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

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!