Confessions of a Eurovision Fanboy: Melodifestivalen Andra Chansen

 

 So I don’t speak Swedish, but I’m assuming that ‘Andra Chansen’ means ‘Another Chance’ or something equivalent. I’ve already kind of given my opinions on these acts separately so I’ll just do a quick breakdown of who I think should advance. 

1) I don’t know, maybe it’s just me? I really don’t care for Ammotrack. 

2) I like Linus Svenning. 

3) Jem – Love Trigger – I like this song, I suppose. But to me, it just sounds like a Britney Spears/Will.I.Am song. And that’s kind of a travesty. The lead singer chick doesn’t seem to be as into it as the dancers/rappers are! 

4) State of Drama seems like they have the potential to go through. They almost remind me of ‘fun.’ without the copius autotune. 

5) Ellindre Holmer sounds less nervous this time around than she did last time. I’m still not digging her, really. She’s a good singer but just doesn’t appeal to me, I guess. 

6) I kind of forgot about Martin Stenmarck. But I like this. Seems very uplifting. 

7) Helena Paparizou is another one I kind of forgot about. But she seems fierce. 

8) Nooope, noooope. Outrigger is so weird haha. Too intense for me but they seem to be a crowd favorite. 

****** Results ******

Can I just say that I feel validated that Ammotrack was last place? I really did not care for them. Sorry, guys. 

It looks like Helena Paparizou and Linus Svenning are headed to the Final to compete with the other acts. I’m okay with this! 

 Seeing as Eurovision is right around the corner, I’m going to start writing my thoughts on the other countries’ acts! Sweden’s Melodifestivalen is so easy to get sucked in to!!

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Confessions of a Eurovision Fanboy: Melodifestivalen Reactions (4th Semifinal)

Back for my opinions on the 4th semi final of Melodifestivalen 2014!

1) Alcazar – Blame it on the Disco — Even before the song starts, it seems this is a crowd favorite. Well, this is certainly upbeat and well-budgeted. I like the tempo and style of this but from what I’ve seen, it’s not very original. It seems very very likely to go through to the final, though. Catchy lyrics, chroreographed moves, great stage effects?  It’s like the perfect Eurovision song. Although, it doesn’t seem like they’re actually singing, but just relying on the backing track/vocals a lot.

2) I.D.A. – Fight Me If You Dare – Hmm. Her voice kind of irks me for some reason. It’s not that she’s a bad singer…but she doesn’t seem very…good? The hard rock theme doesn’t really fit the song for me. I’m gonna pass. Cool pyrotechnics, though.

3) Janet Leon – Hollow — The dancers are cool. It’s an interesting juxtaposition to Janet Leon…who seems to be just standing there. I don’t know how about her voice, though. She’s a good singer but I don’t know if the way she’s screaming toward the end is supposed to emphasize the song or not. It sounds really off-key to me.

4) Ammotrack – Raise Your Hands — Hmmm I’m not digging this at all for some reason.

5) Josef Johansson – Hela Natten — Oh, this guy’s cute. I’m immediately paying attention. The 3-way view of him is kind of weird. Like…you know the audience isn’t seeing this, right? The song is catchy, though. WTF Choir out of nowhere?! The song sounds pretty – I wish I could understand it.

6) Linda Bengtzing – Ta Mig — Let me just start by saying that I am a fan of Linda Bengtzing’s. I saw her try in Melodifestivalen a few years ago with her song ‘Hur Svårt Kan Det Va’ and I loved it! And I’m digging this song. I think she’s a very talented performer and seems to be quite experienced. ANOTHER RANDOM APPEARANCE OF BACKUP SINGERS WTF. Is this a theme this year? I would totally send this through to the final. If not just for those golden pants!

7) Ellinore Holmer – En Himmelsk Sång — She sounded nervous at first, to me. Maybe not, but she’s an okay singer. I don’t see her advancing, though.

8 – Anton Ewald – Natural — Oh man, everything about this boy screams ‘boy band’. He dances well, he sings well, he’s cute. I’m gonna say that he’s advancing to the final. The song is just ‘alright’ for me. But I can see this making it through.

Alright so, the fourth semi final was not as entertaining for me as the past have been. I think that if I were to choose people to advance, it would probably be: Alcazar, Linda Bengtzing, and Anton Ewald. I can maybe see Joseff Johansson advancing too. 

***RESULTS***

WHAT?! Ammotrack?! Hahahaha. And Elinore Holmer too?! It will definitely be interesting to see how they all do against the others who have made it to the Final!

That’s it from me for now! I’ll most likely do a recap of my favorite acts who will be in Copenhagen this year sometime soon! Did you agree with the results of the 4th semi final? Let me know what you think!

Confessions of a Eurovision Fanboy: Melodifestivalen Reactions (3rd Semifinal)

 

As I explained in a previous post, I am a huge Eurovision fanboy and I’ve been watching the semi finals of Melodifestivalen when I can. Here are my thoughts on the 3rd semi final.

Please keep in mind that these are my thoughts from 1) an American perspective and 2) they are my real-time, initial reactions.

1) ECHO – Outtrigger — Wow, what the fuck. I wasn’t sure these guys were serious at first, but damn. It’s not really my preferred style of music, but his screaming is pretty on point. I don’t know if this will make it. But I guess, Lordi won in 2006 (2007?) so I might be wrong. The crowd seems to love it. The performance was certainly encaging (hohohooo). This one might advance.

 2) EKO – Red — (hmm this name seems similar to the one above…). Digging the synths. Not so much the song itself. She’s a good singer, though. It’s a bit too slow for my liking – but I tend to like upbeat songs.

3) Yes We Can – Oscar Zia — omg TV heads. Love it already. Oh…it’s all of the same dude? Narcissist. I’m getting a very Backstreet Boys vibe with this song. Nope, not really digging it. This guy doesn’t really seem to have much of a stage personality. I’m finding myself watching the dancers more than him =\

 4) Burning Alive – Shirley Clamp — Liiiiiiiiiiiiight! She had a very pretty voice. Oh dang, she has a REALLY good voice. Oh snap and then the song picks up. Now it’s become a gay club anthem. Yes. Yeah, I really liked that. It wasn’t super gripping at first but I enjoyed this song! I’d send this through to the final!

5) All We Are – State of Mind — uh oh. A catchy-sounding riff (“all we are! all we are!”) I bet this is going to do well. Oh my god, adorable lead singer. I’m enjoying this. Shout out to the dude with the awesome curly/frizzy hair! Final, definitely.

6) En Enkel Sång – Cajsastina Åkerström — I’m really happy to see a song in Swedish! Although I don’t understand 99% of it, I still think it’s cool. This woman reminds me a bit of Stevie Nicks. Perhaps if I understood more, I’d like it better. But to me, this sounds like something that would be sung at a karaoke machine during a wedding.

7) Busy Doing Nothing – Ace Wilder — Get it, gurl. With your red pants and finger wagging. Oh shit, it just popped off. I just started liking this more. Not the strongest vocals, but I’m kinda diggin’ this. It’s fun and nothing too serious. Also, props to the contortionist dancer! I also like the stepping routine that goes with the chorus! I would vote this through to the final haha

8) Around the World – Dr. Alban & Jessica Folcker — This beat is cool but it sounds familiar….like from a 90s song. Oh man, he’s off key. This performance is kind of a mess. Oh my god, he’s kind of terrible. I’d rather just listen to this woman. She’s pretending he’s not singing awfully. Bless. ACE OF BASE! That’s what it reminds me of – ‘I saw the Sign’. Ironic because they’re Swedish as well :O

So if IIII were voting, I would send these songs to the final: Shirley Clamp, State of Mind and Ace Wilder.

And how did my predictions fare?

******

Really?! Oscar Zia made it through FIRST? He was rather boring! I’m glad that State of Mind got another chance but I’m sad that Shirley Clamp came in 6th. I really enjoyed her.

That’s all from me for this time! I don’t know how many more semi finals there are until the final.

Do you agree with my thoughts? Who was your favorite? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Confessions of a Eurovision Fanboy: Melodifestivalen

 

credit to Eurovision.tv

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!