As ever, an amazing show this week in Karlskrona, contrasted with the apology for a national final which I was watching on BBC1 at the same time....
Niklas Strömstedt kicked off the proceedings tonight with an easy going old fashioned number which was OK but despite his wildcard status was never a contender tonight.
Calaisa just sounded like every other female close-harmony combo of the last 10 years, from The Corrs to the Dixie Chicks. Nevertheless, it worked, unlike Ainbusk from last week. Enough voters must have agreed as they made it to this week's top 5, and came fifth.
"Pame" was always going to be a favourite for this blogger, based on three things:
1) Men named Daniel !
2) Big hair!!
3) Songs that sound like "Cara Mia" will always be a big hit at EuropeCrazy HQ!
Much messageboard criticism was aimed in Daniel Mitsogiannis' direction, but I liked it anyway, even if I was in a minority.
Linda Bengtzing has never been one of my MF faves in the past, but she won me over tonight with her 'Grace Kelly'-type song (although what was with the tartan styling?) She has really made so much progress since her last MF outing and is such an enthusiastic performer. Wasn't her new look very reminiscent of Rihanna?
Nordman always seem to tap into that Swedish national vibe which worked for Roger Pontare all those years ago, and I was surprisingly impressed by the show that they put on tonight.
I'm no fan of big power ballads and the one by Sibel Redzep was no exception. The poor girl also looked quite sickly in her outfit and did she really need a wind machine? Vocally outstanding though, but not really my bag, baby.
I found Sebastian Fronda quite appealing and charming, although I knew that his song didn't really have any chance.
Everything comes to an end......finally, the return of Charlotte Perrelli to MF. She performed the Kempe/Ljunggren song "Hero" perfectly and I was very impressed. Prior to hearing this song I'd never really been a fan of hers but she has the professionalism and the pedigree to go all the way to win MF this year and do some serious damage at Eurovision.
Was it just me, but I didn't like the water-themed interval dance act, although a 'drunk' and trouserless (!) Bjorn Gustafsson managed to steal the show yet again.
To Globen: Linda and Charlotte.
To Andra Chansen: Nordman and Sibel.
So that's it for the MF heats. Next week sees Andra Chansen, where two songs will be chosen to join the finalists at Globen, two weeks tonight. Predictions to follow next week - it's going to be a tough one to call!!