Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Super Saturday (or not)

After the credits rolled on Heat 2 of Melodifestivalen, it was straight over to NRK's website to catch the end of the voting. Believe it or not, I still haven't watched the whole MGP final yet, but my immediate question was - how come Babel Fish didn't make it to the superfinal, yet the Lucky Bullets and Sie Gubba did? Anyway it was all a foregone conclusion, and there was no doubt that Stella Mwangi's infectious performance of the insanely catchy "Haba Haba" was taking her all the way to Dusseldorf. There are still lots of songs to be selected, but I think this is in with a really strong chance.

I'm not even going to waste words or energy on the Belgian selection this year, suffice to say that the success of Tom Dice will definitely not be repeated by Witloof Bay and their acapella nonsense "With Love Baby".

Talking of Tom Dice, this year's Finnish entry "Da Da Dam" by Paradise Oskar (pictured above) is definitely in that same style and is quite nice, although my favourite entry in the Finnish final was "Good Enough" by Father McKenzie, who are a very promising Swedish-Finnish band who recently supported Salem Al Fakir at his gig in Helsinki.

Finally, off to Iceland to catch the last half of their national final.

Despite being a big pre-contest favourite, it wasn't to be second time lucky for Yohanna - even with a better dress than last time :) Being completely shallow, I couldn't remember much about Magni Asgeirsson's song, but I did find him rather attractive.. :) Anyway he came second, to a song which had its own emotional back-story. The song "Aftur Heim" was meant to be sung by its composer Sigurjon Brink, however following his recent untimely death, a group of his friends stepped in to perform the song in his memory. I'd never heard the song before and had expected an emotional ballad, so it was an unusual surprise to hear an uptempo, almost trad-jazz number. Inevitably, Sigurjon's Friends won the competition, and will represent Iceland this year. By the end of the contest there was not a dry eye in the studio (and I'll admit I was getting a little misty-eyed here too). Being realistic though, I don't see the song qualifying out of the semi-final.
Above: the late Sigurjon Brink.

Below: Sigurjon's Friends.

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