As a Swede, I’m waiting with excitement for the Melodifestivalen season to start. All the artists and composers have been announced, so as of right now we’re just waiting for the party to start. And meanwhile there are of course speculations among the Swedish fans, about who will surprise us this year, and who will be the winner of Melodifestivalen 2010?
Last year I wrote a lot about battle of the giant’s and asked myself if the newcomers really would stand a chance. During the semi-finals I really thought the newcomers had it going on. They had really good songs and a lot of them had great performances on stage. And despite that, when you look back at the line up in the final, there were only well known artists. It seems really difficult for us to vote for artists that are not stars in Sweden. I can’t figure out if we simply have different taste than the rest of Europe, or if we just are afraid to send artists that we don’t ‘trust.’
This year, almost all of the artists are more or less famous in Sweden, but a lot of them are debutantes in Melodifestivalen. In addition to that, many of the artists already have their own fan base. But in many cases I wonder if their style of music is too narrow. To be really successful in Melodifestivalen, you need to have a song that speaks to a majority of the viewer’s. Nevertheless, I’m excited to see how the fact that almost all of the artists are famous will affect the viewers.
As last year, the voting procedure has been changed once again.
– You can vote as soon as the show starts on Saturday night.
– There will be 2 rounds of voting.
– The five participants with the highest amount of votes continue into the second round.
– The participant with the highest amount of votes in the first round will be directly qualified to the final.
– The second round of voting starts.
– The participant with the least amount of votes in the second round leaves the competition.
– Three participants are left. 1 gets a spot in the final and 2 will have to battle in second chance to try to get to the final.
Through the years I’ve wished for two Swedish artists to participate in Melodifestivalen: Darin and Hanna Lindblad. Imagine my excitement when this year’s artists were revealed and I found both of them in the line up. Darin’s breakthrough was in Swedish Idol in 2004 and since then he has had many hits in the Swedish charts. Those of you following Melodifestivalen at SVT play might have seen him as an interval act at the semi final in Malmö last year. Darin has a lot of Swedish fans, and I would say of all ages. Therefore, he will be really dangerous and is at least on paper a potential winner. His only problem is that his song is described as a mid tempo ballad. And looking back at the last 20 years, the ballads representing Sweden is easy to count.
One of Darin’s biggest threats is Ola. He competed in 2008 with the song Love in Stereo but didn’t make it to the final that year. Ola’s breakthrough was in Swedish Idol 2005 (same year as Måns Zelmerlöw, Angnes Carlsson and Sibel Redzep). In November 2009 Ola was announced winner of Swedish TV show ‘Körslaget’, so it’s obvious that Ola has a lot of fans and that they are prepared to vote for him.
If you look at the facts, Peter Jöback is a potential winner. He is well known in Sweden (and abroad), he’s participated in Melodifestivalen once before (En sensation, 1990), he’s got a voice of gold, he’s an experienced artist and Fredrik Kempe is one of his composers (Fredrik wrote both Hero and La Voix). Peter Jöback is a successful musical artist and one of his many assets is that he really touches your heart when he sings. Peter starts as number 8 in the last semi final, looking back at 2008 and 2009 you will notice that both Charlotte Perrelli and Malena Ernman did that too.
But, there has to be 10 artists in the final, so Peter Jöback, Darin and Ola will be accompanied by 7 other artists. And when it comes to the line up in the final, I expect this year to be similar to last year. The big stars will qualify along with one or two surprises. These eight I’m counting on for the final:
These artists are such strong brands in themselves and do not depend on a great song to qualify to the final. These artists always work with experienced composers and as good as always get really good songs so most of them should be fairly safe. But, then again Carola and Andreas Johnson did not qualify to the final in 2008 despite their fame.
As usual, my wish is that the viewer’s will vote for an artist that can bring us the whole package, a great song and a great show on stage. Let the competition begin!