The songs in the second heat of Melodifestivalen 2013, the competition which chooses the Swedish entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, were considerably better than those which featured in the first heat last weekend. But that’s not to say they were great songs or performances, or even potential Eurovision winners, as the comparison comes from quite a low base.
Nonetheless, there were a couple of songs which surprised me with how good they were. I really quite liked Louise Hoffsten with her country-rock inspired, appalling named “Only The Dead Fish Follow The Stream”. Felicia Olsson’s “Make Me No 1″ was a good song sung well. I loved the melody, sweet lyrics and performance by Erik Segerstedt and Tone Damli of the song “Hello Goodbye”. I’m not sure if there was much difference between the song he entered last year and the one he entered this year, but I actually quite liked Copacabanana by comedian, Sean Banan (Sean Banana). It was unexpectedly catchy, and not as annoying as it could have been, though I’m not sure if it will stand the test of repeat listening. Although I didn’t think much of the song or the performance, the choreography for Anton Ewald’s “Begging” was quite good. Disappointingly, “Swedish House Wives” (a band consisting of three well know Swedish female singers) failed to make it to the finals or the extra chance round. In some ways I’m not surprised, as the television voting tends to favour the “young and pretty” as well as the “well known”.
For me, the highight of this week’s show were the production numbers and the comedy pieces. There was a fabulous Bollywood-inspired version of the former Melodifestivalen finalist , “In The Club” by co-host Danny Saucedo. Another highlight was seeing Melodifestivalen legends, Ann-Louise Hanson, Towa Carson och Siw Malmkvist back together to perform their 2005 Melodifestivalen entry “C’est la vie”. I saw them perform at Stockholm Pride in 2011, and it was obvious from then, they’re held in deep regard in Sweden. This week, they demonstrated they were able to take the piss out of themselves by singing a number of Melodifestivalen parody songs about them being quite old, including, “In The Club” which was renamed “Bingo Hall”, and “Popular”, which became “I’m A Pensioner”.
The other funny sketch piece was based around the idea of an “ordinary” Swedish family who decide to enter the pop music world as “Swedish House Family”. The song parodied a lot of aspects of Swedish life including reversed gender stereotypes (the wife drills holes in the wall, while the husband cooks the evening meal); the wife’s apparent drinking problem, and as she vomits in the toilet, the whole family is there to support her; falling asleep in front of the television, and how everyone looks and dresses the same. Apparently.
So overall, Heat 2 was heaps better than Heat 1, though I’m still not seeing anything that rivals last year’s Melodifestivalen and Eurovision winner, “Euphoria” by Loreen.