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Ladies and gentleman, your winner. Maybe……

Posted by Caroline on March 14, 2012

So Melodifestivalen came and went with all its attendant hysteria, and when all was said and done the hysteria just continued apace, because there are an awful lot of people out there who seem to think that after choosing this song, Sweden have yet another Eurovision victory in the bag. And Loreen’s song Euphoria certainly has everything going for it – for one thing it’s super-credible, the sort of bangin’ club anthem which would doubtless have contest naysayers shocked to learn it’s actually a Eurovision entry and secondly it’s already topping charts all over Europe which mean it’ll be firmly entrenched in everybody’s minds a la Satellite when the big night comes. Plus we are kind of liking the fact that it looks like what might happen if Kate Bush decided to sing a Faithless track.

But is it really a sure thing? Well in any other year we would be saying yes, quite possibly, but let’s inject a note of caution here – this is one of the strongest song line-ups in years, and as such Loreen is facing a lot of stiff competition in her quest to bring the contest back to la Suede – and besides, let’s not forget how many of their songs have seemed like runaway winners only to then limp into fifth place, or similar (Friends in 2001, Lena in 2004, Carola in 2006, Eric Saade and his stupidly catchy nursery rhyme in 2011 – and let’s not forget the even worse fates dealt out to the likes of Charlotte Perelli and Anna Berghendahl) Besides, there is always the possibility that her funky dance moves may pale in comparison to the Russian grannies. But all things considered – and provided she actually makes an effort on the night and doesn’t just assume she can phone in her performance and automatically get 4000 points – then yes, we would say this is a contender. Now if only we could stop singing it:

Posted in Eurovision 2012, Sweden | 1 Comment »

He will be Popular. Or possibly not.

Posted by Caroline on May 4, 2011

OK, so we’re not in Dusseldorf. Obviously we wish we were, but obviously since the UK is clearly going to win this year we’re just saving up for next year’s little Eurovision jaunt (and you’ll be eating those carefully chosen words when the Estonians win – Ed) However this doesn’t mean we haven’t had a lot of dispatches from the frontline of rehearsals there – and while word of mouth is strong on a lot of countries, particularly the likes of Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey, Russia and Moldova (who this year have apparently gone for nice understated performance featuring, er, a lady riding a unicycle and the entire band in giant pointy hats), things don’t seem to have gone quite so well for Sweden.

According to a write up from the very fine Eurovisionary website Eric Saade’s first rehearsal was beset by technical difficulties after a glass box he is meant to break his way out of in time to the music (the same stunt that featured in the performance at Melodifestivalen) failed to smash on cue, resulting in sore shoulders all round for the poor lad. And just to add to his woes, the run-through fizzled out in fine style when a pyrotechnic effect that was supposed to take place on stage failed to go off and just emitted a bit of smoke – leaving everybody looking a bit lost and puzzled.

Now of course we know it’ll be all right on the night, and we’re the first to admit that this song is a bit of a guilty pleasure for us, but let’s be honest – just how memorable a moment would it be if that actually happened on the night? Frankly we’d vote for him to win if it did, purely out of sympathy. Still, we should concur that this is possibly just one side of the story, as later on we received a press release from the Swedish delegation which said the following:

‘At a later part of the song, Eric is surrounded by a glass cage which is said to explode at the climax of the song. It wasn’t tried out today, but people have been rumouring about it.’

Uh-huh. Yup, that’s what we heard had happened also. (and with this remark we can see our chances of ever interviewing another Swedish entrant vanishing over some distant horizon, never to be seen again.)  Fingers crossed they can sort it all out before the big night because otherwise the live performance might just look a little bit like this. And we wouldn’t want that now would we…..?

At a later part of the song, Eric is surrounded by a glass cage which is said to explode at the climax of the song. It wasn’t tried out today, but people have been rumouring about it.

Posted in Eurovision 2011, Sweden | 1 Comment »

(Almost) the last round-up….

Posted by Caroline on March 15, 2011

With the exception of whatever happens to be replacing Belarus’ Born in Belorussia, which is being ditched after revelations that it had been previously performed (and we can’t decide if this is horrendous news or actually saving us from a fate worse than, er, having to watch it on the night), all the songs for Dusseldorf 2011 are now present and correct. And so let us kick off the final batch with this effort – entitled Get You – from Russia’s Alex Sparrow:

Now we’re still scratching our heads over the authentic, er, Russianness of the name Alex Sparrow, because quite frankly with a moniker like that he sounds more like he comes from Middlesborough than Moscow.  (his real name is actually Alexey Vorobyov, it seems). The song is the usual slickly produced affair we’ve come to expect from Russia yet just seems yawningly ordinary to us. Sigh. It’ll make the final anyway because they are Russia and, like Turkey, could make the final with an orchestra of goats playing the national anthem on upturned saucepans. But enough, onwards we trot to Azerbaijan – and as much as Alex doesn’t sound very Russian, their song, Running Scared by Ell and Nikki, doesn’t sound very, er, Azerbaijani. In fact it reminds us a bit of Keane. Which is pleasant enough but suddenly the mighty heights of Always seem a very long way away….

Meanwhile, it’s time to welcome another returning nation, San Marino, to the contest, after they made an auspicious debut in 2008 with Complice, failed to register more than a tiny blip on the semi-final scoreboard and then promptly ducked out again for two years. But nonetheless we love ’em because they actually gave the UK some points in 2008. You remember 2008, that was the year Russia sent its answer to Justin Timberlake, we sent that bin man off of The X Factor and everybody wondered why we came last? Don’t get us started. And no this isn’t relevant. We just can’t think of anything else to say about this San Marinese entry. Except it is by Senit and it’s called Stand By:

And last – but by no means least – is the Swedish entry. Now here’s a song which is going to enthrall and infuriate people in equal measures. Enthrall because it’s insanely catchy, ridiculous, over the top and possibly the campest Eurovision effort we have heard for some time. Infuriate because – well, see above really. Still, whatever you may think of Eric Saade’s Popular, however much you try to ignore the fact it’s essentially a nursery rhyme with twiddly 80s-esque electronic bits in the background – we defy you to find any other song this year which will stick in your head like this one after just one listen. The only problem being that it then STAYS THERE. And won’t leave. Help us. We will admit, however, that we’re finding this song irresistible – and suspect it will get rather a lot of points on the big night. Let’s just hope Eric has found his other glove by then…..

And that, as they say, is that. Looks like we got ourselves a competition…….

Posted in Azerbaijan, Eurovision 2011, Russia, San Marino, Sweden | Leave a Comment »

We Asked, They Answered: Sweden

Posted by Caroline on April 15, 2010

Every year around this time, we decide it would be fun to try and get interviews with as many of the forthcoming Eurovision participants as possible, (which generally involves sending out long begging emails to publicists, saying nice things about their country’s entry etc etc. and then seeing what comes back). And 2010 has been no exception. Over the coming weeks leading up to the final we’ll hopefully be bringing you quite a few of these, but to get the ball rolling this year here’s the lovely Anna Bergendahl from Sweden:

Introduce yourself to our readers and tell us how you ended up being Sweden’s Eurovision representative this year!

I am an eighteen year old girl who grew up in a small town with my parents and siblings. Music means everything to me, and I don’t think an hour passes by without me singing. I write a lot of music, and I always bring my iPod for inspiration and consolation!

I entered the contest in Sweden with no hopes what so ever. All I wanted to do was a good performance, and I really felt like an underdog. Yet somehow, I ended up winning the whole shebang. Outlasting a lot of big singers and artists in Sweden. I couldn’t believe it, and I still can’t! Right now I feel as free as a bird, as if the whole world has been laid by my feet. I am so exited about competing in the Eurovision Song Contest, and I will do my best, but most of all, just have a lot of fun.

What are you most looking forward to about taking part and what can we expect from your stage show?

I am looking forward to my performance in the semi final and hopefully later on in the big final. The thought of standing in front of a whole Europe is nerve racking, yet fantastic! I also look forward to meeting a lot of new and interesting people!

Which is your favourite all time Eurovision song and your favourite from your home country?

I really liked Carolas Invincible, and I was blown away by Alexander Ryback!

Which of the other entries this year do you rate?

I love Germany and Belgium! They are both great singers and I love their songs!

Many Eurovision fans have said it isn’t a great year for songs, what do you think about this?

I don’t agree! I liked a lot of songs and I really think there is a wide range of songs artists and performances in the show.

Sweden hasn’t won Eurovision in a while, despite being one of the most successful countries in the contest. Do you have a strategy to try and reverse this trend and bring the contest back to Sweden?

I don’t have the secret recepe to winning ESC! I will to my best and try to bring warmth, hope and a lot of love to the show. Let’s just how  far that will take med!

Eurovision always suffers from accusations of political/neighbourly voting. Do you think the new voting system with the re-introduction of juries has gone some way to changing people’s minds?

I don’t see the problem in voting for your neighbour! Of course you want to support the once closest to you. But in the end I think the best song will win, despite geographical location.

Have you heard the UK entry this year and if so what do you think of it? Any chance Sweden could give us some points (if we asked nicely…….?)

He is a great singer! I’ll do everything in my power to make sure they’ll vote for your entry!

Posted in Eurovision 2010, Sweden | 2 Comments »

While We’re At It….

Posted by Caroline on March 25, 2010

….let’s not forget about Sweden’s entry, This Is My Life by Anna Bergendahl. Because, er, we did (blush). Oh well. Easily done (rolls over for another snooze):

Posted in Eurovision 2010, Sweden | 8 Comments »

The Great Big Eurovision Experiment 2009 – Sweden

Posted by Caroline on May 8, 2009

malenaernmanThe voice behind La Voix, Malena Ernman, takes the Eurovision Blog challenge…..

How does it feel to be representing your country at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest?

It feels great! It’s really such an honour.’s almost like you’re on the national team – like Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Henrik Larsson!!!!

What are you most looking forward to about taking part?

Well…I think it’s a mix of the excitement and the adventure and just meeting the people that really care about this more than anything else; the fans! And I think there will be an enormous adrenalin rush up there on stage. You see I would NEVER go diving or parachute jumping…this is more than enough!!!

What can we expect from your performance? Are you planning a lavish stage show?

Lots of nudity! only joking ….. I think we have a clear theme that is quite clean. Someone called me the ice queen from Narnia…. There are 5 dancers dressed in black and I am all white. But no fireworks or anything! Pretty clean i would say. I guess I’m not your average eurovision singer… so we’re basically trying to focus on the singing.. if you do wonder what I normally do: please visit!

Have you ever been to Moscow and are you looking forward to it?

No never! And yes of course…I hear it’s a very cool place these days.

Which of this year’s other songs do you rate?

Norway! And the nordic countrys… And Ireland. Armenia is great. .. and England and Germany and Slovenia and France and… oh there are so many!

Which is your favourite Eurovision song of all time, and which is your favourite from your home country?

I think the answer to both questions is Waterloo. Abba!

What do you think about the debate over so-called ‘political’ voting?

Well… I think in some ways it’s unfortunate. But it’s also a natural thing. We have different taste in different cultures… I am from Sweden so it’s not really strange for me to feel I have many things in common with someone from Denmark or Finland. But on the other hand we’re all the same. Whether we live in Moldavia or Israel or Yorkshire or Brabant or Madrid or Stockholm…. I guess that’s why we do this show for a start – to tear down all the borders! I don’t like borders!!! I think nationalism belongs in football stadiums… the rest of the time we should all be as one.

How do you think the return of jury voting might influence the final result?

No idea!!!! In Sweden the jury didn’t care much for my song… but the people did. But it might be very different in Moscow…. Why do you think Eurovision is still so popular, even after all these years? Because it’s entertainment!!!! Unpredictible and almost impossible to tell in advance… just like sport really. And because it attracts so many great artists from all over europe.

Have you heard the UK’s song this year and what do you think? Any chance your country could give us some points this year (please…….? 🙂 )

Of course! And it’s really good too! She’s really lovely. I could give you a 12 right now – I do have quite a powerful lobby you know! And my account number is…..(meeeeeeeeeeps! – Ed)

Posted in Sweden | Leave a Comment »

And last but not least…..

Posted by Caroline on March 16, 2009

……it’s Sweden,  finally producing an entrant in the shape of Malena Ernman after what seems likes months of Melodifestivalen. As tempted as we are to stay on the fence about this one, since the operatic chorus has stuck firmly in our heads since we first heard it, there is also a side of us which can’t help saying, “Gosh, such a long selection process and this is the best they could come up with? How about biting the bullet and sending The Hives next year……??”

Posted in Sweden | 5 Comments »