Everybody knows the feeling: you’re in line at the supermarket and everything’s held up by someone who can’t find his or her change. All traffic lights spontaneously turn to red whenever you’re approaching. In traffic it seems the lane you’re in is moving the slowest but as soon as you change lanes it’s the same. In other words – pun alert -you ask yourself ‘why me?’.
Which describes my saturday evening 18/02/2012 perfectly. I’ve been following the Swedish preliminaries for about a decade now and in that time I’ve had more than one opportunity to use my eyebrows for a Significant Frown but this year’s third semi managed to top everything. I’ve said it before: those Swedes live on a planet of their own and Herrrrrregud did they confirm.
It all started promising though, with another excellent opening number in which Sarah Dawn Finer and her young colleague Gina Dirawi stipulated how their not so Swedish names were supposed to be pronounced – without those typical Swedish sounds that is. It would soon prove to be the highlight of the show.
Not that I didn’t like any of the contestants – on the contrary!! The struttalicious ladies from Love Generation for example had me at hello with that fabulous little electropop number they conjured out of their bangs. Yes, their enthusiasm somewhat influenced their singing – which can’t have been completely live anyway – and yes we’ve seen this kind of girlgroups more than once but I felt this Pay TV 2.0 deserved more than they got. I gave them a 10, I should’ve known the Dimi Curse was about to strike in full force.
Because my number two was the odd one out under the name of Carolina Wallin Perez. She reminded me a lot of the fantastic American band Shivaree and keeping in mind how peculiar the Swedes can vote sometimes I was hoping this one would make the cut because of how unusual it was. It sadly turned out to be… The Dimi Curse!
But no fear, my third choice was so obviously going to make Globen! Treating us to a mix of the two songs that made Globen in semi 2 and bursting with a confidence and stage presence Dima Bilan can only dream of it was Mattias Andréasson‘s turn to have me believe I could neatly pick out the qualifiers. The Swedes decided differently. Or was it just… The Dimi Curse?
My number four would provide the answer and eventually gave me some comfort – but then again it wasn’t thàt hard (he says) to see Molly Sandén go Direkt Till Globen with her modern powerballad in which she as well, remember Sonja A., seemed to channel Mariah Carey. Or closer to home: Sanna Nielsen. I imagine that her closely followed break-up with Eric Saade gave some content to those sad (yet a tad cliché) lyrics. It’s certainly no Someone like you, what with the windmachine and that build-up, but with a bit of work on her English this should prove to be a worthy finalist. So no Dimi curse after all then?
I wouldn’t be too sure. Among the four I deemed unworthy of going further in the competition there was only one the Swedes agreed on. Maria Benhajji was the internet wildcard and much like those in years before she proved to be a bit too wet behind the ears. She simply sounded a bit inexperienced and her stuffy ballad couldn’t make up for what she lacked. Looked gorgeous though, I bet Courtney Cox wants to be her (again).
What Youngblood is doing in Andra Chansen is a riddle to me. The harmonies were, undoubtedly helped by prerecorded backing vocals, quite okay but the solos were atrocious and they weren’t really thàt goodlooking were they? And that chorus is such a hand me down Frederik Kempe shouldn’t even be asking money for it. Beyond my comprehension.
Which I mean even more when we talk a bout Andreas Johnson. How many more of his interchangable mash do I have to sit through? And how many more before everyone realises he just breaks a well known song apart only to rebuild it in a slightly different manner? Those who didn’t recognise Beautiful Ones by Suede (thanks Jonas G., Aris & Puddleduck for helping me figure out what sounded so familiar) raise your hand. Nobody? Thought so.
But the real horror of the night turned out to be Björn Ranelid‘s attempt for immortality. Well, he’s already quite immortal up north it seems but for some reason he’s having a go at MF. No biggie, I think spoken word could have a place at Eurovision but I’m thinking more along the lines of Sunscreen by Baz Luhrmann. Mirakel was anything but a miracle however with that flat chorus and that cheap beat and the chorus and those dancers and Sara Li’s screeching and that chorus! Is it a parody? Not a very good one if it is. A fat zero from me. Which turned out to be…the drawback of the Dimi Curse! Globen? You’ve got to be fracking joking.
So right now my love for MF is somewhat rusty. If this really is the best (sic) Sweden has to offer we’re not even halfway to Baku. I don’t even want to think about semi 4. In the meantime I might have a look at Google on how to lift a curse…
Or I’ll just practice this routine: