Moving along to Scandinavium in Göteborg for this year’s preselection brought some interesting events, and quite frankly a lukewarm heat for this year’s competition. As usual Danny and Gina were fantastic, and I think they looked fantastic also!

The mellan-act was the absolute most amazing thing I’ve seen in a long while. First of all it started with Ann-Louise Hanson, Towa Carson and Siw Malmkvist lypsyncing their “C’est La Vie” song, like really? but then it was upstaged by Imaginethis: In Da Club Bollywood style and you get Indie Club, which as far as I’m concerned should have gotten a direct golden ticket right to Globen. Fantastic singing, fantastic music, fantastic colourful dancing, a 100% winner in my book.

Anton Ewald – Begging
=> Andra Chansen
Göteborg.01.Anton Ewald

Danny Saucedo backing dancer turned singer with a desperate attempt to charm Sweden with his innocent charm. He quite frankly looks and sounds like a Eric Saade double which in my books doesn’t play to his favour, and when it comes down to the song I think it’s a major flop. He’s a very weak singer, and frankly is a much better dancer. I’m quite convinced that the majority of the singing was backing and he just sang along as not a featured artist. It’s harsh of me, but really that’s what I think happened.

Felicia Olsson – Make Me No 1
❗ Personal Favourite
Göteborg.02.Felicia Olsson

Where the hell did this shy girl come from with a voice like Adele? She’s raspy and deep, smooth and cool like Baileys and has a song that I think she pulls off extremely well. She’s clearly comfortable on a stage, but looks very unsure of herself everywhere else. The fact that she made it to 5th place kind of shocked her, but furthermore I think she just flat out surprised Sweden with her song. I don’t like the lyrics, and I feel like the music was “too strong” in comparison to the balance of her voice. I think it was a strong entry, and certainly a step up from Sean Banan.

Joacim Cans – Annelie
Göteborg.03.Joacim Cans

Well this was flat out a flop; he wanted to do well and being a lead singer from HammerFall power metal band would seemingly play in his favour but it didn’t work at all. The song left much to be desired, and I didn’t really get it. It might appeal to other people but quite frankly it would have been more effective sung by someone else with more a presence.

Swedish House Wives – On Top of the World
❗ Personal Favourite
Göteborg.04.Swedish House Wives

This year’s fiasco so far; with the hopes of all the schlager fans on their shoulders, Pernilla Wahlgren, Jenny Silver, and Hanna Hedlund head out to glammify and rock us off our socks. I think they succeeded that and pulled off a fantastic performance, but it didn’t stick for the tele voters. I really am at a loss that they would chose Sean Banan over this, and not even allow it to go into the Andra Chansen round. Maybe there is a wave or a change in the culture, but as far as I’m concerned schlager music, fun songs, glittered up outfits, and love trump all else.

Erik Segerstedt & Tone Damli – Hello Goodbye
=> Andra Chansen
❗ Personal Favourite
Göteborg.05.Erik Segerstedt & Tone Damli

I really think that Erik was afraid that he wasn’t going to qualify because he looked ridiculously stressed. Always singing about Goodbye, and former member of EMD which of course took the competition by storm and still lost, does a sweet duet that I didn’t expect. I really thought it was going to be some rap-type song that would crash and burn, but this pop song was actually really well executed. I think they have a good chance in the second chance round and hopefully Danny’s friend Erik can make it through with his Norwegian counterpart!

Louise Hoffsten – Only the Dead Fish Follow the Stream
=> To Final
❗ Personal Favourite
Göteborg.06.Louise Hoffsten

One of Swedens most recorded and decorated artists, Louise brought her very odd country-pop song to the competition clearly expecting it to go nowhere. With odd lyrics, and being assisted to move around due to her multiple sclerosis, she put on a show for the crowd and impressed the televoters to send her right to Globen, and justly so. The first time she shows up in the competition may just be the time she actually wins. It might be a long shot, but I really think that this would be a great entry for Sweden to represent itself at home. So far my dark-horse winner.

Rikard Wolff – En förlorad sommar
❗ Personal Favourite
Göteborg.07.Rikard Wolff

I will get boo’ed for this one but really there is something simple and sympathetic about this piece. Maybe it’s the pathetic aspect of it that appeals to me, but who doesn’t love summer? I think it’s a miss mash between a cute ballad, and Thorsten Flink, but done poorly because his vocals are deep and raspy but not very convincing. I was enrapt by the backing and imagery, but that’s just me. I liked it, and I’ll burn in hell for it !

Sean Banan – Copacabanana
=> To Final
Göteborg.08.Sean Banan

Well it’s no surprised at all that they sent Sean to the final again with a ridiculously grandiose parody show that is almost a cookie-cutter copy from last year. The song even sounds the same to be perfectly honest. It’s a funny play on words, and supposed to be a parody but Sweden just eats it up, and to think that they chose this over schlager? It’s sacrilegious as far as I’m concerned. I understand he’s super popular and people love him, but I just don’t “get” it like many other people. It’s just, trashy, and tacky with all the colours and craziness.

What a crazy fiasco of an evening. Lip-synching, star-studded powers, upsets, schalgerfiasco, Sean Banan’s craziness and a shocked Louise Hoffsten. I think that the bar was raised just a little bit from the last week, but we have room for improvement. Hopefully the next two heats will produce something superfantabulous!

It’s that time of they year again; breaking out your microphones, dust off your dancing shoes, and get ready to be glitter-bombed. Melodifestivalen 2013 is here and with 6 weeks of fierce competition to represent Sweden at home in Malmö the artists this year are all vying to double their efforts and win again. Given the results of the first week, I’m not so sure this could actually happen.

Karlskrona.00.Danny Saucedo & Gina Dirawi

Our DJs for the year are Danny Saucedo (who’s probably bitter about not winning all the times he’s tried), and Gina Dirawi (who’s not a singer but a comedian and therefore doesn’t need to worry about not qualifying for Eurovision herself). As it turns out she’s actually a lot better of a singer than I remember! An entertaining show as always, here’s what I think happened.

David Lindgren – Skyline
=> To Final
Karlskrona.01.David Lindgren

It’s really no surprise that David qualified for the Final and will be singing in Stockholm, but what surprises me is how bland the entry is. I got tired of last year’s song by him really quick, and this one is of the same genre and leaves the same taste in my mouth. It’s a dance song, but last years song is superior in my opinion, and this one just felt a bit awkward. Quite honestly the whole getup is more about dancing than actually singing, and it was just too busy. It got cheesy fast for me and was much less than I expected.

Cookies N Beans – Burning Flags
=> Andra Chansen
❗ Personal Favourite
Karlskrona.02.Cookies N Beans

Cookies N Beans are awesome, but this song is just a little too “much” for me. What do I mean by “much?” Well I just find it too harsh and loud, where a more gentle tone backing and less forceful rock-country style would fit it better. Overall it’s a great song and really deserved to be in the final ahead of David Lindgren, but alas to Andra Chansen. The style is good, but the overall presentation is just too bombastic to me.

Jay-Jay Johanson – Paris
Karlskrona.03.Jay-Jay Johanson

Well here is the year’s first “go home” song, because this left me with nothing to be desired. I see a gremlin struggling to sing, with atrocious English and French lyrics. I understand that he wrote his own song and he’s all synth pop an well established, but really this song was a bore for me. Poor lyrics, poor musicality, poor presentation; go home!

Mary N’diaye – Gosa
❗ Personal Favourite
Karlskrona.04.Mary D'diaye

I have to admit, despite the iffy singing and repetitive lyrics, I really did enjoy this song. She’s a great dancer and clearly had a lot of fun with song that is straight out of Carribanna-Africa mix. It’s repetitious “gosa” tag line just gets a bit annoying, but the funky dancing and hand movements really are catchy. It’s great that she made it to 5th place, but happily bowed out in the large scheme of things.

Eric Gadd – Vi kommer aldrig att förlora
=> Andra Chansen
Karlskrona.05.Eric Gadd

You have got to be kidding me with this one. Right from when he walked out I was not liking it, and the song leaves a much to be desired poppy-dansband type of lyrics and sound. I really am bitter about hearing this again in Andra Chansen but who knows, I might luck out and not have to really worry about it qualifying. It’s a bit unpolished, and the guitarist with the afro bothered me, flat out.

Yohio – Heartbreak Hotel
=> To Final
❗ Personal Favourite
Karlskrona.06.Yohio

I think most of the people watching didn’t really understand what they were seeing. Get this, a Swedish skinny androgynous boy (that literally looks like he could be broken in half) singing a J-glam-rock song in English about heartbreak. He’s got brown eyes, blonde hair with pink tips, and is dressed (frankly) like a transexual. Believe it or not, this sells massively in Japan and that’s where he’s had all his success. He gave Sweden a try, and quite honestly it’s a good catchy J-Glam-Rock song that qualified directly to Globen. I’m happy, but I think a lot of people were left wondering what the hell they just saw!

Anna Järvinen – Porslin
❗ Personal Favourite
Karlskrona.07.Anna Järvinen

I am absolutely gutted about this entry; having worked with many artists in the past like Melody Club, Håkan Hellström did not qualify for anything. I absolutely love Finnish-Swedes, as this one is from Helsinki, and she sings a beautiful ballad that she dedicates to her mother. It’s sweet, and rough in the right parts, with a beautiful ensemble behind her with the aesthetic simplicity of what works in my books. Everytime she see-saws back and pulls a little back, I feel my heart being retched out of me and being pulled back to her. The only negative about this performance (though some will say it’s boring which I disagree with) is that her clothing was very bland and drab. Quite honestly it would have been more effective with an evening gown, but I highly doubt that she would wear something like this. I’m still gutted, this was a winner.

Michael Feiner & Caisa – We’re Still Kids
Karlskrona.08.Michael Feiner & Caisa

Truth be told, Michael Feiner is much better apart of the Attic, and as a saxophone player than he is an actual singer and performer in Eurovision. The title of this song irks me and I’m not exactly sure what about it makes me a bit iffy, but perhaps that it’s just lacking a little something here and there. It’s something that I would expect Amy Diamond to sing, and the more I watch it the more I’m irritated by Caisa and her singing. It’s a bit of a disaster like Suss von Ahn in 2000 where she couldn’t pronounce anything or stay on key; but even worse than that she didn’t know where to look ever, and seemed to have more energy to focus on dancing. Michael Feiner is incredibly hot (especially rocking out the saxophone) but admittedly he has a weird smushed nose; what’s really cute is when he is dancing around with the hugest smile on his face like he’s a kid again. Well wait, that’s the title of the song, now I get it!

Well despite some technical difficulties with the snabb-repris a few times and phone numbers being incorrect for the songs, SVT got everything right and they luckily had a funny comedian to save the show. Lena Philipsson and Kristian Luuk made a cameo in the mellan-act while Lena Peho molests Danny; no joke. Overall a lukewarm beginning to the preselection but here’s to hoping the other three semi-finals have something worth winning!