I was recently reminded of a message I learned back in 2011 thanks to the group Love Generation. The irony of this name is not failed upon me, as much like it seems to happen, love dies. However, Love Generation was apparently resurrected as the newly named Stockholm Syndrome. Sadly, I haven’t heard much from them since.

But that is beyond the point; the message of this blog post is more about “When you Dance Alone.” I’m often reminded of a famous quote that resonates with many people:

“Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching.”
~ Satchel Paige

Normally I don’t quote sports stars, but this baseball player was interestingly on to something. In a time before a large or grandeur idea of self-acceptance or individualism, his words are a juxtaposition that addresses the fundamental need for doing things despite not having or needing something.

When we dance alone, we become ourselves and (presumably) we don’t need others to help us. And while normally I would go “all in” with the lyrics, Dance Alone by Love Generation veers a bit off from that, soliciting the help of their girls to help them through the loneliness:

“I’ll dance alone, keep the music playin on on and on
I’ll dance alone, I can do it on my own yeah yeah yeah
I don’t need you tonight got the girls on my side [cause I’m up for the fight]
And now we [I’m] having the time of my life
So (wow?) keep the music playin’ on
I’ll dance alone”
As you can see I took some liberties to rewrite the lyrics to fit the situation. Before I ramble some more, enjoy the song…

So why am I writing about dancing alone? Most people would agree that going out dancing by yourself is a waste of time, and it’s not as fun. Some friends might think that’s okay when you’re looking to hookup, but if it’s anyone that I know knows that it’s not for me. I was out with friends, and I guess they don’t like the music so they go and get drinks, smoke a cigarette, or other.

Thus I often find myself dancing alone, and the looks you get are insane. People think you are the weirdest thing and stare you down. When I’m in the dancing mood, it’s all wet hair don’t care attitude. I stare them down and shake my booty just like the Love Generation girls.

Why you such a hater? Just dance, even if you’re the most alone person on the entire planet like me.

The SVT production crew travels to Leksand for the third semifinal in this year’s contest. I can say with quite honesty and frankness that this was by far the worst semifinal of the year, and “thanks” to personal family tragedy, my watching of this even was interrupted.

Youngblood – Youngblood
=> Andra Chansen

Leksand.01.Youngblood

At the risk of sounding quite intolerant, I’m slightly disgusted by this entry on several levels. Firstly, self entitled songs based on the group name is tacky. Secondly, as much as I love boy bands, this prepubescent group of boys represents a mosaic that was clearly placed together to represent different social, and ethnic makeup. Further to this they all fit into categories as follows: Hispanic Ghetto, Black Gangster, Typical Preppy, Blonde Jock, and Nerd Gone Wild. The fact that they could be everyone’s wet dreams, has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they really aren’t good singers (at least in this presentation) and they got by into Andra Chansen on pure looks, and weakness of other songs. Harsh but true.

Maria BenHajji – I mina drömmar

Leksand.02.Maria BenHajji

The webjoker of the year, pre-listened to by the Swedish public, and crashing and burning into dead last place. It’s difficult to find words to describe the beginning part of the song where skills in singing low are displayed, despite the fact that it’s all off key and difficult to figure out if it’s right or not. The song grew on me once she got up from the piano and proved that she could do only one thing at once, but in the end it really wasn’t convincing in any way shape or form.

Mattias Andréasson – Förlåt mig

Leksand.03.Mattias Andréassson

Arguably one of the expected winners of the evening, this one crashed and burned and I think it’s justified. It’s true that apart of E.M.D., Mattias was quite a heart-throb, and watching him on stage I thought the same thing “dreamboat” and then the camera started zooming in and I got a better look. I started thinking, wow, he’s good looking but I’m not feeling it. Perhaps it was the fact that when he says “förlåt mig” he sounds like a dying cat, or the fact that the song was R&B, but it was not my thing and didn’t do as well as expected. Maybe the pre-pubescent boy-band bedazzled all the teenybopper girls that want Mattias to get all wet and… well I will leave that to your imagination, but ladies (and gentleman) the sad fact is attractive people are nearly always taken.

Love Generation – Just A Little Bit
❗ Personal Favourite

Leksand.04.Love Generation

One of a few actual favourites this semi final, I was a bit disappointed by this song. The performance was divine, but the song didn’t convince me. Many people were saying that it was better than last year’s entry but I don’t agree. Perhaps I held the group up to a higher standard because I loved their previous two songs, but this one was catchy but didn’t really speak to me in any way. It just seemed like a bunch of songwriters got together and mashed a chart-topping song out, but didn’t really believe in what they were doing.

Carolina Wallin Pérez – Sanningen
❗ Personal Favourite

Leksand.05.Carolina Wallin Pérez

At first I was disgusted by this performance and seriousness of the artist. But then I started actually listening and I closed my eyes, and the song spoke to me. I’ve been a fan of Michael Clauss before in the competition, and perhaps it’s that piece of the puzzle that made me feel it. I just got into the groove and as long as I kept my eyes closed I was better off. Please send a memo around to everyone that one sided feather earrings were never in, aren’t in, and won’t ever be as long as I have anything to say about it.

Andreas Johnson – Lovelight
=> Second Chance

Leksand.06.Andreas Johnson

Typical Andreas music… that’s really all that I can say. After so many failed attempts at winning, he’s at it again and quite frankly I’m surprised he keeps coming back after not winning over and over again. The song is okay, but it’s just like the same stuff that he sings over, and over, and over, and over, and over. I just was having difficulties paying attention the whole time, and bam he ends up in the second chance round. Frankly though, it’s one of the better songs this week out of a blah selection.

Molly Sandén – Why Am I Crying?
=> Globen

Leksand.07.Molly Sandén

Someone professed their love of Molly to me. It only increased the dislike I have of her. I’m not particularly fond of her voice, I’m not particularly fond of the style of song, I’m not particularly fond of the execution and soul that she puts into her music, but other people eat it up. This said person announced that they felt sorry for Molly because in the final she wouldn’t stand a chance (just like the last time she did a ballad). This is true on multiple levels. I’m just really unconvinced when attractive people talk (or sing in this case) about their breakups or relationship issues. Without continuing on a rant, I feel no sympathy for them, and am disgusted that people like that are complaining about their woes, while the rest of the non-goodlooking people suffer and don’t get any attention at all.

Björn Ranelid feat. Sara Li – Mirakel
=> Globen

Leksand.08.Björn Ranelid feat. Sara Li

We knew that it would be the Björn Ranelid show, and if he didn’t go to the final it would have been an uproar, but my God do I wish I never had to see this person again. Sure he’s a great writer, but uttering poetry while a skanked up singer beats off a dance tune really doesn’t do it for me. Clearly a member of a solarium this entire entry screams fake. Fake singing, fake dancing, fake performing. It was a train-wreck on stage, and I was thankfully taken a way. Hearing the words “kärlken” and “mirakel” have henceforth lost their effect on me, and the “Jaaa, Jaas” that culminate the performance just make me shudder with disgust. For lack of better words, Go The Fuck Home!

Needless to say for the whole week I was in protest of the poor quality of songs for this semi final. I find it hard to believe that SVT didn’t receive some other ones that would have been better, but alas this is how the cookie crumbled. I was left feeling disappointed, hopeless, and disgusted in music. A sad day.

With the highly anticipated matches of the second chance round, needless to say I was highly disappointed and shocked. Here’s why:

Sundsvall.00.01 ScoreboardQuarterfinal 1: Jenny Silver vs. Love Generation
Sundsvall.00.02 Jenny Silver & Love Generation

In by far the most contested battles of the evening, my favourite Jenny Silver lost out to Love Generation and not by much. Both songs are fantastic and it’s sad to see the classic ABBA influenced schlager go up against the dance-pop contestant. Either way I would be happy for them to go onto the final, but the road never ends up being as straightforward.

Quarterfinal 2: Loreen vs. Sara Varga
Sundsvall.00.03 Loreen & Sara Varga

Unsurprisingly Sara won this contest probably quite handily. Loreen’s song is good but it’s highly introverted that it’s almost awkward. Sara herself seems quite introverted and unsure of herself, but the song is a feel good favourite, and it’s no surprise that it beat out it’s competition.

Quarterfinal 3: The Moniker vs. Linda Pritchard
Sundsvall.00.04 The Moniker & Linda Pritchard

I am shocked beyond belief at the Swedish voting this evening. The absolutely epic ballad (no matter how better she sang before) still should have outplayed the corny happy-go-lucky song of The Moniker. I like both songs, but the power and versatility of Linda’s song puts goosebumps down my spine. Absolutely robbed in my opinion.

Quarterfinal 4: Shirley’s Angels vs. Pernilla Andersson
Sundsvall.00.05 Shirley's Angels & Pernilla Andersson

The raging homosexual in me cries out for this loss. The awesomely popular Shirley Clamp and her sexy ceorigoraphs were no match for Pernilla and her guitar. I like both the songs, but I feel like Shirley’s Angels fits Melodifestivalen a little bit more. Perhaps given the amount of English songs in the final, the Swedes needed to push something more Svensk through.

Semifinal 1: Love Generation vs. Sara Varga
Sundsvall.00.06 Love Generation & Sara Varga

This is the feel good favourite win of the year I think. The fact that Sara could fend off the popular dance song is amazing and I’m glad that the Swedish public was able to choose the better song. No matter how much it sounds like I prefer the latter, I absolutely love the former!

Semifinal 2: The Moniker vs. Pernilla Andersson
Sundsvall.00.07.The Moniker & Pernilla Andersson

As surprised as the rest of us, The Moniker becomes the second finalist tonight. It’s good, and seemingly popular, but if that’s the case, why didn’t it go directly through Globen instead of taking out the other good songs in the second chance round? :crazy:

So despite the phone number fiasco of the wrong numbers showing and SVT announcing that it didn’t affect the voting (right…! 8|), the results could have been worse. One good song gets through and likely will flop in the final for lack of excitement, and the other is okayish and will probably end up being in the top 5. Only one more week!

Traveling to the southern suburb of Copenhagen, Malmö (I’m joking – well only half joking – I love you Malmö!) is the location of the final semi final of this year’s competition, highlighting the final eight songs of the thirty two.

Melody Club – The Hunter
Malmö.01.Melody Club

What can I really say about this? You’d think that a fairly well established band that tops the charts would be able to put something decent together but I really and truly don’t understand this piece. The English singing is absolutely horrendous and the text is nearly incomprehensible, plus I have to look at a main singer that looks like he’s having an epileptic shock every few minutes, while he keeps his mouth so widely open that he’d catch flies in it if it was outdoors in the summer. The song itself sounds like a glamour-rock number, but I don’t understand the chess setting on stage. The whole thing is incoherent and lacks fluidity, and reminds of a 3 minute long spas attack!

Julia Alvgard – Better or Worse
Malmö.02.Julia Alvgard

I can see on some levels how this song could have qualified from the web-joker final, but it really lacks a lot of what I consider to be important things to qualify. It’s deacon vocally, though not catchy at all. It doesn’t really display strengths of the singer, or has anything catchy about it. It’s ernest, but withholding so it’s difficult to judge really what the intent of the whole thing is. It simply doesn’t have enough of the “stuff” to make it really do anything major for me.

Lasse Stefanz – En blick och nånting händer
Malmö.03.Lasse Stefanz

I am probably going to be barking up the wrong tree in this one, but wow. I’ve read many reviews about people liking this song and thinking it’s awesome and one of their favourites, but it leaves a horrible taste in my mouth. Perhaps it’s the fact that I [u]loathe[/u] fat people. I close my eyes and the song makes me think of the great Arvingarna, but when I open them I don’t see an attractive boyband, but rather a group of old men doing a dansband song, which is cheesy and blah. Yeah I’m being incredibly superficial, but how am I supposed to feel when someone is singing and I can see their face-fat rolling around on screen? The whole thing for me was just a big mess, and I’m flabbergasted that Swedish people voted this to the second-voting round? Are you freaking kidding me?!

Linda Pritchard – Alive
=> Andra Chansen
❗ Personal Favourite
Malmö.04.Linda Pritchard

Wow; just plain wow. I liked Linda Pritchard last year and though she was robbed, and when I say robbed I mean like robbed to the greatest extent. This year she made it better, and although “You’re Making Me Hot Hot Hot!” remains my personal life-anthem (yes for real!), this is by far the best ballad that I’ve heard in a really long time. On the theme of ballads, this one outranks by a long shot my old favourite from this year (Simon Forsberg’s “Tid att andas”). This is ballsy to say the least; standing alone on stage singing a painfully and goose-bump causing song, a dress that clearly makes her look beautiful, a voice to send chills down your spine, and the clear disbelief of her qualification. Sweden has been really judgemental recently about the ballads, but thankfully the best one of the year has a chance.

Anders Fernette – Run
Malmö.05.Anders Fernette

Despite being a past winner of Fame Factory and releasing singles on a regular basis since around 2000 the song really leaves a lot to give. The song will clearly do well on the radio I think, but it’s not to my entire liking. The way he looks on stage makes me think of Joachim Bergström’s awkward choreography in 2004: a straight guy that can’t dance, ultimately (and doesn’t even try!). The best part about this song is the arial dancers and one note of the chorus, which is a little different tuning wise each time. The final commentary I have about this number is that the douche-bag aurora surrounds this guy a lot. It’s something that I can’t quite put my finger on: maybe the skin, the hair, the clothes? He appears to me, like one of those people I’d never want to encounter. Thankfully for me it crashed and burned in eighth place. Guess it’s maybe the ego?

Linda Bengtzing – E det fel på mej
=> Globen
❗ Personal Favourite
Malmö.06.Linda Bengtzing

Linda is back and she’s got quite a punch this year. She turns back the clock to her older schlager hit songs and it clearly does her justice. Dressed looking like a canary in yellow, with ridiculously large boots (which I think would have been better to just wear yellow heels), she rocks the screen and wants it beyond belief. Having been disappointed in past years for various reasons: not doing well, forgotten the lyrics to her song, and doing an awkward song, she managed to learn from her experience and pack some punch. I’ve never seen someone want it so bad, and guess what? She outright won her ticket to Stockholm; congrats and best of luck, Linda!

Nicke Borg – Leaving Home
=> Globen
❗ Personal Favourite
Malmö.07.Nicke Borg

There is an elephant in the room and nobody’s talking about it. Despite being the one in the group that clearly doesn’t fit in it appears that Nicke Borg embraced his own sleaze rock genre and really presented a good song. The vocals are too raspy for me, too whiny, and yet I find myself drawn to this: no wonder people voted for it. The visuals are a bit much: tattoos aren’t my thing and being covered in them is intimidating, a guy that clearly needs a stylist to look good, and a simple song with a microphone, but it got the job done. I think towards the second verse I started thinking to myself: “My God, this could actually win?like the whole thing” and although it’s a bit outlandish to say that now, I think it’s totally within the realm of possibility. Disbelief from himself, and knowing nothing to say, I think it’s clear that the boyfriends of all the girls watching Melodifestivalen this year voted, and it’s clear for whom they voted!

Love Generation – Dance Alone
=> Andra Chansen
❗ Personal Favourite
Malmö.08.Love Generation

Holy shit, this stuff is FIERCE! I had no idea what to expect, but damn the final number of the competition packed a punch. This song is everything I could ever want in a song: fantastic vocals, amazing choreography, amazing lighting, the best outfits of the year, beautiful women, and a song with amazingly catchy tune and lyrics, and even the added bonus of a great message: dance alone. It makes me want to dance alone quite literally, and provides the beats for it. This song will be all over the radio, without a doubt, and the fact that it’s in Andra Chansen and not in the final is depressing. What makes it worse, is that Love Generation set themselves up for a direct hit in Andra Chansen with my other favourite: Jenny Silver. Cruel how the world works out isn’t it?

It was a wish-wash night, but I think it was a fantastic show in comparison to some other ones I’ve seen. It had some clear radio hits, and clear winners; but will one of them emerge as the overall champion? Only time will tell.