Melodifestivalen 2012: The stage has been set.

With Melodifestivalen over for another year, its nice to still get updates and ‘backtrack’ through the past edition so that we don’t make like Peter Jöback and life doesn’t feel so Hollow. I recently found this time lapse video by Gustav Nyberg depicting how the stage of the Melodifestivalen 2012 was constructed. Check it out, its pretty awesome!


Euphoria in Sweden! Loreen wins Melodifestivalen 2012.

Melodifestivalen, the Swedish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, has just celebrated its final at Globen Arena in Stockholm and was won by Loreen with the song Euphoria. It was the standout winner after the votes of 11 international juries and the Swedish public televote. Thus Sweden will be represented at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest with Euphoria, performed by Loreen and composed by Thomas G:son and Peter Boström. Check out Sweden’s 54th Eurovision Song Contest entry:

I am just thrilled beyond words! Euphoria is so much more than an amazing song. It is a work of art. Ever since the first semi-final, I was hopelessly entranced by Euphoria and while I’m a huge fan of Danny, I had my heart set on Euphoria and Loreen’s unique interpretation of the song. Her vocals were flawless, the performance was an artistic showcase and everything was absolutely mesmerizing. On top of that, its a modern, catchy song that is completely in rhyme with the time. This will stand out a mile at the Eurovision Song Contest in May.

Sweden, you chose well. Grattis till Loreen och lycka till!


Swedish Music & Awesomeness: Melodifestivalen takes place tonight!

The day has finally arrived! After six weeks of semi-finals and a second chance round that saw mesmerizing performances, funny moments and shock exits, it all comes down to tonight as the ten acts prepare for the final countdown to do battle for the honor of representing Sweden at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.

The country is raging with speculation and divided into two camps over who ought to win. With the international juries having a say, it is predicted to be an extremely tight race and I, personally, am refusing to even think about it or else I’ll end up with heart palpitations. I’m going to get enough of that during the voting anyways. Here’s the line-up:

  1. Shout It Out – David Lindgren
  2. Jag Reser Mig Igen – Thorsten Flinck & Revolutionsorkestern
  3. Mystery – Dead by April
  4. Why Start A Fire – Lisa Miskovsky
  5. Baby Doll – Top Cats
  6. Euphoria – Loreen
  7. Soldiers – Ulrik Munther
  8. Mirakel – Björn Ranelid feat. Sara Li
  9. Why Am I Crying – Molly Sandén
  10. Amazing – Danny Saucedo

Apart from the strongest line-up in a good long while, SVT have a spectacular show planned. This includes the long-awaited Melodifestivalen comeback of Helena Paparizou, the Greek-Swedish diva who took Greece to their first Eurovision victory back in 2005. She’s back in Sweden and will be performing the interval act, reinterpreting last year’s winning song Popular in a completely different arrangement. According to insiders, its going to be a performance like no other. And speaking of past winners, Sweden’s golden boy and Eurovision bronze medalist Eric Saade himself will be opening the show with a medley of all his hits. Wowsers! This year’s Mello is going to rock Sweden! And you can catch it all live on SVT Play here at 20:00 CET.

And don’t forget your Swedish treats! I’ve got me my Ikea Choklad Mörk, Pepparkakor cookies (you can find my recipe here) and my Swedish flag. Here’s to an amazing show! Go Sverige!


Melodifestivalen takes over iTunes!

Well, it certainly didn’t take long for this year’s Melodifestivalen entries to take over Sweden. In the Swedish iTunes chart, 9 of the top 10 are Melodifestivalen songs!

There are even more Mello songs further down the list and it would appear that this will remain the case for the next few weeks.

Loreen’s Euphoria is currently number one with Danny’s Amazing right on its heels. Lisa Miskovsky is sitting pretty at third place with a song that is a complete contrast to the first two. Clearly the Swedes love Why Start A Fire, so could it be a potential dark horse? She’s followed by newcomer David Lindgren’s Shout It Out and Why Am I Crying by Molly Sandén. Incidentally, quite a few entries have also started charting in other countries, such as Norway, Denmark and Finland.

One thing’s for sure, its going to be an epic finalen at the Globen this year and I can’t wait!


A Surprising Swedish Showdown.

Wow! What an exciting semi-final that was! As usual, SVT had saved the best songs for last that was a veritable battle with many casualties that had me watching behind a cushion under the sofa.

First off, I am very sad that the amazing Charlotte Perrelli did not progress further. The Girl (see what I did there?) is schlager royalty and a Eurovision winner to boot! That being said, The Girl was never a real contender, despite the catchy hook and empowering performance. I was not surprised to see it stall but it’s still disappointing. Nevertheless, The Girl is THE schlager hit of the year and Perrelli ought to get a decent-sized hit out of it.

A special mention to Hanna Linblad and her song Goosebumps. It was a very spirited Kylie Minouge Showgirl-esque performance with a nice eighties flair. Unfortunately, this too was one of the casualties of the night.

Which brings us to the songs that did qualify. After her haunting performance of Why Start A Fire, I felt that Lisa Miskovsky really ought to qualify and very well deserved it. I did not however, imagine that she would qualify ahead of Danny Saucedo! It was beautiful, authentic song and performance with a stage show that was more artsy than gimmicky. I think Lisa did a fine job of putting on a Mello performance without compromising her artistry and style outside the contest.

And then there was Danny. His song (and touted winner) Amazing was indeed so. His performance was not. Preferring to focus on the choreography and the spectacle if it (which was absolutely incredible in all it’s TRON-like glory), his vocals suffered and was not all up to par. His too biggest assets are his voice and his face and both got lost in the concept and demands of the stage show. He really needs to step it up at the Globen because personally, I don’t think his victory is a done deal. Lisa Miskovsky qualifying ahead of him proves that.

All in all, it was an epic show and SVT did a magnificent job. All that’s left is the exercise of Andra Chansen before the Finalen at the Globen. And the best part is that all the songs are out NOW on iTunes. Woohoo!

All images courtesy of SVT.


Mystery and Euphoria at Melodifestivalen!

The first semi-final of Melodifestivalen 2012 took place last Saturday and it was everything you have come to expect from Sweden: glossy, glamourous and hugely entertaining. But even I, with all my expectations, had them outshone by two performances that had me spellbound. First off, Dead By April made quite a monstrous splash on stage with their song Mystery. Introducing ‘the growl’ to Mello for the first time, it was something to behold. It was melodic and raw and I am thrilled that it qualified. You could tell that the boys weren’t expecting to, but really thrilled when they did.

Secondly was Loreen and Euphoria. What can I say about Loreen that hasn’t already been said a million times before? Everything about the performance was EPIC. From the song, to the vocals to the presentation. I absolutely loved the solo contemporary dance that was so unique, sophisticated, artsy and different from what we would normally expect from a song of this genre. That, combined with her flawless vocal… I was speechless by the end of it. I honestly think that this could actually be a strong contender for victory, not only at Melodifestivalen, but at Eurovision as well.

However, the true mystery of the night were the ‘Andra Chansen’ qualifiers. I thought the two spots would go to Marie Serneholt’s Salt And Pepper (who looked fab in the catsuit… meow!) and Afro-Dite’s generous slice of old-skool disco The Boy Can Dance. If you watch the videos, I’m sure you’ll agree. Instead, Sean Banan’s Sean Den Förste Banan and Thorsten Flinck’s Jag Reser Mig Igen qualified. Oh, and after last year’s third place, The Moniker came last.

And it’s only the first week! I get quite giddy thinking about what we have in store next.


Melodifestivalen 2012 kicks off this weekend!

It’s hard to believe that an entire year has flown by already but goodness knows we are ready for another six weeks of glam, glitter, wind machines and fireworks.

I am of course talking about Melodifestivalen and the fact that it all kicks off this week! This is what we have been waiting for ever since Eric Saade lifted the trophy in 2011 and we are primed and ready to experience the circus all over again. With the first of four semi-finals (Deltävling 1) taking place this Saturday in Växjö, we’re in for a real treat as we have Dead By April, Marie Serneholt, Afro-Dite and Loreen competing. From the clips that were released yesterday, which you can watch here, we have some really good performances lined up.

Hold on to your hats (lest they be blown away by the wind machines), Mello is about to start!


SVT reveals the first half of competing artists in Melodifestivalen 2012.

After teasing the Swedish and Eurovision public by announcing only the titles and composers of the songs participating in Melodifestivalen 2012, SVT have now revealed half of the artists set to perform them. Having divided them up according to the semi-finals they will be competing in, we can see that some of our earlier predictions have been right, with a few surprises along the way. Check the songs in the first two semi-finals and the artists who will be performing them:

Semi-Final 1 will take place in Växjö February 4th:

  • Euphoria – Loreen (Thomas G:Son & Peter Boström)
  • I Want To Be Chris Isaak (This Is Just The Beginning) – The Moniker (The Moniker)
  • Jag Reser Mig Igen – Thorsten Flinck & Revolutionsorkestern (Thomas G:Son & Ted Ström)
  • Mistery – Dead By April (Pontus Hjelm)
  • På Väg – Abalone Dots (Abalone Dots & Viktor Källgren)
  • Salt & Pepper – Marie Serneholt (Lina Eriksson, Mårten Eriksson & Figge Boström)
  • Sean Den Förste Banan – Sean Banan (Sean Banan, Joakim Larsson, Hans Blomberg & Mårten Andersson)
  • The Boy Can Dance – Afrodite (Figge Boström, Catrine Loqvist & Johan Lindman)

Semi-Final 2 will take place in Gothenburg on February 11th.

  • Aldrig, Aldrig – Andreas Lundstedt (Niclas Lundin, Maria Marcus, Randy Goodrum)
  • Baby Doll – Top Cats (Mårten Eriksson, Lina Eriksson, Susie Päivärinta)
  • Det Går för Långsamt – Mimi Oh (Anton Malmberg Hård af Sederstad & Niclas Lundin)
  • Ge Aldrig Upp – Thomas Di Leva (Thomas Di Leva)
  • I Din Himmel – Sonja Aldén (Sonja Aldén, Bobby Ljunggren & Peter Boström)
  • Shout It Out – David Lindgren (Tony Nilsson & Fernando Fuentes Vargas)
  • Soldiers – Ulrik Munther (Ulrik Munther, Johan Åberg, Linnea Deb, Joy Deb, David Jackson)
  • Stormande Hav – Timoteij (Kristian Lagerström, Johan Fjellström, Stina Engelbrecht & Jens Engelbrecht)

Referring back to our predictions, many fans will be pleased to see that Andreas Lundstedt, Loreen, Sonja Aldén, Marie Serneholt, Afro-Dite and TIMOTEIJ back in the competition! The surprise today is the inclusion of a brand new song Shout It Out to be performed by David Lindgren. I’m not familiar with him but apparently he has made his name performing in a number of musicals, including Mamma Mia! and High School Musical. So he’s got vocal chops, plus the song is composed by Tony Nilsson and Fernando Fuentes. That’s some serious Mello pedigree. The next batch of artists will be announced next week but so far, it’s shaping up to be a pretty impressive line-up indeed. The artists I’m most excited about are Loreen, Timoteij, Marie Serneholt, Dead By April and Ulrik Munther.


Sweden announces the competing songs for Melodifestivalen 2012.

SVT have announced the titles and authors of the songs that have been chosen to compete in Melodifestivalen 2012, Sweden’s selection for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. Have a look below:

  1. Aldrig Aldrig (Niclas Lundin, Maria Marcus, Randy Goodrum)
  2. Allting Blir Bra Igen (Michael Sideridis)
  3. Baby Doll (Mårten Eriksson, Lina Eriksson, Susie Päivärinta)
  4. Det Går För Långsamt (Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, Niclas Lundin)
  5. Don’t Let Me Down (Lasse Holm, Lars ‘Dille’ Diedricson)
  6. Euphoria (Thomas G:son, Peter Boström)
  7. Förlåt Mig (Mattias Andréasson)
  8. Ge Aldrig Upp (Thomas Di Leva)
  9. Goosebumps (Hanna Lindblad, Linda Sundblad, Tony Nilsson)
  10. I Din Himmel (Sonja Aldén, Bobby Ljunggren, Peter Boström)
  11. I Mina Drömmar (Nanna Svensdóttir, Thomas Cars)
  12. I Want To Be Chris Isaak (The Moniker)
  13. Jag Reser Mig Igen (Thomas G:son, Ted Ström)
  14. Just A Little Bit (RedOne Team)
  15. Land Of Broken Dreams (Thomas G:son, Thomas ‘Plec’ Johansson)
  16. Lovelight (Andreas Johnson, Peter Kvint)
  17. Mirakel (Fredrik Andersson, Björn Ranelid)
  18. Mystery (Pontus Hjelm)
  19. Porslin (Björn Olsson, Martin Elisson)
  20. På Väg (Abalone Dots (Rebecka Hjukström, Sophia Hogman, Louise Holmer), Viktor Källgren)
  21. Salt & Pepper (Lina Eriksson, Mårten Eriksson, Figge Boström)
  22. Sanningen (Michael Clauss, Martin Bjelke)
  23. Sean Den Förste Banan (Sean Banan, Joakim Larsson, Hans Blomberg, Mårten Andersson)
  24. Soldiers (Ulrik Munther, Johan Åberg, Linnea Deb, Joy Deb, David Jackson)
  25. Stormande Hav (Kristian Lagerström, Johan Fjellström, Stina Engelbrecht, Jens Engelbrecht)
  26. The Boy Can Dance (Figge Boström, Catrine Loqvist, Johan Lindman)
  27. The Girl (Fredrik Kempe, Alexander Johnsson)
  28. To The Sky (Fernando Fuentes, Tony Nilsson, Danny Saucedo, Peter Boström, Figge Boström)
  29. Kyss Mig (Axel Algmark, Mattias Frändå, Jonathan Magnussen)
  30. Why Am I Crying (Molly Sandén, Aleena Gibson, Windy Wagner)
  31. Why Start A Fire (Lisa Miskovsky, Aleksander With, Bernt Rune Stray, Berent Philip Moe)
  32. Youngblood (Fredrik Kempe, David Krüger)

Of course, this leads us to all kinds of speculations as to who will be singing which songs. We can make educated guesses, going by known artists who have co-written songs as well as looking at songwriting teams and who they’ve been working with recently. The obvious names at this point are Lili & Susie, Linda Sunblad (or even Hanna Lindblad), Sonja Aldén, Andreas Johnsson, Mattias Andréasson, The Moniker, Danny Saucedo, Molly Sandén and Aleksander With. I am particularly excited to see Ulrik Munther as part of the line-up, as I think he’s an amazingly talented artist. I’m also more than a little surprised to see Andreas in the mix again, seeing as how he stated that he won’t compete again after 2010, so perhaps the song is for another singer.

In terms of songwriters, we also have our usual suspects Thomas G:son and Fredrik Kempe, though not with the usual boatload of entries, which is good thing. There is one team that I’m really excited about, namely that of Peter Boström, Figge Boström, Tony Nilsson together with Fernando Fuentes and Danny Saucedo. I am of the opinion that the reason why Popular did so well at Eurovision this year was because of Peter Boström’s impeccable modern production. That he’s working with Tony Nilsson on a song possibly performed by Danny Saucedo is plain amazing. Another welcome team is that of REDONE! Clearly he’s not taking his ignominious defeat at Andra Chansen this year to heart and is probably seeking to do better next year. But who will be singing the song? According to their blog, Love Generation has just finished recording their new single, which has the same title as the RedOne entry! A third team I’m looking forward to hearing is that of Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad and Niclas Lundin who are the guys behind Le Kid. Given that the song is in Swedish (there are alot of those this year by the way), I don’t think Le Kid themselves will be performing it. Finally, Pontus Hjelm’s inclusion in the line-up is surprising but oh-so-welcome. He’s the songwriter for nu-metal group Dead By April and I have every faith the song is going to electrify the lot of us.

So there it is! A combination of new names, debutants and old faces that is bound to make this year’s competition a sizzling one. Especially after the fore-gone conclusion that was last year. Hold on to your hats ladies and gents, Melodifestivalen 2012 kicks off 4th February 2012!


Melodifestivalen 2012 gets underway with the Webjokers.

Sweden has kick-started Melodifestivalen, the country’s national selection for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest with the Webjoker round. SVT has uploaded a number of songs composed and performed by unsigned artists. Out of 570, a total of 32 songs have been shortlisted and divided into four semi-finals. Each week, SVT will reveal one batch and during a designated time, users can vote for their favourites. At the end of it all, one song will be selected to join to final line-up for Melodifestivalen 2012. Here are the songs competing this week:

1. Set Me Free – Trison
2. Wish You Luck – Billie Dee
3. How About You? – Keylas
4. Your Majesty – The Commoneers
5. Catch Me – Maria Klemetrud
6. I Mina Drömmar – Maria BenHajji
7. Seven Years – Flying Kite
8. All Day All Night – Grand Slam

Out of this lot, I quite like Catch Me by Maria Klemetrud. It’s got a nice ethno-dance vibe that’s also very catchy and very reminiscent of Sofia Berntson’s Hypnotized. Typical Melodifestivalen fodder and potentially good. Of course, it’s very important to note that these aren’t professionals and in the end, the selected song will be properly produced and a professional singer drafted in to perform it.

You can check out the first batch of songs here.