Well it’s that time of the year, where the glitter is whipped out, where the wind machines are powered up and are on standby, and the world of music in Sweden is swept up by Melodifestivalen. This year we are off to find the choice for Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.

Göteborg.00-01.Robin Paulsson & Sanna NielsenGöteborg.00-02.Filippa Bark

Last year’s winner Sanna Nielsen joins Robin Paulsson on stage as the presenters, with a very strong Skåne feeling in language and dialogue. Watching at approx. 2am in the morning in China makes for a much different atmosphere for watching, but alas I’m dedicated and the show must go on!


Molly Pettersson Hammar – I’ll Be Fine
❗ Personal Favourite
Göteborg.01.Molly Pettersson Hammar

Bustin’ out in bright red, Molly comes with a strong dramatic beginning to this year’s competition. A warm deep and yet powerful high voice she takes the voluptuous curves of her body and highlights it in her voice. Girl got sass, yo. It’s a good song and certainly didn’t deserve to be thrown under the bus and not qualify – it’s much more quality than some other examples in my opinion. I do think that the low-cut dress brings too much attention to her… chest. The only thing that might have fared better would be better camera work instead of all the far away views, and better management of shadows to make it more agreeable on screen.

Daniel Gildenlöw – Pappa
Göteborg.02.Daniel Gildenlöw

Returning artist Daniel from past computer Pain of Salvation, reintroduces the man bun to Swedish views. I would like to take this opportunity to remind readers that I’ve been rocking the man bun for about 2 years now so I’m ahead of the game in that fad. I found the song to be too similar to last year’s “Bröder” on that theme, and despite Daniel’s attempt to connect to the audience by not wearing any shoes and be laying on the stage, I found the lack of eye contact very disconcerting and therefore threw a wedge between him and the viewers. There wasn’t much going on either, and with a mediocre song it just doesn’t translate well for viewers. As a result this one ended up in last place.

Rickard Söderberg & Elize Ryd – One By One
❗ Personal Favourite
Göteborg.03.Elize Ryd & Rickard Söderberg

The first scandal of this year’s competition, is this gem not qualifying. With a voice like Elize’s and the dramatic tenor sounds from Rickard’s voice this should have been a song to go to final for sure. Honing into the dark misty feeling of the classic Nordic entry this song is not only catchy, but is dramatic and really brings me back to the days of Evanescence. I found Rickard’s angle posture to be very effective on screen and the fact that he’s a performer really shows. His general look is a bit disconcerting as it’s very flamboyant, but I shouldn’t be one to talk. Each time the chorus “Even though you’ think you’ve lost, inside there is a light to guide you” was sung a chill was sent through my spine. The only bad part is the gentle ending, as I was expecting a big bang. Strong contender for me singing this to my school at the end of the year.

Dolly Style – Hello Hi
=> Andra Chansen
❗ Personal Favourite
Göteborg.04.Dolly Style

Viewers unfamiliar with this song festival would be confused by this entry and be wondering “what just happened?” As a long standing fan of this competition, this doesn’t phase me at all. It’s channeling of Aqua in a lot of ways, but this uptempo dance melody has us meeting Dolly, Polly and Molly a trio that pumps out a radio-hit to be sure. It’s catchy, it’s got a wicked ass key change that’s like bringing a song to a new gear for the final thrust to the finale. The only thing that bothered me is pronunciation which may or may not have been intention led us to think that “Dolly Style” is an allusion to “Doggy Style” as the girls thrust their bottoms back and out. With memories of “Je t’adore” and “Shut that door” and that big flop coming into view, I’m surprised that this one made it to the second chance round. I just didn’t think Swedes would buy into it. I liked it, however fake it was.

Behrang Miri feat. Victor Crone – Det rår vi inte för
=> Andra Chansen
Göteborg.05.Bihrang Miri feat. Victor Crone

Not really sure how much I like the video effects that make this entry a bit gimmicky, Swedish rap mixed with actual singing brings Behrang back for a second year in a row. I think this mix of rap-pop song left me a bit confused as to why it’s so popular because really it’s difficult to watch. It’s okay to listen to and is an easy radio-hit for sure, but I just really had difficulty keeping my eyes (open) focused. I have nothing against rap, and of all the rap acts that could be, Behrang is one of the better in my opinion but I don’t really think it deserved to make it to the second chance over a few other good songs. They did have the best selfie of the night, however. Regardless it’s sour grapes, I guess…

Jessica Andersson – Can’t Hurt Me Now
=> Finalen
Göteborg.06.Jessica Andersson

No stranger to this competition, nor to the second chance round, Jessica brought her professionalism and took a nice ballad and just delivered it. I just don’t understand why everybody voted for it. I know she’s got a following, but something inside me just clashed with this song – it’s flat out boring and offers nothing in the way of entertainment. It’s one of those 2+2=4 equation songs and it really showed. The whole night I was watching her reactions and in my opinion she looked rough in the green room and in the voting stages. Her makeup was running or not right with the lighting and her puss facial expressions showed that she didn’t think she’d make it, so when the headlines popped out the days after “Jag var help knäckt” didn’t surprise me. She looked like she wasn’t going to make it, and usually that’s how things go, but to get a ticket right to the final – I think not? Good job Jessica, good luck trying not to be in last place next time around!

Eric Saade – Sting
=> Finalen
❗ Personal Favourite
Göteborg.07.Eric Saade

Past Manboy turned Popular artist Eric Saade brings an upbeat song Sting to the mix which is significantly better in terms of songwriting and execution. Deserving of a spot in the final but please God don’t make him win, otherwise I will cry. His “look at me” attention gimmicks make me continue to think that he’s deserving of the age of 8, and his arrogance to media and his fans make him incredibly unattractive to me. Having said that, he channeled Johnny Logan’s outfit from past Irish years, and danced and sung his way into the final. Please knock yourself down a few pegs on the annoying scale and then tweets about you won’t contain messages about you being a twat, a prick, or asshole. Just sayin’…


And that concludes this year’s review of the first semi-final with pictures to come (finally!). What’s weird this year about my review is that there are only 7 entries in each heat, and therefore my well oiled fingers feel like they should be writing more or at least another entry. Sanna and Robin were awesome and very funny, and make me have a little man-crush. Apart from that the interval acts were okay but this Flippa character has gotten old already. Alas onward we forge until next week!

Göteborg.16

After arriving to the city of Göteborg in the evening (therefore darkness) I embarked on the search to find the tourist information desk which, of course by my luck was lost. However before I even began the search for that, I forgot to realize the English name for Göteborg: Gotenburg. This name is so perfect, and I didn’t realize it until I left, but in this city, I have never seen so many goths before. Maybe because it’s just because of the name, but it’s kind of freaky to have most people around being goths, but I just thought it was funny and giggled to myself after the fact. So anyways, in search of a map to find my way to the hostel. The tourist bureau turned out to be a map of the city outside the train station, and I was clearly not impressed. After several feeble of copying down a map of where to go, I gave up and walked in a random direction. It turned out that I walked around for about an hour before I found the tram line that I could take, but of course it was a holiday so no trams worked. I kept wandering amouisly around and empty Göteborg, until I found my hostel by accident. When I say accident I mean I fell on the cobblestone since it was raining, and when I looked up I saw the sign at the top of the hill. If I hadn’t of fallen I never would have found it, so the cut was well worth it.

The guy at the front desk found it hillarious that I came without a map, and offered me one so that I wouldn’t have the same problem. I laughed nervously as he said it was nearly a 3km walk from the train sation, since I probably walked about 10km anyways in the dark. I went to my room, which was inhabited already by 3 people, oddly none of which were anywhere near my age. The first guy was André, a French rocker, and the other two were Polish people named Maria and Mikael both of which struggled with English. I installed myself in the sketchy bunk bed and read some stuff and organized when I would meet Willy the next day. When Mikael came back and the others were asleep we tried to have a conversation, and it turns out he’s a really nice guy, but understand English way more than he can speak. What did this mean; that I would control the conversation and he would answer with yes an no and then struggle to figure out what he wants to say. We ended up staying up way later than we should have, but it was still nice to talk to someone for once. André was weird as it turned out, living in Paris but originally from Brest, who spoke English poorly, and refused to speak to me in French. He was in Göteborg for work, since he draws designs for Volvo or something, but he reminds me more of a homeless man who lives in hostels (which he does anyways).

Göteborg.06

So avoiding the further sketchyness of the other roomies, I went to sleep and woke up late to more and more rain. You’re probably wondering why I posted or even took the above photo; and of course there is a funny story about it. The previous night when I was wandering the streets in search of my hostel I walked past this area, which turned out to be right around the corner from where my hostel was. It was about an hour after I left this place that I found the hostel, but the walk was only about 5 minutes. Funny that eh? So when I met with Willy and we walked around I couldn’t help but take a photo in the rain, because it never stops raining in Göteborg I’m told. The day with Willy was nice, and we seemed to get along great with lots of jokes. Sadly we ended up walking across the river’s bridge for no apparent reason in the rain, so we were drenched with no umbrella. We took refuge in the mall near the train station, and had a lovely time watching a human sized chess game being played.

Göteborg.01Göteborg.03

This is the street next to where I stayed. The medevial-like archetecture of both the houses and the bloody hill that was a bitch to walk up are explained by the fact that Skåne (region) has been long faught over by the Swedes and Danes in early history. Since I don’t know enough to give you a lecture on Danish-Swedish relations, I can just tell you that the city is situated on a huge hill that was used to protect itself against the Danes, and offers a beautiful view of the city from above. The one thing that make Göteborg different is the fact that it’s really dirty, which can be explained by the fact that everyone apparently hates to live there as it’s forever raining. I would hate it too, quite frankly.

Göteborg.08

This is a wonderful story about public transortation. Apparently Göteborg is famous for something… it’s one of the oldest running systems of tramway in the world. It’s certainly visible by the conditions of the cars and tracks which aren’t very well kept, but they are everywhere! One must pay attention or get hit by several trams at once, which is kind of funny since it’s really a quite small city, but to each their own I suppose!

Göteborg.12

More drooling to occur here as this is Scandinavium, host venu of Semi-Finals of Melodifestivalen. Robb threatened to stalk and kill me if I didn’t take pictures of all Melodifestivalen arenas so I snapped photo of this very sexy, but unsexy building whilst walking away from the ‘cultural’ centre of the city. It’s really looking quite delapodated, and I was freaked out to find the Disney on Ice was there, and I suddenly felt slalked by Disney while in Sweden. Like seriosly now, I love Mickey and all those wacky characters, but I’m sort of at an age where I don’t care much about them and it creeps me out more that there are millions of kids around screaming stuff. Where are your parents? Where is your common sense? Why do you have so much energy? Why can’t you be quiet and shy, and make the world less annoying?

To clarify, I love kids, but at the time I was very bitter about Disney so I’m sure my resentment towards them is shown through this text.

So I went to bed all wet the next night, happy to finally be leaving Göteborg which was freaking me out. But sadly the train ride to Malmö would only be a short distance. Of course the next day it was raining, and of course I got lost going to the train station so by the time I was there, I was cold, tired, wet, and miserable. All perfect things for traveling of course. Note to all oblivious readers: that last sentance was oozing with sarcasm, beware of cynical attitudes. I was so excited to go to Malmö that I was at the train station hours before I should have been so I got to kill time by watching the busses come and go, which to be completely honest is more exciting than Göteborg. Little did I know that Malmö wasn’t going to prove to be any better!