Saturday, February 14, 2009

I'm still standing for hope and glory: Melodifestivalen week 2, Skellefteå

Another week, another MF semi-final, but my timing was a bit off as I missed the first 10 mins due to having to wash the kitchen floor (oh don't even bother asking) anyway I was there in time to see the Lili and Susie comeback. Yes I do remember them from the 80s, yes I do remember them quite fondly, so song 1 - "Show Me Heaven" went down rather well at EuropeCrazy HQ. A high-energy and very professional opening to the 2nd week of the 2009 MF proceedings. I'd decided that this was a qualifier, make no mistake.

Song 2 - "Jag Skå Slass i Dina Kvarter!" by Lasse Lindh didn't really do much to change my preconception that he was only there to make up the numbers, although he did well enough and I could imagine listening to this later on and it having a life outwith MF. There was no chance of it progressing in the competition.

Jennifer Brown was another once-popular artist making an MF comeback this year, with "Never Been Here Before" co-written by Andreas Johnson/Sebastian Karlsson collaborator Peter Kvint. But despite that, and the exquisite staging of the song - making it look like there were many more than the allocated 8 people on stage - it was probably the major shock of the evening that this song didn't progress.

I admit, these postcards are growing on me....H.E.A.T. were heralded with a 'postcard' of "Prison Break" star Peter Stormare wearing one of their t-shirts. I hadn't heard of them till MF, but they presented the first challenge of the night to the expected qualifiers with "1000 Miles" which they absolutely sold and it was no surprise that they've gone all the way to Globen. I like the stage sets this year - they are more customised to each act, rather than the cold staging from 2008.

And so, to Markoolio who is a bit of a superstar in Sweden. Now, usually, I like a man in a crushed-velvet suit (!!) but I'm afraid tonight was very much an exception. He played "Karlekssång från Mig" pretty straight until the middle of the song, which then turned into a hilarious parody of Dima Bilan's win last year, with the violinist and the ice-skater who ended up going on fire, which was a complete ROFLMAO moment for me :)))

Next on stage, Amy Diamond with "It's My Life" When I learned this was co-written by Lord Alexander Bard, I felt bad for slagging it off earlier. However, Amy is not the divine Martin, she's a little girl and she will always be a little girl, I can see her getting asked for ID until she's 60. Please go away now Amy, you are boring us now.

Now, wistful acoustic-country music is not the kind of genre associated with MF, but Cookies N Beans - featuring Frida Ohrn from Oh Laura of "Release Me" fame - did their best with "What If" which, IMHO got a little boring as it went on...but you'd have to acknowledge that MF provided a very diverse collection of songs tonight.

They were all just keeping the seat warm for Måns Zelmerlöw of course, with his second attempt at MF - "Hope and Glory", co-written with Fredrik Kempe. Was it "Cara Mia 2"? Was it "Hero 2"? Was it....a winner?

Yes. Confident, professionally staged, it may not have been the best song to ever grace a Melodifestivalen stage, but i reckon it may just have done enough for this year. :)

Top 5 after 1st vote:

Mans Zelmerlow (yay!)
Amy Diamond (?)
Cookies N Beans (hmm)
H.E.A.T. (yay)
Lili & Susie (yay again)

Interval act - a flashback to MF in the 1970s with clips including Bjorn Skifs, Magnus Uggla and Lasse Berghagen. Oh and some little-known combo, I think they were called Abba....Sofia Jannok (no I don't know who she is) attempted her own individual version of "Waterloo".

So to Duel 1: "1000 Miles" vs "It's My Life": H.E.A.T. to Globen, Amy to Andra Chansen.

Duel 2: "Hope and Glory" vs "Show Me Heaven" Globen and Andra Chansen respectively.

And what was that international jury thinking about? Amy? Huh?

I did enjoy tonight's show, although I'm still shocked at Amy's success and Jennifer's failure. Still that's MF for you eh!

But Måns is through - that's what matters!

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