Melodifestivalen 2014: Deltävling N°4: Örnsköldsvik

Örnsköldsvik.00.Noor el-refai & Anders Jansson

Heading up north this week to Ö-vik for our final semi-final and to début the final songs that are in contention for the crown this year.

Alcazar – Blame it on the disco
=> Finalen
❗ Personal Favourite

With no surprised, Alcazar is back with a disco hit that is high energy, lots of glitter and lights, and has enough flashes to send anyone into coma or at least induce an epileptic shock. Super fan favourites but never able to achieve victory, this group enters in a giant disco ball, which is very dramatic and totally Alcazaresque. The vocals are good, and the dancing is disco and glitter inducing, overall it’s a great song that is good for the clubs and the radio but in terms of how it’s going to fair in the competition I’m not convinced that it’s a winning song. The dancing, the song, and the presentation are all there, but it just lacks the Eurovision factor. To be honest I’m surprised nobody didn’t have whiplash.

I.D.A. Fight me if you dare

I’m not really sure how to attack this one. English was iffy and it’s really difficult to see where this song is going musically. The chorus is alright but the verses and bridge are a bit ambitious as to their direction, and with a group like this just doesn’t do much to convince me of success. I think really the whole English struggle throughout was making for a really difficult watch the whole way through, and then it just getting more angry as it goes doesn’t sell it for me.

Janet Leon – Hollow
Örnsköldsvik.03.Janet Leon

For the last few years there has been some excitement for Janet Leon, but really she’s just been a huge flop each time with songs that aren’t very strong. Coming dead last this time, the starting singing is a bit edgy and not really clear if it’s right, and then it progresses to be less than dramatic. The lyrics don’t seem to flow with the music, and it tries to oversell and then the dancing in the background is the better distraction because really at the end of the day the song isn’t that strong. We all know all the eyes were on the blonde male dancer – lets be honest here.

Ammotrack – Raise your hearts
=> Andra Chansen

Well some more hard rock with this band, that really doesn’t do anything at all for me. The melody is boring, the singing is rough, the votes that it got perplex me. I guess a lot of men voted and hard rock people like it, but I found this a flat song that didn’t show well on TV and is certainly not a choice.

Josef Johansson – Hela natten
❗ Personal Favourite
Örnsköldsvik.05.Josef Johansson

I find this entry to be a personal interest for me. I look a lot like him, and am a lot whiter but our hair is very similar. Admittedly the way he wears his hair in this one is how I go to bed with mine, but the style is a bit put together but still a bit messy, which I actually kind of like. Enough about his style, his song is a good radio song but no winner. He’s very nervous on stage, clearly, and he’s all alone which makes it even more difficult for him, but I think that he does it very effectively. Towards the middle and end of the song it becomes a bit of an anthem which is very relatable to me. But then again let’s be honest here, I am just paying attention to his image and being jealous at how he’s a better looking version of me. I mean he’s 10 years younger than me but I still look that age. 😀

Linda Bengtzing – Ta mig
Örnsköldsvik.06.Linda Bengtzing

Trying again with another high energy spazz-attack song, Linda tries to convince us to take her. The best part of the sing is the fact that she’s not dancing around and stays pretty stationary. Generally speaking her song are very in your face and energetic, but this one has the energy in it, but it lacks something like most of her other entries. She’s seemingly angry and pushing a lot with her vocals, and after about 10 years of being a professional she’s gotten the singing down and doesn’t forget her lyrics. Let’s be honest, I like her, but she will never live down singing the wrong words! Another flop this year, fails to qualify.

Ellinore Holmer – En himmelsk sång
=> Andra Chansen
Örnsköldsvik.07.Ellinore Holmer

A bit of a surprise qualifier to the second chance round this year, this pretty unknown singer stands up on stage and nervously sings a ballad alone on the stage. She was able to sing it effectively and make it sound beautiful, but really this pails in the comparison to Undo, because let’s face it, it’s not power ballad. It won’t likely come out of the second chance round, but it’s a beautiful little song this year that is very similar and makes me think of Songbird from a few weeks past.

Anton Ewald – Natural
=> Finalen
Örnsköldsvik.08.Anton Ewald

Again this former dancer turned singer tries to qualify for Eurovision again this year, and unsuccessfully with a worse song than the year previous. His vocals are really iffy and he seems like he’s yelling more than he’s singing. His dancers are drawing more attention that him, and despite being the Eric Saade type wet dream image that the little girls want, it gets old fast. He’s got the pop-girlies on his side, but I hope it doesn’t do well in the Final. I’m harsh but fair – it’s just a weak song…

As you can see only two personal favourites in this one, but few of which actually qualified for the final. At this point going into Andra Chansen, it’s pretty open ended as to what the result will be.

Melodifestivalen 2013: Deltävling N°4: Malmö

Ironically the final heat of the competition, introduces the final eight songs for the competition in the location that will be hosting Eurovision Song Contest 2013. The semi-final is viewed as the most competitive and producing the best music, and produced upsets and surprises on many levels.

Army of Lovers – Rockin’ the Ride
❗ Personal Favourite
Malmö.01.Army of Lovers

As much as I really hate Alexander Bard and his audacious attitude and narcissistic attitudes, this was one of the most interest, strange, and glamourously fabulous entires this year. Despite being a classically awesome Melodifestivalen entry, it crashes and burns the same as Swedish House Wives, which 10 years ago would have assuredly successfully qualified. With strange outfits, regality of La Camilla, and body glitter to the max mixed with tiger, this disco-pop hit is much better than it did. I was confused for awhile thinking that Jean-PIerre was wearing a bodysuit, as it turns out it was all skin, scruff, and body glitter on every single inch of his visible body. He took fabulous into it’s own right, and represented. I just can’t help but wonder how much more the house dancers had to get paid to walk around in skin tight underwear and jock-straps. Also, was it just me or was La Camilla (as fabulous as she is) lip-synching? Alexander Bard and his ugly beard has nothing on them.

Lucia Piñera – Must be love
Malmö.02.Lucia Piñera

A lovely entry but it lost a lot of it’s originality because it sounds like a direct copy of Adele’s Rolling In the Deep, of which any person who’s heard it would recognise the similarities. The act was very simple and straight forward and well executed, but frankly was very boring with nothing exciting.

Robin Stjernberg – You
=> Andra Chansen
Malmö.03.Robin Sjernberg

Another Idol graduate was favoured in this competition and sent to the second chance round, but quite frankly this song irks me and I don’t know what it is. It may be the seeming fake boyishness that Robin exudes, or the fact that I don’t like his style of singing or execution of the song. There is something odd about his guy that doesn’t sit well with me, is it his oddly sharp eyebrows, or his dimples, or the fact that his forehead is huge, or that his smile is super fake? I believe him to be heavily favourites in second chance round, because Lord knows that every teeny-bopper in the world will be voting for him and Anton Ewald in hopes that one day they will get to marry them. Dream on, and stop playing this annoying song!

Sylvia Vrethammar – Trivialitet
Malmö.04.Sylvia Vrethammar

If someone would have told me that this was a Thomas G:son composition I never would have believed it. This is a very strange song, and oddly classic jazzy-pop, but in my opinion not a winner by any means. Sylvia executes the song decently but I found the “SYLVIA” stage props to be a little bit narcissistic. Never a threat, and unsurprisingly ended up in seventh place.

Ralf Gyllenhammar – Bed on fire
=> To Final
❗ Personal Favourite
Malmö.05.Ralf Gyllenhammar

However the negative emotions in the past, Ralf Gyllenhammar brought talent to the competition with an originally rock-pop song that unsurprisingly was a direct qualifier to the final. Almost expecting to qualify, his disgusting dirty moustache and piano-fire act earned him a spot in the final. The song is very powerful and attractive to many people, but really I just think that it won’t have much contention in the final. I just wish that qualifiers had a better attitude about Melodifestivalen from the past, and the ones that don’t who qualify makes it a very unattractive quality. Why even compete if you don’t like the competition? Either way, as Ralf says (oddly) fire is Melodifestivalen.

Behrang Miri – Jalla dansa sawa
=> Andra Chansen
❗ Personal Favourite
Malmö.06.Behrang Miri

Who knew that rap could be fun and actually sung? This is a fun song with a really enunciative rap-style from Behrang and his ensemble. It’s fun, it makes you want to get up and dance (as the title suggests) and is a good and different addition to the competition. At times I think it’s a bit bouncy and spastic, but really the whole point is to be having fun. I think that the backing singers are very good and provide the rap song with actual music (note that I don’t like rap) which creates a nice blend. I think it will do well in Andra Chansen but won’t eventually qualify.

Terese Fredenwall – Breaking the silence
❗ Personal Favourite
Malmö.07.Terese Fredenvall

A lot of people have been saying that this song is boring, and well in some ways it really is, but it’s a lot better than a majority of the other songs this year. I frankly think that it’s a very lovely anthem and it’s a step above about half of the entrants, but still gets lost in the frizzle. Charming and simple, yet quiet and beautifully executed. Well presented with a good voice, but really didn’t pack enough of a punch.

Ulrik Munther – Tell the world I’m here
=> To Final
❗ Personal Favourite
Malmö.08.Ulrik Munther

Well everyone has this one poked out to be the far-and-away favourite to win the competition and to represent Sweden in Malmö this year. It’s clear that despite Christer Björkman not claiming that he has a favourite, that when it comes down to it it’s clearly going to be the result. As for the song, I think that it’s a good song but it’s eerily like most Coldplay songs. At one point I actually thought that I had heard a song that was similar. The background graphics were fantastic and really made a good and simple impact for the song. I think the thing that Christer wanted for this one was to focus on the song and bring more focus to the talent of the artist, and take away from the “frill” for a winner that has been a Swedish norm for a really long time. A great song, but I’m not an Ulrik Munther fan so I’m hoping for something else in the final.

The fourth and final semi-final heat in the competition produced by and far the best music of the competition and ends up setting up the Andra Chansen round to hopefully produce another female into the final (as for right now only Louise Hoffsten). It’s a sausage fest, and I’m hoping that Caroline af Ugglas can represent! Just a couple of weeks to go!

Malmö.00-01.Sarah Dawn FinerMalmö.00-02.Alcazar

On another note, it’s important to note some cameo appearances by this year’s Eurovision Song Contest host Petra Mede, who’s French is sounding perfect, and a desperate attempt by Sarah Dawn Finer to make an appearance in the show in her fabulous gold sequinned dress. Though the show-stopper was by far the return of Alcazar who performed a medley of their songs including Stay the Night, Alcastar, and Not a Sinner Nor a Saint featuring Danny “Seduco – the Alcaboy.”

Melodifestivalen 2010 – Deltävling N°3: Göteborg

Welcome to Scandinavium again this year for the Göteborg semifinal, which happens every year! It appears that our hosts are calmed down a little bit and are really doing their jobs well. But enough of that shizzle, down to the show!

Alcazar – Headlines
=> Andra Chansen
❗ Personal Favourite

I’m a bit disappointed by Alcazar’s entry this year. They are still with their disco ness but it’s a song that doesn’t really seem to be a comfortable pick for them. Andreas sounds strained and like he’s gasping for air, and Tess is holding her own, but their outfits (as eclectic as they are) just don’t seem to fit. I heard a comment that it’s like a different song, and a new dance; which I disagree with. Having said all this, I like Alcazar, but I think the decision for them to go to Andra Chansen is correct as this song just doesn’t do it for me.

Johannes Bah Kuhnke – Tonight
Göteborg.2.Johannes Bah Kuhnke

I’m not really sure what’s going on here. The flower is so last year Markoolio-style, the song is not a strong ballad by any means and it just looks kind of awkward on stage. I can’t really find words to describe it. I couldn’t help but notice that Johannes’ English was beyond horrible. The pronunciation is forced and uncertain. By the end of the song I felt like he was trying to go Tommy Nilsson, but couldn’t pull it off because he’s bouncing around far too much. He’s making me feel the fire too much!

Elin Lanto – Doctor Doctor
❗ Personal Favourite
Göteborg.3.Elin Lanto

I love Elin Lanto, but this song doesn’t compare to Money by any means. It’s new, hip, with sexy models, and major wind blowers. She’s a good singer with a great voice that is very distinctive. She’s a gorgeous girl and her moves are very distinctive, though I don’t think this has the classiness to stick with the strip shows of the previous heats, and thus it doesn’t do anything better than 6th. I must state that I mark this as a favourite simply because I’m a fan of Elin Lanto, but I don’t think that it justifies it going on in the heat! Better luck next time Elin!

Erik Linder – Hur kan jag tro på kärlek?
❗ Personal Favourite
Göteborg.4.Erik Linder

This is by far one of the best male ballads to come out of the heats this far. His voice is pure, clear, he’s cute, and although his face looks a little ‘tight’ when he sings this act is classy. He’s got a cute bunch of lyrics, he executes it well, and unfortunately during the final round of voting he was smooched between Alcazar and Darin and was awkwardly hiding behind them. I feel bad for him, but coming 5th in his first song festival is quite good! As a general comment also, this is a very uplifting song that I’ll clearly listen to when I’m feeling blue.

Getty Domein – Yeba
Göteborg.5.Getty Domein

Okay I don’t know what’s going on here. I understand that SVT is trying to get ‘international songs’ in the competition but this is by far the first ‘go home’ song I’ve seen this year. It’s taken 3 heats to get one (which is pretty good) but you’ve got to be kidding me. Musically trained, I can’t even tell if he’s a good singer because the melody changes so much it’s not even something that someone can follow. It’s different, and African, I can say that, but what the fuck people?! It hurts my ear a little bit to listen to this, and although it would have been great, being written by a guy with the most Finnish name in the history of the competition might not have helped! Since I can’t comment on the musicality of this song, at least he got to sit with a hot dancer in the green room.

Timoteij – Kom
=> Final
❗ Personal Favourite

If anyone who reads this knows me and my musical tastes, they would know that I would love this song without a doubt. It’s got folk-Sarek written all over it it makes me want to jump up and dance to the song and have everyone look at me with weird eyes. This is a dark horse entry to the competition, frankly. It’s got everything from cute girls, to a really cultural representation of song, as well as the hot drummers. Is it just me, or did those drummers really turn you on too? I think it makes me want to jump onto one of the drums and say “take me home with you please” and the fact that you can’t even see their faces makes it even more dodgy.

Darin – You’re Out of My Life
=> Final

Darin is an already established professional singer with tons of hits already. He’s never sang in Melodifestivalen before. I’m not a huge fan, and what bugs me most about the fact that although he can sing, he’s not a ‘show man’, he’s got the most messed up nose! I can’t figure it out. It’s like either smootched or like non existent. There is no denying that the guy can sing, but he’s got an aurora around him that says that he’s better than everyone else, and that makes me heaps less amazing than he should be. He’s a shoe in for the final and will be top 5 forsure, but this song is not, under any circumstances a good entry for Eurovision!

Crucified Barbara – Heaven or Hell
=> Andra Chansen
❗ Personal Favourite
Göteborg.8.Crucified Barbara

I don’t like hard rock, but this song isn’t that bad. The name, when I heard it made me laugh out loud as I imagined a woman named Barbara being crucified and then burned at the stake. And although the rockers of Sweden will carry this to the second chance round, and may make it to the final by sheer interest in hard metal, I don’t see this as being any sort of contender. There are much better acts to look out for. I couldn’t help but wondering how many of them in the group are strung up on some weird drugs, though. I could be wrong, but isn’t that the type of music where the drinks run high, emotions run tortured and crucified, and the search for escape takes them over?!

So the just songs make it through, and the disappointment of Alcazar and Darin sweep over me. I must also comment that as much as I love SVT for their live feed, their server, and my ISP are so horrible that I was unable to watch it live which made me very upset and actually cry. Maybe next time they can fix it so it won’t stop every 1second and thus make it impossible to listen. I can’t wait for the final songs now, whoohoo!