Gothenburg has been celebrating all things gay and trans this weekend at the annual HBTQ Festival. And by all accounts, they’ve been doing it with copious amounts of alcohol and food. Schlagerfiasko approves. Fortsätt läsa
It was Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman who once said of the entertainment industry: “Nobody knows anything”. And he’s right. Fortsätt läsa
Amazing. Fortsätt läsa
Ring-ring. Ring-ring. Voicemail.
“Hello, Schlagerfiasko! [Or words to that effect.] It’s Warner Music here. You do remember you’re interviewing Loreen at 10am, don’t you? We emailed you yesterday.”
Oh. There’s the email, received approximately around the same time as I was knocking back vittvin in Stadshuset. And now it’s 9.10am. Oops. I’m creating my own schlagerfiasko.
We rearrange for 11am. And then, on the T-banan, we rearrange for 11.30. Arriving at the hotel, there’s another wait, as Loreen is running late. It’s my own fault. A businessman tries to bring me in for an interview with his insurance company. I decline the offer, as I’m not very good with sums.
Loreen eventually arrives in the midst of an intense mobile conversation and greets me with a huge hug. It turns out that her brother is in Bali, and freaking out about the tsunami that could be on its way from Japan after the earthquake (thankfully, it never happened). I offer to cancel the interview right away, but Loreen’s having none of it. She even refuses to allow me to buy her a cappuccino, insisting on paying for our coffees herself.
She’s fabulous, of course she is. Anyone who insists on wearing the red stringy outfit like she did is always going to be fabulous. And the interview itself is a dream. We have a little gossip, too, but you’re not hearing about that.
After we wrap up, Loreen is approached by one of the reception staff to tell her that she was great, and that she voted for her, which I don’t think generally happens in Sweden. And as I casually mention that I have to buy a new microphone for the post-rehearsal interviews later in the evening, she even walks me to the shop to get one. Love her.
Spending the afternoon getting Loreen’s interview on the website, it’s soon time to start getting ready for the dress rehearsal.
It’s a bit of a strange experience, the dress rehearsal. In the press room, the media people are very relaxed about the whole thing (obviously, this is what we do), but outside, families are queuing to get in. Excited kids everywhere, eager to get a glimpse of their music idols (mainly Eric…). What we take for granted (and have free entry into), so many others are waiting in huge anticipation. This is a big deal.
Sitting down in the main are right in front of the stage, we’re in a very privileged position to see what’s going on. The rehearsal itself goes smoothly, with just a few minor hiccups along the way. But that’s what rehearsals are for. Can I also just point out at this stage that whenever you see breathless reports on other websites about which act has won the rehearsal vote, totally ignore it. It’s all made up to help the producers and other crew get an idea of how the technical side of the operation is working. It actually has no bearing on reality.
Swingfly wins the rehearsal contest. Enough said.
Right afterwards, we get a mini press conference, and a chance to chat to the stars. I grab interviews with Linda Bengtzing, Sanna Nielsen and Eric Saade. By the time I’d done that, there was no time to talk to Danny Saucedo, but three out of four targets isn’t bad, considering. At the välkomstfest the night before, Velvet had agreed to be interviewed, but we hadn’t exchanged numbers. Thankfully, she checks her email (or rather, her manager does and passes messages along), so as I’m waiting for Eric, I see her waving at me. Yes, I’ve got people waiting to speak to me. How ridiculous is that?
All four interviewees were absolutely amazing. It’s a credit to the contest that everyone is happy enough to talk openly, in English, to some crazy internet guy from London wielding a camera and a half-working microphone. Such professionalism is rarely experienced elsewhere – I have bitter memories of quite a few incidences…
If you haven’t seen the interviews, they’re all very snappy, quite amusing and brief. Take a look at my YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/schlagerfiasko
Later on in the evening, we hit up Kolingsborg to return to Paradise for the first time in a year. Paradise is one of Stockholm’s gay club nights, and has a reputation for schlager. Emil, aka Soundfactory, was DJing, and doing some very mind-altering things with mixes. If you have never heard Hera Björk mashed up with Kejsi Tola (Albanian Eurovision entry from 2009, but you already knew that), then you’re missing out. Actually, having said that, I’m going to ask him if he’ll put it online. It has to be heard.
The main act was the absolutely stunning Arja Saijonmaa. Anyone who knows me will know that I adore Arja, the Finnish campaigner, singer, politician and sauna-enthusiast. I’m not even going to try explaining how fabulous she was on stage, so you can watch the video below and experience the Arja magic for yourself. That’s Diamond Dogs’ Peter Englund hosting and worshipping.
Next time, standing at the bar with Shirley Clamp, dancing with the prime minister’s daughter, and being best pals with Alexander Bard.
Just after Melodifestivalen’s Andra Chansen round, and all the talk isn’t of the results (schlagerfiasko, of course), but of the voting problems.
It would appear that the on-screen graphics were displaying the wrong numbers for the acts during the reprise. Both Expressen and Aftonbladet have visual proof of the mistakes, so it’ll be interesting to see if it impacts on next week’s final. Both Sara Varga and The Moniker went through, but is this the correct result?
As far as Schlagerfiasko can tell, at least the first and third duels were affected by the error, but we’re monitoring the situation to see if an official announcement will change anything.
”The acts that went through to the final will go to the final,” said producer Thomas Hall earlier tonight.
Meanwhile, SVT’s spokesperson, Madeleine Sindig-Larsen, admitted that there had been a problem, but no decision had been made about what, if anything, would be done.
Read more at:
SVT has confirmed that tonight’s voting problems did not affect the final results from any of the duels.
The three duels affected were Jenny Silver vs Love Generation, Loreen vs Sara Varga, and The Moniker vs Linda Pritchard.
”It didn’t affect the outcome,” confirmed Thomas Hall to Swedish website Poplight earlier on. ”We examined the results without the Radiohjälpen votes [that were affected by the mistake] to see if any of the duels would have been affected. We can say with our heads, hearts and on paper that the correct songs reached the final…
”We discovered the fault during the second duel,” he continued. ”But before we had identified the cause, the third duel had already happened. We were able to correct it [by the fourth].”
Hall admitted that a crisis plan was not developed to respond to such a situation, and said that he didn’t know how SVT would respond in such a case.
”Let’s not go down that path,” he said. ”At least the results were right. But now we have to find out what went wrong.”
The artists were informed of the problem while the show was on air.
”I feel most sorry for those who voted for the wrong act,” said Vera Prada of Shirley’s Angels when Poplight spoke to her.
Read the original article here:
Let’s see if the tabloid newspapers will allow SVT to recover from the problem as easily…
I adore Alexander Bard. Late of BWO and Army Of Lovers, he’s now creating some extraordinary music with Gravitonas. Look him up yourself.
He’s been talking to Malin Roos at Expressen about his involvement with Melodifestivalen, amongst other things, and, as always, he gives good quote. Especially on two of my favourite women – Clamp and Bengtzing…
On Shirley Clamp: We wanted to do something suggestive with her, something sexy. I’ve always thought of Shirley as a dancer, but she’s never had the chance to do that until now. [I Thought It Was Forever] is very different to the boring ballad she came eighth with. And it’s always cool to plan someone’s revenge…
On the dearth of female songwriters in Melodifestivalen: People like Robyn, Lykke Li, Veronica Maggio and Agnes co-write with guys who are very driven. There are very few women who write alone. Women have themselves to blame – they’ve misunderstood what the might of music is about. They think that, just because they’re girls, they have to be singers – it’s so very unoriginal. Even Lykke Li and Robyn are old-school like that. It’s like, ‘I’m a girl, so I’ll sing, and you boys can stand behind me.’ As long as girls do that kind of thing and fail to realise that actually creating music is where the power lies, their careers will be short-lived and limited in their influence.
On Idol two years ago: The boys look like they’ve come straight from Dressmann to sing karaoke.
On Idol now: They’re performers, musical actors, and new Lasse Berghagens, but they’re not modern recording artists. There’s no original expression – Idol contestants are just looking to be taught how to sing.
On his upcoming 50th birthday: I don’t celebrate birthdays, it’s against my religion. I converted to Zoroastrianism in 1992, and learned ancient Persian.
On ageing: It’s fun to party. I’m not afraid of death. For me, life isn’t about living as long as I can – it’s about living as hard as I can. You have to take risks, or else life isn’t fun.
On his former Army Of Lovers colleague Camilla Henemark, and her alleged relationship with King Carl Gustaf: Well that’s a story, isn’t it! Was it a surprise for me? No. But it wasn’t Camilla who was leaking this story – she was very careful to remain silent out of respect for the King. She was never out to get any attention. Did I know about the relationship? I won’t go into it, but sometimes you can work some things out without anyone saying anything. I’m not in touch with Camilla.
On Gravitonas: We didn’t want to be a new BWO, we wanted to be different – what’s the point otherwise?
On Linda Bengtzing: There’s sex in her. She gets a lot of it. I don’t like singers who don’t look like they have a sex life. The most important thing about singers is that they should always have something for the rest of us to be jealous of. Sexless singers are the worst thing, regardless of the genre they perform in. Any singer on the Melodifestivalen stage should be a person who gets a lot of sex – and Bengtzing looks like she is! She’s clearly good in bed, and it shows!
Magnus Uggla is the opposite. He’s probably useless in bed. Men who look like old ladies are very unsexy – especially if they turn into old ladies as the years go by. I think Uggla would be awful in bed.
Dear Melodifestivalen fan, you’ll probably be getting your hands on one of these this year, won’t you? Fortsätt läsa