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Julie's Melodifestivalen Blog

A Swedish schlager fan watches so you don't have to

Panel on Semi-final 2: Eurovision Song Contest

May 13th, 2013 by Julie

Time for the panel to decide what we think about the songs in semi-final two.

1. Lithuania: “Here We Go” –  PeR

Dennis: Lithuania’s stylist certainly hit a jackpot. It feels a bit Waterloo-inspired. However, the song is not an ABBA-classic at all. Unfortunatley. To talk your way through a song never worked. 2 points.

Sofia: Bad Robbie Williams-copy. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. 2 points for the glitter.

Julie: I like the chorus and the outfits. The rap isn’t the best though. 3 points.

2. San Marino: “Crisalide” – Valentina Monetta

Dennis: San Marino marches into ESC with a slow-tempo song. Pee break time. 3 points.

Sofia: Last year Valentina was funny. This is just bad.  1 point.

Julie: I don’t understand the video, and hope for a better stage performance. Don’t really like the song so far. 2 points.

3. Macedonien: “Pred Da Se Razdeni” – Esma & Lozano

Dennis: A failed sing-along song. Disaster. 1 point.

Sofia: It could have been so much better. Instead it feels like a wierd after party. 2 points.

Julie: I am so confused… It feels like to decent songs, made into one and it isn’t bad, but not good either. 2 points.

4. Azerbaijan: “Hold me” – Farid Mammadov

Dennis: Azerbaijan sends a song depending on its looks. It is harmonic and sounds a bit like Yohio’s song from the Swedish Melodifestivalen. I like it! 5 points.

Sofia: The poor guy is crying. Well, he is hot, so 3 points.

Julie: I like Farid and the chorus really hits a nerve in me. 4 points.

5. Finland: “Marry Me” – Krista Siegfrids

Dennis: Sounds like Gwen Steffani mixed with Christmas-carol-pop. You can do better Finland! 2 points.

Sofia: A dorky, Finnish Katy Perry. Not my taste, but I do think it can make it to the final. 2 points.

Julie: Modern gum-pop and I like it! I hope for a good show, that could make it or break it. 4 points.
6. Malta: “Tomorrow” – Gianluca Bezzina

Dennis: It is called “Tomorrow”, but I do not want to see this or hear this either today or tomorrow. 2 points.

Sofia: I like this. He is a sweet guy that goes through the screen. I hope for a nice routine. 4 points.

Julie: Sweet song and sweet guy, but I fear it will be boring live. I think Swedish people will like this song, it has a Swede-pop feel. 3 points.
7. Bulgaria: “Samo Shampioni” (Only Champions) – Elitsa & Stoyan

Dennis: Eh, say what? Middle Easter-pop that failed. 1 point.

Sofia: I shouldn’t say boring, but so bad! What is this. 0 points.

Julie: I don’t know what to think… What is up with this song, and the routine? The happy guy with all the drums, the bag-pipe dude and the singers jacket? Ugh. 1 point.

8. Iceland: “Ég á Líf” – Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson

Dennis: Iceland signs in the native tongue – so beautiful. Extra points for that. 3 points.

Sofia: Half-cozy but it needs more action to make it to the final. 2 points.

Julie: A pretty song, but it is to slow and to calm to get attention in the semi-final I think. 2 points.
9. Greece: “Alcohol Is Free” – Koza Mostra and Agathonas Iakovidis

Dennis: Alcohol is Free? Is this a political message, because I don’t get it. No no no. 0 points.

Sofia: Not a winner but a fresh song in a so far not impressive competition. 3 points.

Julie: Greek men in kilt? Who will give me free alcohol? Hey, the singer is cute, it makes me wanna dance and somehow it is charming. 4 points
10. Israel: “Rak Bishvilo” – Moran Mazor

Dennis: Another girl in a long dress singing a slow ballad. Not working. Bad and more bad. 1 point.

Sofia: I don’t understand a word, but I love Israel’s Adele. 4 points.

Julie: Horrible dress, but she gets my attention. Powerful. 3 points.
11. Armenia: “Lonely Planet” – Dorians

Dennis: Feels like a very patriotic song, which makes it a no no. 1 point.

Sofia: Not a bad song, but pale. Not making it to the final. 2 points.

Julie: One of those “save the planet and change the world”-song, and I do not fancy it. Sorry Dorians. 2 points.
12. Hungary: “Kedvesem” (Zoohacker Remix) – ByeAlex

Dennis: Feels like they tried to do a Beatles song and failed massivly. One of the worst songs. 1 point.

Sofia: Another cutie-song. Not my cup of tea. 2 points.

Julie: I don’t understand anything, and in this case that is not a good thing. 1 point.
13. Norway: “I Feed You My Love” – Margaret Berger

Dennis: Norway falls flat, however Sweden will probobly givet hem their 12 point, so I give her 3 points.

Sofia: Yummy! Hot girl, pretty boring song if you think about it, but I think it has something that the competitions lacks. 5 points.

Julie: I love this song. I love Margarete. It is so cool, fresh and yet is so simple. 5 points.
14. Albania: “Identitet” – Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko

Dennis: Stop singing hysterical death-rock songs. 1 point.

Sofia: Not what I will spend three minutes on. Pee break. 1 point.

Julie: I am a rock girl. But this is just not good. 1 point.
15. Georga: “Waterfall” – Nodi Tatishvili & Sophie Gelovani

Dennis: Another dress. Another girl. Not working this time either. Pee break. 2 points.

Sofia: So cheesy it will make it to the final. But pale and dull? 2 points.

Julie: I  like this a lot. It is a duet that can become really nice on stage. True Eurovision power! 5 points.
16. Schwitzerland: “You And Me” – Takasa

Dennis: A modern version of “Hardrock Halleluja”. Doesn’t fit the competition. 1 point.

Sofia: Sing-along feel. Will get stuck on your mind for sure. 3 points.

Julie: Could be better on stage if they do a good show. But right now I am not impressed. 2 points.
17. Rumania: “It’s My Life” – Cezar

Dennis: A more sleazy guy is hard to find. Il Divo but single? 10 points for the outfit but 3 points for the song.

Sofia: Looked away for a second and expected a fat lady. Looked towards the screen and … What the ? Confused. 1 point.

Julie: He loses me after two seconds, he signs so bad. Come on. Come up with something new, and better. 1 point.

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Germany and Eurovison Song Contest

May 4th, 2013 by Julie

Anastasia lets us in on how Germans watch Eurovision Song Contest. What do they think about the competition and how much do they want to win again?

What type of take out progress do you have in Germany? How do you choose who to represent Germany in ESC? Do you follow that process/show?

A couple of months before the contest, Germany takes a “preliminary decision.” There are 12 singers or bands that present their songs and both a jury and the audience can vote for their favorite. The show is broadcast on TV and radio.
However, as Germany was unsuccessful for many years, they changed the system in 2010.

There was a casting show called “Our star for Oslo” (In German: Unser Star für Oslo) which was liked by the Germans very much because it offered unknown singers or talents to participate (in contrast to the original take out process). Lena won this show and also the ESC. Due to this success, this show was repeated last year (“our star for Baku”).

This year, we go back to the usual way, however. I watched the 2 casting shows in 2010 and 2012 but usually do not watch the preliminary decision.

What is your relationship to Eurovision?

It’s sort of a tradition and used to be a family come-together where we all sit together, watch it and make comments about the performers.

Do you watch Eurovision? All of it or just the final?

Yes, but just the final.

How much do you care about how well your country does in Eurovision?

I’m always curious who is going to perform for Germany and if the singer is liked by other countries, but I’m not affected by the results very much meaning that I’m neither disappointed when it’s a bad result or extremely proud when it’s a good one.

Is there a lot about the national take outs and ESC in the media in your country?

Yes, especially, in the last 2 years when there was this special casting show for the contest that went on for several weeks. After Lena had won the contest for Germany it was even more in the media as it was such a success.

Is ESC a big thing your country? How do you notice it?

There’s quite a lot about it in the media. As Germany did not well in the contest for such a long time, people stopped to believe that it was possible to win this contest.

It was watched by many people but most of them knew that the results for Germany would be bad anyway, so I felt that the singers were not supported very much. Lena, however, changed this perception and people start to take it more seriously, so the casting show in 2010 made ESC become a very big thing again.

Is it accepted to actually like ESC in your country? Or is it seen to be a bit dorky?

Even though that it has often been considered to be kind of dorky until 2010, a lot of people watched it. Lena’s success has changed the perception of the contest, however and Germany has become more ambitious in this regard and started to take it more seriously again.

But still, ESC is often criticized because of the distribution of the points: One can notice that the number of points given by the single countries is influenced by political circumstances, e.g. neighbors always give points to each other.

What is your favorit ESC song ever? Both German and not German?

German: Lena’s “Satellite” – of course , Non-German: there are simply to many and I don’t remember most of them. The first winner songs I like that come to my mind: Loreen-Euphoria & Alexander Rybak-Fairytale.

Competing this year for Germany is Cascada

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Semi-final One: What do we think of the songs?

May 3rd, 2013 by Julie

1. Austria: “Shine” – Natália Kelly

Dennis: Unfortunately Austria, the fan isn’t working. To send an “Idol” to Eurovision doesn’t work, and the girly-style clashes completely with the message of the song. 2 points.

Sofia: Shine … so booooring. She gets 1 point for an okay voice. But the styling, the song and the song is lame.

Julie: Shine isn’t the most innovative title, and it is pretty dull. Powerful voice though. So I give the song 3 points.

2. Estonia: “Et uus saaks alguse” – Birgit Õigemeel

Sofia: Feels like a school performance with a hot girl. 2 points.

Dennis: To sing in your mothertongue usually works, however not this time Birgit. Try again 2014. 2 points.

Julie: Yawn. Boring song and boring dress and boring number. I do not like this. 1 point.

3. Slovenien: “Straight Into Love” – Hannah

Dennis: If Slovenia manages to put on a good show this song will be in the top ten. Really good Easter-European pop! 3 points

Julie: A bit confusing, BUT hey, I will play this at a party! It has a flare of euro-disco over it and I only hope she sings that good live! The stunning glitter dress makes it very Eurovision. Love it. 4 points

Sofia: YES DISCO! She could dance a bit more, and the questions is can she sing live? 3 points.

4. Kroatien: “Mižerja” – Klapa s Mora

Sofia: Croatia’s Il Divo. At least they sing well…. Well, almost. 1 point.

Dennis: I am sorry Croatia. The”Il Divo”-card really doesn’t work this time. It is a typical “I need to pee”-song. 2 points.

Julie: No stage presence, and it feels like it has been done. But they get 1 point for contributing with local culture!

5. Danmark: “Only Teardrops” – Emmelie de Forest

Sofia: I don’t really understand the hype? Someone apparently thought Loreen was cool. Unfortunatley I think it is a winner. 5 points.

Julie: I really don’t fancy this. I mean it isn’t bad, but it isn’t great either. 3 points.

Dennis: Denmark usually goes far when Sweden arranges ESC. This song is a favorite together with Germany if you look at the polls. I think it will take second place. Just put on a really good show! Barefoot feels so Loreen though, so step up Denmark! 5 points

6. Ryssland: “What If” – Dina Garipova

Dennis: Russia always send good songs with a good message. Top ten, of course. 3 points.

Julie: Every year there is one song about saving the world, creating world peace and loving everyone. This is this year’s. Been there, done that! Come up with something new. 1 point.

Sofia: The Croatian number’s girlfriend? 2 points.

7. Ukraina: “Gravity” – Zlata Ognevich

Sofia: I keep waiting and waiting and waiting for a chorus… was there one?2 points.

Julie: This doesn’t do anything for me. It is just plain, trying to be something it doesn’t reach up to be. It isn’t terrible but I just doesn’t give me anything. 1 point.

Dennis: A failed Disney song. Maybe it will be better live. 2 points.

8. Nederländerna: “Birds” – Anouk

Dennis: One of my favorite songs. Simple and clean. It has a Birgit Bardot feel to it. 5 points.

Sofia: This is very genuine. Best ballade so far! 3 points.

Julie: I know that everyone thinks this is such a great song. But I am not impressed. I hope that the stage show will impress me. But so far only 2 points from me.

9. Montenegro: “Igranka – Who see

Sofia: This was actually okay, but not more than that. I am a bit tired of dubstep. But it gets a plus for the rap, even if it can get a bit cheesy live. 2 points.

Dennis: Failed death-rock. Sorry, I just get scared. 1 point.

Julie: This is a bit of a mess I would say. I am intrigued by how this will be live though. Might give us a good laugh. 1 point.

10. Litauen: “Something” – Andrius Pojavis

Dennis: Andrius makes a good try at a arena performance. If it is as good live then Lithuania as a good chance. 4 points.

Sofia: This is all the way bad. Bad lyrics. Bad singing. Bad song. Bad performance.1 point.

Julie: I find him so scary! His eyebrows moving up and down. And the song is so bad. 1 point.

11. Vitryssland: “Solayoh” – Alyona Lanskaya

Sofia: This is so boring I die a little bit. 1 point.

Dennis: Belarus gives is this year’s summer tourment. Unfortunatley it will not go so well in ESC. 2 points.

Julie: The dress, the song, the…. Everything. No thank you. 1 point.

12. Moldavien: “O mie” – Aliona Moon

Sofia: She looks good and sings well. Too bad there isn’t a real chorus in the song. 2 points.

Dennis: Power ballad of the year is definitely what Moldovas song is. But it is a very weird routine. Redo, do right! 3 points.

Julie: I actually like this. I like the dress, it is fun with the changing colors! I am wondering why the changed the lyrics from English, but I hope it will be good in the final. 3 points.

13. Irland: “Only Love Survives” – Ryan Dolan

Sofia: Okay song, it will be played in the radio. And probably is best there. 4 points.

Dennis: A very Eric Saade-ish song and a pop classic. Definitly top 10. 4 points.

Julie: I love this. Makes me happy and makes me want to dance! 5 points

14. Cypern: “An Me Thimáse” – Despina Olympiou

Dennis: Ballad for Cyprus work. But not in ESC. It falls flat. 2 points.

Julie: This video confuses me and takes my focus from the song. However, I don’t think the song is totally bad. 2 points.

Sofia: Nice voice and it is pretty singing in original language. Not a winner but still I give it 3 points.

15. Belgien: “Love kills” – Roberto Bellarosa

Sofia: Another modern and good song. It will also be a great radio song. 4 points.

Dennis: Belgium send boyband-dude Roberto. He works, but the song doesn’t. 3 points.

Julie: If this guy puts on a nice outfit and pull of an amazing show it can go far! 4 points.

16. Serbien: “Ljubav je svuda” – Moje 3

Sofia: Finally some of what we expect, even if the clothes are beyond dorky. Not a top-ten song, but it will land somewhere in the middle. 3 points.

Dennis: Serbia’s number looks mostly like a brothel. It is a been overdone. However, it can be dangerous for the Balkan-countries. 3 points

Julie: The outfits just make me laugh. But I like the song in some way! 3 points

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Do they like ESC in Estonia? Let’s find out!

May 1st, 2013 by Julie

Hanna-Kaisa is from Estonia and has let me interview her about Eurovision Song Contest in Estonia. Does she like the show? How do they choose the winner? And what is her favorite song?

How do you choose who to represent Estonia in ESC? Do you follow that process/show?

We have a show where we choose the Estonian song. People can vote for their favorite song and there are also professional judges whose vote might change the result a little. Some years I watch that show, some years not, depending on how busy I am.

What is your relationship to Eurovision?

When I was little we used to watch it with the whole family and we looked forward to it a lot. But then some years Estonia didn’t get past the first semifinals and the popularity of the competition went down a lot.

Do you watch Eurovision? All of it or just the final?

I try to keep my eye on the competition nowadays but some years I didn’t follow it at all. I only listened to the winning song online after the competition. I have only voted one or two times during the competition in my life.

I mostly watch it to find out how our song did and what kind of song wins this year. If Estonia doesn’t make it to the finals, then I typically don’t bother watching it.

How much do you care about how well your country does in Eurovision?

If we don’t win then it doesn’t really matter to me which place we get.

Is there a lot about the national take outs and ESC in the media in your country?

Quite a lot. There are special Eurovision webpages for some media companies so you can keep an eye on the competition if you like and follow all kinds of other news related to it. But there used to be more publicity years ago when the competition was more popular.

It was a bigger thing before we won one year, now when we have already won once, it’s not such a big thing because we have gotten what we wanted out of the competition.

Is it accepted to actually like ESC in your country? Or is it seen to be a bit dorky?

There are two types of people: the ones who like it and the ones who think it’s pointless. It’s a fun thing to follow with friends, so nobody thinks you are weird if you do like it (unless you are obsessed with it).

What is your favorit ESC song ever? Both Estonian and non-Estonian?

I think I liked the Russian song the most with Dima Bilan. Of Estonian songs I really liked Urban Symphony – Rändajad.

Are you going to watch this year’s contest?

Since I don’t have tv in my dorm, I’m not going to be following it as much as I would at home. But I’ll try to watch the finals online if I have enough time.

Competing for Estonia in ESC 2013 is Birgit Õigemeel

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THE WINNER

March 9th, 2013 by Julie

THE WINNER OF MELODIFESTIVALEN 2013,

and the one who will represent Sweden in Eurovision Song Contest in May is

ROBIN STJERNBERG!


Congratulation from the Melodifestivalen blog. You are awesome!

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The result for the final

March 9th, 2013 by Julie

Here are the results for tonight’s final. The first points are from the international jury and the second one from the Swedish votes!

RESULTAT:

1. Robin Stjernberg: “You” 166 poäng (91 + 75)

2. Yohio: “Heartbreak Hotel” 136 (30 + 103)

3. Ulrik Munther: “Tell the world I’m here” 126 (82 + 44)

4. Anton Ewald: “Begging” 108 (49 + 59)

5. Louise Hoffsten: “Only the dead fish follow the stream” 85 (36 + 49)

6. Sean Banan: “Copacabanana” 78 (37 + 41)

7. Ralf Gyllenhammar: “Bed on fire” 73 (33 + 40)

8. David Lindgren: “Skyline” 69 (57 + 12)

9. State of Drama: “Falling” 68 (50 + 18)

10. Ravaillacz: “En riktig jävla schlager” 40 (8 + 32)

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Who will win tonight?

March 9th, 2013 by Julie

UPDATE: Dennis was wrong with both his predictions. Yohio was not well liked by the international jury, in fact, after they had given their points he was almost last with only 30 points.

Robin Stjernberg on the other hand was in first place with over 90 points! However, Yohio got the most points from the Swedish people, but it was not enough to bring him the victory. Instead, Robin, who got 2nd most points won, due to the international jury group.

This means that I was most correct in my predictions of tonight’s winner – even if Ralf Gyllenhammar was not even close.

Me and Dennis had a discussion about who will win tonight. Dennis is so sure about Yohio winning the entire thing. He also believes that Yohio will be the choice of the foreign judges.

I, however, am not sure. This whole competition has been very unsure, and anything can happen. My personal favorites are Robin Stjernberg, Anton Ewald and Ralf Gyllenhammar. But also Ulrik Munther stands a chance!

Yohio has been the favorite since the start, at least if you are to believe the betting sites and the media. But I do not feel that his song is strong enough. Sure, he is different and it is a good song – but there are so many good songs tonight and I still think that the other numbers stands a real chance!

So, me and Dennis put together our belief of the top three tonight. After the show we will see if anyone of us hit it rights. Dennis seemed really sure about his bet, while I on the other hand really feel like anything can happen and just put together something for the fun of it. May the best man or woman win!

Dennis:

1. Yohio
2. Ulrik Munther

3. Ralf Gyllenhammar

Julie:

1. Ralf Gyllenhammar

2. Robin Stjernberg

3. Anton Ewald

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The Grande Final 2013: What to expect tonight

March 9th, 2013 by Julie

Tonight is the night! The grande finale is taking place in Friends Arena, outside of Stockholm. The 10 numbers will fight for the honor to represent Sweden in Eurovision Song Contest 2013, in Malmö, Sweden in May.

Eurovision Song Contest has not taken place in Sweden in 13 years! The last time was in 2000, after Charlotte Perelli (then Nilsson) won in Jerusalem, Israel, in 1999 with “Take me to your Heaven.”

In 2000 Roger Pontare represented Sweden with the song “When the Spirits called my Name”, which gave us 88 points and a 5th place. Our neighbor country Denmark won, with the the classic ESC winner “Fly on the Wings of Love” with the Olsen Brothers.

Roger Pontare – När vindarna viskar mitt namn

So what can be expected of tonight’s final?

First of all, Loreen is coming! And she is going to stand for one of the big shows during the night. What exactly it will be is not sure, but rumours said it will be faboulus. People who have seen the rehersals have been crying!

And seeing Loreen, our Eurovision Queen (with the highest number of received highest, 12 points, ever!) returning to the Swedish final will be amazing in itself.

Then we can also expect another Eurovision winner to take the stage. 30 years ago Carola won Melodifestivalen at the mere age of 16, with “Främling” (Stranger).  She ended up in 3rd place in ESC, but this was the start of a long and prosperous career, and Carola has become one of our most well-known and celebrated artists ever.

In 1991 she represented Sweden once again in ESC, this time she won with her song “Fångad av en stormvind” (Captured by a whirlwind).  For the third time, she represented Sweden in ESC in 2006 with the song “Evighet” (Invincible) and ended up in 8th place.

Carola is a living Melodifestivalen-classic and tonight she is joining in the show to perform a new version of “Främling”, 30 year after the victory in Melodifestivalen changed her life.

One thing to be sure of that tonight is an historical final and it will be a memorable one! I cannot wait to see what else they have in store for us, and to find out who will represent Sweden in ESC 2013!

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Satellit – Ted Gärdestad (1979)

March 8th, 2013 by Julie

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Främling – Carola (1983)

March 7th, 2013 by Julie

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