As I’ve been away this week, I haven’t had the time until today to catch up on last weekend’s “Melodifestivalen”. And that’s a shame, because it was the episode I’ve been anticipating most in this year’s Swedish finals leading up to “Eurovision”.
Two of my favourite from the last few years were in this episode: Shirley Clamp has entered Melodifestivalen four times – with such classics as “Min kärlek”” and “Att älska dig” – and last year, Eric Saade came within a heartbeat of representing Swedish in Eurovision with “Manboy” (a song which culminated in Eric getting awfully wet in an on-stage rainstorm).
Eric was back again this year with another “stunt” (he appeared in a glass box which shattered in time to the music) and with another “power pop” song written Fredrik Kämpe who wrote “Man Boy”. I didn’t think “Popular” was as instantly like-able as “Manboy”, though I did like the songs use of 1970s musical influences, referencing Boney M’s “Rasputin” and Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love”. Still, it’s a good song and it will do well at the finals in a couple of weeks time, Perhaps Eric will get to represent Sweden this year at Eurovision? He’s certainly the best in this year’s competition. Fredrik Kämpe, by the way, had two other songs in this edition, including the rockabilly sounding “The King” by “The Playtones” which also made it through to the final.
Sadly that means “Shirley’s Angels” didn’t make it directly through to the final. But they have made it through to “Andra chansen” (“another chance”) which precedes the final which is great because I think it’s a really good song that’s well performed well. Shirley is a terrific singer with a lot stage presence. This song was co-written by Alexander Bard who’s been involved in bands such as “Army Of Lovers”, “BWO” and “Gravitonas” who’ve delivered some of the best Swedish pop of the last thirty years. Another reason to love Shirley is that her dad lives in Australia, I understand. I love it, and hope it does well.
The rest of the songs are somewhat forgettable, with the best of the bunch being Sara Varga with “Spring för livet” (“run for your life” which has a lovely melody and which is sun well). Beyond that, I’d give mention to Sebastian (points for cuteness only) with “No One Else Could”, and “Tid att andas” (time to breathe”) by Simon Forsberg (another power ballad by Fredrik Kämpe). The others, “Lucky You” by Linda Sunblad and “Enemy” by Sara Lunholdt are both pretty forgettable. I can’t quite understand why “The King” by “The Playtones” made it through to the final except for their originality, or perhaps they’re popular on Swedish television?
Another highlight from this week were the performances by Lena Philipsson. She’s so great. And after all the anticipation of “Deltavling 3”, I can honestly say it was worth the wait of a few extra days, especially to see Eric and Shirley. Yes, yes, I know: I am soooo gay.