Ahhh, Melodifestivalen, six weeks of Swedish musical fun. This was my first year watching all 6 shows. Or maybe I should say I attempted to watch all 6 shows, but then Uuden Musiiken Kilpailu got in the way, and watching two screens at a time is really difficult, especially if:
- Both the programs are live
- One program decides to show really loud advertisements or interval acts while the other program is still showing a song performance (which given the timing, is probably a ballad)
- The shows are in different languages, neither of which are English or have English-language subtitles.
- The Internet connection sucks.
As a result, I gave up halfway and just watched UMK live while following Twitter for live updates about Mello watching the program on SVT play the day after. Either way, I got to listen to all 28 27 (Anna Book got a free ticket to Dairy Queen due the song being performed in Moldova by a different artist) entries and enjoyed most of them after a few listens. Some of my favorites included…
–Bada Nakna– Samir & Viktor (did not deserve last place)
–Constellation Prize– Robin Bengtsson (sometimes there’s a time when you need to be told you’re beautiful)
–Kizunguzungu– SaRaha (the updated version of Waka Waka)
–Don’t Worry– Ace Wilder (summarizing the life of every broke uni/grad student)
–Human– Oscar Zia (out people are people too)
–My Heart Wants Me Dead– Lisa Ajax (a happy song despite the title)
– Håll om Mig Hårt– Panetoz (will cheer you up every time)
Then again, since I don’t have a Swedish SIM card, I couldn’t vote even if I wanted to. Eventually the winner was Frans, whose song “If I were Sorry” ended up in the Spotify world charts (and #1 in Sweden right after semifinal 4). As a constellation consolation prize to all the non-Swedes who went all pitchforks and torches on Twitter right after Mello ended, he still received 0 points from the Belarusian jury, placed second behind Oscar Zia with one point, and obtained only 14.4% of the televoters. He’s definitely not sorry about winning though.
If I had no clue to what was going on and turned on the video in the middle of the performance, I would have guessed that he was some British guy, whose face looked a bit like Ted Cruz, walked onto stage by accident, decided to recite a poem about his recent breakup to everyone watching him just because the stage lights were on his face, and won the entire competition against everyone who looked (at first sight) that they were actually participating.
I’m going to guess that Frans will probably keep the same simple staging in May. Given that SVT’s trying to keep the budget relatively low, that’s pretty likely. The music charts would say he’s doing that because it’ll be a nice contrast against all the fancy performances with a radio-friendly hit that jumped to #1 on Spotify right after his Mello performance in the semis. The SVT budgetary crew would probably say it’s because they don’t have to cover accommodations for backing singers that don’t exist, custom stage costumes, or much promo (because Sweden gets the hype simply for being Sweden). I wonder how he’ll place in May though. As of so far, they haven’t gotten any back to back wins, and it seems pretty unlikely this year.