Melodifestivalen: Victory for The Ark and unknown teacher

Glam pop band The Ark mopped the floor with the opposition at Saturday evening's second qualifying round of Melodivestivalen, the competition to find a Swedish Eurovision representative.

The Ark’s song may be called ‘The Worrying Kind’ but singer Ola Salo seemed unperturbed by accusations of plagiarism levelled by Barry Mason. The English songwriter claims that the band lifted the tune from a song he penned in the seventies, ‘Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)’, recorded by Edison Lighthouse.

While The Ark were fully expected to advance from the Gothenburg heat, the evening did spring one major surprise when schoolteacher Marie Lindberg gained the second automatic ticket to the final.

The night will primarily be remembered for the look of absolute shock on the face of the rank outsider.

A further two artists will be given a second chance to perform at the final.

Jimmy Jansson’s high energy pop song ‘Amanda’ will get another airing on March 3rd in Nyköping, a week before the final at Stocholm’s Globen arena.

Former Fame singer Jessica Andersson, who caused moral outrage with her flimsy outfit at last year’s event, will also have another chance to impress.

In the meantime, presenter Kristian Luuk’s decision to wear the very same skimpy hotpants in the interval will cause many a sleepless night before the competition resumes next weekend in the northern town of Örnsköldsvik.