Melfest, just like ESC2013 is not as good as it was in past years. And it had very unexpected results, so it was all a big surprise. Here's my commentary on the Melodifestival 2013 final; not the final I was hoping for (I still think Cookies N'Beans, Behrang Miri and Caroline Af Ugglas should have been there), but still with a potential to bring Sweden to the top 15.
But there's not a winner here. Sweden won't win ESC2013. I can assure you.
1. Ulrik Munther - "Tell The World I'm Here"
Position in my ranking: 7th (Tie)
This Danny Saucedo 2.0 (keeps and keeps and keeps trying) brought a song that to me sounds like a male remix of Beyoncé's "I Was Here" (don't ask me how, though). It is a bit catchy, but the problem is that among all this low-tempo songs in ESC2013... Well I don't think it will do THAT well. As usual, Thomas G:son has something to do with the favourite entry. The staging is actually very appropiate, but I'm not very fond of this Paradise-Oskar-type of songs.
P.S.: He looks much younger than last year. I know that's nothing important, but I just wanted to point it out... Maybe the clothes and hairstyle?
2. David Lindgren - "Skyline"
Position in my ranking: 2nd
Say hello to the first song of the Melfest final that I actually like. And it's weird because it isn't my common style. Reminds us of Eric Saade, however he CAN sing and dance at the same time. Some may say it will compete with Ireland's song..... But just like I've said about Germany v. Slovenia's fight.... that ain't gonna happen. It is the second best choreography we'll see in the final, and I sense it could be a commercial hit. The last minute is the perfect occasion to make its performance memorable (with the slow-mo effects and etc).
3. State of Drama - "Falling"
Position in my ranking: 5th
Out of the two rock songs in the Melfest final, I think this one is better in terms of quality. However, when it comes to voting patterns and what Europe's trend is now, YOHIO would definitely do better. But, since I stand in the name of good music... I still root for this beautiful rock ballad. In fact, I'd be more than glad to put this song into my music library. And it has the necessary staging to showcase what the song purely is..... That's just perfect.
4. Anton Ewald - "Begging"
Position in my ranking: 7th (Tie)
A very typical Fredrik Kempe song... And despite I'm pleased for watching an awful LOT of Michael Jackson inspired moves, for some reason I feel this song is the soundtrack of a new Disney Channel series; or a new One Direction single. It's like the kind of song that would appeal to teen girls, and I have to admit it is quite catchy. But after Tooji's failure last year, I'm leaned to say this won't be appreciated were it represent the hosts in Malmö. This one is for me the best choreography; but I still don't see how it could have rightfully won over "Jalla Dansa Sawa" in Andra Chansen.
5. Louise Hoffsten - "Only The Dead Fish Follow The Stream"
Position in my ranking: 3rd
People, don't be so shallow. She isn't just singing about dead fish. Is the metaphor that comes along with it. And the harmonica and the band, it's nice. But that's it, the first time you hear it... 'nice'. However, when you keep on listening, you get captivated by this simple yet meaningful performance. Unlike many other national finals, there's only a female act in Melfest, and it is this one. Nevertheless, I think Louise lacks a certain confidence and strength when singing... <<To sell a product well, you have to believe in it>>.
6. Ralf Gyllenhammar - "Bed On Fire"
Position in my ranking: 4th
I really find this song a very interesting concept on itself. Although one could question at times his singing skills, it's a totally new proposal; and it feels like ByeAlex in Hungary.... It's so different that you want to see how it'll do in Malmö. It is quite powerful both in lyrics and melody, and it's the most visually-appealing staging of the final. You just feel what he's saying, you really do.
7. Ravaillacz - "En Riktig Jävla Schlager" (A Real Damn Schlager)
Position in my ranking: 9th
Oh, this Nashville (to those unfamiliar with the term, Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state called 'Tennessee'. It is the capital of country music) song by old men. Sounds like a formula the BBC would use! The song is quite simple in musical terms, as after hearing the first seconds you can easily predict the rhythm of rest of the song, which in my opinion, is much better suited for a nursery rhyme. And I know it is meant to be like that, because the song is a satyre of Schlager music. However, with a staging that looks to you as a commercial (of a shampoo against alopecia; an insurance program; or a prostate cancer awareness campaign) when you don't speak Swedish, there's no joke... And hence, no sense to the song. So it is a real DAMN schlager.
8. Sean Banan - "Copacabanana"
Position in my ranking: 10th (Last)
Are you freaking serious? This thing?! THIIIIIS?!. Okay, Swedes, you'd have to move out of Sweden if this wins. I won't respect you anymore XD. No, but seriously? All that combination of Mardi Gras with stand up comedy with a pirate cirque du soleil and an awful wording (not singing, I heard absolutely no singing)..... It's just too much. Too much. Awful. I feel like I wanna punch someone and at the same time throw up all those colours. It's like something Latvia would've chosen ¬¬ (no offense to Latvia intended). Somewhat creative? Maybe. But we're not looking for that kind of creative.
9. Robin Stjernberg - "You"
Position in my ranking: 1st
I know, I know, maybe I'm overrating this. After all it came from Andra Chansen, right?. Well, I think there is a hidden potential in this song that many don't see. I agree on the fact it is a bit cheesy pointing out every time that it is "all because of you"; but the song is very strong in melody, and the staging (which incorporates bits of contemporary music) is outstanding. When it comes to Robin's singing, I like the fact it builds up throughout the song to reach a climax at the last 45 seconds. You really have to love his voice!.... I really perceive a somewhat 'Euphoria' ambience (good) around it.
10. YOHIO - "Heartbreak Hotel"
Position in my ranking: 6th
Visually, this felt like Sílvia Night had met rock. However, the lead singer has a nice voice and the rhythm overall is kind of nice. But again, there's something missing. And he kinda looks like a power ranger with his moves. On the other hand, although the song can be somewhat modern; I think the staging is in the wrong decade. It has a hook "heartbreak of daaaay"; but I still think there's a certain je ne sais quoi, that not even a revamp will make up for.
Well, the final is just some minutes away, and you can enjoy it in the www.svt.se official page. The comedian genius Linda Woodruff will make a comeback (I really look forward to it), and as usual, there'll be controversy in the voting, totally. Lastly, I'd like to point out that the race might be between YOHIO, Ulrik Munther and David Lindgren; according to what I've seen around the internet. (LAST MINUTE UPDATE: Robin Stjernberg and Ralf Gyllenhammar are starting to be a 'trending topic').
Just time will tell.....
Written by Dago Lesmes, Head Journalist and Lebanese HoD