra Chansen’s very own You by Robin Stjernberg (now there’s a song I love). To me he pulled an Ulrik Munther and tried too hard to succeed, ending up with an entry that didn’t quite recapture the magic of the first. Of course, this is my opinion – and I’m not saying that 2013’s Heartbreak Hotel was the greatest song on the planet – but I much preferred his debut to what came the year after. The show’s results reflected that, with To The End finishing 6th. Though having said that, 2014 was a way, WAY stronger Melfest year than 2013.

 

#7 | Bröder, Linus Svenning (2014)

Here’s a song that’s more emotionally-charged than most found at Melfest, and I was feeling all of the feels from Linus when he competed with it. The style of the song is great, building on a piano ballad beginning to end as more of a rock/power ballad. And Linus sells it so well, with more vulnerability than you might expect to vibe off someone with so many body modifications. As a package, this reminds me of LIAMOO’s Last Breath in its simplicity and authentic, true-to-the-artist nature. Unfortunately, when Linus came back in 2015, a lot of his authenticity was lost in Forever Starts Today, which tried so hard to be a step up that it backfired. But I digress. I’m supposed to be talking about Bröder, and that gets a big thumbs up from me even if I’m not as obsessed with it now as I was back then.

 

#8 | Blame It On The Disco, Alcazar (2014)

This is a classic case of knowing your lane and staying in it. Basically, Blame It On The Disco is Alcazar doing what Alcazar have always done and do best, and do I have any complaints about that? Um, no. My personal favourite from their competition back catalogue is Stay The Night (2009), but this is a close second…and to my surprise, it nearly finished second in Melfest. It does have everything one could possibly want from a Swedish schlager song and performance – including sequins, choreography, a key change, pyro, plenty of (machine-made) wind…and of course, the trio entering the stage from within a giant mirror ball. And, if you can manage to look past all of that, the song itself is a pretty good slice of its genre – with a singalong chorus that’s harder to escape than the hedge maze in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. A-ARE WE GONNA PARTY TONIGHT? Well, I couldn’t possibly say no, Alcazar.

  

#9 | Begging, Anton Ewald (2013)

It pains me to say that I knocked this off my own top 10 list (as reviewed by Anita…hit up the link at the start or end of this post to see it) at the last second. Why I love it so much and what makes it special is that Anton served us a 1950s Hollywood look and dance moves to match, all the while delivering a song that was contrastingly cutting edge. It was an interesting combo at least and an iconic one at most. I don’t want to admit that Anton himself, whose vocals are average but who has the face of a ridiculously attractive angel, at all influences my longstanding appreciation of this track, but I will admit it because I’m only human. His follow-up Natural had the same effect, though I genuinely think both are great dance songs that most other national finals would kill to have on their programs. Begging lived up to its title and actually did have me begging for more. 

 

#10 | Busy Doin’ Nothin’, Ace Wilder (2014)               

Am I allowed to say ‘the original but not the best’ again? We all have our preferred song from the Ace Wilder Melfest trilogy, and I’m afraid to confess (literally, in case somebody flies into a rage and tries to attack me) that this one isn’t mine (Wild Child is my favourite, if you must know). Busy Doin’ Nothin’ is a cracker though, and if it hadn’t been for Queen Sanna and the incredible Undo, I would happily have sat back and let Sweden send it to Eurovision. There’s something endearing about a thirty-something woman styled like and armed with all the angst of a hormonal teenager shouting repeatedly that she doesn’t want to adult – which we can all identify with. I know that sounds sarcastic, but I’m serious. When a song is this catchy and current, it can contain both yelling and attitude without either being a dealbreaker.

 

 

And that, my friends, is that. I hope you enjoyed my reaction to somebody else’s NF faves, and aren’t too disappointed that there was nothing I could honestly trash. I guess birds of a feather really do flock together, because the girls behind Eurovision Union and Eurovision By Jaz both have great musical taste. In fact, if you check out Anita’s judgment of my top 10, you’ll notice we have a few songs in common. SPOOKY.

One last reminder: see my song picks on Eurovision Union here!

 

 

What do YOU think of Anita’s Melfest top 10? Who would make it into your 2009-2018 best-of list? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

Until next time,

 

 

 

Another Supersized Serving of Scandipop: My Top 50 Melodifestivalen Entries, 2006-2015! (#30-#11)

Hej there! With a brief break between semi allocation draws, slogan/logo (slogo?) announcements and national finals upon us, there’s finally time for me to continue the countdown of my favourite Melfest entries ever…excluding all editions of the show between 1959 and 2005. As I mentioned in part one, narrowing the possible picks down to those performed within a ten-year period is hard enough – there’s no way I was going to put myself (or you) through the ordeal of compiling an all-time Top 50. So here we are, at the penultimate point of my 2006-2015 version: #30-#11.

Once again, I’ve made a playlist of all the tracks featured below, if you want to check that out. If you just want some method to justify the madness, then read on as I reveal…

 

mfc2

 

#30 | Där Och Då Med Dig by Emelie Irewald (2015) This one flew under the radar at Melodifestivalen 2015, finishing in an unfortunate sixth place in the second semi. That was unsurprising when you consider that the main talking point of the entry, pre-show, was Emelie’s status as ex-girlfriend of Danny Saucedo (perhaps association with him is a bad luck charm? BREAK THE CURSE, MOLLY SANDÉN!). Even I was more interested in that gossip than the possibility that her song could be anything special. But come performance time, failure to qualify and all, Där Och Då Med Dig (There and Then With You) had me hypnotised. Haunting, melancholy in an intriguing manner and refreshingly subdued, it left a real impression on me – even though I was yet to Google Translate the lyrics at that point (if you haven’t, spoiler alert: they’re heartbreaking).

 

#29 | The Boy Can Dance by Afro-Dite (2012) 

 

#28 | Temple of Love by BWO (2006) Now we’re getting vintage (according to the parameters of this list, at least)! BWO had many a shot at representing Sweden at Eurovision – four, to be exact. But Temple of Love was the song that resulted in their most successful attempt. I’m in total agreement with that stat, because I reckon it was by far their best entry of the lot. It’s not lyrically substantial, á la Emelie’s song, but that’s not what BWO do best. Schlager-influenced dance bangers that get butts moving are their forte, and Temple of Love is nothing if not one of those. It’s up-tempo, infectious and a ton of fun – not to mention epic to sing along to when you may or may not be a teeny bit drunk (don’t ask me how I know that).

 

#27 | Like Suicide by Christian Walz (2011) 

 

#26 | Alla by Sofia (2009) Melodifestivalen 2012 would bring us traditional Greek sounds combined with Swedish-language lyrics in the form of OPA!’s Allting Blir Bra Igen…but back in ’09, we got Greek on Greek – with some rock thrown in for good measure – from Sofia (who is Swedish, but just has a thing for Greece. As an Australian with a thing for Sweden, I ain’t gonna pass judgment). And, pardon the pun, this song really does rock. I love how high-intensity it is, how much energy it whips up despite being mid-tempo, and how great the Greek (as odd as it was to hear in the Melfest line-up) sounds over music that’s traditional-meets-modern. Sofia comes across as the ultimate power woman when she belts out the anthem that is Alla, and I want to join the army that I assume she started up back then. How does ‘Private Jaz, reporting for duty!’ sound?

 

#25 | Busy Doin’ Nothin’ by Ace Wilder (2014) 

 

#24 | Baby Goodbye by EMD (2009) You guys know how much I love boy bands – so, when the swarthy Swedish trio known individually as Erik, Mattias and Danny hit up Melfest, I was in my element. Featuring the success guarantee that is whistling, a thumping mid-tempo beat, and a structure that allows each member of the group to have a solo moment, Baby Goodbye sums up everything that was great about Melodifestivalen as the 2000s drew to a close. It’s slick, catchy, a little retro, and boasts the kind of killer chorus that can make you forget you’ve heard plenty of similar songs in the past (because you’re so focused on singing along enthusiastically, you can’t think about anything else).

 

#23 | Better Or Worse by Julia Alvgard (2011) 

 

#22 | Empty Room by Sanna Nielsen (2008) Six years and two further entries away from FINALLY representing Sweden at Eurovision, Sanna had a crack with what is arguably one of the best ballads ever associated with…well, anyone or anything (yes, I am prone to exaggeration). The Rapunzel-esque hairdo didn’t do our girl many favours, but nobody tackles an emotional, piano-driven, heartstring-tugger like she does. Dressed in the post-breakup colour of choice and relying on nothing but her pipes to impress, Sanna sang her way to second place with a song that is just as dynamic – and just as effective as a vehicle for her voice – as Undo. Do I prefer Empty Room to Undo, then? Well, you’ll have to wait and see. I will say that it is, without doubt, up there with the best of her seven entries.

 

#21 | Aldrig Aldrig by Andreas Lundstedt (2012)

 

#20 | Echo by Outtrigger (2014) Yes, you read that right. Hard rock is hard to come by in Melfest, but when it does make an appearance, I tend to gravitate towards it like a moth to an aggressive, head-banging flame. This song allows me to let out all of my frustrations, which include but are not limited to La Voix making it to the ESC in 2009, and people being mad at Sweden for winning the contest last year instead of being mad at the scoring system. But Echo isn’t just three minutes of screaming and general noise – there is a cracking tune that accompanies all of the guitar-shredding. Rock on (a phrase only uttered by people who do not do so on a regular basis)!

 

#19 | Det Rår Vi Inte För by Behrang Miri feat. Victor Crone (2015) 

 

#18 | Efter Solsken by Panetoz (2014) I love Panetoz’ Melfest debut for the same reason I love their first major hit Dansa Pausa – because it’s what sunshine and happiness and rainbows would sound like if they went on a vacation together to a tropical island. Everything about this track makes me smile, from the irresistible beat, to how adorable Swedish sounds layered over it. Sometimes I like my music to be deep and meaningful and angst-ridden; but when I don’t, I turn to stuff like this and think to myself ‘Hakuna matata!’. The fun and escapist nature of this group’s music makes me very excited to hear their entry for 2016.

 

#17 | Keep On Walking by Salem Al Fakir (2010)

 

#16 | My Heart Is Refusing Me by Loreen (2011) Record-breaking, game-changing Euphoria has already made it onto this list, which may surprise you whether you’d forgotten or not. That’s right – I have a higher regard for the song that initially introduced us to Loreen (assuming we missed the 2004 season of Idol Sverige) than her Melfest/Eurovision winning one…though I love them both. I think MHIRM is a little more interesting and a little less straightforward (genre-wise) than Euphoria. It seamlessly blends elements of electro, dance and disco music to produce something that is poppy, but has a definite edge. And you’ve got to give props to Loreen for pulling off the ‘I stopped by Sesame Street, skinned a Muppet and am now wearing it as a coat’ trend.

 

#15 | Try Again by Dilba (2011) 

 

#14 | In The Club by Danny Saucedo (2011) I’ve always thought that Mr. Molly Sandén tried too hard to win on his second solo shot at Melfest – meaning that Amazing, while impressive, didn’t 110% live up to its title. I much prefer Danny’s first foray in the comp without the E and the M of EMD by his side. Not only did In The Club perfectly illustrate how the guy can sing and dance simultaneously without letting one or both skills suffer as a result (not something you can say about his vanquisher Eric Saade) but it also had super crowd-pumping power. Unfortunately, I have never had the pleasure of moonwalking to this in a club (Swedish pop>mindless trance, but too few playlist programmers are aware of that). However, I have done it up and down each hallway in my house, and it was an awesome party for one, let me tell you! #tragicandiknowit

 

#13 | This Is My Life by Anna Bergendahl (2010) 

 

#12 | Why Am I Crying? by Molly Sandèn (2012) I’ll keep this short and sweet, since I’ve already professed my love for WAIC in a Melfest Monday post. Molly’s one of many returnees to the Swedish NF this year, and she’s going to have to go above and beyond to equal the magnificence of Why Am I Crying? I’m confident she can do it, what with her recent releases being the bomb and all. But I’ll always have a room in my heart rented out to her 2012 entry, due to its display of emotional fragility AND strength, touches of tinkling piano, and steady build to an explosive final chorus well worth waiting for.

 

#11 | Heroes by Måns Zelmerlöw (2015) 

 

The Melodifestivalen/Eurovision reigning champ brings us to the end of this Scanditastic™ episode of the countdown, sadly (or not, depending on the level of enjoyment you derived from reading my ramblings). The most important installment is still to come, and it won’t be immediately – there’s some NF nattering to do first. So, to save all of your fingernails from being bitten off in suspense, I’ll drop some hints about my Top 10. Guess some or all of the featured songs/acts, and I’ll honour you with your own personal round of applause!

  • The Top 10 features Melfest entries from 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014. More specifically, two from 2010; four from 2012; one from 2013; and three from 2014.
  • Two bands are included – one all male, the other all female. They’ve got VERY different sounds, but they’re both instrumentally inclined. My top 3, however, is made up purely of soloists.
  • Two Melfest winners – and therefore, Eurovision entries – made the final cut.
  • How my Top 10 placed (if they made it to their respective finals): #10 = 9th, #9 = 7th, #8 = 1st, #7 = DNQ, #6 = DNQ, #5 = 1st, #4 = 5th, #3 = 3rd, #2 = DNQ, #1 = 4th

Now’s the time for you to prep your own Melfest Top 10, if you’re keen on counting down with me. If you’re extra, EXTRA keen, I välkommen your #30-#11 lists in the comments below. Do we have any picks in common, or am I the only one with decent taste in music?

JK. I have terrible taste in music. And I’m totally okay with that.

 

See you sometime before Spain make their selection for Stockholm!

 

2015sig

 

 

(Swedish) Time-Warp Tuesday: Almost invincible

Normally, TWT is totally random, but I thought it would be appropriate to make the one and only Sweden the focus as Malmö approaches (it’s now nearly three months away, FYI!). So if you’re not in the mood to get all nostalgic over the Land of ABBA, this is your warning.

Anyway, on with the Time-Warp.

 

Where: Athens, Greece

When: 2006

Who: Carola

What: Invincible

It wasn’t a case of ‘third time lucky’ for Sweden’s Eurovision queen Carola when she appeared on the contest stage yet again in Athens. Not that it needed to be – she’d already placed 3rd on her first try and won on her second (what a showoff). No, she wasn’t Invincible, but she was pretty darn close.

From 2002 to 2006, this year’s host country sent basically the same entry five times over, but they didn’t always succeed. In Kyiv, Martin Stenmarck’s rock-schlager number Las Vegas had only managed to drag its leather-clad self into 20th position by the end of the night. But it was schlager all the way the following year, which begged the question: did the Swedish public vote for Carola’s song or Carola herself? It’s easy to see how Invincible may not have won Melodifestivalen if someone less well-known and with less Eurovision success (anyone but Johnny Logan) had been singing it.

Either way, it was Carola who literally flew the flag – or at least her backup singers did – for Sweden in 06, and she certainly lived up to her reliable reputation, showing experience that younger competitors from the likes of Macedonia and Moldova couldn’t mimic. Add that to her faultless vocal, nifty “costume reveal” and timely dance moves, and it isn’t too hard to see how she ended the grand final in 5th – more than enough to secure Sweden a place in the 2007 final.

Could she crack the top five for a fourth time? Who knows, maybe we’ll find out sometime in the next few years. Like Dana International for Israel, Carola for Sweden is never off the table.

 

What do you think? Did Carola earn her place on the scoreboard, or did she snatch it from someone who deserved it more??

 

Selection Season Day 7: results, replacements, Rafaëlla and…Melodifestivalen?

It’s the final weekend of February, folks, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be run off our feet with songs for Baku – amazingly, March is going to be the mad month. The next few days will be breezy, with just three songs on the way. A little on that, plus the most recent results and the usual Melodifestivalen ramble are on today’s menu, so get stuck in!

 

Austria, Ireland and Turkey want us to shake our bottoms to the waterline if we love them back?

Apparently, yes. In an outcome that nobody could have foreseen (sarcasm alert), Jedward won the Irish national final last night with Waterline. Also last night, in an outcome that many of us would have predicted, Trackshittaz (the duo fans have been obsessed with since their crazy-amazing NF entry Oida Taunz almost made it to Düsseldorf) won the Austrian selection with Woki Mit Deim Popo. Finally, mid-week, Can Bonomo presented his song for Turkey (and Europe) Love Me Back, and I can safely say we all knew that was coming.

I’m pretty pleased with these three choices. I came to terms with Jedward representing Ireland again the millisecond I knew they were trying again; as we are all aware, they + their gravity-defying hairdos = unbeatable. Waterline is a good enough song to make me think less of the likelihood that they were picked because they are Jedward, which is a bonus; however I don’t think it’ll make the twins a certainty to qualify, as Lipstick did last May.

The hair is higher and the padded jackets are darker, but nothing else has changed

Austria’s song is basically three minutes of two guys telling anyone who’ll listen to shake their rear end/booty/derriere etc – and not even very politely. But for some reason it works. It’s what I would call quality novelty (a good song with a sense of humour) and I hope it goes further than others of the same mould have done in the past (i.e.InCulto’s  Eastern European Funk) because I’m loving it.

Love Me Back may not be one of those songs that everybody loves (like the ones Latvia’s Anmary will be singing about in Baku, I suppose) but I sure do! Just like Can, it’s a little off-the-wall and it’s just repetitious enough – not too much. The chorus is so catchy, and the traditional Turkish elements make it nice and ethnic. Will Can sing his way into the final after Yuksek Sadakat’s shock failure to do so last year? I reckon he Can. Ha, ha.

 

Trouble in Belarus…

With any possible upsets in Ukraine yet to occur, it looks like the award for the Most Inconclusive National Final will be going to Belarus this year. I can’t say I’m disappointed by that, since the initial winner has been disqualified in favour of the original runner-up, who just happened to be my favourite. You do have to feel a bit sorry for Alyona Lanskaya, who was under the impression she’d be heading off to Baku in a few months (hopefully she hadn’t started packing yet) only to discover that investigations into Eurofest had found her/her posse guilty of something or other (vote rigging? Being in possession of a depressing ballad?). And so it is that the second-placers, Litesound, will step up to represent the country with a much better song (in my not-so-humble opinion) called We Are The Heroes. That is, unless they too are given the boot for some reason. What is up with Eastern European NF debauchery?

 

Finland, the Netherlands and Slovenia – it’s decision time!

The Finnish final is Saturday and those of the Netherlands and Slovenia are on Sunday. You know all that, right? What you don’t know (but may have guessed given my recent history) is that I have not reviewed all of the potential entries there because I like surprises.

I am allowing the Dutch to not surprise me, however. I’ve had a listen to the final six on their list – listen to the snippets here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZwAdAgdB3o – in order to give you a prediction. I have to admit I expected to be underwhelmed. There is some strange phenomena that makes the Netherlands kick butt when it comes to Junior Eurovision, but quite frankly suck at the Big ESC. The latter hasn’t always been the case, but take a look back at their last decade in the contest and you’ll see a trend.

To cut a short story even shorter, it turns out I was underwhelmed.

But I won’t moan on about that. Let’s just take a look at the contenders, who have been paired up to face off in duels (and not in a wizardy, Harry Potter way). The winner of each will proceed to the Super Final, and one of them will become the ultimate fighting champion! A.K.A the winner of the whole thing.

The show: Duel 1 is between Chocolatte by Rafaëlla Paton and You and Me by Joan Franka; Duel 2 will see Children of the World by Kim de Boer vs. Take Me As I Am by Ivan Peroti battle it out; and Duel 3 has pit We Can Overcome by Pearl Jozefzoon and Undercover Lover by Tim Douwsma against each other.

My prediction: I think it’ll be Rafaëlla vs. Ivan vs. Tim in the Super Final. I want Tim to win, but considering the deciding jury includes Afrojack, I’d say Rafaëlla’s got the edge. I won’t be devastated if she does win; I’m just not sure Europe’s ready yet for another song about confectionery.

 

Melodifestivalen: the last semi

It may be the last, but the epic journey to find Sweden’s hopeful is far from over – we still have Andra Chansen and the final to look forward to. This is the last lot of new songs to review for MF 2012 though, and that brings a tear to my eye (yes, I love the Swedish preselection that much). I’m going to miss counting down to 9pm (my time) when the songs are released and I can decide how much I adore/despise them!

The show:

  1. The Girl by Charlotte Perrelli
  2. Allting Blir Bra Igen by OPA
  3. Land of Broken Dreams by Dynazty
  4. Don’t Let Me Down by Lotta Engberg & Christer Sjögren
  5. Goosebumps by Hanna Lindblad
  6. Kyss Mig by Axel Algmark
  7. Why Start A Fire by Lisa Miskovsky
  8. Amazing by Danny Saucedo

My picks: The Girl, Goosebumps, Why Start A Fire and Amazing.

ESC veteran Charlotte said herself that The Girl was stronger than Hero, which won MF in 2008. In a way, she has sort of reinvented herself with a different sound (still schlager but not 110%) and a different look, which I must say is making her look both more feminine and less like a creature of the beyond. The song is my least favourite of my top four, but it should make for a show-stopping opener (that so does not make sense).

She may be The Girl nowadays, but she's still dressing like a hero - check out all that Lycra!

Goosebumps is a brilliant, well-thought out number with great variety between the verses and choruses. I’m not usually a fan of pop-rock, which is how I’d describe this, but I guess it’s an exception because I’m hoping to see it go straight to the final.

Why Start A Fire is not what I imagined it would be – thankfully it’s better. I don’t rate it’s chances of moving on but for me it deserves to.

Danny Saucedo – can you do any wrong? I love everything he does, and if I was still of the acceptable age to have posters on my bedroom wall he would be above my bed. Amazing is everything In The Club was last year, and look how close that came to victory. Many have touted this as Danny’s year, so will Amazing, with its infectious sound and super-cool dubstep dance break, deliver the goods required to make that true? My fingers are crossed.

My predictions: Being as objective as I can be, I’m guessing Hanna and Danny will get to the final, with Charlotte and Dynazty getting an andra chansen.

 

Thanks for sticking around for another looooooong post. As always, I shall spare you another tomorrow if you join me on Twitter/Facebook for lots of single-sentence reactions to the action of this evening. Until then, ponder this: will this be the weekend that produces the winner of Eurovision 2012? I don’t think we’ve heard The One yet, so it could happen…

 

Jaz x