Tonight, Swedish time, sees the final for Melodifestivalen which will select Sweden’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2011. It seems that the two favourites, Eric Saade and Danny Saucedo, are getting overly friendly in the picture above. This shot has been appearing on schlager blogs all over the net so how could I resist such a shot. Sadly, as the following video shows, it’s just the two guys mucking about at a press conference. But it does embody the spirit of Melodifestivalen. The friendly rivalry and the fun that the participants bring to the atmosphere, one could almost say a sense of family.
I have read quite a few schlager blogs complaining about the final line up of songs. I actually think it’s a good and varied line up, a bit of something for everyone. The Swedes actually have a range to choose from which should make it more interesting.
I have already commented on Sara Varga (my favourite in the final) and Eric Saade (the one that should go to Dusseldörf) but I thought I would give my impressions of the remaining eight songs for what it’s worth.
Danny – In The Club
Eric Saade’s closest rival, I think this club tune will give Eric a run for his money. It’s modern and would appeal to a younger audience (as long as they are the ones voting). I’m not that keen on it myself (I must be getting old) but I’m sure it would do well at Eurovision.
The Moniker – Oh My God
A lot of people seem to hate this very happy pop song but I quite like it and certainly won’t be skipping it when I get the CD. Kinda like Mika but not done as well, still it’s fun. I don’t think it’s a contender.
Brolle – 7 Days and 7 Nights
I really like this slice of rock pop from Sweden’s so-called answer to Elvis. I find myself singing it a lot. I have a feeling it will do well at the final but not well enough.
Linda Bengtzing – E Det Fel På Mig
Linda has entered Melodifestivalen a number of times in the past but this would have to be her weakest entry yet. I know I should like it but I just can’t. I think the only reason it made it to the final was the general low standard of the songs in the fourth semi final, one of the worst semi finals since they introduced the semi final format.
Nicke Borg – Leaving Home
I don’t like this rock ballad from the lead singer of the internationally known Backyard Babies. I think there will be an audience for this song but I just don’t think that the fans of Backyard Babies are the kind of people to watch Melodifestivalen or Eurovision.
Swingfly – Me And My Drum
Although I don’t normally like rap, the chorus of this song is so damn catchy it could get through. It would be one of those annoying summer hits that Europe seems to love so much. If it does get through, it could even manage a decent placing at Eurovision. Certainly not a favourite by far but not the end of the world if it ended up representing Sweden.
Sanna Nielsen – I’m In Love
Although Sanna does have a loyal fan base and this schlager number is quite listenable, I don’t think it will do too well. Nothing wrong with schlager of course, but voting audiences seems to be moving away from it.
The Playtones – The King
This rock ‘n roll pastiche is catchy and should do well but I think it would be regarded as too much of a novelty song by European audiences.
Part of the fun of Melodifestivalen is and Eurovision is not really knowing which way the voters will swing. Since the semi finals were brought in, the eventual winner of Melodifestivalen has always come first in their respective semi final. This would mean that only Danny, Sanna, Eric and Linda are in the running. But the real unknown factor this year is that for the first time, 11 international juries will be voting and will make up half the vote with the general public making up the other half. Watch the sparks fly in the Swedish media if the jury vote changes the general public’s choice!
Still, all things considered, I think Eric Saade will be eventual winner and that he could very well take out the Eurovision crown for Sweden. I guess that time will tell.