linus svenning

Melodifestivalen 2015: Deltävling N°2: Malmö

Malmö.00.Sanna Nielsen & Robin Paulsson
A hop and a skip (but not a jump) from Göteborg is Malmö where we continue our pre-selection for Sweden’s Eurovision 2015 entry. This week featured rapping about a neighbourhood in Malmö and more continued awkward green room “interviews” which really consist of a talking comedy skit. Other than that I’ve come to enjoy the awkward singing of Robin – he’s no singer, but he’s given’er and as a result his enthusiasm translates to entertainment!

Linus Svenning – Forever starts today
Andra Chansen
Malmö.01.Linus Svenning

When I remember the charming yet rough around the edges Linus from last year I wondered how it would be presented this time around. Last time it was a single guy on stage with some superimposed images in the background, but I thought “nah that’s too simple” for the year later. Well with some somewhat awkward choreography it’s still Linus singing, but this time with a bunch of catchy drums that move around. I think SVT effectively “graduated” the act from last year, but to me it looked awkward. The song was better than last year and while it had less emotional substance, it’s a better more “cookie cutter” song but what’s up with that English? I would have thought he spoke better English, but it comes across as very “foreign” in this song. Sending him to Andra Chansen was a bit of a surprise to me, as I thought he’d have the fan support but alas there were better choices. 

Emelie Irewald – Där och då med dig

Malmö.02.Emelie Irewald
The Webbjoker entries are always hit or miss. Last year was a huge hit, this year was a bit of a miss. Well executed and sweet, this song just isn’t mean to win. It’s meant to exist on it’s own in a big open space filled with either darkness or glass. Which reminds me, the word that comes to mind with this song is “glass.” It’s delicate and precious, and at times a little too high pitched to support that. I think what bothered me about it wasn’t the execution, or rather boring visual interpretation, but rather the chord progressions and melodies. I just couldn’t really follow it, and it felt a bit off. I guess that’s a fair thing to say given that she wrote the song herself. It’s a nice song but as a result of all previously stated and being pretty much unknown, she didn’t qualify.

Samir & Viktor – Groupie
 Andra Chansen
Malmö.03.Samir & Viktor

This song is one of those acts that gets under your skin. It’s annoying, it’s catchy, and it’s novelty. You either like it or you hate it. I hated it and I thought it would be done better with a few changes. Firstly get rid of Samir. It would have been heaps better with just Viktor and the following reasons are why: Samir’s aura screams “douchebag” from kilometres away, his appearance screams douchebag, and the way he holds himself screams douchebag. Basically he’s a douchebag. The whole song it felt like it was all about him, the whole green room he was fidgeting around and chatting and just plain being rude. It got to a point where Viktor even gestured to him to stop. The way he holds himself just is not in any way anything I would ever associate with. Just ick. Regarding the song, it’s novelty, it will get old, it’s lyrics are horrible and really as a whole it’s something horrible to come from Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad who I generally like. I truly hope that either Samir suffers falling down from one of the blocks and can’t perform thus leaving Viktor, or the alternative is that the song doesn’t qualify out of the second chance round. I swear to God if I get pointed at one my time by Samir I’m going to take his finger shove it up his butt an then into his eye… *shudders in fear*

Neverstore – If I was God for one day

Welcome the punk rock song of this semifinal. It made it to the second round of voting but fell off due to it’s pretty basic nature. I didn’t hear anything new, I didn’t see anything new, I just heard a punk rock song that balances out the rest of the music. It felt even as far to me that SVT balanced out the other songs with this one. It’s not bad, it’s just not new and fresh and exciting. Same look, same feel, but look at it this way: all the straight guys who’s girlfriends made them watch the show had something to enjoy and vote for! 

Marie Bergman & Sanne Salomonsen – Nonetheless

Malmö.05.Marie Bergman & Sanne Salmonsen
Having won Melodifestivalen 3 times, Marie Bergman is no stranger to the compeition, but neither was Sanne Salomonsen, having reached the final back in the 90s. What makes it interesting about this song isn’t really the country nostalgic feel that is really quite boring, but the fact that it scored so low. The song isn’t anything to write home about, despite the artists raving about it. I mean it just makes me think that perhaps they didn’t buy into the song themselves and therefore makes it hard to sell. The act was boring, the singing was good, the harmonies interesting, but it was just plain boring. Marie Bergman didn’t want to ever sing in Melodifestivalen again, and now she has validation as to why that would have been. 

Magnus Carlsson – Möt mig i Gamla stan
 Personal Favourite
Malmö.06.Magnus Carlsson

With something the gays can get behind, Magnus returns to the competition for a staggering 8th time as an artist. He brings back schlager to the competition, which is vastly in need and with a good dance, a great voice, and subtle references to the homolife. Fabulous as always, it’s no surprise that his supporters lifted him directly to the final, and therefore securing excellent chances going forward. What I find fascinating about this artist is how little he’s changed. He looks exactly like he did a few years ago. Now what I did notice is that when the camera pans closer and closer you start to notices the slight imperfections. I’m no supserficial person so it’s not a big deal, but it’s good to know that we aren’t the only people that suffer with age. 😉

Mariette – Don’t stop believing
 Personal Favourite

Compared to as a new Loreen, this artist like many others is trying to make it big without being compared to by others. She’s an individual. She can sing. She can put on a show. She can captivate the audience for 3 minutes, and then again with how she holds herself outside. She’s sweet and modest, and happy and raw. And with those 3 minutes she quickly became a frontrunner and dark-horse for this competition with some major other contenders. The song is great, and reminds me a lot of Lisa Miskovsky’s entry from a few years ago – creative and lovely. Go Mariette Go! 

And there you have it. As you can see there wasn’t much good stuff this week with only two favourites, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Thanks to Sanna and Robin for being fabulous and awesome and for drowning out the borefest and awkwardness that is Filippa. 

Melodifestivalen 2014: Andra Chansen: Lidköping

Each of the second chance “losers” of the “winners” entered the competition in a free-for-all to get your votes. The top five voted songs progress to the second second chance round, and from those the top 4 are placed into duels.

The first 5 qualified for the second second chance round were Linus Svenning, J.E.M., State of Drama, Martin Stenmarck, Helena Paparizou, and Outtrigger.

Features of this part of the program is our lovely host in drag finding some piercings that are “secret”oops!

Then of course we have last year’s Eurovision sinner Emmelie de Forest who performed her Rainmaker song which will no doubt be performed at the Eurovision Song Contest. It featured a bunch of shirtless men dancing around.

Of those top songs the following duels were arranged, with my thoughts.

Duel 1 : Outtrigger – Echo vs. Helena Paparizou – Survivor
Lidköping.01.Outtrigger & Helena PaparizouLidköping.02.Outtrigger & Helena Paparizou

I wasn’t all that surprised that Outtrigger did well in this competition because really it grew on me, but they couldn’t overcome the power that is Helena. She garnered over double the votes, and progressed to the Final of Melodifestivalen with her diva anthem “Survivor.“

Duel 2 : Linus Svenning – Bröder vs. Martin Stenmarck – När änglarna går hem
Lidköping.03.Linus Svenning & Martin StenmarckLidköping.04.Linus Svenning & Martin Stenmarck.jpg

The soft yet hard representation of Linus is very interesting, and his soft yet powerful song about his brother clung to hearts of the whole country. Despite Martin’s attempt at a weak comeback and a song that it outside of his abilities, the voting was within 6’000 televotes and Linus Svenning progressed to the final.

Surprisingly State of Drama was not chosen, and fell at 5th place, where I believe it could have replaced Martin Stenmarck who was really only a couple of thousand votes ahead. The song was better, but there was no clear favourites in this one.

Melodifestivalen 2014: Deltävling N°1: Malmö

Malmö.00-01.Noor el-refai and Anders Jansson

After a somewhat unsuccessful year in Eurovision Song Contest last year, Melodifestivalen contest is off to the races to choose this year’s Eurovision entry to represent Sweden in Copenhagen. Our hosts this year, Noor El-Rafai and Anders Jansson who bring a somewhat nervous and unexperienced combination in terms of hosting. Never the less, let us begin.

Yohio – To the end
=> Finalen

With a strong second place performance last year, Yohio returns with his new song which is oddly similar to last years. I find it less charismatic and less good, frankly. As skinny as ever, and as gender ambigious as ever, he has his eyes set on the prize and has the fan base to support it. He progressed to the final with ease, with a less than interesting performance. It had pyrotechnics and colour, but really it lacked excitement.

Mahan Moin – Aleo
Malmö.02.Mahan Moin

A weird song for a weird woman and performance. It looked awkward from the start and continued to go down that road the whole time, even with the anthem-like theme that was less than stellar. It didn’t qualify for good reason and will forever be remembered as the song with strange orange octopus looking silk. I feel like it wasn’t to be like it’s from Brazil or something, but fails miserably.

Linus Svenning – Bröder
=> Andra Chansen
❗ Personal Favourite
Malmö.03.Linus Svenning

This heartfelt rough song is about brothers and it’s sung by a very gruff looking singer who has more piercings than I have body hair on my body, and more tattoos than all of the hair on my head. The image is a rough man, but the song is a rough but emotionally charged and powerful. It’s no doubt that the tele-voters got on board, but the shy smile that Linus provides just in a strange way melts your heart.

Elisa Lindström – Casanova
Malmö.04.Elisa Lindström

Well if we ever were lacking schlager, it was this year for sure. To the rescue Elisa Lindström with her Casanova song that really takes the case for massive cheese in one act. Awkward costumes, teeny-popper melody and talking about love, as they all do. I’m not sold, but she does make for a very good photo op!

Alvaro Estrella – Bedroom
Malmö.05.Alvaro Estrella

Former dancer turned singer, this act lacks conviction and decent singing and dancing. While he sounds okay, he looks painfully awkward and puts Michael Jackson to shame with the amounts of time that he grabs his crotch. I mean really, what kind of message is he trying to convey here with this song about his bedroom? I’m far too innocent to get this.

Ellen Benediktson – Songbird
=> Finalen
❗ Personal Favourite
Malmö.06.Ellen Benediktson

By far the strongest song in this semi-final, I believe that Songbird brings the simplicity and the sweetness of tune, lyrics, and display. No frills, no dancing, just song. Ellen executes it, even if at some times her vowels are a bit strained, it is effective in it’s general context. I find myself floating above the clouds and flying high in the sky with this one. Better be top 5 in the final.

Syvlester Schlegel – Bygdens son
Malmö.07.Sylvester Schlegel

What the hell is this? I really don’t like it’s presentation or it’s melody at all. It’s very weak in terms of production value, and despite it being quite a well known musician, it lacked polish and interest in order for it to do decently well. It’s left behind and for good reason.

Helena Paparizou – Survivor
=> Andra Chansen
Malmö.08.Helena Paparizou

When a diva is born, she never dies. This diva walks out on stage and stays there the whole time by herself working her diva ways with her very intense song about being a survivor. She’s got the vocals, the appeal, the crowd support, and certainly the uhmph factor that is required. It’s an anthem and it’s totally worth listening to and feeling along with.