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:

Danny – In the Club
❗ Personal Favourite

Stockholm.01.Danny

As much as I like this song, as did the Swedish voters, I didn’t really ever seeing this as a viable Eurovision contender. I would have guessed that Danny’s voice would have given out before May but either way the juries votes were all over the plaice, only receiving one 12 from Germany. A decent second place song, but there could have been better choices…

Sara Varga – Spring för livet
❗ Personal Favourite
Stockholm.02.Sara Varga

Feel good favourite hands down. Despite the fact that it had to come through the second chance round, Sara is the most charming of all the contestants and has a song that speaks to people. It’s easy to relate to, and it’s eloquently presented. Jury wise, international people didn’t get it, but I did. This was a top 5 song to me, certainly not second last.

The Moniker – Oh My God!
❗ Personal Favourite
Stockholm.03.The Moniker

A strong third place performance from the ever-surprised pseudonym man. I’m not surprised by any means that this song was popular. It could appeal to the boyfriends of all the teeny boppers watching, but also to general population as a relatable feel good song. It has a beat and it’s happy-sounding.

Brolle – 7 Days and 7 Nights
Stockholm.04.Brolle

Words can not express how happy I am that this song crashed and burned and came dead last in the competition. First of all, how did this qualify? Second of all, did he really think that he could get on with generic rock-and-roll and a bit of charm? Thankfully people saw how I do, and international juries didn’t feel it either. Frankly speaking I never liked it, and I’m disgusted that it took another possible contender from the final.

Linda Bengtzing – E det fel på mej?
❗ Personal Favourite
Stockholm.05.Linda Bengtzing

Linda wants it so bad, but is coming across as a little desperate. She returned to a genre that she’s good at, but the Swedes didn’t really relate to it at all. Gaining points from Croatian Jury and the Russian Jury make me wonder what they were thinking, but I do like this song. If anyone would have want it the most, Linda would have come top 3 for sure, however, I thick there were stronger songs with stronger possibilities for excelling in Düsseldorf.

Nicke Borg – Leaving Home
❗ Personal Favourite
Stockholm.06.Nicke Borg

This song is mainstream and brings out the minute and unproportional man in me. It’s rough, it’s emotional, it’s exactly what it looks like, no frill either. An eigth place finish guarantees that it wasn’t a huge pull with the audiences, but even less so with the juries. only San Marino really gave it some point value, which is curious.. Never the less, it will be a radio hit, though not a Melodifestivalen winner.

Swingfly – Me and My Drum
Stockholm.07.Swingfly

This song still irritates me, and I’m baffled as to why it end up in the top 5. It seemed to get voting from a few juries, but it was the greater televising results that equalized it and brought it up. Do I think that it was better than Sara Varga, no. Do I think it was better than Linda Bengtzing, no; so what exactly was so special about this song?

Sanna Nielsen – I’m in Love
❗ Personal Favourite
Stockholm.08.Sanna Nielsen

This song grew on me, a lot. I was listening to it while out on evening walks over the last weeks and it really made me feel good inside. You know that warm feeling that you get when a song really speaks to you? Well yeah, anyways, it was well liked by the fan and the majority of the juries so it’s no surprise that it came in the top 4. People have been talking a lot more about how she’s becoming the schlager-dröttning and the dream-bot of Melodifestivalen. They are both positive things and I agree. I just feel bad that she can’t quite get the win, with all her attempts.

The Playtones – The King
Stockholm.09.The Playtones

This song still irritates me and I’m horrified that it came in sixth place out of the whole group. They got points from every jury bar Norway, and I can see how it’s a mainstream song that feels good, but the group itself really irritate me. They remind me of an egocentric me me me performance and group. More value from juries than televotes, thankfully.

Eric Saade – Popular
=> Winner
❗ Personal Favourite
Stockholm.10.Eric Saade

Well Malmös dreamboat teeny-bopper-wet-dream did it, and if he hadn’t then we’d have enough tension (sexual and otherwise) to stress out the country for another year next year. Hopefully this means that we don’t have to worry about another dreamboat next year, but who knows for sure? I think it’s a good song, and I think that it’s really catchy. It will be able to get a bunch of votes from some sure-in places, but really can being popular in Sweden spill over to being popular in the greater European communities? Only time will tell…

That brings us to the end of this year’s Swedish Preselection and the largest of it’s kind. Fantastic month long process, and fantastic songs, fantastic choreographing, fantastic hosts, fantastic musical acts.

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!

The second heat of this year’s contest has occurred, and although this day I was out skiing and bustin’ my butt, I watched a recording and the following applies. I dare say that I’m happy I wasn’t watching it live, because it was a little bit of a train wreck, so to say.

Brolle – 7 Days and 7 Nights
=> Globen
Göteborg.01-Brolle

Despite what the majority of people say, I really don’t like this song. There are several reasons, and I will explain why. First of all, I don’t like people that are covered in tattoos. It makes me feel awkward and uncomfortable. Secondly, any man prettier than a girl should never qualify in Melodifestivalen. Thirdly, his hair really bothers me to an extent that can’t be expressed via text or gesture. Fourthly, the song was so à la Elvis Presley that it made me really question the whole things general integrity. The song is basically okay and well performed, but I would like it if it was any other guy doing it. It doesn’t help that Brolle has the aura of a douchebag guy, but I’ll stop there before I offend someone.

Loreen – My Heart is Refusing me
=> Andra Chansen
Göteborg.02-Loreen

I’m a little confused with the already major train wreck of the evening. What the fuck is this girl wearing? A bunch of red strings that make her look like a strung out red grape, for lack of a better explanation. Musically she’s got a great voice and executes the electro-dance song, but I don’t really see it going anywhere or really doing anything. It’s so busy on stage, and I’m just kind of hoping that it ends. The way she keeps looking at people also, makes me think that she’s a little stuck up. At least she laughs, in some respect instead of looking strung-out like she does during the performance.

Babsan – Ge mig en spanjor
❗ Personal Favourite
Göteborg.03-Babsan

Following the theme of train wreck, this fits in the category of good train wreck, and bad train wreck. Knowingly being the gag entry is difficult enough, but quite frankly it’s a good drag act, and it’s ernest. I swear that I’m convinced that she/he/it is putting everything it has into singing “ja må jag leva, ge mig en spanjor” cause suddenly I feel like I want a Spaniard too. I like the fact that my mystery sexy dancer is in this act. It’s in the way she moves, and every single little head, hand, arm, leg movement that makes me smile and think “yes”! Then we have sexy dancers thrusting all over the place and stripping, and it’s just about all that I can take. Even my coworker said “wow she’s got bitchin’ legs” ! Only my legs are better!

Elisabeth Andreassen – Vaken i en dröm
❗ Personal Favourite
Göteborg.04-Elisabeth Andreassen

Wow this was voted last, and really I can understand why and why not. For that reason, it’s also a train wreck. Sure Bettan is awesome, and has a fantastic voice, and a song that just may be a little too good, but nothing really is going on during this song. It’s by far the easiest song to take a screenshot, because Elisabeth always looks 100% awesome, even with her eyes closed! I suspect that the the boring ballad lack of appeal, and the fact that she’s Norwegian contributed to the backlash of lack of voters; cause Lord knows there wasn’t much better in the heat that I liked.

Sanna Nielsen – I’m in love
=> Globen
Göteborg.05-Sanna Nielsen

I’m so teetering on this entry to be a personal favourite or not. It’s about the only non train-wreck song of the evening, and as expected Sanna was fantastic. The song leaves space for improvement and doesn’t have much inspiration and is just classic sclagger-pop, and the performance is a lot bland for what it’s worth and what Sanna can do, but it’s certainly deserving of it’s place in the big Globe.

The Moniker – Oh My God!
❗ Andra Chansen
Göteborg.06-The Moniker

The theme of train wrecks continue. The song has the same title as this year’s entry from “Le Kid” but the only differences is this time we have a monk looking shaved head guy looking like he’s spazzed out on drugs. I’d say that he doesn’t fool anyone, singing about a woman, as my first thought is “big fat mo” but then I see how poorly and awkwardly he dances and I see the light. He’s a big ambiguous one, and the song didn’t leave anything in my mind to comment on. Funky retro style performance, nothing hot to look at.. hmm!

Anniela – Elektrisk
Göteborg.07-Anniela

The train just hit electricity, and what the hell is going on? It’s like a really bad Swedish version of Lady GaGa. Thank God there is some music in Swedish this heat, but is SVT really serious with this song? I don’t really see where it’s going or what’s going on. The green thing on the dress just makes it a fashion disaster, and generally seeking it’s generic. I just keep thinking “ok it’s almost over.. just one more verse, then one more song!”

Christian Walz – Like Suicide
❗ Personal Favourite
Göteborg.08-Christian Walz

So what happens when you know a name, have never seen the person, and then are shocked at what you see? Train wreck, yup you got it! I actually have something in my iPod playlist with Christian, but it’s from so long ago I barely even remembered. I had no idea that he’d look so out of it, and so unawesome. Critically speaking his voice is painfully whiney, almost like Amy Diamond (shudder), and the content of the song is a bit risky, to say the least, but at least by the end of the song he looks so crazy and dishevelled that he actually might commit suicide. For all intensive purposes I don’t condone suicide, but after the heat’s show, the only thing keeping me from doing it is the thought of awesome drag queens, my mystery dancer, and the host(s) upon whom I’ll ode at another time. Upon later review of this song, I actually have come to like it a lot more and I’m a bit disappointed that it didn’t qualify… I guess I saw the light, eventually.

As one can judge from my judgements in the last 8 songs, I really only liked a few, quite literally. One for it’s awesomeness, one for it’s musical quality, and half of one for it’s potential. So as the critics often say, “next please!”

Thank God the train wreck is over!