Preview: Sweden – Melodifestivalen 2011


March 12, 2011


  • Please oh please, is it Eric Saade’s year?

In 2010 Eric Saade gave us the awesomest non-winning entry ever, “Manboy.”  Its fabulousness cannot be captured with mere words.  A loss at Melodifestivalen, it turned out, was a boon for Saade’s career.  He gained a large fan base and then a ton of sympathy when Sweden, for the first year ever, failed to make the ESC Finals.  He goes into this year’s competition with momentum, singing another song by Frederick Kempe, Sweden’s perennial Eurovision songwriter and kingmaker.  So it he… “Popular?”

Well, Melodifestivalen can be hard to figure.  Songs that seem obvious ESC candidates don’t make it out of the Semis while rockabilly, retro schlager, and botoxed 30-something divas sail through. We know not to mess with songwriter Frederick Kempe, but last year demonstrated that he can be edged out.  And even this year, three of his songs were performed across various semis, finishing 1st, 2nd, and last. Going into MF, all you can really predict is that the show will be well-produced, performances will be professional, and at least half of the songs will have ABBA-inspired backing vocals.

That all said Sweden was pretty traumatized by Anna Bergendahl’s flame out at last year’s ESC. We strongly suspect that Sweden will be looking to return to its comfort zone, bubblegum dance pop.  Saade’s main competition comes from Danny with “In the Club,” which has been head-to-head with “Popular” in the Swedish iTunes download charts.

Songs We’ll Be Looking For:

Popular – Eric Saade.  Saade’s 2010 Melodifestivalen performance was a tough act to follow, but I think “Popular” gets him there. Swedish televoters can have their do-over if they want it. Make no mistake, this is only more of the same, but Saade is charismatic and his performance level on “Popular” is very high. For heaven’s sake, he shatters glass with the power of his awesome. He’d get our vote, he’s the bookies pick, and he goes last.  This is the one to beat.

In the Club – Danny.  Danny Saucedo has had a string of #1 hits in the Swedish pop charts since 2007, both as a soloist and as a member of EMD.  “In the Club” is another Eurotrash dance anthem, but Danny can sing and dance with the best of them. The performance is well-executed, and he cleaned up votes in his semi-final. Maybe its wishful thinking, but I still doubt this song will hold up when directly pitted against Eric. Did I mention he goes first?