Monday, April 27, 2015

Melodifestivalen 2015 - Andra Chansen, Helsingborg 07.03.15

By the time 7th March came around, Super Saturdays were almost over.  With only the UK's big reveal later in the evening to get excited about, I thought I'd break the habits of a lifetime and watch Andra Chansen live this year for a change.  In recent years I have never really liked Andra Chansen because of those dreaded duels which just went on, and on, and on.  There was a slight change in the rules this year; yes there were duels, but only one round of duels, with four songs going through to the final.

Duel 1: "Bring Out The Fire" - Andreas Weise vs "Forever Starts Today" - Linus Svenning.

I've never been a fan of Andreas since he was in Swedish Idol a few years ago - he's a bit too fame-hungry for my tastes.  "Bring Out The Fire" was a hybrid of "Let Me Entertain You" and John Newman's "Love Me Again" and just didn't have enough appeal in its own right for me.

Mum is perturbed by Linus' outfit,  I explain to her that he was in Melodifestivalen last year, but this is a more uptempo song and I prefer it to his song from last year.

Following the first duel, we have the Eurovision medley which was later criticised as a cheap cop-out by many within the fan community.  Yes it was a bit more low-budget than you'd expect from Melfest, but it was quite good fun and Sanna made a great Celine Dion.

Duel 2: " Guld Och Grona Skogar" - Hasse Andersson vs "I See You" - Kristin Amparo. 

Mum on Hasse: Oh God!! 
She wasn't too thrilled by Hasse or his song at first, but as it went on she was bobbing her head enthusiastically.  I think this one is going to have the same effect on her as the schlager supergroup Ravaillacz from a couple of years ago and by the time of the final she is probably going to love it. 

"I See You" is a bit of a yawnfest for me, I'm afraid.  Kristin is much, much better than the song and deserves something worthy of her talents than this Kempe co-write.

Results: Linus and Hasse are in the final.  Not really a surprise result.  Although I hope Kristin will come back again in a year or two with a more effective song.  I loved her vocals on "Din Soldat" and would appreciate something more uptempo from her, although I'm guessing that if she was to return it would be in similar style to Sarah Dawn Finer, with another big ballad.

Loreen has been sat beside Jon Ola Sand all night. But she finally breaks free to take to the stage with her new song, "Paperlight".  I know I'm probably going to upset about 99% of the Loreen/Melfest fandom but I don't like this song.  It's a scream fest.  Call it "extreme Euphoria" but lacking the ingredients which made that song so great.  Some controversy too as she is topless and only covered by her cascading hair. Its a good job that mum has dozed off by now or she would have a lot to say about this.

But back to the duels.....

Duel 3: "Hello Hi" - Dolly Style vs "Make Me (La La La)" - Dinah Nah.

This is the duel of pop death...and pink hair!
Since Dolly Style and their wonderful wigs came into our lives in week 1, this bloody song is now wedged in my brain, and mum's decided that she wants a Dolly Style wig. 

Mum - " are they singing I'm a Wally?"
She then decides she doesn't want to talk about the song, and just wants to talk about the wigs. 

Dinah Nah still facially reminds me of Crown Princess Victoria.  If Crown Princess Victoria had pink hair, of course, and if she gave up whatever royals do to go into a song contest with a pop-dance banger like this.  

By the way, I'm enjoying Robin and Sanna as presenters.  They are a slick duo and look good on screen together, but - oh no - here comes "Filippa Bark" to spoil the party.  Filippa is a comedy creation and is both loved and hated, But over the past couple of weeks the hate appears to have overtaken the love, and her contribution has been reduced in AC.  But she is finally back to sing "Don't Compete In Musik".  My problem with her is more to do with my limited understanding of the Swedish language, and I don't really understand the character's style of humour. 

Duel 4: "Det rår vi inte för" - Behrang Miri featuring Victor Crone vs "Groupie" - Samir and Viktor.

It's the battle of the Victor/Viktors.  But I will only offer two very shallow words here: Victor Crone. This song has a stellar songwriting line-up: Behrang has co-written it with Albin Johnsén, Måns Zelmerlöw and Tony Nilsson.  For what I can only assume is a vote-grabbing gimmick, they have enlisted Malena Ernman for a guest appearance in Andra Chansen, lending some operatic backing vocals.  But it's a bit of a waste of time if I'm honest, and adds nothing to the song.  However, I hope Victor will come back to the contest again!

It's a foregone conclusion that Behrang and Victor's days are numbered before the voting even begins as they are matched against tabloid fodder Samir and Viktor, with "Groupie".  Isn't it reassuring to see that Sweden has its own breed of 'stars' who are famous, well, for being famous, in similar style to all those awful 'TOWIE'-type people.  "Groupie" is intensely irritating, but it wouldn't be the first time that such an irritating song would end up working its way into my brain, uninvited.  

There's a quick preview of next week's finalists who have all gone direkt till Friends and this is followed by a 'duet' between Sanna and Monica Zetterlund, thanks to the wonders of technology, on "En gång i Stockholm", Monica's winning song from Melfest 1963. The final results are announced.  It's a 'nah' for Dolly Style, but it's a (Dinah) Nah to the final.  She will be joined there by Samir and Viktor who already seemed to know that they'd won.  They have certainly won the EuropeCrazy prize for most effective use of oj-oj-oj in a song not heard since the days of a certain Mr Ranelid....

Tune in for the next instalment - yes, it's the final.  And one big, crucial question....."what's the meaning of Stonehenge?"

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