Melodifestivalen: The Final

Being a complete idiot, I have already found out the results of Melodifestivalen but I’m watching it now for the first time and I’ll pretend not to know to keep up the suspense. You can too by clicking here!

The show begins with the Eurovision music and as usual when I hear I’m instantly full of glee. Then they show some pictures of Stockholm, which gets me even more excited recognising places and, erm, bus shelters! Fianlly there are the actual MF titles (such a pretty logo) and we can see inside the Globen theatre where it’s held. It looks like Wembley arena, a sea of dark blue people with many waving little yellow lights and balloons of every colour.

Then Lena Philipsson, the presenter of MF this year, appears amid them throwing her hands in the air and squealing what sounds like “toodalooo!” No Lena, we don’t want to say goodbye yet, we’ve only just started! The crowd goes insane and Lena parades up to the stage in a jolly pink dress followed by a number of security guys who stand around the edges of the stage to either prevent the audience jumping up to join her or, more likely, Lena getting so excited she falls right off.

She chats for a bit, then it’s time for a song. As she sings about each contestant a large picture of them appears on stage. I am going to be singing “bee-vee-ooh” (BWO in Swedish) to the tune of Waterloo for the rest of my life! Although I could understand very little of the song I’m quite certain it was fantastisk. Then she gets on with her chatting until… a streaker comes on stage! Lena seemed rather worried and not very amused as I would have expected so perhaps it was planned? I’m not sure – any Swedish readers please let me know.

Finally it’s time for the first song and it’s…

Andreas Johnson – Sing For Me
I learn that Johnson is pronounced “yoonsonn” in Swedish so I will be calling my relatives who share that name “the yoonsonns” from now on. He looks a bit fat and his blue suit is really boring but this is a very catchy song. Towards the end he walks through the audience to another small stage. He sings well and overall it’s a perfect performance.

Two guys from SVT Sport appear in what is obviously a hilarious joke (although one used every week on TOTP Saturday) with lots of sports/music metaphors. Next song please!

Bjorn Kjellvan – Älskar du livet
Bjoring Bjorn is back only a week after we last had to put up with him. The song begins with extremely disturbing video footage of Bjorn looking like a phantom circus leader or alernatively the child catcher. Run away! Run away! The song sounds like something from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang too. Well, the Swedish version. There’s even an accordion! The whole thing resembles a very scary dream I once had and certainly wasn’t hoping to relive.

Linda Bengtzing – Jag ljuger så bra
At last it’s time for lovely Linda! Her song last year was my favourite (joint with Alcazar & Pay TV) so I had high expectations for this one and I do like it a lot, although not as much as Alla Flickor. This is exactly how a Melodifestivalen performance should sound and look. She has 3 Bucks Fizz-esque costume changes with her dress getting shorter and shorter until you can see her knickers. She now looks like a younger version of Lena Ph, so she clearly has years of aceness still ahead of her.

The Poodles – Night Of Passion
This is the 80s-style rock band, obviously chosen in the hope of recreating the success of Wigwam – by which I mean last year’s Norwegian Eurovision entry as opposed to the new group of Betty Boo. The problem is, they’re not as good or as mad as either Wigwam and this joke is so unfunny now.

Magnus Carlsson – Lev Livet
I like this song a lot and being a huge fan of Alcazar I have to support Magnus but I do think he’s lost a lot of his sparkle without the others around him just being ace. The string dance is back, channeling Rachel Stevens and Elena Paparizou. He’s still a great performer, beating all the other solo blokes undoubtedly. Hopefully this will lead to a great solo career for him – and even if it doesn’t it’s good news cos it means Alcazar might reform!

Rednex – Mama Take Me Home
Certainly the most thoroughly thought through stage set-up of the night so far – they’ve made it into a cosy barn/house with bales of hay and even a washing line with clothes on it behind them. The song begins with a talky bit between the boys, then the girl arrives singing and dancing in a dress that looks more Tarzan than country, but the tassles do the job well enough. The chorus is great but it says a lot that the best bit of this song is when they sing a bit of Cotton Eye Joe, and I was rather cross when it didn’t appear in the live performance (I guess lyrics of old songs aren’t allowed in Eurovision, or everyone would be inserting a bit of Waterloo). I loved that song when it was first released and had no idea it was Swedish – now I know why I loved it.

Carola – Evighet
Now it’s time for the lady no-one can confidently expect to beat. She’s won Eurovision once and another time came 3rd – she is the biggest Swedish Eurovision legend after ABBA, and since they’re not likely to reform at the moment Carola is the biggest they can get. It’s a very good song but Carola annoys me, not least because she leaves the competition so closed, so I can only half support her.

Magnus Bäcklund – The Name Of Love
The beginning of this performance made me laugh because the lighting made Magnus look like he was covered in mud. That’s an interesting take on the song, I thought – in the name of love, I cover myself in mud… it almost rhymes too! He mixes two styles popular in Eurovision, the dreary ballad and the ethnic backing music. It’s better than many of the male-sung ballads of MF this year but it’s nothing compared to Magnus’ last appearance at Eurovision with his band Fame and the acetastic song Give Me Your Love. Someone needs to go back to pop, please! The funny thing is though, I could really imagine this doing well at Eurovision.

Kikki Danielsson – Idag & imorgon
I realise now who she reminds me of – Cilla from Coronation Street! This does not bode well for her. Her tent-like outfit would fit in better in Joseph & The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. The song is not awful, just average, and I’m too impatient for the next act to have any interest in it.

BWO – Temple Of Love
And now, the very very very exciting moment! My favourite new band of this century so far, it’s BWO!!!! Martin dances like no-one else I’ve ever seen, Alexander looks like no-one else I’ve ever seen and Marina is just the most glamorous and fabuluous woman on the planet, not to mention the luckiest. There may be no more Smash Hits or Popworld, the Spice Girls can get old and Will Young can take drugs – while BWO exist I still have faith in humanity, because they represent everything that is ace in the world all bundled up into one band, and that performance made everything else I’ve seen this morning utterly pointless.

Now we have a rundown of all the performers and the phonelines. Vote BWO everyone! Nice to see that idiots who jump up and shake their fists when the camera goes around to them are a universal plague, not just a British embarrassment as all the complaining about football hooligans would suggest. A guy from the orchestra is interviewed and he looks like an even more deranged version of James Blunt – but even he is not as scary as Bjorn Kjellvan!

Next up is what was the most exciting moment of our Making Your Mind Up show – a performance by Elena Paparizou. It must be one of the best bits of winning Eurovision, getting to go around all the different countries’ Euro selection shows, even if she does always have to perform the same song. Please let her sing Mambo on the actual Eurovision interval, that will be amazing. I like to imagine that Elena lives on the same street as Lena Philipsson, Shirley Klamp and Carola, where they are the Swedish answer to desperate housewives. Kikki can be the nosy neighbour and Victoria Silvstedt can be Edie, because she reminds me of her so much. They really should make this programme, it would be great!

Now at last it’s time for the scores from the jury. First up is Fredrik who gives scores from Orebro, a place I’ve never heard of. Linda gets a disappointing 1 point. Carola gets only 2 points!! The top marks go to Andreas, Magnus B and… BWO! 12 points! Now I think we should end the contest here and say they’ve won – all agreed? Yep. OK. Bye!

But sadly that’s against the rules so we have to carry on. Martin grins like a loon while Alex gives a smile and a shrug as though to say “Well, what did you expect? We are the best!” It seems to be exactly the same guy giving points from a place called Lulea. Top points go to Carola, BWO and Andreas, a far less deserving winner. Somewhere called Falun only gives BWO 4 points! What a load of poo! Interestingly, I notice that points is said “pooing” in Swedish, which now seems appropriate. Top points to Magnus B, Andreas and Carola. Hmmph! Now Andreas is in the lead cos his points have been consistently in the top 3.

Why do Lena and Fredrik keep saying hello to each other as though he is a different person each time – we are not fooled that easily! Karlstad, the first place I recognise, gives BWO only 2 points! Remind me never to go there, they clearly hate fun. Top points go to Magnus B, Carola and Andreas, who know looks like he thinks he’s won. Not so fast, mister! Umea gives BWO only 6 points. What is going on? They deserve twice that. Ten times that in fact, can’t we break the rules for this special occasion? Top points go to Magnus B, Carola and Andreas again, who is now shaking people’s hands!

Freddy is having a right old rant about something now. Shut up and get on with it! 8 for BWO from Norrkoping (add umlauts as appropriate) with top points going to Carola and Andreas. It’s like World Idol again, when that guy Kurt Nilsen who looked smelly and had a single which sounded just like Glorious by Andreas won basically every vote. The top 3 now go Andreas, Carola, BWO.

Now time for Goteborg, where I went on holiday last year. I know for a fact they love BWO (I even saw them play live there, which was amazing) so they have to give them lots of points. They give Bjorn his very 1st points of the night – now only Kikki has nil points. The top 3 go to Andreas, BWO and Carola. Some improvement I suppose. Fredrik is now “in” Sundsvall, where it’s snowy so he dons a fetching pink hat. This must be another area which dislikes fun since they give BWO only 6. Top points go to Rednex, Andreas and Carola, who is now catching up with Andreas.

Fredrik must be saying something funny since a girl in the audience is practically falling out of herseat with laughter. He literally won’t shut up. Vaxjo give top points to Carola, BWO and Andreas. Malmo awards them to Carola, Andreas and… BWO!! Woohoo! Alex gives a cute little wave and the others clap happily, hoping all is not lost. At last it’s time for Stockholm’s results. Suddenly the stream goes green and upside down! Kikki at last gets 2 points. Top points go to Magnus Carlsson (yay!), Carola and BWO! Yay, I love you Stockholm!

Now there is 20 points between the top 3, but there is still the phone votes to count, which can make a big difference. The sports guys are back to announce that the phone lines are closed, and I notice they have the same ties in different colours. Lena asks Andreas a question to which he seems to respond “shit” – rather odd since he is winning so far. Then she speaks to Carola, the sports guys discuss a Melodifestivalen all-star team and then Lena sings one of her songs (I think) which is very good. I love her dancing!

And here is last year’s winner, Martin Stenmarck. It still should have been Alcazar. At last, Lena announces the telephone votes. Magnus B gets 11 pooings. Linda gets 22. Rednex get 44. Poodles get 66. Andreas gets 88, which means he is very unlikely now to win. He looks understandably sad and I almost feel sorry for him. Almost… but not really! The next points define whether BWO or Carola wins. If I didn’t know the result alreayd this would be the most nerve-wracking moment of my life so far. Actually it’s quite scary even knowing. 110 pooings go to BWO – they have not won. The winner is Carola, with 132 pooings. Now we will never know how far BWO were from winning – if they had got more phone votes than Carola they would have won. How annoying! Still, Carola is not undeserving (better than Andreas at least), just not as deserving as BWO.

Carola runs on stage weilding a Greek flag. Now she is to sing her song in English. It’s better but I’m sure at one point she sings “unvincible”, which is definitely not a word! She switches back to Swedish half way through – I’m not sure whether she’ll do the same at Athens or if she was just showcasing both versions at once so she sells lots of singles. The show ends with the sports guys dancing and Carola having lots of photos taken.

Goodbye my Swedish pals! Until next year!

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