Sunday, February 26, 2012

Melodifestivalen 2012: Deltävling 4, Malmö 25.02.12

All three presenters were in place this week, and the show began with a salute to the returning Helena - a parody song with a nod to Bjorn Ranelid's number from last week. Heat 4 is traditionally the toughest of all, featuring some of the strongest candidates and big names.

First on stage was one of MF's biggest names of all - Charlotte Perrelli, making her comeback 4 years after "Hero". Much was made of the height of the heels, the cost of the lighting effects and that glittery dress. Apparently the whole thing was expansive as well as expensive, as it appeared it wouldn't all fit on the smaller stage at Andra Chansen. So Charlotte was in it to win it, or at least to go #direkttillgloben. That was all very well, but what about the song? Sorry Charlotte, but "The Girl" was nothing special, and all those fancy effects didn't really come across watching on TV via a webstream. Oh and Fredrik Kempe still has the most slappable face in Sweden.

OPA! took to the catwalk to the sounds of "Opa Opa" (can you see what they just did there??). Mum cheered up at this one probably for all the wrong reasons...."it reminds me of the old fashioned kind of thing you used to get in Eurovision, all those old Greek songs!" Yes, but even Greece doesn't send stuff like this anymore. Aww, bless them though. This is probably the biggest audience they'll ever get.

Still have very fond memories of "1000 Miles" by H.E.A.T. which is probably the best rock song ever in Melodifestivalen. I'd have loved to have seen them back again, especially now with Erik as their lead singer. In the meantime we had to settle for 2011's interval act Dynazty, who if I recall were mentored by Peter Stormare. Their song "Land of Broken Dreams" was written by schlager legend G:son - strip away the guitars and this is very much a schlager song. It was also rather good, if not great. Mum liked their hair.

And now to the campest thing of the evening. Oh look - it's Lasse Holm! For younger readers, he was like the 80s MF songwriting equivalent of Fredrik Kempe. I explained to mum who Lotta and Christer were, and I totally expected her to hate their song. So imagine my surprise when she ended up swaying along to the great lost Julio Iglesias song, "Don't Let Me Down", only stopping to yell "Beatles rip-off!" at the chorus, referring to the Beatles song of the same name. Is my mother developing latent schlager tendencies? It was a very warm and likeable performance and was a definite qualifier.

Unlike the next song, "Goosebumps" by Hanna Lindblad. She entered the stage to "Dansa i Neon" - now that's a lot to live up to. Mum started singing "...and it was so yellow" in response to her horrific giant yellow snood which actually detracted from the performance and the song. It took a while for "Manipulated" to grow on me but it eventually did. I doubt if this one will, which is a bit disappointing considering that Linda Sundblad was involved in writing it.

We were both a bit more receptive of "Kyss Mig" by the unknown Axel Algmark. I'd even forgotten his name. "Axel somebody" says I, "Axl Rose?" mum offered. But he was probably more Hakan Hellstrom, and he put a lot of energy into his catchy performance. Mum liked his dancing. It was never anywhere near a qualifier but at least he perked the evening up.

Only for Lisa Miskovsky to take things down again. "Why Start A Fire" (like Molly Sanden's song, it's another MF entry in search of a question mark) had good songwriting credentials - co-written by Aleksander With - however both of us got very bored with it very quickly. Simple and very effective staging though, and probably will be one of the very few massive radio hits of this year's contest. And the strange thing about it was that listening later, I actually remembered the song more than expected. It may be a grower after all...

So on to the final song in this year's competition, and the main course of the evening. I've been a long-time supporter of Danny Saucedo over the years doing this blog, and still think he was robbed last year. But there is a "but" coming, and I didn't really know how to say this, but "Amazing" didn't quite live up to its title on Saturday night as there were problems with Danny's usually perfect vocals. Although Danny's stage performance is as always professional, visually stunning and there's just enough gimmicks to get by. Well if Eric Saade had the breaking glass, Danny & co can do glow in the dark suits, right?

Yet another tedious comedy sketch - time to put the kettle on - then five songs to the "superfinal" - no real surprises here - Danny, Charlotte, Lotta & Christer, Lisa and Dynazty. This week's Tredje Chansen song was last year's "The Hunter" originally performed by Melody Club, and reinterpreted on Saturday night by the Stenhammar Quartet featuring the wonderful Sarah Dawn Finer. I'm glad she has been able to use her vocal talents as well as her impressive presenting talent this year.

Vi har ett resultat time. A tense and anxious few minutes, before the first big shock of the evening - Lisa to Globen. She is an established artist in Sweden after all, so we shouldn't really be too surprised. Lotta and Christer/Dynazty to AC - and even more tension as it was between Danny and Charlotte for a place in Globen. Drum roll......DANNY!! An uh-uh-uh-amazing result, although there is yet another "but" coming. In the cold light of day, stripping away the lighted suits and the flashy routine, the actual song falls well short of my expectations. It's all very now, very Chris Brown/Swedish House Mafia, but to be completely honest I want a spectacular song to match the title and the routine. If it is selected to represent Sweden it could be the big contemporary international hit that the ESC is crying out for. But it is not a classic song.

Young Mr Saucedo doesn't just need to turn up at Globen for qualification to be assured. Nope. For there is the small matter of a certain Loreen, whose performance of "Euphoria" has already provided one of the contest's most unforgettable moments. It's shaping up to be a nailbiting contest, one of the closest in years...and I've got a feeling that Loreen is doing to win it!!

(all of the above photos courtesy of


Anonymous said...

When it comes to talking about Charlotte, could you do us all a favor and SHUT UP! The entry is fantastic!

Raquelita said...

My mum likes the Opa type songs too.That weird Greek one that sounded like a ringtone was her favourite in 2010 despite basically everything else in the contest being better than that!

I watched Danny on youtube and fancy suits aside,I really can't tell the difference between Amazing and any other Swedish boy-pop.I loved Popular but it's too soon to send something in the same vein I think.And yeah,what were those vocals about?! There's something very special about Loreen and Euphoria though,I think she could do very well indeed in Baku.