It all culminates this weekend. After months of anticipation and weeks of shows, the grand final of Melodifestivalen 2011 takes place on Saturday night. So by this time next week, we’ll have our winner.

As for who that winner could be, it’s (to perhaps state the obvious) completely unclear. Thanks to the new voting procedure though, you can forget everything that has gone before. It doesn’t matter that a song from Andra Chansen has never won Melodifestivalen. It doesn’t matter that the winner is always a song that has previously won its heat. And it doesn’t matter that there is one artist competing that seems to be twice as ‘popular’ in Sweden as everybody else competing. And that’s because this year, for the first time, international juries will be making up 50% of the vote, with the Swedish televoting public making up the other half. That means that it isn’t enough to appeal to just the Swedish people, the winning song will also need to have an international appeal too. And after the up and down and all over the place results from the much smaller international juries at last year’s Melodifestivalen, fuck knows what they’re going to like this year!

Most of the opinions and discussions that we’ve heard or read about this year’s final, seem to point towards a two horse race, an Eric Saade vs Danny battle for Saturday night supremacy. And while we would indeed love Eric to be the winner, we actually don’t think it’s likely. He’ll probably win the Swedish televote, yes, but we just don’t see the international juries picking up on ‘Popular’ as much as they might on other songs. Danny however, will probably do quite well in both the Swedish vote and the international vote, putting him ahead of Eric. But then there’s also two other songs that we think will do very well in both vote counts – Swingfly’s ‘Me & My Drum’ and Nicke Borg’s ‘Leaving Home’. And we reckon it’ll be one of those two songs, if any, that challenge Danny’s position at the top. Oh actually, you can probably add Sara Varga’s ‘Spring För Livet’ to that equation too!

So that’s how we’re calling it. We think it’ll be a win for Danny, with either Swingfly, Nicke Borg, or Sara Varga possibly foiling his plans at the last minute. Although personally speaking, we would LOVE to be proved wrong and witness a Linda, Sanna, or Eric victory.

One thing is certain though – it’s gonna be a close one. Below are the songs and the order in which they’ll be performed.

*scream*

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Danny: ‘In The Club’
As we said above, we reckon that this will be the eventual winner. It’s modern, it’s Swedish, and it’s international – all at the same time. But it’s not going to have the easiest of rides to the top on Saturday.

Sara Varga: ‘Spring För Livet’
Fresh from Andra Chansen, and number 1 on iTunes for the last 24 hours. We’re expecting this to be the year’s ‘Snälla Snälla’-esque success story. Perhaps even surpassing the achievements of the former.

The Moniker: ‘Oh My God’
Also fresh from Andra Chansen this weekend, although unlike Sara, we don’t see this as a genuine contender here. And we’re perfectly fine with that.

Brolle: ‘7 Days and 7 Nights’
Oh Brolle! We love you. A lot. But this is surely a dead cert for bottom half of the finishing table come Saturday night.

Linda Bengtzing: ‘E Det Fel På Mig’
She won her heat with this, and we’re hoping that the Swedish public will get behind her again on Saturday. But what will those international juries make of it all?! Not a lot, we fear.

Nicke Borg: ‘Leaving Home’
This we could see as a surprise winner. It’s going to do well in both the phone vote and with the international juries. It’s schlager’s biggest foe this weekend!

Swingfly: ‘Me & My Drum’
As above, we’re expecting it to go down a storm on Saturday night, with pretty much everyone. Without exception.

Sanna Nielsen: ‘I’m In Love’
We’d love to see this triumph SO SO SO much. And of the two female fronted schlager numbers in the final, it probably has the best shot too. But it’s still a long shot.

The Playtones: ‘The King’
We have no idea as to how this will go. On the one hand, we aren’t worried about it being a threat to our favourites. But on the other, Sweden does REALLY seem to love these guys. And who knows what the foreigners will make of it.

Eric Saade: ‘Popular’
“I will be popular, I will be popular”. We hope so Eric, we really hope so. Good luck.

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