Saturday, March 08, 2014

Tonight I'll be watching Melodifestivalen - against my better judgement

After my previous post, I gave some thought to which national final I should be watching tonight - Melodifestivalen or Dansk Melodi Grand Prix.  It's been a rather miserable Melfest season and I didn't even make any effort to watch Andra Chansen.  However, I have decided to be a 'survivor' and see the process through 'to the end' to find out who Sweden will be sending to Copenhagen.  Well it's only 'natural' that we watch the Melodifestivalen final every year - 'yes we can' hope that they will 'undo' what has been a dire contest so far and put on a great show, but that's probably a lot to hope for.  Disappointment is inevitable.

Anyway, against my better judgement, I'll be watching Melfest and will no doubt regret not watching DMGP live.

I don't have a particular favourite this year at Melfest, in a list of mainly underwhelming songs.  However, I have decided to support...Ace Wilder with "Busy Doin' Nothin'"!  It's catchy and contemporary, with a memorable chorus/rap.  Admittedly it's not much of a song - and that is where I have my reservations - and she really needs to up her game with her live vocals, as they fell well short of the studio version. 

If "Busy Doin' Nothin'" gets to represent Sweden, it will probably send certain sections of the schlager/fan fraternity into apoplexy.  Remember the negative reaction when Robin Stjernberg was chosen last year, because he wasn't schlager enough.  If Ace wins, this will be yet another giant step towards Sweden breaking out of the schlager straitjacket at Eurovision.  

2014 would be the ideal time to take that risk, to send an entry which is 'different from the norm', and best of all - a song which is not written by Fredrik Kempe.  For me, his domination represents everything wrong with Melodifestivalen right now.  A shake-up of the songwriting rules would freshen up the contest, for example if you have managed to get a song through to the final 32 in one year, then you should be automatically disqualified for putting a song in the following year.  Also, you should only be allowed to write 1 song in the final 32, rather than the same people repeatedly turning up week after week. 

Kempe, as solo writer and part of a songwriting team has no less than 4 songs in tonight's final.  Which, when you think about it, is quite outrageous.  Sweden, the land of established international songwriters, and they've got the same guy writing 4 songs in a national final!?!

So as I said earlier, I'll be watching, but with major reservations.  Melodifestivalen in its current form has become stale and needs a major overhaul to bring it back to the unmissable TV event it once was.  If SVT doesn't change its ways in 2015, then this time next year I won't be wondering whether to watch the final or not; that decision will be a very easy one to make.  And I suspect I won't be the only one switching off.

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