"How many times can we break the rules…” sings reigning Eurovision champ Emmelie de Forest, as she gives up singing her new song and goes back to her winning song, Only Teardrops. And there certainly isn’t any rule-breaking in SVT’s case, as we have a week of Andra chansen – a second chance.
One of the problems of tying in your most popular entertainment show to a Eurovision selection process is that you have to adhere to a set of rules. And one of these, in Melodifestivalen’s case, is that each song that came third and fourth in each week’s voting gets another chance at making it through to the final.
In years past, this was a fairly entertaining stage. One year had the acts sitting in a lovely bar being served champagne while the votes came in, while Alcazar sang a song about a barbecue van. Recently, though, we have to deal with the duell.night, eight songs were whittled down to four, then we had two duels. This means that the two most popular songs weren’t necessarily the two that would win – and we had to sit through four performances again, effectively killing any sense on spontaneity on the part of the singers. It’s just all a bit… boring.
I’m a die-hard fan, so I’ll sit through all this (as long as there’s a vodka tonic in my hand). But for the casual viewers of Melodifestivalen, as the vast majority are, they could probably think of more entertaining ways to spend aevening.
The robot-voting scandal was quite entertaining, it has to be said. 73% of people surveyed in the wake of the revelations have vowed never to vote in the contest again. I just hope the robots used the more expensive charity number.
It’s the final next week, you’ll be relieved to learn. Who will you vote for, if you haven’t vowed to never vote again?
Linus Svenning: Bröder
Helena Paparizou – Survivor
David Jørgensen is a writer and editor who loves schlager and lives in London. Follow him on Twitter here.