Apologies for the lack of updates, Gothenburg did me in. Efterfested until 6am on Saturday night/Sunday morning and had a thoroughly good time.
I’m getting too old for this.
Anyway, I really enjoyed the show. And yes, I’ve been crowing about the fact that I was one of the few people backing David Lindgren from the moment I heard his song (click to hear the interview). I don’t crow about much, so let me have this one.
Much has been made of David and the reasons why he was so popular – so here’s my contribution. First of all, far from being some ‘random’ act brought in to make up the numbers at the last minute, he’s an accomplished stage performer who has appeared in musicals like Hairspray, High School Musical, and Mamma Mia! – and is currently appearing in the successful Tomas Ledin show. So he was one of the most experienced on that stage.
Then there was the song – upbeat, involving, and contained the breakdancing surprise. So he challenged himself with a performance that could have easily gone wrong, just like Loreen did last week. And he clearly enjoyed every second of the experience.
What about that supposedly wrong image? Well, at least he was being honest. He’s clearly not the sort of person who wears Saade and Danny-’street gear’ (for want of much better phrasing) – he’s a 29-year-old dad, for goodness sake! And let’s face it, we’d never have had all those trouser-splitting moments otherwise.
Is he a popstar? Who knows. But he’s being the wise one. He’s not walking away from the stage, and plans to continue in his current show, working on new material if it becomes a possibility. And after all the carping about him, I really hope that is possible.
So he’s through, along with Ulrik Munther, a hugely confident (but not arrogant) teenager who toasted his victory with Pommac sparkling apple juice. Although he’ll be able to drink once he’s at the Stockholm efterfest, so let’s see how many pictures will be taken of the poor lad taking a sip of his champagne there.
Gothenburg will be remembered for the exits of two established names – Sonja Aldén and Andreas Lundstedt. Sonja stuck to her usual formula of schlager-ballad, with the totally expected strong performance. It’s big shame that it didn’t even get a second chance, and there was lots of muttering about the ‘death’ of the ballad at Melodifestivalen. Well, as David Lindgren demonstrated, anything can happen in the contest, so I’m not going to agree.
Andreas was a different matter. With Alcazar on indefinite hiatus (”that’s a posh word meaning ‘break’,” I declared to him during our interview. I’m such a loser.), we’re not going to get anything new from them soon. Aldrig aldrig was Andreas showing off a more mature sound, and with a performance that was just as gay, if slightly more, well, posh, then he would have put in with Tess and Lina. If some were disappointed that his song didn’t sound more like Alcazar, then I think they’ll have to get used to it. It’s hopefully going to produce a great album that marks a new era in Andreas’ career. Plus, Andreas is turning 40 this year, and has perhaps decided that cavorting around in neon pink really isn’t the way forward.
We did, however, get plenty of neon from Mimi Oh. It’s a shame that she was compared to Veronica Maggio all the way through her time in Gothenburg. I’ve never heard a Maggio song that sounds like Det går för långsamt, so I can only assume it’s because they’ve both got blonde hair – which, as we all know, is very rare in Sweden.
Written by Anton-formerly-of-Le Kid and Niclas Lundin, Det går för långsamt is fresh pop, and always faced an uphill battle to get a top-five placing. The opportunity for Mimi Oh to get a huge audience was great, though, and I hope she’s producing more of this soon. I’m really enjoying her progress from the 1986 EP to Säkerhetsnål, and now this. I’m going to keep on saying it: more, please.
Top Cats isn’t really my thing, and sounded a bit too much like last year’s The King for my ears. But the boys were all very lovely at the party. But I never saw Thomas Di Leva smile once at any point.
Timoteij came back! Sticking with the if-it-ain’t-broke formula, it was folk-pop all the way. It’s clear that the girls have definitely got a lot more confidence this time round, and they’ll be determined to get their way through Andra chansen. As I’ve said before, I’m not actually that much of a believer in the need to do well at Eurovision (more of that down the line), but Timoteij has the potential to be an outstanding act there, and could actually do really well from it afterwards. Good luck to them.
The circus moves on from Sweden’s second city to the small town of Leksand today. So here we go again…