I can't believe it's already time for the forth and last elimination round. Only eight more performances to go and only eight more opportunities to be impressed and/or horrified. I suspect that I've already heard my favorite this year, but I would be very happy if this elimination round offers something even better. And it might. Either way, I hope and pray that we have heard this year's worst song. If the worst is still to come, I'll have to seriously reconsider my interest in this competition. Let me present this week's artists. As you know by now, I haven't heard any of the songs they will be performing.
Charlotte Perrelli: Charlotte Perrelli is a Royal in the Melody Festival. Not only has she won the competition twice, she also won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1999. In 2008 she re-entered the Melody Festival stage, and after some controversy, she ended up winning. She was crowned the winner after receiving the majority of the jury votes. However, the public did not want to see her as the winner. Given that she ended up not doing too well in Eurovision Song Contest 2008, I'm not sure how well she will do this year. I've never been a fan of her voice and I don't expect anything exciting, however I'm expecting a real show. I think the Melody Festival is ready for a new chapter, with new artists.
OPA!: What a fantastic way to make a debut. The soon formerly unknown OPA! is lead by Michael Sideridis, who is a music teacher when he's not performing with OPA! The band members are made up of Michael's friends who he met while studying music at collage. They're exploring a new musical genre, by combining traditional Greek music with Swedish lyrics and sentiments. It will be very interesting to see how it will turn out. I might be more curious than I'm hopeful, but I'm very much looking forward to it.
Dynazty: This is the second time Dynazty perform on the Melody Festival stage. But it's their first year as headliners. Last year they paid tribute to former winner Anna Bergendahl by performing her song with a heavy metal twist. Because that's what they do, heavy metal with influences from the 90s. I like it already. They look the part, they have the sound and if they manage to deliver it too, they will easily win me over.
Lotta Engberg & Christer Sjögren: They don't came much more experienced than this. This is Lotta Engberg's 7th time in the Melody Festival. She debuted in 1984, won the competition in 1987 and last time we saw her in this competition was 2002. Christer Sjögren has not been as frequent of a competitor in the Melody Festival as his colleague, this is his second time around. However, he is very well known in the entertainment business, having been a staple in the music industry since the 70s. In 2008 he competed with one of the cheesiest songs I've ever heard, but was voted straight through to the finale. Lotta Engberg usually do pretty well in this competition too and the combination of Lotta and Christer makes me a bit worried. I really dislike their genre of music, but I know there is a whole generation out there who loves them and what they do. Since this is their first collaboration, I leave you with two links, one for each of them.
http://youtu.be/b5y_jWOfRsA (Lotta Engberg is the first lady to sing)
Hanna Lindblad: Hanna Lindblad comes from a background in musical theatre and has starred in several hit shows like Sound of Music, Saturday Night Fever and Singing in the Rain. She is also an educated dancer, graduating from The Ballet Academy in 2000. This is actually her second time competing in the Melody Festival. She competed in 2010, but didn't reach the audience and her song never made it to the radio. I didn't particularly like her in 2010, but the fun thing with fairly unknown artists is that they have the ability to surprise you.
Axel Algmark: Speaking of unknown artist. This 22 year old has mostly competed in local music competitions. He has done well in those, but it is a very big difference performing locally and performing infront of millions of people. I don't know... anything about him or his music. But I will keep an open mind and maybe, just maybe, he won't be as nervous as almost all other new artists competing on this stage.
Lisa Miskovsky: Ok, you got my attention. It's always fascinating when an artist you like and respect decide to take part in the Melody Festival. Lisa Miskovsky became a huge star in 2001, after her monster hit "Driving one of your cars". Since then she has continued to wow her audience with her music, won several awards, written music for Back Street Boys and for the video game Mirror's Edge. If all this didn't make her cool enough, she used to be a member of Sweden's national Snowboarding team and she's still active playing ice-hockey. I'm sure I will like her song, but even if I don't love it, I want her to do well. So I cross my fingers and hope for an amazing song that will leave the audience in awe.
Danny Saucedo: This eliminations round's pretty boy and former Swedish Idol contestant. Danny may have had his breakthrough in Swedish Idol 2006, but he has come a long way since. Several radio hits later, he's once again on the Melody Festival stage. He competed in 2009, where he finished 3rd with the group E.M.D. He competed last year and finished second. This year he's aiming for the top. It might not be a far fetched goal. He is very popular. I actually don't mind him as an artist, however, if he will give us another club-hit, I rather see someone else win. I hope he delivers a good song and a good show. If worse comes to worst, I would like to tolerate the song we send to Eurovision Song Contest. I'm already preparing myself for the reality that it might be him and I haven't even heard the song yet.
This will be an interesting elimination round. If I were to guess, without knowing anything about what they will be performing, I will guess Danny Saucedo to the finale. Not sure who will be joining him. I have a feeling Lotta Engberg and Christer Sjögren will make it to the Second Chance. Maybe Charlotte Perrelli will join them? If I was asked, not what I believe, but what I want, I would want to see Lisa Miskovsky in the finale and I would want Dynazty to survive the first cut.