Melodifestivalen 2012: Deltävling N°1: Växjö

Well it’s that time of year again! The Eurovision season is back in swing. I booked the TV, arranged the sketchy live streaming via SVTPlay, and for the first time ever people watched with me. Part of my family that doesn’t speak any Swedish at all sat down and quite literally said “What the Fuck is This?” to which I responded “The Greatest Show on Earth, Part 1 of 6.”

Växjö.00-00.Helana Bergström, Sarah Dawn Finer, Gina Dirawi

This year we have an electric arrangement, and who better than to host the event in Växjö than Sarah Dawn Finer, the fabulous, Helena Bergström, the actress, and Gina Dirawi, the comedienne and blogger. Sarah Dawn Finer, which I can never bring myself to just say “Sarah” was fabulous, Helena seemed nervous and repetitive, and Gina was not my taste of comedy in the least.

On to the review…

Sean Banan – Sean den förste Banan
=> Andra Chansen
❗ Personal Favourite

Växjö.01.Sean Banan

As parody acts go in Melodifestivalen, which are quite often, this one actually was pretty good. It’s disturbing catchy, and the lyrics make you just laugh out loud (as long as you’re a Swedeophone). Where else can you find the most hertero of men, dressed and surrounded by the gayest of people, bashing Carola, praising IKEA and ABBA, shaking his ass quite literally like a Brazillian stripper, and still come out of it without questioning his sexuality, or the general appeal of the song? Nowhere of course; hilarious entry, might win a round in Andra Chansen, but honestly a catchy song that will have people wiggling for awhile!

Abalone Dots – På väg
❗ Personal Favourite

Växjö.02.Abalone Dots

Simple, emotional songs like this are the ones that Swedish telemeters never go for unless it’s a huge star with a lot of support backing them. With reminiscent images of the flags that look like they come right off a Carola performance, and a banjo, a double bass, and a nyckelharp, they had me even though it was country. It was a good song, but it gets lost in the whole mess of the competition. While Swedish country is quite odd in my eyes, it’s simple, but perhaps too simple.

The Moniker – I Want To Be Chris Isaak (This Is Just The Beginning)

Växjö.03.The Moniker

When the song started I expected big things, I mean the happy-go-lucky “Oh My God” performance from last year just was so lovely and made everyone laugh, but a complete turn-around in style left a bad taste in my mouth. My first question was “Who is Chris Isaak?” is a valid point, but then as the song progressed I kept hearing “this is just the beginning” and the feeling I had inside was “yes, the beginning of the end.” With a great voice, and good stage presence, the song was a huge flop and a disappointed and somewhat shocked performer docked out in dead last place. Regroup!

Afro-Dite – The Boy Can Dance

Växjö.04.Afro-Dite

The former winners came back again this year to produce a disco-pop styled song that no doubt had a lot of people bumping around. What astonished me was how simple and generic the song was, and how nearly stationary the singers were on stage. By the time three male dancers came out, it was far too late and I was wondering if they were wearing stilettos and couldn’t walk. No – they were wearing 2 inch pumps which shouldn’t hamper choreography at all. I kept thinking “Maybe the boy can dance, but ya’ll can’t!” Too bad, because given the right song, and the right circumstances with the right stage performance this could have been much better… Another flop for me, and the telemeters (thank goodness!)

Dead by April – Mystery
=> Globen
❗ Personal Favourite

Växjö.05.Dead by April

In a complete about-face of my schlagertastic tastes, the moment this group was announced in the competition I know it would be hard rock. Sure enough, the boys show up, tattooed to no end, with an oddly melodic hard rock song, with growling, dancing, actual singing, and *holds breath* a dramatic classic schlager key change!? My mind was reeling, because as annoying and blah as the verses were, the chorus was really catchy and drew you in. The appearance of the performers, and the obvious out-of-range singing usually gets me in a hissy, but I actually bought into the whole thing and was thinking “dark-horse to the final.” I mean really, every boyfriend that was forced to tune into Melodifestivalen with their girlfriends clearly voted this one. The group was likely wondering what the hell they were doing in the competition, but this was addressed later in the show by Sarah Dawn Finer, and the gurus…

Marie Serneholt – Salt & Pepper

Växjö.06.Marie Serneholt

First up, give kudos where deserved… You’ve got balls of steel to show up in a glitter gold catsuit, Marie. But in regards to your song I found it bland and a bit of a pathetic attempt at copying a minimalist old fashioned version from thirty-something years ago. The lyrics are odd, I mean, when someone mentions salt & pepper outside of dinner talk, they are usually talking about men with white and dark hair, you know “a lil salt ‘n pepper” right?! Maybe it’s just me that thought of it, but really is this the subconscious of Marie telling us that she wants to ditch younger attractive men (that we will all gladly thank her for giving us all a chance), and going for a daddy?! She claims to want spice, but I’m convinced she wants more meat…

Thorsten Flinck & Revolutionsorkestern – Jag reser mig igen
=> Andra Chansen

Växjö.07.Thorsten Flinck & Revolutionsorkestern

As accomplished as Thorsten Flinck is, and no matter how much this style of music may appeal to some people, I find this performance offensive on several grounds: it’s pathetic to hear some old star singing in a gruff voice about rising again and the failures of a life, the guy has so much makeup on even my family commented on it, his teeth are ugly enough to repel desperate old women, and then to top it all off he looks like a devil! Quite literally when he smiles it makes me shudder a little bit. The song was beautiful, but it should have been given to a softer voice of a younger 30 something singer to be a lot more successful. I found the hard rockers more cuddly… Ugh! And to think I have to watch this again (at least once). Yuck yuck yuck.

Loreen – Euphoria
=> Globen
❗ Personal Favourite

Växjö.08.Loreen

Loreen is fantastic and awkward all at the same time. Even my family who knows nothing of her could pick up on that introverted way that she communicates with the audience. She’s got a great voice, no doubt, but I couldn’t help but think that the song sounded a lot like last year’s song. From the moment that the first “Euphoria” was sung, I knew exactly where the beats were going to start and how it was going to end. Perhaps that’s the reason that she went more creatively in terms of dance, because he song lacked that originality. Don’t get me wrong, she was fabulous, and damn lucky to be in this semi-final than in other ones, and especially lucky to not have to battle it through Andra Chansen like last year, but still I’m not 100% sold like the rest of the people seem to be.

Well that’s the performance side what about the extra stuff?

Växjö.00-01.Hela Sveriges FestVäxjö.00-02.Hela Sveriges Fest

I feel sorry for anyone that doesn’t speak Swedish, and I hope that the people watching regardless of their linguistic abilities were able to find how ridiculously hilarious Hela Sveriges Fest sung by the Chorus, and the hosts. Sarah Dawn Finer is hilarious, and in keeping with the theme and the stereotypes of the show, she reminds the audience that it’s not only a party for the gays, it’s a party for all of Sweden. I fell off my sofa laughing, but what about other people? Did they find it so funny? Did they buy into it? Will heterosexual people suddenly tune into watch the (almost) gayest show on Earth?

Frankly I don’t care, I still love it! :lalala:

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