Let me take a break from Japan for a little bit. Believe it or not, I DO have other interests. It’s almost May, and you know what that means — EUROVISION SEASON.
Eurovision is something that isn’t known to many Americans but I have been a hardcore fan of it ever since I saw Norway win in 2009. I love it all – the cheese, the ridiculous performances, the various languages and the great pop music that comes from it. As an added bonus, it has helped me immensely in familiarizing myself with European (and Middle Eastern) geography. Before Eurovision, I (admittedly) had no idea where Croatia was. Nor Azerbaijan. I didn’t even know Azerbaijan was a country to be honest.
While there is so much more to discuss about Eurovision, I’ll just give a quick explanation for those who aren’t familiar with it: Imagine if the X factor, American Idol and the Olympics were combined into one massive event. That’s Eurovision.
Each country decides the song that they are going to send to the world stage to perform at The Final in May.
One country that I love seeing every year is Sweden, a bastion of amazing pop music. Every year, they host something called Melodifestivalen where various acts compete to represent Sweden at The Final. I missed the first Semi-Final but I was able to watch the second Semi-Final on this great music blog
Below are my thoughts as I watched the Second Semi Final. Please keep in mind that 1) These opinions are coming from an American. I don’t really have in-depth knowledge of pop culture in Sweden. Nor do I speak Swedish (unfortunately) and 2) They were written straight from brain to keyboard – don’t expect anything deep and moving 😛
***** MELODIFESTIVALEN SECOND SEMI FINAL THOUGHTS *****
This intro performance reminded me of Weinerville a bit too much. I don’t have fond memories of that show. Cute song, though.
1) JEM – This guy reminds me a bit of Cee Lo Green and kind of sounds like WIll.I.Am but not TERRIBLE. And the main blonde girl looks like Ke$ha! Oh hey, I can do this. This song is pretty catchy.
2) The Refreshments – Nope. Nooope. Sorry, guys. I’m an American and I live in Texas – I hear this music on the daily. Also, ‘Trail of Tears’? I’m hoping that’s just an unfortunate coincidence rather than a jab at American history.
3) Manda – OH SHIT. Sudden toweing orchestra?! OKAY! I’m digging this entry. It’s a positive, uplifting song and I get some Katy Perry ‘Firework’ vibes from it for some reason. I would think this is going to make it through to the final.
4) Panetoz Efter Solsken – OH DAMN. THIS IS BADASS. The moves, the , the rapping, the Caribbean-esque rhythm. Everything about this is great! Even the awkward white guy! This is such a feel good song and I love it! If these guys don’t make it through, I swear…
5) Pink Pistols – Guuuuurls. I feel like I’ve seen the Pink Pistols from Melodifestivalens past. They’re pretty fabulous and I think that they should party with the Scissor Sisters. I like the song and the performance was good. Kudos for being in drag!
*Dang, there are a lot of good performances in the second semi finals!
6) Sanna Nielssen – I’m not super fond of ballads, but she definitely gripped me with her voice. Her range is pretty incredible and I like how she’s real-time autotuning. Those backing vocals are hella loud, though. Cool song but it wouldn’t be a top pick for me. I bet this is going to make it to the final, though. It just has that kind of feel about it.
7) Little Great Things – I feel bad for doing this but my American mind seems to instantly want to link these artists with American ones that I know! I’m getting a definite Green Day/Panic! at the Disco vibe from this group. I like it, though. I probably wouldn’t vote for it, however.
8) Martin Stenmark – The buildup for this is pretty intense. I hope it’s worth it. It was. Although I don’t understand what he is saying, this song sounds very uplifting and I can definitely feel his emotion in his voice. I’m gonna say this could make it to the final. This is a pretty epic song.
As it turns out, I was kind of right about the people who made it through to the final! I’m surprised that Manda was dead last, though. Even more surprised that the godawful country crooners were voted FIFTH! I really am just happy that Panetoz made it through. They are fantastic and I hope they go on to represent Sweden in Copenhagen!
Enough from me. Expect more Eurovision fanboy updates as May gets closer!