After an early night in bed – still recovering a bit from my cyst – I was up nice and early this morning to watch Episode 2 of this year’s “Melodifestivalen”, the contest which select’s Sweden’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. Yes, this is my life my friends…
I was reasonably excited by the line-up this week, moreso than last week, as there were a couple of firm Swedish pop favourites performing, including Andreas Lunstedt (from Alcazar), Timoteij (from Melodifestivalen a couple of years ago) and Ulrik Munther (who I saw perform a version of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” at last year’s Stockholm Pride). I knew a few of the others too, such as Thomas Di Leva from Så mycket bättre, though I don’t really like his work very much. In the end, Thomas Di Leva wasn’t all that bad.
My favourite was the opening track, Soldiers by Ulrik Munther. In stark contrast to last year’s performance at Stockholm Pride where he seemed very much the teenage boy, his performance was confident and strong. He was, no doubt, aided by the song which had a sing-a-long quality not dissimilar to Alexander Rybak’s Eurovision-winning, “Fairytale” a couple of years ago. Amusingly, I saw a few people refer to him on Twitter as a Victorian chimney-sweep, which should give you an insight into the outfit he chose to wear.
Speaking of outfits, the moment Mimi Oh came onto the Melodifestivalen stage to the strains of Frida’s “I Know There’s Something Going On”, I knew there was someone behind the scenes with a sense of history. “It’s as if Frida had been selling off some of her old frocks for charity again”, I thought to myself. Mimi’s outfit bore a striking resemblance to the outfits Frida wore on the front cover of her 1984 CD, “Shine”.
The biggest disappointment for me was Andreas Lunstedt. I have followed his career since Alcazar and I love most of what he does. Hey, I was there in almost the front-row to see Alcazar’s final performance at Stockholm Pride last year. I thought he was let down this year by a rather dull song. I laughed, though, when one of the co-hosts asked him about Alcazar and he said, predictably, “we’re just taking a little break”. My Swedish is normally not good enough to understand jokes, but I’m sure the co-host responded with “Oh like the Social Democrats”. Even if that wasn’t the joke, I laughed.
At the end of it all, Ulrik Munther and David Lindgren made it straight through to the final, and I’m fairly comfortable with that. David Lindgren’s song was quite good, though I found his performance a little odd at times, and occasionally his dance moves had the erraticness of Bob Downe