This afternoon we sat through the rehearsals of heat 4 of Melodifestivalen. Very pleasingly, it’s turned out to be the strongest heat of the year. Which is what you would hope and expect from a fourth and final heat. Delightful.
The big show will be broadcast tomorrow evening at 7pm (UK time), and you’ll be able to watch wherever you are in the world, at SVT’s website here. SVT have already uploaded 60 second clips of yesterday’s rehearsals though – but as always, none of them do any of the songs any justice at all. So you might wanna wait until tomorrow’s show for maximum enjoyment.
Here’s our full report of what we saw and heard today, and what we think you can look forward to tomorrow night;
Charlotte Perrelli – ‘The Girl’
Text och Musik – Alexander Johnsson and Fredrik Kempe
Christ, what a way to open Heat 4. It’s electric!
On first (and second and third) viewing though, the song comes second in our conscious – because it’s ALL about the performance! From the first moment you see her – in THOSE shoes and THAT dress, it’s pretty much a Swedish schlager diva wet dream. The performance starts on the catwalk, parading and then exploding onto the stage in time for the first chorus. Then there’s the standard commanding of the stage that you’d expect from Charlotte (which transfers really well to the screen too). And then….THEN….the middle eight where she goes back to the catwalk and performs a solo routine in front of an LED screen. There are gold wings. GOLD. EFFING. WINGS!
As for the song…..well it’s definitely THE schlager song of Melodifestivalen 2012. We love it, especially the big chorus. We can still find little ickle wickle faults though – the intro and too much of the production is just TOO much like Abba’s ‘Mamma Mia’ (verging on ridiculousness), the verses are a tad forgettable compared to the chorus, and the key change is not quite big enough for our liking or hoping. It feels sort of silly criticising it though – it’s an undeniably great track, and definitely one of our favourites of the year. We’re almost concerned for our sanity that we’ve just managed to identify areas in which ‘The Girl’ is lacking. It’s brilliant – don’t listen to us!
OPA! – ‘Allting Blir Bra Igen’
Text och Musik – Michael Sideridis
Opa. Bloody Opa.
Honestly – what is this even doing here?! Even Greece doesn’t send shit like this to Eurovision anymore – why would Sweden? In fairness, the music was actually quite enjoyable at first. Then they start singing that non-tune over it.
The only saving grace of the whole experience is that their entrance to the stage is soundtracked by a traditional version of Antique’s ‘Opa Opa’. But even that’s infuriatingly predictable!
We’re all for diversity (said without a hint of humour or irony), but this Opa crowd taking part in Melodifestivalen 2012 is just stupid.
Dynazty – ‘Land Of Broken Dreams’
Text och Musik – Thomas G:son and Thomas Johansson
Well, against pretty much ALL odds, we actually love this!
Strip away the guitars…and the gruff vocals…and the outfits….etc etc etc, and REALLY, it’s just cheesy, bottom-of-the-barrel schlager. And so by rights, we’re completely sold on it. Plus – to the singer’s credit, he actually delivers the hair raising key change with a lot more vocal prowess than many of the big schlager divas usually do.
The staging is what you would expect – long haired rockers head banging. The cliches are all present and correct, which is fair enough.
This is one we’ll be playing after the contest. And we’re just as surprised about that as you are.
Will it qualify on Saturday night? Definitely. So try to keep the open mind about it that we just have, to maximise enjoyment, and minimise disappointment over the results.
Lotta Engberg och Christer Sjörgen – ‘Don’t Let Me Down’
Text och Musik – Lasse Holm and Lars ‘Dille’ Diedricson
Predictably – we’re all over this!
It’s just so adorable, the whole package. It’s all very feelgood. Songs and performances like this should come on prescription. Lotta & Christer give a thoroughly charming and enjoyable performance of it too. Lotta’s giggles and smiles are remarkably infectious.
Thankfully the song is equally as infectious. Super catchy with a show stopping intro and outro. In between rehearsals, the cameramen were actually just stood around whistling the tune – easily done after only one listen. It’s not your typical schlager song structure though. In fact, we were a little disappointed when expecting the middle eight to start – the song goes and finishes. Six minute extended version please. It’s too good to be just a measly three minutes.
Our favourite song of the week so far. C’mon Danny Saucedo – let’s see if you can compete with the considerable MIGHT of Lotta & Christer!
Hanna Lindblad – ‘Goosebumps’
Text och Musik – Hanna Lindblad, Linda Sundblad and Tony Nilsson
Here’s another one we were looking forward to quite a lot.
Hanna Lindblad takes Mimi Oh’s dancing-in-neon schtick from two weeks ago and gives it an injection of steroids. The energy of her! She bombards her way around the stage. Her performance in 2010 with ‘Manipulated’ was manic too, and she hasn’t calmed down since then in the slightest., which is pleasing. Her leg lift makes a welcome return too. The performance also plays host to a solo dance breakdown from her, taking place under a spotlight.
As for the song – well we love the massive chorus. It’s got an energy that matches what she’s getting up to on stage. And we like the string infused electro production. The verses are quite forgettable though. But that’s possibly because we’re too caught up with what she’s doing on stage.
We’re looking forward to the studio recording.
Axel Algmark – ‘Kyss Mig’
Text och Musik – Axel Algmark, Mattias Frändå and Jonathan Magnussen
This was all very bizarre.
He wasn’t singing, just shouting. And even then he was only doing it into the microphone half of the time. The rest of the performance is made up of him jumping and jolting around. Desperately trying to keep his head down and avoid eye contact with the camera lense, perhaps such is his shame at his anibilty to either sing or dance during the number.
We do love his blonde moustache though. And his outfit. And he’s super cute.
Lisa Miskovsky – ‘Why Start A Fire’
Text och Musik – Lisa Miskovsky, Aleksander With, Bernt Rune Stray and Berent Philip Moe
It’s difficult to know what to say here.
It very much falls into the “yeah, that’s nice” category. It’s a good song. The production is better than the actual tune or melody though. Three listens later and we couldn’t sing it to you now.
The performance is also “nice”. Two figures stood behind her draped in bedsheets, with the wind machine cranked to full.
Nice really doesn’t cut it though. Especially not in this heat – which is the strongest of the four heats this year. We’re liking five songs better than this this week.
Danny Saucedo – ‘Amazing’
Text och Musik – Danny Saucedo, Peter Boström and Figge Boström
Our highest expectations of the entire contest were heaped upon Mr Danny Saucedo!
And performance-wise – yes, it’s by far the best performance of the entire 32. The choreography is even tighter than that of ‘In The Club’ last year, which we didn’t think was even possible. But of course what’s most eye-popping of all the elements of its staging, is the LED suits that Danny and his five dancers wear. It’s impossible to avert your gaze. But then why would you want to.
The song ‘Amazing’ is really good as well. It sounds like the Swedish House Mafia giving Bruno Mars ‘Just The Way You Are’ a Swedish house makeover! And there’s a dubstep breakdown in the middle eight. The whole thing is HUGELY uplifting, feelgood, and catchy. It’s a big arena song. And it’ll be a big favourite on his future tours and gigs.
Unfortunately though, unlike the performance, the actual song itself isn’t our favourite of the 32. Top 3 for sure. But we wanted it to be number 1. And we do think that it’s gonna have some trouble beating Loreen’s ‘Euphoria’ in the final – which of course Danny’s ‘Amazing’ will qualify directly to on Saturday night.
One more thing of note is that Danny enters the stage soundtracked by Eric Saade’s ‘Popular’. Brilliant idea in theory. But it all goes a bit wrong when he starts mocking it and mouthing along to the words. We’re not really sure that’s how Danny should be going about things on Saturday night.
What a fabulous week!
The Melodifestivalen 2012 CD with all 32 songs on it is available for pre-order at our online store here. As is the new Charlotte Perrelli album. AND older albums from Charlotte, Danny, and Lisa Miskovsky that are under £7.
Y’know, just so you know!