The last elimination round in this year's Melody Festival provided a little bit of everything. It was a smorgasbord of the good, the bad and the truly wonderful. Out of the four elimination rounds, this was my favorite.
Charlotte Perrelli: Charlotte Perrelli always put a lot of emphasis on a dazzling show and she didn't disappoint. She also always perform something up-beat, and dance friendly and she lived up to the expectations once again. However, I'm not particularly fond of her voice, and I was expecting her song to be predictable and boring, and on this point I was right. The sound was very familiar, and even though I appreciated the nod to the 90s, it was too flat and forgettable. The Swedish public agreed and gave her a 5th place, despite her previously perfect track record.
OPA!: This was not good. I tried to like it but I just couldn't. The chorus was slightly better than the verses, but all in all, it was pretty bad. I might have appreciated it if I was sitting with a glass of wine at a Greek taverna, where they played some cheesy Greek CD for ambiance, but as a main act on the Melody Festival stage, it was way below par. And that's why they ended up being this elimination round's looser.
Dynazty: If I say 90s and Poodle Rock, I bet a clear image pops up in your head, with the skinny pants, long frizzy hair and the unmistakable sound. Dynazty provided all that. The sound was perfect, the look was just right and the stage show was very fitting. The only downside was that it wasn't anything more than what was expected. If you gave me sample of five similar songs, I would have a hard time identifying which one was Dynazty. So it's lucky, for them, that I'm a sucker for this genre of music and so is Swedish public. They were good enough to be given a Second Chance.
Lotta Sjöberg and Christer Sjögren: This was the performance I dreaded to see. And I was right to be apprehensive. This was awful. I only have one word, cheeeeeeesy! This is "Swedish Country" at it's worst. They may be icons within the genre, but I just couldn't stomach it. It wasn't nearly as offensive as last week's Björn Ranelid feat. Sara Li, but still pretty bad. Unfortunately, I suspected that they would find a way through to the next round, and unfortunately, I was right. They were in deed given a Second Chance.
Hanna Lindblad: I just had to re-listen to this song, I completely forgot it. Not only did I forget the actual song, but I couldn't even remember my opinions about it. In short, this song was forgettable. Even though Hanna Lindblad looked good, wore neon-yellow and the song was insanely energetic, it was still forgettable. That's never a good thing. The public agreed and gave her a 7th place.
Axel Algmark: Formerly unknown Axel Algmark surprised me. I was expecting him to look and sound nervous, but he commanded the stage and his energy was great. The song was fine, even though it had a quality that didn't sit quite right with me. I wasn't able to identify what it was, but something was a little bit off. But he made a commendable performance and I'm sure I'll be listening to this song in the car when I get a chance. The general public thought he deserved a 6th place.
Lisa Miskovsky: I mentioned that there was something truly wonderful in this weeks elimination round. This was it. I loved Lisa Miskovsky! Musically, this was the best song of the Melody Festival 2012. The whole performance was so light, delicate and beautiful. I was afraid it would be misunderstood by the masses, but I was wrong. She was voted straight to the finale. Will this song win this year's competition? Not likely. Would it do well in Eurovisision? Doubtful. This song is in another head-space than the Melody Festival. However, I would be endlessly proud of Sweden if we decided to send a brilliant artist like Lisa Miskovsky.
Danny Saucedo: Speaking of winning this year's Melody Festival, Danny Saucedo might be his name. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm afraid I might not be. He is a good looking guy and he sure can dance, but his club inspired song was beyond boring and apparently he has forgotten how to sing. His voice was very shaky. I'm trying really hard to find things I like about this performance, because I would hate to dislike our representative in Eurovision Song Contest. Either way, the public acted as expected and sent Danny Saucedo to the finale.
I've been told to expect the unexpected. Unfortunately, it usually doesn't apply to the Melody Festival. Sure, the Swedish public has surprised itself before, like 2009, when we decided to send Marlena Ernman and her club-opera. But more often then not, we send someone pretty, singing something generic. This year it might be Danny Saucedo. There is still a flicker of hope in me and I have my fingers crossed and hope to see Lisa Moskovsky or Loreen as the winner.
But more about the finale next week. We have another week of challenges to get through. This Saturday, all the artist who got a second chance will have have to battle it out in the Second Chance round for the last two tickets to the Grand Finale.
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