In Semi final 1 of Melodifestivalen, the Swedish selection process for Eurovision, a fan favourite called Loreen was expected to qualify to the final this year and hopefully do herself justice, which people generally felt she hadn’t done by not reaching the final the year before.
In that same semi final were 7 other songs. In the first round, I voted for a group called Abalone Dots, a Swedish take on a country ballad that I actually thought was the best song in Melodifestivalen this year – really well written despite the production.
However, that almost predictably in the circus of schlager finished 7th out of the 8 and didn’t progress to the second round of the semi final.
Where I still didn’t vote for Loreen.
In fact, I voted for Sean Banan with a genius joke entry which I really got as a Swedish immigrant. And it’s more catchy than the common cold.
However, looking at what Melodifestivalen is there for ultimately, it is to pick a song for the Eurovision Song Contest, and undoubtedly my taste wasn’t making me to do that.
Even in the final, by which point I ‘got’ Euphoria and I understood what it was about (which I have to admit, I have only just realised is basically a lyrical version of an orgasm…) and what it was doing as a song, it was still at the ‘very good’ stage rather than the ‘euphoric’ stage that so many others already had it as. My favourite attractive Swedish girl group Timoteij and their ethno-turbo-schlager didn’t make it (and losing to rockabilly at that – although Top Cats did well), and even so I was supporting Danny in the final just over Loreen.
Amazing is cheesy beyond belief, but is a 2012 version of that and, for the genre I don’t think I could ask anything more from the production or staging – my only reservation being that it was such a risky number, hard to sing fully live and such high energy and demanding – but that worked for Sweden the year before…
And then in Globen for the final, it was so brilliant, however what I voted for wasn’t Loreen or Danny, but Molly Sanden who’s live version of Why am I Crying? simply stole the show for me.
In the Eurovision Semi Final, watching it in a packed room of Swedes, Euphoria suddenly clicked to that whole new level, it had an extra slice of production and slickness that destroyed everything else around it – and then we knew we had a winner on our hands. We were scared after her coughing fit in the jury rehearsal but, being frank, we all knew it would be a runaway after Albania gave Sweden 5 points and Montenegro 7 to start the show.
Saturday night was in no way perfect, and I think Sweden winning (and the TV interviews and photos and mass jubilation all around Stockholm) made it special – I think I got really lucky with that.
But bring on Stockholm 2013 – and the other cities in Sweden can piss off because you are not getting to host this time. I am looking forward to a year of planning the most spectacular fan activities in and around this city for all the hundreds of people I know who share this passion I have. Thousands might be an exaggeration…
And now, well I’m absolutely exhausted, despite a leisurely bath and 7:30pm bed trip last night (although I did have the excitement of seeing Timoteij and other 21st century schlager legends like Danny and David Lindgren yesterday, and I can happily report that Timoteij would not meet the school dress code) took a quick nap but I set by alarm and I’m back in business for a late night.
I have to take a trip to the airport to say thank you to a special woman who’s flying back from Azerbaijan…