The Swedish one, that is.
1. When someone gets through, it means they’re good, and not just that there is a slightly higher chance of them being good than with the ones who didn’t get through.
2. The judges are the writers of some of the world’s most brilliant pop songs, with artists ranging from the BSBs to Rachel Stevens. Two of them used to be married, yet there is still far less pointless, egotistical judge drama than on The X Factor.
3. Almost all of the boys are cute, and not just in an attractive popstar way, but in a way that they seem like people you could really meet and get on with too. I seem to fall in love with every other male contestant, even one with a moustache in episode 6, which is certainly a first for me!
4. Idol has given us Darin, Måns, Agnes, Ola, Amanda and Danny (among others), who between them have made about 60 good songs. X Factor so far has produced 4, 2 each from Leona and Shayne. This means there’s a good chance this year’s series will produce at least one poptastic artist.
5. When people don’t get through, they are usually very graceful about it. They say thank you, and walk away with their head held high. They don’t cry or plead, and they certainly don’t shout insults at the judges. It makes the worst part of these series (the first round – contrary to most British people’s opinions, it is not funny but sad and exploitative) far less tedious.
6. They play brilliant music in the background. This year it’s mainly been Robyn, Kleerup or Robyn & Kleerup, but Lykke Li and Da Buzz have also been in use. The only problem with this is that I start bopping along and forget to pay attention to the Swedish, losing all clue of what’s going on.
7. Christoffer Hiding! He was pretty.
8. It’s a way of learning Swedish, and once you’ve accomplished that, you’re all set to emigrate to the world’s most poptastic country. Even if you’re not a languages person, you can still follow things very easily without a high level of Swedish. After all, I managed to understand Melodifestivalen for years knowing no more than “lyssna” and how to pronounce “p3” (pear trair).
9. The Swedes have much less boring taste in music than the Brits and Americans, because sometimes people even sing songs from this century! Occasionally they even cover current Swedish pop hits, such as Amanda doing Don’t Hate On Me by Vincent last year. She then went on to release a single written by him, which is one of the best Swedish songs of 2008 so far.
10. You can watch the whole thing online at the TV4 website, whether you’re Swedish or not, and the website actually functions, unlike that of a certain completely useless UK channel which has a nervy b every time I try to watch anything on it.
Coming soon: my verdict on this year’s Idol talent!