So I finally got my computer problems sorted out last night and was able to watch the clips of "Lotta på Liseberg" which launched on Monday night, and then the season premiere of "Allsång på Skansen". And the winner is....?
Well, the people (OK the Aftonbladet readers) have spoken, and there's a clear winner: the established summer favourite, SVT's "Allsång på Skansen".
Lotta Engberg kicked off with a couple of singalongs including "Välkommen till Göteborg" which I guess was their answer to "Stockholm i Mitt Hjärta". She appears to be an enthusiastic enough hostess, but as I watched the show I couldn't help but get the feeling that this show is just a (slightly inferior) Allsång-copy, and there's a bit too much of Lotta in the show and not enough of the other guests, which wasn't helped by the commercial-breaks cutting out their extra songs which were only available later at TV4's website.
This week's guests -
Nanne Gronvall - I'm not really a big fan of her's, and I don't particularly like that "Du Är Min Man" song either, but she is a crowd-pleaser;
Christer Sjogren - his "Bossa Nova Baby" was way off the cheese-scale lol but I liked the dresses the girls were wearing, and as for "I Love Yoo-rup", well this song came into my head at work today despite my best efforts to hate it!
Ola - "Sky's The Limit" was ok on first listen and I think it'll grow on me, although I can't really say the same for his new look though. Yes I did say that, and you know how much I adore my curly-haired boys...!
Brolle - complete with his new trademark big glasses - is going through a phase. Last week it was Buddy Holly (on Sommarkrysset) this week Elvis: he's definitely going back to his rock n'roll roots.
I did like the part at the end when all the guests sat on the stairs and sang that old Ulf Lundell song (which incidentally, faithful travelling companion has on an Ulf album he bought a few years ago in Sweden)
The real fun in these shows, whether it's Allsång or Lotta, is seeing the younger pop stars throwing themselves enthusiastically into the singalongs - (excuse me while I get a little misty-eyed at the memory of Salem Al Fakir's "Nu Är Det Gott Att Leva" on Allsång in 2007...!)
But I digress....
If "Lotta..." is a new show which needs to settle and grow into its own skin, "Allsång" is the daddy. The stunning Stockholm backdrop, with the Viking Line ship in port, just sums up a Tuesday summer night for me. The minute "Stockholm i Mitt Hjärta" starts up, that's me hooked. And so it was yet again this week.
Tomas Ledin proved that he can still keep the crowd happy, whilst Henrik Dorsin had everyone singing along with "Tingeling" (I love this - I know I shouldn't but I do) and then Måns Zelmerlöw completely set the standard for the rest of this summer's series. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the future king of Swedish light entertainment. He is (rightly) being acclaimed by the Swedish press for his performance this week - and also putting forward his credentials as a future presenter of the show! One thing's for sure: he's a better singer than Anders Lundin.
After watching both shows I'd have to award round 1 to Allsång: more natural, less forced and just an overall better product. Having said that though, I'm glad both of these shows exist: there is no equivalent here in the UK (it would be considered far too 'uncool' sadly) and I think there's just something really nice about getting people of all ages together in the open air in the summertime to sing along and have some fun.