Today, the line-up for the first two heats of Melodifestivalen 2011 was announced. We already knew about some of them of course, but I was pleasantly surprised by a couple of other names announced....namely Brolle and Christian Walz, two of my favourite Swedish singers of recent years.
There's lots of new names and MF-first-timers this year, which may not please the traditionalists, but the fact remains that Melodifestivalen needs new blood to keep it alive - after all, some of the most famous MF names were newcomers once upon a time.
So, who's in?
Heat 1 takes place in Luleå on 5th February:
Pernilla Andersson: "Desperados"
Danny: "In The Club"
Swingfly: "Me and My Drum"
Le Kid: "Oh My God"
Jonas Matsson: "On My Own"
Rasmus Viberg: "Social Butterfly"
Jenny Silver: "Something In Your Eyes"
Dilba: "Try Again"
Danny (Saucedo) should be the obvious favourite here - I just hope he's got the song to match, although with a very exciting songwriting team behind it (Figge Boström/Peter Boström/Danny Saucedo), we can expect a modern uptempo pop-dance number.
Jenny Silver is back again, this time with a "Tusen och en Natt"-type schlager which (according to this Aftonbladet article) SVT chose Jenny rather than Charlotte Perrelli to sing. http://www.aftonbladet.se/nojesbladet/melodifestivalen2011/article8160036.ab
Also new to MF are Le Kid, who have been very popular among the pop-blogging community over the past year.
The contest then moves on to Gothenburg for Heat 2 on 12th February:
Babsan: "Ge Mig en Spanjor"
Sanna Nielsen: "I'm in Love"
Christian Walz: "Like Suicide"
Loreen: "My heart is Refusing Me"
The Moniker: "Oh My God!"
Brolle: "Seven Days and Seven Nights"
Elisabeth Andreassen: "Vaken i en Dröm"
For me, this is potentially the toughest and most exciting heat - Melodifestivalen welcomes Brolle (at last), and he looks like a definite qualifier, as does the returning Sanna Nielsen.
I'm delighted to see Christian Walz in the contest - although that song title is a little subversive for MF, isn't it! Maybe it's actually a happy little singalong...? It should be a top quality entry, especially as Tony Nilsson is one of the co-writers with Christian.
I'm less excited about Elisabeth Andreassen's participation, but I guess a lot of people will be happy to see her back in MF after all these years.
One more thing - you wait years for an "Oh My God" and then two come along at once - the second, with an added exclamation mark, is by The Moniker - better known as former Idol finalist Daniel Karlsson, confirming press speculation from yesterday.
Finally, Sebastian Karlsson is rumoured to be back this year....now that's someone I'd really like to see again at MF! Answers next Monday :)