Linköping was the venue for Melfest's Andra Chansen. Of course this meant the duels, which I personally feel are a very unfair way of selecting the remaining finalists. I would prefer a straight-up 8 song heat with the top 4 going to final. but Christer and SVT prefer to jazz it up, and try and bring some excitement to an otherwise mainly boring set of songs.
This week's postcards featured the artists in each duel watching and listening to their rival. By the looks of it there was a lot of love there though!
Duel 1: "Gotta Thing About You" - FO and O vs "Road Trip" - De Vet Du.
So the boyband fan in me wants to like Foooooo-whatever-they're-called-this week but for me they are completely lacking in appeal and charisma. Oh, and those lyrics are still terrible, verging on parody, no wait, they are beyond parody, more than any "parodi" that the Norbergs will ever come up with.De Vet Du are a one-joke joke, but at least "Road Trip" is a fun song and a bit of effort has gone into the visual presentation. It's very entertaining although if I'm honest, none of these really deserve a place in the final.
Duel 2: "När Ingen Ser" - Axel Schylström vs "I Don't Give A" - Lisa Ajax.
I was Team Axel all the way here, his song was old-school uptempo Melfest boy pop which now seems to be an endangered species in the contest. Extra points for a native language song too. Axel performed it with energy, professionalism and class. 'Class' was not a word I would ever use to describe Lisa's song which is not the best song which The Family (the Debs-and-Anton) have ever written. The standards are slipping. it was just desperate and the song and staging were unlikeable.
We then had a musical "mean tweets" segment from David Lindgren...ending on David for the win!
Duel 3: "Her Kiss" - Boris Rene vs "Hearts Align" - Dismissed.
The reason I find the duels system unfair is that depending on the draw, inferior songs can go through from one duel, at the expense of better songs from another duel. I would have liked both of these from duel 3 to go through.
Next came the Zeynos dry cleaning sketch and my only answer was....why? (By the way, completely boring fact alert - that cream-coloured curtain was the very same as the curtains in my house). I really didn't understand this sketch, apart from being a vehicle for cameo appearances by Christer and Afro-Dite.
The story so far: Loreen never made it direkt till final but by the time of Andra Chansen the general view seemed to be that everyone had seen and heard "Statements" enough to get used to it. However, foregone conclusions are never all they seem! The "app heart" crackled away during Anton's song but hardly made a move during Loreen's song. That should have been a big indication of how the result would go.
This week's interval act was the duo of Daniel and Emil Norberg with an exclusive preview of the final in their well-known "parodi" style. I always enjoy this type of spoof and let's face it, Melfest can be a very good target for parody!
A quick chat with Norway's commentator Per Sundnes before the next interval act, Linda Pira and Dani M - an interesting choice given that the "urban" performers in this year's Melfest didn't do very well. I wonder if Linda or Dani will take their chances in a future Melfest?
David Lindgren's green room serenades have become a big feature of this year's contest and this week it was the turn of "Stad i Ljus" to get the Lindgren treatment, With that very long note at the end!
Vi har ett resultat:
FO and O (pronounced Fo and o) beat De Vet Du, which I wasn't too happy about. Although "Road Trip" was a novelty song, it was also good fun, whereas "Gotta Thing" was (and is) the most embarrassingly bad boyband song which my ears had suffered in a long time.
Lisa won duel 2, beating Axel. (Not happy).
Boris won duel 3 - but was then drawn into the running order "slot of death" - 2nd in other words.
And finally....the result of the Anton v Loreen duel was revealed - and it was Anton who was going direkt, not Loreen. Anton was drawn to sing in 6th place in the running order in the final.
Melfest season had started off with a big surprise - the return of Loreen - which was threatening to turn the contest into a foregone conclusion - but then came that shock result. By the end of Andra Chansen, the final line-up was known and it looked as if either Wiktoria or Nano would get the ticket to Kyiv. More surprises were to follow!