Standing at the bus-stop yesterday and looking down at my phone (as seems to be the fashion these days), I felt a nudge. I looked up and saw the smiling face of a colleague. We both share a passionate interest in the Eurovision Song Contest, and she opened with the line, “Is this the worst Melodifestivalen in living memory?”. I didn’t need to think twice before agreeing with her.
If you’re a regular reader to this blog, you’ll know that for close to a decade I’ve been posting regularly about Melodifestivalen, the Swedish heats and final which chooses that country’s entry. Heat by heat, the second chance, the final, I’ve been writing about it, with passion, for ages. Hey, I’ve attended twice!
But this year I lost interest at the third heat. Though I enjoyed the first two heats, I struggled to find anything of interest to say about the third and fourth heats. The songs weren’t very good. The performances were second rate. There was nothing to say, and so I procrastinated. “I’ll write it up later in the week”, I thought to myself, but I never quite got around to it.
Last weekend, Benjamin Ingrosso was chosen to represent Sweden at Eurovision. He comes from a well-known Swedish family. His mother, Pernilla Wahlgren represented Sweden in the 1980s. His aunt, Charlotte Perelli represented Sweden twice at Eurovision, and won once. His father is a well known composer. His cousin was a member of Swedish House Mafia. Benjamin won the Lilla (Junior) Melodifestivalen a few years ago, and has been performing on stage and television for most of his life. Recently his family were featured in a Swedish reality TV show, hence the rather musing tweet from Greg Poehler, “Ingrosso is a Swedish word meaning Kardashian”. He’ll do a fine job, I’m sure.
“He sounds just like Justin Bieber” my friend complained. And that’s when I mentioned I was thinking of jumping borders, and going for Norway instead this year. Former Eurovision winner, Alexander Rybak (Fairytale in 2009) is back with an awesomely catchy song. He may not win, but it will do awfully well. And going for Norway is the second best thing for supporting my regular team, anyway.