Melodifestivalen 2010: Heat One
Firstly, MAJOR kudos to whoever figured out the streaming video this year. It's clearer and way less jumpy than in the past. I hope this quality continues throughout the month.
What an epic, campy opening! Perfectly fitting for Melodifestivalen. Why do I get the feeling that it's going to be better than anything that follows? Just seeing those three on stage together was crazy.
I like the stylish "green room" this year, even though it's not at all green. These hosts... erm... not sure. Måns looks totally out of place next to the other two.
Ola: Despite looking very strange in his picture this year (has his face changed, or am I just crazy?), he seemed like an old pro onstage. He sounded great and I now actually love this song. It's all about the piano.
Jenny Silver: Her right arm seemed to be enjoying a different song than the rest of her body. It looked like she was signaling a plane to land. I really do like the song (a lot, actually), but it's out of place on this stage. And the performance was really kind of strange.
Linda Pritchard: Standard Eurovision-type stuff, this continues to be better than I was expecting. She's totally capable vocally, and the song has a lot of energy. Still, these types (by female singers, at least) don't tend to do very well.
Pain Of Salvation: I loved everything about this. Very nice. Weird, though, that the guitarists basically did nothing? The vocals were perfect. Lots of emotion. Sometimes, as evidenced by Caroline af Ugglas last year, less is more. I can see this doing very well.
Anders Ekborg: This guy looks very greasy. The staging was a bit weird. He didn't seem to be playing to the audience at all. But, the song was a lot better than I thought it would be based on the small clip. It may be a bit too schmaltzy, even for Melodifestivalen. Still, he seemed to have a lot of audience support, so who knows.
Jessica Andersson: If Molly Sanden's crap song could get through last year, it seems like this is an inevitable qualifier. Voters seem to love these big ballads. I found it pretty forgettable and a little annoying. But she's a known quantity. People will vote.
Frispråkarn: This could bump another artist from the top four, but I'm not quite sure if the type of people who would enjoy this song are also voters. It's not really very catchy for what it is. Needs a better hook. He's a pretty good rapper, though. I guess.
Salem Al Fakir: Not sure if being tied to the piano was such a good decision performance-wise, but I love this song. It's different than most Melodifestivalen stuff, but I think he'll get through on name-recognition. I really like the chorus. I just wish there was better staging.
My hopes to make it through: Ola, Jenny Silver (though the performance was dire), Pain Of Salvation, Salem Al Fakir
Who will make it through: Ola, Pain Of Salvation, Jessica Andersson, Salem Al Fakir
UPDATE: Top Five - Linda Pritchard was a (somewhat) pleasant surprise, though I doubt she'll make it further. Could the top four be exactly as I predicted?? I think they might :)
UPDATE: Salem direct to the final! It's all going well so far! This presenter is far too excitable, though...
UPDATE: This is weird the way they're doing it this year. The clear favorite makes it through first, then the rest have to be voted on? Every year the rules for this portion of the contest change. Jeez, make up your minds!
UPDATE: Oh god some bad acting to get us through the voting... and an even worse song and dance number.
UPDATE: Second chance round - Pain Of Salvation and Jessica Andersson, which means Ola is straight to the final!!! Did I predict this right, or what?? Pretty good results, I'd say. I do really want that Pain of Salvation song in the final, though.
FINAL UPDATE: Ha! I love Salem standing uncomfortably next to Ola at the end of his song. They're quite different, aren't they? Both great in their own ways. It's like the jock and the geek.