I’m excited to say that this is the first time I have ever watched the renowned Melodifestivalen and I am stoked!

Live from Karlskrona, we start with a fantastic introduction that walks viewers through the last year.  We get clips of the performers and then watch Loreen’s win.  Then we go to Baku and watch Loreen once again achieve victory.

And here we go and oh jeez!  Gina is doing a Swedish parody of Euphoria, side crabwalk and all!  It would be nice to know Swedish now.  And Danny comes in with his “costume” from last year’s runner-up “Amazing.”

What an incredible and lively audience.  And the show seems to be very well put together.  One thing I do appreciate is that they are giving the composers their moment as well by introducing them as well.

David Lindgren “Skyline”
You gotta love the introductions as the artist walks to the stage.  They are so corny but awesome!  This is a catchy first number but I’m sort of underwhelmed.  The choreography was good at some points and just corny at others.  A lot of spirit fingers and camera gimmicks.  Songwise itself, it’s a typical Swedish chessefest.

Cookies ‘N’ Beans “Burning Flags”
A middle-of-the-road guitar-driven pop ditty.  Again, it’s a by-the-numbers performance that left me feeling a little underwhelmed.  These ladies could really use a name change for the group too.

Jay-Jay Johanson “Paris”
A dark pop strings- and percussion-driven song with some French lines thrown in for good measure.  “Skyline” was the most catchy of the three so far, but I am digging this one more.  There seems to be more to this song than just the fluff of the previous two songs.  However, I doubt this will move onward.

Mary N’diaye “Gosa” (Cuddle)
Oh this girl looks like a lot of fun!  This obviously sounds reminiscent of “Haba Haba.”   Very catchy, fun, and Mary has a crapload of personality and spunk.  I’m not a fan of the song so far, but she is making this performance very enjoyable.

Eric Gadd “Vi kommer aldrig att förlora” (We’ll Never Lose)
The first song of the night in Swedish!  Anthemic pop music.  At first, I would have called it a mediocre U2-like pop song, but there are some interesting bits with the drums that kept me interested.

YOHIO “Heartbreak Hotel”
This girl is obviously influenced by J-pop.  Oh wait, I’m sorry that’s a boy?!  Oh this should be good!  The music starts and it’s got a hold on me.  I was about to write that five songs and I’m disappointed so far.  I just have seen how great Swedish entries at Eurovision have been and have heard about so many songs that were so good at Melodifestivalen.  This is the first song of the pack that I feel lives up to that reputation.  Pyrotechnics.  Performance.  Everything.

Anna Järvinen “Porslin” (Porcelain)
And now it’s a flashback to Eurovision circa the 1990s.  Lovely instrumentation.  But I don’t see Sweden sending a ballad like this to the final, or to Malmo, well unless they wanted to ensure that they don’t repeat their victory.

Caisa “We’re Still Kids
This is the female version of “Skyline.”  Bubblegum Swedish pop.  This is so much more evident when they go from this to the recap and “Skyline” is the first song you hear.  Sorry Caisa, the vocals were a bit rough.  And the quota for memorable saxophone moments has already been fulfilled, even with that cute dorky DJ playing.  We had Greece in 1991 and Moldova in 2010.  I don’t think we need one more.  I feel like this and David are for-sure going to make it, despite weak songs.

AIDA’S “MY STRONGEST SUIT” IN SWEDISH!? SHUT UP!!!  And then they camp it up with Danny and Gina too!  I was never really a Danny fan and found him a bit smug, but it seems him hosting is an attempt to make him more down-to-earth.  It’s working for me.

Cookies n’ Beans “Burning Flags”
Mary N’diaye “Gosa” (Cuddle)
Eric Gadd “Vi kommer aldrig att förlora” (We’ll Never Lose)
David Lindgren “Skyline”
YOHIO “Heartbreak Hotel”

The voting continues and then the finalists are announced.
is: DAVID LINDGREN!  Second final in a row.  He gets up to show off spirit fingers again.  I have to admit, I did catch myself humming this song.  So maybe a bad first impression that will later change.
We get the SECOND CHANCE announcements first: COOKIE N’ BEANS and ERIC GADD.
FINALIST #2 is: YOHIO! Another reprise of my fav song of the night.

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  1. Matt

    February 2, 2013 at 20:01

    I bet my bottom dollar that Yohio and David will directly qualify.

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