Sunday, September 01, 2013

Allsång: no longer i Måns' hjärta

While I was on my blogging-break I caught up with one of my annual summer highlights - SVT's Allsång på Skansen.  The series ended on 13th August followed by the shock announcement that Måns Zelmerlow, who has successfully presented the show for the past 3 years, is quitting the show and will not be back next year.  He has done a great job and immediately slotted into one of the highest-profile TV presenting roles on Swedish television which is always subject to tabloid scrutiny, and he certainly won over the viewers and critics very quickly indeed.

Måns leaves the show on a high.  In Anders Lundin's final year (2010) it was an ailing show, losing viewers and under attack by the tabloid critics.  The show had to evolve and change.  Måns took over in 2011 and with this younger presenter came a number of younger current chart acts which in turn brought a noticeably younger audience to Solliden.  To outsiders, Allsång may look like a quaint, outmoded concept, but I will always defend its right to exist.  And even if it's only within the grounds of Skansen, the show continues to unite young and old in their love of Swedish music, a good old sing-song and a celebration of the Swedish summertime.

You won't be surprised to learn that my absolute highlight of this summer's series was the return of Oskar Linnros, who has become a much bigger star since his 2010 debut performance on the show.  I also enjoyed the "Så Mycket Bättre"-themed week with Petra Marklund, Style and Petter on that week's guest list.  As ever, there was the usual quota of Melodifestivalen acts: Anton Ewald was particularly impressive as was this year's MF winner Robin Stjernberg of course.  And then we also had this year's ESC winner: Emmelie de Forest, barefooting her way across the stage (and presumably leaving herself wide open to a foot infection - sorry, but seeing people going barefoot makes me squirm!).

2013 may not have been a vintage Allsång year, relying on safe crowdpleasers like Gyllene Tider, Magnus Uggla and Håkon Hellström and mixing these with here-today gone-tomorrow chart acts, but one thing's for sure, Måns was an excellent presenter and will be missed.  He will be a tough act to follow, and SVT will have some work to do.  They need to get it right, to identify someone who will appeal to all ages and tastes.

Bosse Larsson, Lasse Berghagen, Anders Lundin, Måns Zelmerlöw - who will be next on the list of Allsång presenters?  Names in the frame with the bookies include Marie Serneholt, Lena Philipsson, Danny Saucedo, Kalle Moreus.  If, as is rumoured, the next host will be the first ever female presenter of the show, I think Lena Philipsson would be a fantastic choice; not only is she a great singer and entertainer, loved by the Swedes, but she also has the personality and charisma to effortlessly take on the role of Allsång presenter.  I would have my doubts about Marie Serneholt or Danny Saucedo - I like them, but I don't think they're ready for the job yet.  One thing's for sure, I hope they don't give the job to the ubiquitous Gina Dirawi....

Let's just hope that, whoever gets the job, that SVT continues to let all of us who live outside Sweden watch and enjoy the show, unlike TV4 which continues to deny all of us (outside Sweden) the chance to see "Lotta på Liseberg" and "Sommarkrysset" on their website, limiting it only to viewers in Sweden.  Which is a real shame, as both shows have had a good line-up of guests this year.

But back to Måns.  He's now concentrating on the next phase of his music career and is getting ready to release his "Barcelona Sessions" album which, if the excellent "Broken Parts" is anything to go by, will be worth the wait.  This album will see Måns moving away from the schlager/pop sound of his first two albums in favour of a more 'adult' sound in the anthemic style of, say, Coldplay or Keane.   Good luck with your future adventures Måns!

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