The phrase “Sverige, vi har ett resultat” translates fairly easily to English as “Sweden, we have a result”. There are quite a few other phrases used in Melodifestivalen, the Swedish finals leading to Eurovision which also translate easily. Phrases like, “text och musik” is also pretty clear to people watching the final without any knowledge of Swedish. The fact that most songs are in English also helps.
The most significant thing in Swedish Eurovision history happened in 1974 when ABBA sang “Waterloo” in Swedish at Melodifestivalen, but then swapped to English for Eurovision. Suddenly, the people with the “weird” herdy-gerdy language were seen as credible in the English-dominated world of pop music.
A couple of years ago there was another significant language swap between Melodifestivalen and Eurovision when Robin Bengtsson swapped the phrase “You look so fucking beautiful” to “you look so freaking beautiful”. Personally, I think the song lost its passion, its grunt!
Notably, there was a moment a few years ago when half the songs in the Melodifestivalen final seem to contain that word.
But that’s changed. In fact, you might say Melodifestivalen was a bit boring this year.
There was only one song in the first heat, and throughout the six week competition which I loved from the moment I heard it.
“Hold Me Closer “ by Cornelia Jakobs is a cracker of a song. It’s a classic “love gone wrong” song of someone who “met the right person at the wrong time”. But it’s performed with such intimacy, honesty and passion that takes it beyond the level of musical cliche.
Although it touched me in the first final, I never thought it would make it to the final, and I never thought Sweden would select it as their Eurovision entry, but they have!
Normally, I would write a week by week summary of all of the other songs in the competition, using the tag https://jamesobrien.id.au/?s=melodifestivalen. You can find entries going back at least ten years.
But due to the other stuff going on in my life over the last few weeks, I haven’t really had the time or the headspace. I’ve watched Melodifestivalen, but I haven’t watched it as closely as previously, and I’m just pleased that after 6 weeks Sweden has agreed with my first feeling :) Sometimes they get it terribly wrong!!
Anyway, it probably doesn’t matter cos Ukraine will presumably win this year, if we’re all still alive in May.
So I might concentrate instead on this year’s host, Oscar Zia.
Oscar is a young bloke who emerged through those music talent programs in Sweden and has also entered Melodifestivalen. I always thought he was not an especially good singer, but quite a good dancer, a passionate performer, and quite a looker. And he seems to have quite a personality. This really shone throughout this year’s competition. And he’s quite sexy.
In this year’s final, he performed his own version of one of my favourite Swedish pop songs of the last twenty years. It makes no sense to anyone outside Sweden, but it’s still lots of fun, and hey, it’s Oscar!
I also love the fact Oscar is a completely “out” gay boy. There might also be photographs of him circulating on the internet worth searching for, should you feel inclined.