It's done! It's started! And it didn't disappoint!
The first elimination round of the Melody Festival gave us a smorgasbord of musical genres. At times it made it very difficult to compare one song against another. Many times it was impossible to compare at all. But with a mix of gut-feeling, initial reactions and future predictions the evenings contributions did eventually make sense and my ears could sort out my likes and dislikes.
Sean Banan: The confusion started right off the bat. A silly song, about silly things, sung by a silly artist. And it was all a part of the plan. Sean Banan delivered exactly what was expected of him. Was I entertained? Absolutely. Was it good music? Absolutely not! Would I like to see him perform again? Sure, why not? When compared to many of the other songs, at least I wasn't bored. It seems like the Swedish public agreed with me. Not quite good enough to qualify directly to the finale, but good enough to get a second chance.
Abalone Dots: Pretty girls who could sing and play instruments. They sounded good enough and their songs was not at all offensive. I expected to dislike them, but ended up being pleasantly surprised. If my suspicions are right, I will be happily singing along to this tune in the future. They didn't qualify passed this round, which is unfortunate, I would have wanted to give them a second chance.
The Moniker: In all honesty, this song didn't get a fair chance. It turned out to be nearly impossible to get an impression, the website was buffering throughout the entire performance. The few bits and pieces that did come through made no sense. After seeing the publics vote, maybe it wasn't just the buffering, the song didn't seem to make sense to the public either. The Moniker finished in last place in this elimination round.
Afro-Dite: Afro-Dite looked great, especially being ladies in their late 40s. They might have aged great, but unfortunately their music has just aged. High energy, very catchy and lots of glitter and sparkles, but the song turned boring within minutes. In that sense it was just as I expected and feared. It was nice seeing you ladies again, but I agree with the Swedish public, once is more than enough.
Dead by April: I liked this, I liked it a lot. It was refreshing to see how the Melody Festival has evolved and included metalcore with growling. I have a soft spot for rock, especially in the Melody Festival and this won me over. Surprisingly, it also won the hearts of the Swedish public. Not only did they survive passed the first elimination round, but they won one of the coveted tickets to the finale.
Marie Serneholt: This turned out to be one of the high-lights of the night. Marie performed an ok song that I'm sure will be played at various night clubs this summer. But as soon as she stepped onto the stage, all these feelings started to bubble up. With fingers crossed I hope to get my way. And surely I did. It seems like I'm not the only one who has an issue with Marie. She did NOT qualify to beyond this round and unlike last year, when she hosted the Melody Festival, I don't need to see her again after this week!
Torsten Flinck och Revolutionsorkestern: My guess is that you either like this kind of music or you don't. Not unlike Marmite. And just like Marmite, this is not something I digest easily. In my opinion, this was this week's bottom of the barrel. But as I suspected, there is an audience out there, who enjoy what Torsten had to offer and that audience was big enough to give him a second chance. I can't say I look forward to his repeat appearance.
Loreen: Thank you for bringing good music to the Melody Festival! My favorite of the night. I'm always excited to strengthen the bridge between good music and Eurovision Song Contest music. I love Eurovision, but the successful songs in Eurovision tend to be on the cheesy side of things. It needs to be very catchy as it has to attract a wide audience right away. What Loreen offered was not cheesy, but fresh. It was interesting yet still approchable. On top of it all, she looked great. The Swedish public agreed with me, they sent her straight through to the finale. I have a sneaking feeling she might turn out to be my overall favorite this year.
All in all, it was a good week. The show was good, the hosts were great, the songs were ok, but more importantly, the results were amazing! Hopefully Sweden will keep up the good work the coming weeks!