Since a couple of weeks yours truly can be found on Twitter and the first Big Opportunity to test this new technology (cut me some slack, once you’re in your thirties you’re a bit slower in picking up things!) would be Melodifestivalen’s final. Yes, I am aware Andra Chansen would have been a possibility as well but let’s be honest: it’s not thàt exciting and one doesn’t tweet about anything – or am I not getting the concept just yet? It was quite different anyway: pen and paper were sulking in a corner because digital media had just made them rather obsolete and the word multitasking suddenly got a whole new meaning. Though the ground principle was of course still the same: you simply need an opinion and those I thankfully/sadly (scratch what doesn’t fit) have aplenty…
… Starting with the entire show. I’m still amazed at how muchmoney and energy SVT is willing to put into the entire MF circus and you cannot deny it’s an example for many European broadcasters, their Danish and Norwegian colleagues aside. The opening song (an adaptation of New York, New York to Baku, Baku that reminded the Swedish people basically of MF’s reason of existence) and the interval act (Helena Paparizou reconstructing Popular in a Cabaret meets Pussycat Dolls kind of way) are prime examples: MF is state business and professionalism is an absolute must. I’ve been focussing a lot the passed couple of weeks on the fact that producer Christer Björkman wants to position MF as the window display of the Swedish music business which I feel is a nice ambition but doesn’t really reflect reality as Eurovision still isn’t attractive to established artists who unavoidably feel Eurovision is a planet on its own when it comes to musicality which means limited reach, and while I firmly stick to that point I do have to say we got quite a variety in saturday’s line-up and there was enough ‘quality’ to prevent Sweden looking like a fool on an international level. Or was there? Let’s take a look at my tweets from yesterday evening – the proof is after all in the pudding!
David Lindgren got to open the show and seduced me into writing “That was very slick and I loved it!”. I still have to get used to the fact you only get 140 characters to express yourself. Vocally very strong, a very slick routine which came across very powerful and a modern sound: I wouldn’t have minded seeing this in Baku to be honest. Thorsten Flinck didn’t get the same ammount of support: “That timing was way off, sadly!” and that completely ruined it for me, even though his dramatic interpretation was quite impressive – something the Swedish voters obviously agreed on as they awarded him their bronze. The guys from Dead By April didn’t quite cut it either for me. One of my fellow editors at http://www.eurosong.be thought their chorus sounded like something Backstreet Boys could have done and I had to agree: “That chorus is indeed très boysband but I can’t help but think of Linkin’ Park – I’m underwhelmed”. Though I have to say those deep roars were still impressive slash frightening.
A whole different impact from Lisa Miskovsky then with her dreamy song. “Still don’t get the guitar, still hate the bridge, still love the chorus and the Mega Eimears”. The wow-factor seemed to have passed its climax though and Sweden quite justly overlooked this odd one out. No, then I’d rather have had Top Cats as one of the front runners: “I admit, I like this rockabilly ditty VERY much and I wouldn’t mind seeing them in Baku Baku” and I stand by that. That was one Catchy Chorus and I found them much more believable than The Playtones in last year’s edition. But even though I wouldn’t have minded seeing them take the plane to Azerbaijan nobody was able to convince me of being wrong in writing: “I’d say it’s pretty clear this will simply walk with it”. I was obviously talking about Loreen, the clear favorite for the ticket to Baku which was reflected in the support by the people in Globen – before, after and even during her performance. The same fellow eurosong.be editor considered this to be a perfect match between commercial succes and artistic interpretation and while the Euro Beat in this song isn’t entirely my cup of tea I do have to agree again: Loreen’s a fantastic performer and this might very well be the hit Eurovision so desperately needs.
I can and will be very brief about the artists coming up right behind Loreen. Young Ulrik Munther only got a very dry “Is this Junior Eurovision?” and writer Björn Ranelid and his blonde sidekick only deserved “I think this is simply awful”. I was happy to see Mirakel get slaughtered to be honest. Even Molly Sandén, despite packing her best notes, didn’t get more than “I’m really not that into Mariah ballads” and only show closer Danny Saucedo managed to sprinkel some doubt: “If anyone can beat Loreen tonight it’s him, he did really well”. Though I have to add I ranted on his choreography which I found rather clumsy and not fitting the Tron theme at all.
But I must say I enjoyed the final, even though the best songs (isn’t subjectivity a wonderful thing?) all got kicked out in the semis. We even got a nice surprise in the shape of a Belgian jury with the wonderful Sandra Kim as spokesperson – the cherry on top! Halfway through it was already clear we weren’t in for a surprise and Loreen would do well in warming up for a victory performance. She really obliterated the competition and, it’s on Twitter so I might as well confirm it here, I will not be surprised if we see a similar result in Baku come may. I’ll be at the ready to comment on it all, this Twitter thing is really starting to convince me. World, be warned!
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