Last night, the Melodifestivalen circus rolled on into Norrköping, for Andra Chansen. Once upon a time Andra Chansen used to be hidden away on Swedish TV on a Sunday afternoon, but not anymore. Now it’s a big event although IMHO I don’t like the duel-system which was introduced at last year’s Andra Chansen and which (IMHO again) has ruined the whole contest for me this year.
Duel 1: Scotts "Jag Tror På Oss" vs Sarah Dawn Finer’s "Moving On".
Scotts provided an energetic start, although I thought the girls in red sparkly frocks doing their Afro-Dite style routine was somewhat distracting. This song has really grown on me over the last couple of weeks and isn’t Henrik such a charming frontman?
There was a major shock last week when Sarah Dawn Finer didn’t go directly to Globen as predicted. She had a further setback this week as she was unwell during rehearsals. It certainly showed as she was a little strained and it was all a bit dull for me. I’m snoozing on, and I’m gonna get sleepy now.
Result: Sarah Dawn Finer to next round.
Duel 2: Lili & Susie’s "Show Me Heaven" vs BWO’s "You’re Not Alone"
L & S gave it their all on the camp power-disco-schlager number, but for me there was something a bit dated and has-been about it.
Needless to say I was supporting BWO, although I still had my reservations about those outfits. Martin’s hair was a bit too girly and he looked as if he was wearing too much make-up. Despite all this it was still quite mesmerising.
Result: Lili & Susie to next round. Maybe it’s just me, but I got the feeling that there was something quite ‘final’ about last night and I can’t really see BWO going back to do MF again.
Duel 3: Amy Diamond’s "It’s My Life" vs Star Pilots "Higher".
Amy Diamond = rubbish. Last night she unravelled big time, she was vocally an embarrassment.
Plagiarism or not, I totally love "Higher" and can even see this making my 2009-50 at the end of this year. Johan sang really well and the guys gave a very energetic routine.
Result: Star Pilots to next round! Yay! At last one of my favourites through.
Duel 4: Rigo & Topaz Sound’s "I Got You" vs Caroline af Ugglas "Snälla Snälla"
A.K.A. The devil versus the deep blue sea, it was inevitable with the duel-system that you would get a duel where you weren’t really keen on any of the two songs so it was with this one. No offence to Rigo & co, they were lively enough but it’s really irritating after a while. As for Caroline, she provided a very bizarre diversion from the evening’s uptempo schlager, although this is still a non-song for me, although I do acknowledge it was performed with feeling. If Caroline was wearing the most famous MF-boots since the Herreys, it led to a very funny moment when Petra Mede revealed she was wearing wellies under her ballgown!
Result: Caroline to next round.
And so to those two comedians, whose names escape me right now. I know it’s so wrong to like that "ting a ling" song, it’s sooooooo wrong, but maybe Sweden should just have sent that to Moscow instead. "Tack Norrköping!" Indeed.
Second round of duels
Sarah Dawn Finer beat Lili & Susie. Sarah was certainly more assured in her second performance of her song. Don’t you think that Fredrik Kempe is looking ultra-smug at the moment though? He had a lot of songs in this year’s contest, but this always results in a conflict of interest - which song would he prefer to win in Globen?
Caroline af Ugglas beat Star Pilots. Bit gutted about that but I suppose it will provide something different in the final I guess. I still don’t get it though. I played "Snälla Snälla" to my mum and her reply was "rubbish rubbish rubbish rubbish".
(Pointless) International jury wildcard
A completely pointless exercise this year IMHO. Surely the point of the international jury should have been to put different songs through every week from the ones which had already qualified for the next round. Of the four songs they chose, only Sofia’s "Alla" wasn’t a qualifier so in a way I’m glad they chose it for the final even though I don’t particularly like this song and there are better songs which could have filled that extra spot in the final.
(Sofia herself has undergone a drastic new image change in the past couple of weeks. I didn’t even recognise her last night)
If they are going to do this next year, Bjorkman will need to give some thought to revamping the idea.
So it’s Sarah, Caroline and Sofia to next week’s final in Globen. I’ve got this horrible feeling that I’m not going to agree with the winning song.