This Saturday, The Melody Festival tour arrives the best city in the world, Göteborg. This elimination round promises to deliver established artists as well as new acquaintances. Here is a short presentation of each artist. As always, I have not heard any of the actual songs they will be performing.
Ulrik Munther: Don't let his young age fool you. He might only be 17, but he has been around since 2009. He had his career break-through after winning the Melody Grand Prix 2009, which is a junior version of the Eurovision Song Contest, limited to the Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland). Since then he has had several successes on YouTube and one of his singles made the charts. I'm sure countless of young girls out there will looove Ulrik. Maybe his boyish charm will even appeal to the maternal instinct in some women, but all in all, I expect this to be nice enough, but nothing great.
Top Cats: Rockabilly. A hit or miss miss genre in my book. Let's see what Top Cats has to offer. They have played several local venues for the past decade, but through tv-appearances in the recent years, most notably Sweden's Got Talent, they have started to reach the general public. I look forward to see what they will perform. Sometimes, Rockabilly can be all about fun and charm, but sometimes it sounds really cheesy and dated.
Sonja Aldén: As much as I disliked Marie Serneholt last week, I love Sonja Aldén. As a performer, she is beautiful and genuine. She has a great voice and is an amazing song writer. Combine her efforts as song writer as well as lead singer, this is the 4th time Sonja Aldén participates in the Melody Festival. I'm a sucker for love ballads (when done well) so needless to say, I'm a sucker for Sonja.
Andreas Lundstedt: It almost seems futile to summarize Andreas Lundstedt's career in The Melody Festivals in a few sentences. He has participated as a solo artist three times previous and with his group Alcazar four times. As a soloartist he came in second place in 1996. Since 2003, Alcazar has been a Melody Festival staple. They have never won, but every song they have performed has turned out to be huge radiohit. However, the lack of first places hasn't stopped Andreas. He got to competed in the Eurovision Song Contest finals in 2006, representing Switzerland. I don't know what to expect of Andreas. He can undoubtedly sing, but I'm worried he won't be able to deliver anything we haven't heard before. But hopefully my worries are unfounded. Given his long career I will give you two links, one to his 1996 solo success and one link to one of his Alcazar performances.
Timoteij: Timoteij is a group, made up of four young girls, inspired by Swedish folk-music and pop. This is their second time in the competition. They participated in 2010 and managed to finish 5th place. I know what I'm expecting and if my suspicions are right, I will be quite indifferent. I'm not going to be offended, but I'm not going to be particularly impressed either. I like my cup of tea without the extra sugar.
David Lindgren: I'm afraid David Lindgren will not do too well in this elimination round. Which is a pity. I can't say I know anything about the song he will be performing but coming from a successful musical theatre background will unfortunately not help him a bit. More seasoned, more well-known and loved musical artist before him have failed in convincing the Melody Festival audience. Unfortunately, this show has almost always been more about flashing lights, wind machines and glitter than technical singing and voice quality. I have a very soft spot for crisp, musical theatre voices and show-tunes so I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy this, even though I already know his fate.
Mimi Oh: I love what Mimi Oh is all about! Side swept hair, too much hairspray, leg warmers, cropped tops and neon colors. I'm not sure, yet, if I love her music, but I will applaude anyone who let the 80s influence their wardrobe as well as music. Somewhat of an internet senstation, Mimi Oh seems to have quite a few fans. I look forward to see what she has to offer and to be entertained!
Thomas Di Leva: I've absolutely gone through a Thomas Di Leva phase in life, as have many. I guess it is inevitable, considering he has been in the music business for over three decades. Everyone who has ever embraced the odd and unconventional must surely have a special place in their heart for this unlikely hero. It is somewhat of a sensation to see him in this competition. The Melody Festival is all about main-stream commercial hits and Thomas Di Leva is all about kaftans and the harmony of the universe. But maybe it's a testament in itself, to how Thomas Di Leva does what he want to do, not what it expected of him. His rainbow spaceship might take you on a ride beyond your wildest dreams. Having never appealed to the broader masses, I doubt he will make it beyond this elimination round, but who cares, he will be there on Saturday, blessing the stage with some wonderful weirdness.
Right off the bat, I can't say I have any obvious favorites, but I do expect to like a few. There are several great artists and voices among these competitors, so it will be interesting to see how they will use their resources and what songs they will be delivering. I can't wait!