Äntligen! Äntligen!

Gosh, I love the internet. You can lie on your couch in Sydney (as the rain intensifies) and via your television set, be transported across the other side of the world to Sweden and watch the announcement of this year’s host of the Eurovision Song Contest. Sweden’s hosting this year, by the way, after Loreen won last year with Euphoria.

When she hosted Melodifestivalen, the Swedish finals for Eurovision in 2009, Petra Mede came on stage saying. “Äntligen! Äntligen!” (At Last! At Last!). I wonder how she felt when, just a few minutes ago when she was announced as the sole host of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest? Normally they have a male-female duo hosting Eurovision. One of them is usually a local pop star (and sometimes former Eurovision contestant), the other is usually a local television host. But this year, they announced her role as the sole host on Swedish television a short while ago.

My money was on Sarah Dawn Finer who was fantastic last year as a co-host for the Swedish finals, and as the “character” who delivered the Swedish votes at Eurovision, along with Måns Zelmerlöw, the former Melodifestivalen contestant and host of the legendary Swedish television program, Allsång på skansen. I didn’t even think of Petra Mede, as she’s been “off the radar” a little over the last few years. Yes, she has had her own national night-time talk show, but it’s been a while since we’ve heard much from Petra.

And yet, she was so good at Melodifestivalen in 2009.

As well as being a warm television host, she can do a wonderful show-tune, with humour and panache. This is fantastic!

And she’s also a really nice person, apparently. My friends G&G, met her at Stockholm Pride as The Best Judge blogged in 2009.

I saw Petra at the Alcazar unplugged show that was also part of Stockholm Pride this year. She joined the group for the final song and sang ‘I’m Yours’ by Jason Mratz together. She was just very normal, no make-up, just very real and very down to earth. It made me love her even more! Then, on the Friday afternoon at Stockholm Pride, Yoda and I were sitting at a table in front of the small stage watching Magnus Carlsson perform and who should come up to our table with a bottle of coke and calamari? Yes, you guessed it – Petra Mede! She asked very politely if she could sit down and luckily our Swedish friend Claes was able to reply in Swedish. I was very unsubtle: ‘OH MY GOD, YOU’RE PETRA MEDE, YOU HOSTED MELODIFESTIVALEN THIS YEAR, YOU WERE FANTASTIC!’ Petra looked a little shocked until Claes explained in Swedish: ‘They’re from Australia.’ She politely smiled. Later, after the show, Petra was hanging around the soundbooth and I took the opportunity to go up to her and ask for a photo. She was very gracious and I explained that I had a friend who downloaded the Melodifestivalen finals for us to watch (since they would never, ever be shown in Australia!). I also explained that we watched the final as a group in our local pub on a big screen together. She was very interested in that. I said to Petra, ‘I remember the first semi-final. You were wearing that beautiful dress and you came on stage and said “Äntligen!, Äntligen!” (“At last!, At last!”). She said it again for me and laughed.

And here she is, singing with Alcazar. Have a look at the two bald heads in the front row to see my friends…

I swear, if Julia and Sam talk over the top of Petra Mede, there’ll be trouble.

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