I’m publishing this on Monday, so you’ve heard all the cheers and recriminations at this point. I’m fine with Ranelid winning at Melodifestivalen, as much as I’m fine with anyone winning. Come one, come all – that’s what Eurovision is about these days, and so it should be at Melodifestivalen.
The performance was funny. I enjoyed it when Ranelid broke off from his monologue (“If women said no to men’s seed for 60 years, then mankind would die out… herrrrrrrregud”) to try singing along to Caracola Sara Li’s vocal (“A miracle, as we call love – a miracle!”). I laughed.
But – and this is an opinion on the song itself, not a judgement on Ranelid – I’m just not that into it. Although it has made me look up Gary Clail and Lana’s Human Nature from 1991.
(As an interesting aside, Ireland tried something similar when writer and journalist John Waters helped to create its Eurovision entry a couple of years ago [“And the archipelagic icicles have melted like the cage…”]. It came last. I’m just making the point that if this were to go to Eurovision, Europe might not be as entertained.)
Molly Sandén was the evening’s other winner, turning in a mature and polished performance. If Sonja Aldén brought the end of the schlager ballad (until it comes back, obviously), then Molly proved that the pop-rock ballad is still alive and well. She’s been through a break-up and come out the other side a winner. Good for her. More!
There were two major disappointments for me on Saturday. Love Generation (down to three members) were always going to have a job making the top four, but it was still a shame that they didn’t get further than sixth place. The song was great – all growling guitars (not Dead By April-style, thankfully) and a slamming bassline. The three of them have never sounded better, and this was supposed to be their moment. Let’s hope they’ll get some more. Don’t forget these girls, RedOne.
The other disappointment was R&B Mattias Andréasson only coming fifth. I wasn’t sure about Förlåt mig at first, but buying it on Saturday night, it’s totally grown on me. That’s the trouble with Mello, I suppose – the ordinary punter at home doesn’t have time to let a song grow on them, because they have to vote in the moment. Mattias has been number one on iTunes since the release, though, which is a good sign.
Maria BenHajji is this year’s webbjoker, so her battle for attention was greater than anyone else’s. She brought a ballad – halfway between Molly and Sonja, maybe. I really liked it. Maria is being represented by Lionheart, so it’ll be interesting to see what direction she moves in.
Coming just after the Grammis (the Swedish ones, hence the ‘i’), Carolina Wallin Pérez sounded like she wished she was there, rather in the heartland of Leksand. Her song was more in tune with what the Grammis crowd might prefer (definitely more so than Ranelid!), and what could be considered ‘cool’ right now. Think Maggio rather than Molly.
Finally – but first on the bill – Kempe‘s protégés, Youngblood. The song was widely described in pre-event reports as sounding like Saade‘s Manboy. And the journos weren’t wrong. I’m quite intrigued by Youngblood (not in THAT way). They look like The Wanted and sound like One Direction. It should be the ideal boyband – sorry, pojkband – formula for 2012. I don’t think it’s there yet, but the pojks’ Blame It On You is a great pop track with a magic chorus – much better than Youngblood (the song). Crucially, the boys all seem to like a laugh and are quite able to speak for themselves (and move – perhaps the Wanted should log onto SVTplay before midnight tonight). I like them a lot.