Tonight we will know all but the Swedish entry from our Nordic chums as Finland and Norway choose their entries, joining Iceland and Denmark who have already selected theirs. I’ll miss both live as I’m heading out for more Kopparberg in The Harcourt Arms to see the second heat of Melodifestivalen, but as we’ve had semis in both countries we know what we’re up for.
Finland first, and it is quite a diverse selection. I’ve given them a second spin this morning and my considered opinion is that, well, some of them are just about OK but I still feel we’re lacking something. The favourite is Mikael Saari singing an unusual ballad that does admittedly have an impressive crescendo. I suppose it’s reminiscent of last year’s Estonian entry Kuula by Ott Lepland, which for me did inexplicably well. Perhaps it’s this similarity that means I’m also not quite getting this. Mikael is clad in what looks like a beige velour suit with a hairstyle to match and does seem to be missing a certain something which made Ott standout somehow.
Mikael’s closest rival seems to be Diandra’s Colliding Into You (and frankly I’m not surprised she is given how big her bum looks in those slacks). It’s more typical than the ballad, but again just lacks a certain oomph for me. Still, I’d be happy to see either of these win the ticket over what I hope remains just a novelty entry. Singing Marry Me Krista Siegfrieds is an eager piece! She’s popping the question (or more accurately using the imperative, I’m not sure whoever she’s asking can back out of this alive) whilst somewhat presumptively already wearing her wedding dress. I don’t know how long in advance you have to give notification of a marriage in Finland, but it seems to me she’s overlooked the crying of her banns. Nothing against the girl but let’s hope she’s jilted at the altar this evening for Eurovision’s sake.
And so to Norway, where they’ve been having a bit of a laugh so far this year. Given what they’ve voted to the final it’s safe to say nothing is a given. We might yet end up with a death metal ‘n’ classical combo by default. I do hope all my chums who’ve travelled to Oslo this weekend have local SIM cards and a spare £47.50 per call to vote for something good. For me we have to sit all the way through to songs 9 and 10 for it to get truly interesting.
The obvious choice, and quite clear favourite seems to be song 9 by ice-queen Margaret Berger, or The Feeder as I’ll call her. She delivers an engaging yet somehow slightly sinister number Feed You My Love designed to fatten us up with her lasciviousness. It’s all a bit dramatic, and thank heavens she’s only got three minutes else I fear I might have some terrible indigestion before she’s satisfied.
The Feeder gives way to song 10 I Love You Te Quiero in which we see two track-suited chaps do a bit of rapping before getting up to boogie with four dancers in oversized bunny outfits. It’s the kind of thing that could become a perma-fixture on the clip reels of Euro curios but it’s so infectiously happy that I just can’t help loving it. Tonight’s second favourite Bombo wasn’t terribly well performed in the semi finals so I think it’s really The Feeder’s to lose.
Meanwhile over in Sweden SVT are making a great show out of looking like they desperately don’t want to win it again. I know we’re only half way there but there’s nothing from their one-minute smytittars that’s really showing promise again this week. I’m sure in the pub tonight the Swedish Housewives will go down a treat with our first whiff of schlager this season, and after last year Mr Banana (I’m Anglicising, forgive me) will be an entertaining spectacle, but it’s not a vintage Melodifestivalen yet.
To round you off this evening, Latvia completes their semi finals after the first heat last night and Hungary whittles down another 10 to 6. I must admit I’ve not yet tuned into their selection, but having heard a compilation of clips of all the entries I’ve neither the wherewithal nor the gumption to start.
Have a jolly evening, whatever you tune into, folks.