Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/SVT
What better way to start off the new Melodifestivalen season, than with a good old fashioned voting controversy. And Sweden is abuzz this morning, with allegations that SVT’s shiny new Melodifestivalen app has royally fucked up the voting in last night’s heat. Technical problems at the start of the show, gave way to the revelation that every song was then getting more votes than the one previous (the app displays how many votes each song is getting). And in the end, the songs that performed in the first, second and third slot left the competition, the songs that performed in fourth and fifth progressed to the second chance round, and the songs performed sixth and seventh – went straight to the final. So yeah, it looks a bit dodgy, doesn’t it? SVT have since come out and said that the app votes made no difference to the televotes – which is ever so slightly unbelievable. So we’ll have to see how things go next week. But whatever happens, this first week has been marred by the whole fiasco. Which is a bit of a shame.
So then. The results?
Eric Saade progressed straight to the final with ‘Sting’. The most Eurovision friendly song of the seven, the song with the biggest radio hit potential, and undoubtedly the performance of the night too. So no big surprises there. His inclusion contributed to around 50% of last night’s entertainment, so he deserves his place in the final. A final which is already going to be unmissable TV now that ‘Sting’ is in it.
He’s joined in that final by Jessica Andersson and ‘Can’t Hurt Me Now’. A *nice* ballad performed very well. So it’s hard to gripe over it getting to the final. But…..but……hmmmmm.
The second chance round takes place on March 7th and got its first two competitors last night as well. Coming in 3rd and 4th were Behrang Miri and Victor Crone with ‘Det Rår Vi Inte För’ (MOMENTOUS final chorus, but a bit of a non-event otherwise), and J-Pop parodies Dolly Style with ‘Hello Hi’. We LOVE that Sweden wanted to see more of these girls (or that Dolly Style had the good fortune not to be performing in the first three slots, but whatever). They’re like an arcade dance game come to life, and in fairness to them, it did seem like last night’s show properly came to life too once they arrived on stage.
Languishing in 5th place and out of the competition is Elize Ryd & Rickard Söderberg‘s ‘One By One’. Our second favourite song of the night, and one which would have been amazing at Eurovision – although not for Sweden perhaps. That’s the great thing about Melodifestivalen – lots of songs get eliminated from the competition that would be fantastic Eurovision entries for other countries, but Sweden always has something better lined up for itself.
In 6th place we have this morning’s poster girl for the voting scandal, Molly Pettersson-Hammar and ‘I’ll Be Fine’. She opened the show with a stellar performance of an extremely good, contemporary, and radio friendly song. She even WON the Aftonbladet reader’s poll of favourite performance of the night. But she finished in 6th place on actual votes. And no one can quite believe it.
And in 7th, finishing last (goodbye 8th place) is Daniel Gildenlöw‘s ‘Pappa’. Not a bad song, and nowhere near as dull as we’d feared. That it was never meant to cater for our tastes but that we ended up quite liking it, is a big credit to it we suppose. But in the context of last night’s show, 7th place does seem about right for it.
LET’S ALL WATCH AGAIN SHALL WE?!!!
You can stream the whole 90 minute show here. (our thoughts on that btw: Sanna and Robin did a great job hosting, the stage is literally awesome, but the comedy filler was absolute tripe – and it stings so bad that we lost an 8th song in order for the show to gain….not a lot really).
Here you can watch all of the performances and listen to the studio versions (aside from the two songs that made the final – they’ll be released at a later date).