Idol + Bard = ?

Since pop genius Alexander Bard has joined this year’s judging panel, there’s more reason than ever to forget about X Factor and get obsessed with Swedish Idol instead. You can watch both if you want, but you will soon find yourself wishing that even 5% of the Swedes who make it through the Idol auditions had come to the UK to try out for X Factor instead. Where we get Diana Vickers, they get Tove Styrke. We get Shayne Ward, they get Måns Zelmerlöw. I think that’s explanation enough.

The new series began last night and “someone” has kindly uploaded it for your viewing pleasure. Click here to watch.

If you think watching a TV show in a foreign language will be boring and still need a bit more convincing, here are the top five best bits of episode one…

  1. The surrealness of seeing Alexander Bard with his big ginger beard and short trousers in the middle of the judging panel. He seems to be living up to his reputation of causing controversy as he is proving to be pretty argumentative, but also a pleasingly tough judge, avoiding putting through the usual ‘well they might get better later’ contestants. Only the best for the Bard!
  2. The first contestant to get through was more interesting than any of this year’s X Factor contestants so far. Olle is a cute, cool and super-smiley boy with a huge afro. His voice has that sound that only Swedish men seem to be capable of (very Christian Walz) and could be a little annoying but he has great popstar potential. I also liked his pronunciation of “Michael Bubbly”.
  3. Crowd singalongs during the episode include Britney’s Till The World Ends and one of my favourite Swedish-language songs, Känn Ingen Sorg För Mig Göteborg by Håkan Hellström. The soundtrack also featured Robyn, Lisa Miskovsky and Nicki Minaj.
  4. Contestants can apply by posting videos online, and presenter Cissi goes to surprise the best ones to let them know they’ve got an audition. Rather than just going “surprise!!” she likes to dress up as the contestant and impersonate them. Yep, the Swedish sense of humour is a bit weird.
  5. Sweden as a country is all about individuality and although the “look how quirky I am!” card is occasionally played on X Factor, in Sweden being different is the norm so there is true variety among the contestants. One example is dreadlocked acoustic guitar-playing Moa. A British person of this description would be insufferably self-aware but Moa is a typical Swedish girl with a really nice voice. Her teeth and eyebrows are a little off-putting though.
And the next episode is tonight! Woohoo!!


  1. I quite like the contestants this year! I still think the X-Factor is better produced and funnier, but that's not very hard to understand since they have a HUGE budget compared to Swedish Idol. Bard has done a good job this far. Although there has been a few ridiculous comments such as “you can't sing, the only future you have is as a frightning thing in a horror movie” and “I hate you, you suck”. But overall the media hasn't been all over him about how horrible he is, so I'm pleased. I agree that the Swedish contestants are better than the British ones this far! (Compared to last year, when we got a few interesting popstars in X-Factor but not ONE in Swedish Idol.)

  2. What the fuck is up with that Russian guy, though?! He went THROUGH, and he's #1 in iTunes. Oh well…

    Looking forward to more Idol posts!

  3. I totally agree about last year – it was really good for X Factor (they actually tried to create current, viable pop acts) but Swedish Idol was terrible. This year is looking up already for Idol and looking pretty dull for X Factor but it's still early so could all change. As long as at least one of the shows is exciting I'll be happy enough.

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