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.