Sunday, July 03, 2016

Allsång på Skansen 2016: Week 1, Tuesday 28th June 2016

It's not summer without it - and even if the rain was hammering off the windows as I sat and watched the show in my living room yesterday, Allsång på Skansen always brings a taste of the Swedish summer for all of us who live outside Sweden.

Broadcast by SVT since 1979, the show has had six presenters in that time - including four different presenters in the last 6 years.  After Anders Lundin departed the show in 2010, Måns Zelmerlöw hosted for three years followed by a two-year stint for Petra Marklund (pictured above).  I felt that Petra was unfairly criticised during her presentation run in 2014 and 2015, as she tried to take the show in a new direction, however in hindsight I now feel that she may not have been the right 'fit' for the show.  I say this because as the years go on, Allsång increasingly appears a remnant of a past which no longer exists, so there is a need for a more 'traditional' presenter who will build a bridge between the folk-song singalongs, appearances by Swedish music royalty and up-and-coming pop acts.

On the final show of the 2015 series, Petra announced live on TV that she was quitting as presenter. The rumours began immediately regarding her replacement and SVT moved very quickly to sign up Sanna Nielsen, who had been a revelation as Melodifestivalen 2015 presenter. I was never really a Sanna fan up until that time - I always thought she was a bit of an 'ice queen' but the ice melted during that Melfest run and I realised that I was very wrong.  Sanna (pictured below) is actually a likeable presenter and her smile lights up the room - or in this instance, the Solliden stage.

On the evidence of the first week of 2016 season, they've made the right choice.  Sanna is likely to appeal to the 'traditionalists' whilst she's still young enough to appeal to the younger viewers.  Oh, and she can sing a bit as well.....which helps when you're presenting Allsang, doesn't it :)  There's also a new opening title sequence which is more "folky" than Måns and Petra's opening title sequences. Certainly a nod to the traditionalists there.  Thankfully they have ditched the cringeworthy artists' introduction song which was introduced during Petra's time on the show.

The first show of this year's series played it pretty safe.  There was the mix of the old (Benny Anderssons Orkester (featuring Tommy Körberg and Helen Sjöholm), and Kalle Moraeus, along with the new - Miriam Bryant (pictured above), one of Sweden's hottest/coolest pop stars, and major breakout star of last year's Så Mycket Bättre.

Like all the other Swedish summer music shows - Lotta på Liseberg and Sommarkrysset - Allsång relies on the current year's Melodifestivalen contestants to boost the guest list.  The first show gave us this year's Melfest winner, Frans (pictured above with Sanna) rewound to 10 years ago with a rendition of the song which first made him famous at just 7 years old: his tribute song to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, "Who's Da Man".  All together now, "Ingen kickar fotboll som han...."

It was a strong and solid start for the show.  I'm looking forward to this Tuesday's show where Oscar Zia and one of this blog's long-time favourites Daniel Adams-Ray will be among the guests.

(All pictures above courtesy of SVT)

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