Then Måns Zelmerlöw fell sick, and there was the possibility of him missing out on presenting duty this week.
But the show must go on...'Då kör vi!!" Much to our relief, Måns had recovered sufficiently to co-present this week and looked very nice in his purple satin tie :) Christine meanwhile was dressed in a little blue satin number. She still annoys me though, for some reason.
On to the songs!
1: "Stop" - Sibel: I loved her little loopy-dress although was less enthusiastic about the styling of her backing-dancers who were far too distracting. I think this will have a post-MF life on my iPod, it's a nice little foot-tapper. I thought she was good, and hoped that this would qualify....
2: "Magisk Stjärna" - Py Bäckman: Like many others watching this, I thought she reminded me of Ozzy Osbourne :) First military-coat of the night. This was like a Eurovision trip back in time....with backing singers actually standing still and not dancing around in silly costumes. She even threw in a harmonica solo. This was pretty wrong, on so many levels.
3. "Human Frontier" - Neo: Yes, yes, yes! This is the kind of pop song that I like in Melodifestivalen, and there haven't been many of them this year. I liked his outfit although the cane was a bit annoying, anyway visually and vocally he was so reminiscent of Mika. He performed well and by the end of it I had him down as a qualifier.
4. "Thursdays" - Lovestoned: this took the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach. Co-written by G:son, and they threw everything at this one - barrel organ, accordion, an Abba-style redhead/blonde girl vocal mix, but in the end it was all too desperate.
5. "This Is My Life" - Anna Bergendahl: former Idol contestant using MF for career-revival purposes. Unfortunately I missed most of this as my webstream chose this moment for its weekly breakdown.
6. "Jag Vill Om Du Vågar" - Pernilla Wahlgren: A woman of a certain age in a short glittery dress - remind you of anyone? Admittedly she was very professional, although this threw in every cliche, cliche, cliche....wind machine, male dancers, being lifted up Paparizou-style and then a big key change. It could have been a lot worse though: could have been Carola.
7. "Idiot" - Noll Disciplin: apparently one of this combo was previously in a skate-punk band which won Lilla Melodifestivalen. From the beginning I felt this was only there to make up the numbers, even with all the onstage pyrotechnics....
8. "Hollow" - Peter Jöback: and so to this year's winner (although not if I can help it). Honestly, every time I see Fredrik Kempe and his smug face, I want to throw something at the computer but then I realise it's not worth damaging my computer for :) anyway he looks like something out of Les Miserables, it's all very theatrical and he's working the military-jacket look. I don't like his hair tonight though. There's a nice laser-lit backdrop - but what about the song? Very dramatic, with multiple key changes (although a reassuringly un-dramatic end); unfortunately I find his voice a bit annoying for much of it. Also, it reminds me a little of "On My Own" the Norwegian entry from 2001, which significantly bombed that year. (All the more reason why Sweden MUST send "Keep On Walking" to Oslo!!)
Anyway, once the songs were over it was time for sketch-time. I may not have been too impressed by Christine Meltzer this year but her Malena Ernman spoof was absolutely hilarious. (Anyone think she looked more like Anna Anka though?) Malena sings "Singel"! Malena in the supermarket with her masked sidekicks! Malena crossing the road....oh this sketch was one of the funniest in this year's MF.
And then there was Dolph: this week he was off to a gay club and appropriately attired - I didn't get the joke this week though, can anyone explain it to me? The pink feather boa was top though.
Top 5 songs this week - Noll Disciplin, Neo, Anna Bergendahl, Peter Jöback and Pernilla Wahlgren. I was pretty shocked that Sibel didn't make it to the top 5.
Results time: and a big big surprise - this week's vote-winner was not the foregone conclusion of Peter Jöback, nor Pernilla Wahlgren - but Anna Bergendahl! I think this had a similar impact to Marie Lindberg's "Trying to Recall" from a couple of years ago, or maybe Sarah Dawn Finer, although listening back this wasn't vocally perfect - but it was a passionate performance and maybe the Idol-connection counted for something?
Interval act: this week it was a blast from the past, with Mans and Christine singing some very old MF entries - and being joined on stage by the original, truly vintage MF performers - Svante Thuresson, Ann-Christine Barnsten, Claes-Goran Hederstrom, and Lill-Babs. I didn't catch the full interval act as I was watching Gabriella Cilmi, who was the interval-act on "Let's Dance for Comic Relief" on BBC-1 at the same time: I need to get better at this multi-tasking.
Results time (again): Neo to Andra Chansen (yay!!)
Peter to Globen.
Pernilla to Andra Chansen.
Above: Anna and Peter, going to Globen (picture courtesy of Aftonbladet).
Talking of which....those duels in Örebro next week are as follows:
"Road Salt" vs "Jag Vill Om Du Vågar":
I soooo want Road Salt to win this one but fear the worst: Pernilla will be in Globen, but I would love to be wrong about this!
"Sucker for Love" vs "Heaven Or Hell":
Pauline's cheeky charm might have the edge, but Swedes love their rock music so....I'm sitting on the fence here. Whoever wins this one will inevitably be beaten by the winner of the previous duel....
"Underbart" vs "Human Frontier":
Human Frontier all the way! I think Neo will become one of the biggest stars to come out of this year's MF.
"Headlines" vs "I Did It For Love":
Alcazar's stage presence and professionalism will go a long long way.
Pernilla & Alcazar to Globen, although I'd be happy to swap Pain of Salvation for Pernilla any day. "Road Salt" has really grown on me.
All will be revealed next Saturday night!!