Though there’s still no apparent “winner” for me in this year’s Melodifestivalen (the Swedish heats which lead to the final where Sweden’s song for Eurovision is chosen) I thought there were some pretty good songs in the third heat. Once again, I woke early, turned on my laptop and television, and settled back to enjoy the tunes from the other side of the world. Gosh, I remember the days when you waited for the DVD release to come through the mail. It’s all so different now. Although there are online previews, and lots of pre-contest online commentary, as with Eurovision, I still like to listen/watch with a fresh set of ears/eyes to Melodifestivalen.
Melodifestivalen always has a few surprises. And this year, it was the re-appearance of drag act, “After Dark”. The creative project of Christer Lindarw, “After Dark” has previously appeared in Melodifestivalen with “La dolce vita” (which actually did pretty well in the competition, finishing third in 2004) and “(Åh) När ni tar saken i egna händer” (“When You Take Things In Your Own Hands” – widely seen as a song about wanking) in 2007. Although I really like “After Dark”, I wasn’t prepared for just how good “Kom ut som en stjärna” (“Come Out Like A Star”) would be. It’s a really great tune, and the performance was excellent. Unfortunately, the song never made it through to the final, reflecting I guess the influence of a younger voting profile, and the increasing presence of those who’ve come up through TV talent competitions. I guess it was just seen as a little “dated”, though I really liked it.
On paper, I really should have liked “You Carved Your Name”. First, it was co-written by Kleerup, and second it was performed by Swingfly feat. Helena Gutarra. But unfortunately it never really did it for me. Instead, I was drawn to “Weight Of The World” by Smilo and “Put Your Love On Me” by Boris René (both great singalong numbers with catchy choruses) and “Human” by Oscar Zia (not the greatest song, but I thought the performance was excellent). On Twitter, I read someone say teenage girls in the arena where the contest was taking place were going crazy for Oscar. In a lounge-room in Sydney, Australia, I was feeling similarly.
In related news, it seems like they’re adopting “The Swedish Model” for Eurovision voting this year. And with Petra and Måns as co-hosts, it’s looking good for this year’s contest in Stockholm. Gosh, I wish I could afford to attend.