sarah dawn finer

Eurovision Song Contest 2013 – Final

FN.00-01.Eurovision 2013 Anthem - We Write the StoryFN.00-02.Petra Mede

And so it begun, after a week of rehearsals and qualifying rounds we arrive at the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 hosted in beautiful Malmö Arena in the city of Malmö, region of Skåne. Our host for this fantastic event has been none other than the stellar and amazing Petra Mede. As an introduction to the competition, a song composed by former ABBA members, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson and the Swedish DJ Avicii entitled “We Write the Story” which is the Eurovision 2013 Anthem. After the parade of champions, off we go with our twenty-six finalists!

France – Amandine Bourgeois
FN.01.France - Amandine Bourgeois

France can be hot, and France can be cold, and sometimes they find themselves in the middle with the perfect touch, and with high hopes they send Amandine to the competition. I found the song to be an interesting pop-rock song, but what bothered me was the fact that it’s very rough and I felt like Amandine was doing more headbanging and screaming than actually singing. Too much anger, but a lot of energy to get the competition started. Having finished the night in 23rd place, I wasn’t the only one that didn’t like this one.

Lithuania – Andrius Pojavis
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.02.Lithuania - Andrius Pojavis

I was skeptical about this one from the beginning but it grew on me, and then I really opened my eyes and realised how incredibly attractive Andrius is. I mean like “do me now” hot; but apart from the at the song was simple and an effective song to follow the rough and harsh French entry. I just think that there could have been a little bit more “action” and I can’t discern if it was intended that his t-shirt was too small, so that every time he raised his arms his mid-drift was showing. What do we think, it was intentional? I also think that replacing his leather bracelet with the Lithuanian flag was a very good and lovely touch to change the performance from the semi-final to the final. Good job Lithuania!

Moldova – Aliona Moon
FN.03.Moldova - Aliona Moon

I’m not a fan of this song, but damn can she sing. I find that Moldova tends to send singers that really can ‘giv’r’ and it really is effective and despite being in Romanian, the song draws widespread appeal due to the fact that she can actually sing despite having a weird hair-do. Finishing just out of the top 10 is totally worth it, and the visual effects were super to make the performance the icing on the cake. However, having said that, the song really didn’t do much for me and if I had voted for it, it would have been solely for the fact that she has a beautiful voice.

Finland – Krista Siegfrids
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.04.Finland - Krista Siegfrids

Finland went something a little more American and mainstream this year and despite being out of the top-20 it garnered a lot of attention, good and bad. Energetic, and fun but really the only thing noteworthy about it was the female-on-female kiss at the end, that stirred up a lot of controversy with all those backwards countries in the south and east. Get over it, they weren’t having sex on screen and there wasn’t even any tongue! I get that it’s scandalous for you, but really it’s time to move out of the 18th century!

Spain – ESDM
FN.05.Spain - ESDM

What a flop Spain; I really thought that you might have done decently with a fantastic studio-version of this song, but really it was horrible to say the least. Having the ethnically Gaelic sound (or in this case from the north of Spain) and much like the group The Cranberries, this song was horribly executed. The singer sounded like she was dying and couldn’t hold the notes for her life, let alone sounding and starting very flat. I really thought that it was a nice song, but I had to reserve this judgement based on the fact that it was executed horribly. Beautiful yellow dress, and otherwise looking good and fun, but it didn’t sound like a decent song until the end when her voice actually picked up and she was singing the right notes. Better luck next time, Spain!

Belgium – Roberto Bellarosa
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.06.Belgium - Roberto Bellarosa

If he was in the closet before the semi-final his little excited actions at the end of this song broke open the doors to the closet and this bitch is noticed. While I really dislike his raspy voice, I think the song and the dancers were really funky and the song made sense. Belguim constantly complains that they never qualify, but it’s because their songs are dodgy, but this one had widespread appeal and actually did a lot better than people expected. Love really does kill, didn’t you know?

Estonia – Birgit
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.07.Estonia - Birgit

Following in last years success of a ballad, Estonia sent another lovely Estonian ballad. Sad fact is that there were other ballads that were better, and frankly last years was miles ahead this one. Having said that Brigit sang beautiful and had a lovely dress that I thought would fall down very easily but didn’t. I just think that it got stuck and easily forgotten which resulted in it’s 20th place finish, which really is unfair to the actual quality of the song. Good job Estonia, but maybe something a little better next year? 🙂

Belarus – Alyona Lanskaya
FN.08.Belarus - Alyona Lanskaya

You have got to be kidding me! This song is so rubbish I don’t even have words for it, and I have absolutely no idea how it was able to qualify from the semi-finals. It’s just a stereotypical representation of Eastern European female culture: short skirts, skanky dancing, and looking flat ass fake. Go home and take your horrible music back to Belarus, please… If you never come back I wouldn’t mourn your loss. I just don’t understand how this was within the top-20, as it’s clearly deserving to be dead last.

Malta – Gianluca
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.09.Malta - Gianluca

Dr. Feelgood is in this house with his very charming love song about Jeremy who works in IT. While his smile is a little too intense, and makes him look Japanese, the song is really lovely and fun and I’m really happy that Malta was able to garner some points and end up in 6th place, which is a fantastic finish for a small country like Malta. San Marino could take good lesson for this one, which was a good quality song which is executed in the most innocent and lovely ways. Good job, you made everyone feel happy and smile!

Russia – Dina Garipova
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.10.Russia - Dina Garipova

There are a few things that are amazing about this song that go against everything that Russia usually does. First off it’s a beautiful written and sung ballad, second they engaged the crowd by having their bracelets light up at the right moment and the apex of the song which swells to bring a tear to your eye, thirdly for the first time in my memory of this contest a Russian born resident sings with perfect 100% English and no accent. I was floored, and which makes it even better because it’s so rare. Beautiful, simple, and with a message of peace and being one, this is a fantastic song from Russian Idol star, great job on your 5th place finish!

Germany – Cascada
FN.11.Germany - Cascada

The fact that this song was tipped to be a winner makes me laugh. Although Cascada is well known across Europe and the world, this song really doesn’t have anything special and the execution of it was dodgy at best. She tried too hard to swoop the notes that it got really rough, furthermore she couldn’t walk in her her heels. Really she looked like she was struggling like a giraffe baby that was just born. Germany really pushed their entry this year and it ended up outside of the top-20. Kind of a blow to Cascada’s career, but she will go on selling dance records and playing in discos across the world. No huge loss.

Armenia – Dorians
FN.12.Armenia - Dorians

They were booed after qualifying from the semi-finals, and I’m still not certain why that would be other than the fact that their song was rubbish and boring and that other good songs failed to qualify, but we just skip over this entry because it was horrible to watch and was just plain boring. And yet mercifully it ends up in the top-20 somehow ahead of Bonnie Tyler? WTF go home Armenia.

The Netherlands – Anouk
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.13.The Netherlands - Anouk

How this song didn’t make the top-5 is beyond me, but after qualifying for the first time in what feels like forever, The Netherlands sent a classic song that would be by and far the most popular and different song that the competition has seen in years. It was quite literally like turning back the clock to the 1980s and was simple, beautiful and resonated with Western Europe, but not the East (surprise surprise). Regardless it finished top-10, despite deserving higher up, but good job for the Dutch!

Romania – Cezar
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.14.Romania - Cezar

This year has a lot of “WTF” moments but none other than Romania! Having been 100% for qualifying to for the final, the Romanian’s went with a Dracula inspired counter-tenor singer with dancers that are covered in green and are wearing next to nothing on stage. It was a sight to be hold, and with fantastic flawless singing from Cezar. It’s just a bit weird for people to watch, but still garnered a lot of votes for it’s originality and creativeness. Good job Romania, you’re still one of my all-time favourites!

United Kingdom – Bonnie Tyler
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.15.United Kingdom - Bonnie Tyler

There were rumours in the UK about her participating and when it was announced the only word that we could think of was: epic! Epic that she’s known worldwide and was a very interesting and curious selection, but also epic because the song ended up nearly last. It’s hardly surprising considering that the world doesn’t know her for her country music, but rather for her disco music from the 80s that turned the world upside-down. I’m sure that if she did a similar song to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” the gays, I mean the Eurovision songs would have jumped on board a lot more willingly. I mean I guess at the end of the day, she’s Welsh and that seems to have bad connotations to the UK and the rest of the world. Better luck next time United Kingdom!

Sweden – Robin Stjernberg
FN.16.Sweden - Robin Stjernberg

Despite the fact that everyone can’t come anywhere close to pronouncing his name correctly, Robin represented the host country very well but any notion of him making it a double win for Sweden was just a pathetic wish that would never come true. The song wasn’t the best in Melodifestivalen this year, and somehow won but really in the end it was kind of generic despite it’s “fresh” look compared to how it was done in the pre-selection. Sweden didn’t really even get courtesy voting points, and it was clear that the commentator on SVT was very disappointed about how he did given that she’s a huge fan. I guess Denmark winning was the next best thing.

Hungary – ByeAlex
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.17.Hungary - ByeAlex

I’ve never been into hispter people, but if this guy asked me out on a date I would totally say yes. Why? Because he’s not just a singer, and not really a pretty face, but he’s a philosopher! This means that it would be at the very least a good conversation, even if I hate hipsters and the way they dress. Regardless of this, I’m estatic that this song was top-10 with Hungary’s best result. It’s simple, sweet, and a lovely song to have presented in a very shy and reserved way. I can’t say enough things that are good about this song, but what was the icing on the cake is that Germany awarded it 12 points; that’s freaking huge! Congratulations, and I hope that the success for Hungary continues (even though they couldn’t afford to host even if they wanted to!)

Denmark – Emmelie de Forest
=> Winner
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.18.Denmark - Emmelie de Forest

The odds-on favourite from the beginning to win, there was no disappointment with her running away with a win. Something about a tin-whistle gets people going, and the lack of sad teardrops resulted in only [good] teardrops! Fantastic drumming, and a half-Swede it’s about as close to a double win that Sweden could have! Regardless of all this, I’m so glad that Denmark won to keep the competition in Scandinavia, where it belongs!

Iceland – Eythor Ingi (Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson)
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.19.Iceland - Eythor Ingi

This fantastic smooth ballad in the Icelandic language was a highlight of the night, and it was so awesome that Iceland, one of the smaller nations in Europe, was able to qualify and represent themselves with a fantastic song that is executed beautiful by Eyþór. It’s sweet, it’s got a great message in Icelandic, and the fact that it’s in Icelandic is a super bonus. His “style” is typically Icelandic, which I don’t particularly like, but the song itself with its setting and background were flawless! Congrats Ísland!

Azerbaijan – Farid Mammadov
=> Runner-Up
FN.20.Azerbaijan - Farid Mammadov

I really don’t see the draw for this. Sure it’s creative and interesting, but the song is so boring. To be completely honest a fair, Azerbaijan plays to win (clearly) but they didn’t deserve to win. It was an interesting performance, different to say the least, but his “allure” and sexy looks to the camera turned me off from the performance totally. It’s the “I’m so hot and I know it, love me” look that is incredibly unsexy. There was a lot of talking about Azerbaijani people bribing or paying for votes which hasn’t surfaced any proof, but when I saw this country keep popping up in the votes I didn’t understand how or why. It got me quite nervous, and in my opinion it was top-10 but not top-3 like it ended up. Dodgy, to say the least.

Greece – Koza Mostra feat. Agathon Iakovidis
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.21.Greece - Koza Mostra feat Agathon Iakovidis

After first listening to it I thought it was bad, but then I listened to a few more times and this song really grew on me. A bit repetitive with the chorus, but it’s very fun and very… what’s the word I’m looking for… virile? Testosterone to the max with attractive Greeks singing in Greek in kilts, and dancing around having fun with a parody on alcohol being free, and given the context of Greece and their economic problems it’s very clever. I just found myself more and more drawn to the song and the performers, but then I have to snap myself out of it because I know that the Balkans have that “allure” that you have to be careful about! They suck you in, then BAM…

Ukraine – Zlata Ognevich
=> Second Runner-Up
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.22.Ukraine - Zlata Ognevich

Simple, interesting, beautiful, and beautifully executed piece of art, featuring a super tall man giant this song simply came in third and was well deserving of it’s placement. Flawless vocals, absolutely beautiful woman with a beautiful dress and a beautiful staging, this creative masterpiece that has a lot of key-changes and displays vocals to be jealous of, I can’t think of any happier thing to sing along to while I walk down the street!

Italy – Marco Mengoni
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.23.Italy - Marco Mengoni

Italy always does well, even if their songs are a bit “off.” This was the essential (hah!) good song that was simple but performed awkwardly. I think that the brushed up but dirty look of Marco left me nervous, but his vocals made up for it and it’s better if just listened to with eyes closed. Everyone seems to love Italy, and I don’t really understand why. I mean they have good wine, food, and laid back culture, but when it comes to me the Italian culture leaves me a bit on edge becasue like some other cultures it’s all about proximity. It just reminds me how frigid I am, but alas I digress. This is a great song and makes you feel good so a top-10 finish is totally deserving!

Norway – Margaret Berger
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.24.Norway - Margaret Berger

It’s good on the first few listens but the more you listen to it the more I’m put off from it. It’s very different, very cutting edge, but the performance was just frankly boring. Margaret is beautiful but it was just bland to watch. It’s trying to Eurovisionesque but ends up not Eurovisionesque at all, and something from a mix between retro-neo-electronic-pop. It’s an eclectic genre, and a good job for Norway even if it grows off me.

Georgia – Nodi Tatishvili and Sophie Gelovani
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.25.Georgia - Nodi Tatishvili & Sophie Gelovani

The common comments about this song from everyone is… “safe.” Nothing too special, though notably a Swedish composer Thomas G:son, it just screams “I want to qualify but not win.” Horrible English, but epic with vocals. The singers played a little too much to the camera, and thus it comes off very cheesy. Either way it’s not a bad song but deservingly ends up top-15.

Ireland – Ryan Dolan
FN.26.Ireland - Ryan Dolan

I originally marked this one as a favourite but after watching it again and really not “feeling it” I disagree totally and have changed my mind on this. It’s a somewhat fun song but I didn’t like the presentation at all and it left me thinking one word that will describe everything and I think it’s something that others would be thinking of too: chav. Nuff said.

FN.00-03.Lynda WoodruffFN.00-04.Loreen

So in the end Denmark prevails but not before we get some fantastic featured performances and highlights from the evening. The ever important EBU Spokesperson Lynda Woodruff makes an appearance finally getting it right about Sweden, but really messes things up at the Royal Armoury. Loreen, last years winner, did a fantastic medley of songs that was very artful, as usual.

FN.00-05.Swedes invade your countryFN.00-06.Swedish Smörgåsbord - Petra Mede (Intro)

After we grapple with our EBU love, we get transplated with an explanation of Swedish culture in many ways. Most importantly bringing attention of the orderly Swedish culture, but when we go abroad we wreak havoc and get away our frustrations. Essentially we invade your countries and run amok! More candidly, our host leads us through a brilliant medly “Swedish Smörgåsbord”, music by Jan Lundkvist, lyrics by Matheson Bayley, Edward af Sillén and Daniel Réhn, performed by Petra Mede. Poking fun at ourselves, I feature it as follows, which rings all too true.

FN.00-07.Swedish Smörgåsbord - Petra Mede (Swedish Chef)FN.00-08.Swedish Smörgåsbord - Petra Mede (Metro Drunks or Insane)

We have the Swedish Chef, and as dutifully noted if someone smiles or talks to you on the Tunnelbanna, they are either drunk or insane!

FN.00-09.Swedish Smörgåsbord - Petra Mede (Midsommarstång)FN.00-10.Swedish Smörgåsbord - Petra Mede (Gay Marriage)

We dance around the Midsommarstång (Maypole) like frogs in a fun way, and some of us even pole-dance the stång. We also support gay marriage, and another gay kiss on TV. The East is reeling with our tolerance and display of *gasp* homosexuality!

FN.00-11.Swedish Smörgåsbord - Petra Mede (Meatballs - Kötbuller)FN.00-12.Swedish Smörgåsbord - Petra Mede (Problems Digesting Our Diary)

We eat kötbullar (meatballs) that are typical Scandinavian with (jest) a hint of horse meat, and we most certainly struggle digesting our dairy! Our men nurse the children, a change from the vikings and all those crazy things they did!

FN.00-13.Swedish Smörgåsbord - Petra Mede (Carola)FN.00-14.Swedish Smörgåsbord - Petra Mede (Finale)

Carola never turns down an opportunity to show her face to the world, even if she falls off the stage and then we all gather on the stage to celebrate our crazy culture and the tolerance of our people!

FN.00-15.Swedish Smörgåsbord - Petra Mede (The Cast)FN.00-16.Petra Mede - As ABBA

We gather to celebrate our awesomeness, and even Petra disguises herself to be a member of ABBA!

FN.00-17.Eric SaadeFN.00-18.Sarah Dawn Finer (The Winner Takes it All)

In other events, conestant from a few years ago Eric Saade struggled in the green-room to not only speak English but saying slightly sexist and inappropriate things like Petra Mede is a #MILF . Funny but true. But to end the evening right before the voting, the amazing Sarah Dawn Finer performs ABBA’s “The Winnter Takes It All” before a gobsmacked crowd who probably had no idea that it was the same woman as Lynda Woodruff.

A fantastic evening, and the final voting procedure that had some hickups and ran-over in time (really SVT?!?!!) but in the end it was lovely. Voting as usual took forever, but was elegantly pushed along by our lovely host.

Congratulations to Denmark, and for all the other good songs this year. The only other comment I have was that this was a disasterous year for the Balkans! See you next year in Denmark, and then somewhere else in Scandinavia after that. 😉

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 2012: Finalen

Stockholm.00.Helena Böstrom, Gina Dirawi & Sarah Dawn Finer

So we have come to the pinnacle of the Melodifestivalen season where Sweden decides it’s fate and attempts to put it’s best foot forward to Eurovision with an attempt to win. At the onset of the final, there were two songs that stood out, and the rest tied for last place or varying degrees thereof.

David Lindgren – Shout it out
Stockholm.01.David Lindgren

A fourth place finish is hardly surprising as fresh out of the gate David was the first one to perform. His song seemed to have changed slightly in an attempt to sway the televoters and international juries. All in all an energetic performance of a song that will be played in the discos for years to come. He appeared to have a little more facial hair this time, maybe going for sex appeal?

Thorsten Flinck & Revolutionsorkestern – Jag resar mig igen
Stockholm.02.Thorsten Flinck & Revolutionsorkestern

I didn’t like it but the public did and ranked it third in televoting, leaving it in eight place overall. Kind of funny that the public carried it so much and yet it ended up third to last? The song is dark and deep but when it comes to actual appeal of it I don’t see it at all. Even when he received his televotes he didn’t look terribly concerned or interest, and even disappointed. It would have been tragic to see him at Eurovision, quite frankly.

Dead by April – Mystery
Stockholm.03.Dead by April

I don’t like hard rock like in the semi-finals, but this song grew on me after a few listenings. Good vocals and a much more engaged performance led the group to seventh place. Unsurprisingly the performance wasn’t much different, and there wasn’t much change expected from the prior performance.

Lisa Miskovsky – Why start a fire
❗ Personal Favourite
Stockholm.04.Lisa Miskovsky

Hands down in my opinion the absolute best song in this years competition. It’s simple and sweet, empathetic and perfectly executed with the most simple of backing dancers to add some flare. A lot of talk was going on around this particular song and why it was voted directly into the final. I can’t say much on that subject, but I’m surprised with it’s finishing ninth. People didn’t get what the hype was about, but mostly because two other singers had the hype surrounding them like a cyclone. Terribly underrated, and again my favourite for the year.

Top Cats – Baby doll
Stockholm.05.Top Cats

Boring rock song that I’m sick of hearing. I had to hear it once in the semi-final, twice in Andra Chansen and all of the snabb-repriser, so needless to say I wasn’t really digging it. I did start to notice ears a little bit more and how much they stuck out, which made me more interested in watching semi-attractive people dance around on stage trying to convince us to vote for them.

Loreeen – Euphoria
=> Winner
❗ Personal Favourite

The bookies called it at the beginning of the competition and as a result, it won. It was the strongest performance and dances despite illness, but really made for a slightly boring year in Melodifestivalen. The last few years it’s been obvious who will win and there is no last minute voting shockers to give us some more interest. Shocked that she won, and slow getting up on stage resulted in awkward commentating by Sarah Dawn Finer (good job by the way), and a star-struck winner. I do think that she’s a great representative and the best song to win at Eurovision, but I think the introverted nature of Loreen will play against her on the European stage.

Ulrik Munther – Soldiers
=> Second Runner Up
❗ Personal Favourite
Stockholm.07.Ulrik Munther

Having turned 18 since his last performance, as Sarah Dawn Finer diligently pointed out, pedophiles around Sweden and the world weeped tragedy at their loss. A pretty face, with a good masculine song, and a harmonica for the bonus, but he was no match for team-Danny/Loreen and finished a strong third.

Björn Ranelid feat. Sara Li
Stockholm.08.Björn Ranelid feat. Sarah Li

I’m thankful that this received the lowest international jury votes, and third lowest televoting votes. The writer had his moment in the semi-final, which will likely be the apex of his musical career, and in the end finished last (thank God) as crushed by the onslaught of the popular artists.

Molly Sandén – Why am I crying?
Stockholm.09.Molly Sandén

This song is like nails on a chalkboard for me and doesn’t have any bite to it at all. I ripped it apart in the semi-final review and therefore won’t do it again. I don’t like Molly, I don’t like her ballads, and I don’t like her outfit. It’s a recipe for disaster for me, and as a result this song was a complete non-issue for me this year. The only other artist at this point that would have turned me off from Melodifestivalen would have been Amy Diamond.

Danny Saucedo – Amazing
=> Runner Up
❗ Personal Favourite
Stockholm.10.Danny Saucedo

Nothing can match the on stage performance that this piece presented; it simply was the best. The message of the song was uplifting and people bought into it. It garnered the second highest televotes and the second highest international jury votes. It’s result is justified, and will only make people love him more. The question is however, if he will turn into Måns Zelmerlöw and not show back up to the competition because of his loss, or will he brush his shoulders off and take the second second place finish in two years and improve to first?

Overall the competition was a success, the right song won, everyone celebrated and professed how much they love Loreen, and life goes on without next to no drama. The highlight of the show for me was the fantastic Sarah Dawn Finer taking the total piss out of the UK doing a parody about their possible ignorance in regards to Baku and Azerbaijan (not even being able to pronounce it; and having no fucking clue where it is). Not only did it make me seriously think it was bang on, but it also made me laugh because everyone could still tell that she was taking the piss!

This is the critic in me signing off until the trip to Baku (which I obviously won’t be making), but will in spirit!

Melodifestivalen 2012: Deltävling N°2: Göteborg

Göteborg.00-00.Gina DirawiGöteborg.00-01.Sarah Dawn Finer

With a week since the last semi-final, we move onto Scandinavium in Göteborg with a semi-final that heats up the quality of music by quite a bit. With an opener of Sara Dawn Finer dressed as a boy-band heartthrob like the Backstreet Boys, it’s hard not to laugh, especially when she’s out of breath dancing. Embrace it baby!

Ulrik Munther – Soldiers
=> Globen
❗ Personal Favourite

Göteborg.01.Ulrik Munther

When Ulrik appeared on stage, my aunt said “Wow he’s young” and my response to that was: “Wow, he looks Norwegian.” Despite my obvious forwardness with judgements, I was surprised to hear a song that actually was well composed and beautifully executed. The boy is frankly too skinny (as if I’d ever say that…) but his voice has this raspy feeling that shows a bit of soul. I don’t see it lasting long enough but the greater appeal wins over. I mean, he’s alright looking, has a meaningful song that he wrote partially himself, and despite sharp features he appears dreamy.

Top Cats – Baby Doll
=> Andra Chansen

Göteborg.02.Top Cats

This song offends me on several levels: it’s a near copy of the song by the Playtones in past years, with the same style, the same beat, and the same bass line musically. I started watching it and I thought, okay Sweden will buy into it, and sure enough they did. I predicted that it would be “bought” but not for the same reason that others think. The song would appeal to an older generation of people for nostalgic purposes, but I don’t buy it, and I don’t think Eurovision in Baku would buy it either. There is absolutely nothing exciting about this number: it’s simple and predictable, with lots of hair gel. I don’t dig it. Further to that, as a musician I’m horrified and offended that one of the members thought it was appropriate to stand on his bass… That bass should be taken away from him.

Sonja Aldén – I din himmel
❗ Personal Favourite

Göteborg.03.Sonja Aldén

When I heard that Sonja was coming back to the competition months ago I got all excited because anything by her is hands down fabulous. I wasn’t disappointed with her very minimalist and empathetic ballad this year. Sadly the Swedish televoters thought differently and voted for inferior songs, in my opinion. In a beautiful dress, with smoke and a bridge going to nowhere, they didn’t buy it, but I sure did. With a spine shivering, and the hairs on my skin raising, I couldn’t help but be so enchanted by it, but deep down I kind of knew that the public wouldn’t go for it. I wore black in mourning for this song not qualifying; Sonja has just had horrible luck with Melodifestivalen.

Andreas Lundstedt – Aldrig aldrig
❗ Personal Favourite

Göteborg.04.Andreas Lundstedt

Andreas has been around for a really long time, longer than I care to remember, and I didn’t really think of it until my aunt asked me how old he was. I looked it up and was horrified to learn he was 40. Then I thought, oh yeah okay that’s actually somewhat possible because he’s been around the block. What amazes me that throughout his entire career his voice has stayed the same and is quite presentable. This song is fresh, catchy and will no doubt be a radio hit but it didn’t really fly with the telemeters. I don’t exactly know why my three favourite songs ended up in the bottom, but it just doesn’t seem fair. One thing I criticize is the fact that there is far too much crotch grabbing; it would have been good enough without that.

Timoteij – Stormande hav
=> Andra Chansen
❗ Personal Favourite


As with two years ago, a catchy folk dance tune with a huge beat. It’s totally predicable, and quite frankly I don’t give a flying fuck if it sounds similer to “Kom” but alas this has enough personality to be it’s own song. Presentation was more or less the same but this time with actual dances (drool @ last years dreamy dancer(s)) that make it a better overall production. What horrifies me is that this goes to Andra Chansen and did not qualify directly. I fear that the may get lost, but their fabulousness and folk feel works totally on me and I’m sold! Plus they are hawt!

David Lindgren – Shout it out
=> Globen

Göteborg.06.David Lindgren

Direct to Globen? You’ve got to be freaking kidding me! As good as his voice is, the frank fact that this is a complete rip off of last year’s runner off makes me kind of sick. He’s charming yes, and has a good future in the industry ahead, but I don’t really see the greater appeal for this act? It may end up being a strong contender to win, but if this is sent to Eurovision, then Sweden will end up losing… badly.

Mimi Oh – Dët går för långsamt
❗ Personal Favourite

Göteborg.07.Mimi Oh

I expected big things from Mimi Oh, and despite the song being original enough it was flawed. I liked it anyways. New to the scene, singing out of range, and singing a super repetitive song, it screams that it’s destined for the radio (with a better studio edited version). I think what made me the happiest is the energy that was filled with everything, but it’s the bright florescent yellow dress that was worn with the pink and green pants on the others. My “mystery” dancer again makes me drool, and the song makes my toes tap but it’s not surprising that it ended up last place. I just mourn the loss regardless.

Thomas di Leva – Ge aldrig upp
❗ Personal Favourite

Göteborg.08.Thomas di Leva

This one really baffles me in so many levels. On the first level, the man has the weirdest sense of dress and reminds me a bit of Roger Pontare, and in all fairness he marches to the beat of his own drum. The hair, makes it all go a little more weird, but I just keep returning to the idea that he’s wearing a dress with a lightning bolt in it. The song is okay, but then I’m distracted again by the extreme effeminate eyes that makes me wonder if it’s really a man. He’s accomplished, I won’t deny that, but the older populations must have been paying attention to vote this ahead of my three favourites. There may have been a vote split, and despite the positive and inspiring lyrics, I was unsold from the beginning to end. Again.. a dress..?!

And that was the day; huge disappointment for music, great thing for the radio scene with clearly a few new pop songs to hit the waves, I can only hope that Andra Chansen fairs well for my favourites instead of the crazy Swedes that seem to make different decisions than me.

Ode to Malena Ernman, disco-opera queen

So rightfully so, I’ve been tapping my toes to the song La Voix since Saturday night. This song was written by Malena Ernman and Frederik Kempe (I’m really starting to want to call him Freddy, as we so celarly are on a first name basis!) And this song is fabulous. Before Slovenia’s entry a few years ago, Alenka Gotar, we didn’t think that opera and pop/disco could be mixed, but boy were we wrong. This song rocks my socks, and I just find myself belting everywhere I go.

Malmö.08-01.Malena ErnmanMalmö.08-02.Malena Ernman

Starting out in green and with sexy-salt-and-pepper older dancers, Malena busts out the theme of keeping a promise and being in love with us. What will she do next?

Malmö.08-03.Malena ErnmanMalmö.08-04.Malena Ernman

Well what else would SVT to besides avoid pyrotechnics, but use the abundance of light that is available. They make her look like an angel, and justly with the voice of one. And then she busts a move with the sexiest dancer on the stage, the 40-year old salt-and-pepper one who looks a bit like Pekka Heino (yes I know who he is, weird!)

Malmö.08-05.Malena ErnmanMalmö.08-06.Malena Ernman

Oh but wait, it gets better going back to pink from green and white, and then we’ve got the angel again belting out befoe the chorus! It’s eeirie but an awesome effect. I never would have thought that bringing the contrast so high woud make something look so cool.

Malmö.08-07.Malena ErnmanMalmö.08-08.Malena Ernman

Oh but wait, that’s not all before moving back to green we go to black, and with mysterious masks. I think it’s really nifty, and a nice simple little addition.

Malmö.00-01.Malena Ernman & Sarah Dawn FinerMalmö.00-02.Malena Ernman & Sarah Dawn Finer

Wow what a song. And what is even better about a disco-opera song is the fact that Sweden actaully voted for it! And also, beat out Sarah Dawn Finer, probably one of the most popular singers there. Notice the change in expressions on both of the singers faces in the following comparison.

Malmö.00-03.Malena Ernman & Sarah Dawn FinerMalmö.00-04.Malena Ernman

This picture is worth a thousand words. Sweden was shocked, and notice how amazingly shocked / happy the singers are. Sarah Dawn Finer becase she goes to Andra Chansen, gets the International Jury Vote, and clearly will make it through, and the success of Malena. After this Freddie (hah) came up for the kiss-and-hug, becasue he had two songs going against each other, both of which he wrote with the singers, so it was kind of awkward. I love it though!

So what did we learn today folks? Opera and Disco do mix, and they mix well when sung correctly! Now go and become a fan of Malena Ernman… !!

What else do we learn? The lyrics of course, found here:

Malena Ernman – La Voix
Can you keep a secret
Can you keep a secret
I’m in love with you
Can you make a promise
Can you make a promise
Stay forever true
Then I’m forever yours

Je t’aime, amour, quand j’entends la voix
Je t’aime, ma vie, c’est jamais sans toi
Je vis ma vie pour toi, c’est l’universe pour moi
Je t’aime, amour, quand j’entends la voix

Tell me what you’re feeling
Tell me what you’re feeling
I just wanna know
Tell me what you’re dreaming
Tell me what you’re dreaming
Let your feelings show
Stay and don’t let go

Je t’aime, amour, quand j’entends la voix
Je t’aime, ma vie, c’est jamais sans toi
Je vis ma vie pour toi, c’est l’universe pour moi
Je t’aime, amour, quand j’entends la voix

Je vis ma vie pour toi, c’est l’universe pour moi
Je t’aime, amour, quand j’entends la voix

J’entends la voix
La voix