"The Hunter" - Melody Club. Not quite as flamboyant as The Ark - but then who is?? Anyway it's not too bad, quite a catchy song with the band surrounded by giant chess pieces and the guitarist playing his solo on top of an illuminated piano. I think I'll like this one on Saturday, but it could be this week's recipient of the "Curse of Dilba".
"Better or Worse" - Julia Alvgard. Another one of those webbjokers, which I can see being scrapped if this song doesn't progress beyond its heat. Powered by a cool electro-Robyn-style beat, I rather liked this but in a week of 'names' she could suffer from being an unknown. Maybe it would do better if it had been sung by a more famous name.
"En Blick och Någonting Händer" - Lasse Stefanz. This is basically Tina Turner's "Simply The Best", rehashed dansband-style, and on this performance I felt they couldn't care less. Which is sad really, particularly given the song's stellar songwriting pedigree. I expected better - at least The Playtones have a bit of life about them. But LS are pop-u-lar, so anything could happen.
"Alive" - Linda Pritchard. Her song last year didn't really show off her vocal abilities but she is a really powerful singer and vocally reminded me a little of Jennifer Rush (oops, really showing my age now!). This is a big ballad and there's always room for them at MF/ESC so this is going to sneak a qualifying place, but I'm not sure whether it's to the final or to Andra Chansen.
"Run" - Anders Fernette. One of the acts I was looking forward to seeing the most this week. It's an 80s-style pop song crossed with something from the Enrique "Escape" era. Fine so far but I thought everything going on around it was far too distracting: I could have done without all that acrobatic swinging on silks and backing singers throwing giant strips of toilet roll around :) Prediction: top 5 but missing out on that all important place at AC.
"E Det Fel på Mej" - Linda Bengtzing. Dare I say that she's just won back her title of 'ultimate schlager gueen' from Jenny Silver?. Firstly it's very good to have her back, and I say that as someone who wasn't a fan till "Hur Svart..." converted me. There's a mid-chorus key change and an energetic performance, but I'm sorry to say that I expected much better. The problem with this is that it sounds like about 300 former MF entries thrown into a blender to produce schlager-by-numbers. But it's a qualifier!
"Leaving Home" - Nicke Borg. Wow that man's got a lot of tattoo art going on! A great big old anthemic rock ballad here - it really feels like 80s night. But there's nothing wrong with that. Rock may be a dirty word over here but it's still very popular in many European countries including Sweden, therefore don't be surprised if this is a surprise qualifier.
"Dance Alone" - Love Generation. Do you think they'll sing "Red One" at the start of it? Still on this little 80s theme here, all together now..."I dance alone, hallelujah it's raining men..." This could do pretty well I think, and is an absolute qualifier to Globen. (Should it go that step further, a lot will depend on their live vocal ability as the history of the Eurovision Song Contest is littered with girl-group disasters...anyway that's just speculation for now). Lots of strutting and pointing and posing too, so that should keep the schlager contingent happy for a while.
To the final: Love Generation and Linda Pritchard
To Andra Chansen: Nicke Borg and Linda Bengtzing.