It sounds like a TV crime drama....but the drama is being played out in the Swedish media at the moment, as Swedish TV’s two rival singalong programmes continue to lose viewers week by week. Needless to say, the Swedish tabloids take a morbid delight in bashing this great summer tradition, and if Allsång-bashing was an Olympic sport, then certain Swedish newspapers would win a gold medal!
SVT's Allsång på Skansen has been a summer TV tradition since 1979, but three episodes into this year’s run and the series has had its worst ratings in 10 years. And returning to the "crime drama" theme, it was beaten in the ratings by Midsomer Murders, an unfathomably popular and incredibly dull British crime show.
OK I'll agree Allsång's not for everyone, it's distinctively Swedish, it's cheesy and occasionally unwatchable - it really does try to be all things to all people - and the resulting pick'n'mix won't appeal to everyone but I will always check out one or both singalong shows every week as there is usually someone I'm interested in seeing. For example week 1 had The Ark, week 2 Eric Saade, and then Darin on week 3.
Why the drop in viewers? Well, I don’t live in Sweden but even I know that the country has been enjoying one of its hottest summers in years. And when it’s hot, people don’t want to watch television! And then there was the World Cup. And when the excuses run out there’s always that old favourite....’Anders Lundin must go!"
One of the columnists in Aftonbladet the other day suggested that Lundin’s time is up - and that he should be replaced by none other than Måns Zelmerlöw. And I completely agree: he would be a perfect candidate - a great singer and entertainer with mass appeal to both young and old alike. If Måns continues to put his music career on hold, and concentrate on musicals/TV presenting, then SVT could do a lot worse than approaching him to host next year: especially after his successful efforts at presenting Melodifestivalen. Maybe SVT needs to let acts promote their new singles, rather than have them performing an old/recent hit, which would give artists even more incentive to appear and there would be something fresh for the viewers too.
EDIT 19.07.10: in an exclusive interview with Aftonbladet today, MZW revealed that he has been asked by SVT if he'd like to present the show sometime in the future...http://www.aftonbladet.se/nojesbladet/article7488188.ab
As for the "new kid on the block", TV4's Monday night singalong Lotta på Liseberg, returned for a second season this summer, despite being tipped for the axe after being panned by the critics last year. It has half the viewing figures of Allsång, and seemingly half their guests too, as some Swedish stars are appearing on both shows this summer. Maybe the allsång-concept is spreading itself too thinly? I guess that if one of the shows was to be axed, it would be Lotta's, as SVT's Allsång is far too established to drop.
It may be trendy and fashionable to knock Allsång, but there's something so reassuring about hearing the opening chords of "Stockholm i mitt hjärta" and realising that summer is here, and wishing I was Swedish :)
Also, when you live in a country where music programmes on television are now almost non-existent apart from the awful talent shows (even Swedish Idol is a million times better than X Factor), then you realise how lucky the Swedish people are to have a variety of musical talent on prime time TV every week. And thanks to the internet, those of us outside Sweden get the chance to see it too.
My interest in Allsång will reach its peak this coming Tuesday as this week's guests include none other than Oskar Linnros and Salem Al Fakir. Prepare for wild enthusiasm on this blog and at Planet Salem in the coming days ;)