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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Melodifestivalen 2013: Post Final Wrap-Up

Melodifestivalen is over for another year, which always makes me a little sad because I definitely look forward to it more than Eurovision. But, I am happy that we're now at the point that we should be: enjoying the songs for what they are, rather than pitting them against each other.

I started this year's MF coverage thoroughly underwhelmed, but something happened as the week's went on that somehow gave us a Final that was quite strong. Although there obviously wasn't anything as good as last year's Euphoria, I'd argue that, song for song, this year's Final was stronger than last year's. And even though I can't say that my favorite won, in the seven years I've been following and covering the competition, I've never seen such exciting, nail-biting voting results.

Here were the final stats:
(Jury + Public = Total)

1. Robin Stjernberg (91 + 75 = 166)
2. Yohio (30 + 103 = 133)
3. Ulrik Munther (82 + 44 = 126)
4. Anton Ewald (49 + 59 = 108)
5. Louise Hoffsten (36 + 49 = 85)
6. Sean Banan (37 + 41 = 78)
7. Ralf Gyllenhammer (33 + 40 = 73)
8. David Lindgren (57 + 12 = 69)
9. State Of Drama (50 + 18 = 68)
10. Ravaillacz (8 + 32 = 40)

The most interesting info to pull from this:

* In my opinion, the voters got the top four right... just not in the right order.
* I'm shocked at Ralf's low placing, particularly with the Swedish voters. How does a presumed favorite fall this far without any similar act competing against him?
* I was much better at predicting the bottom three than the top three this year.
* David Lindgren's shocking 12 points from the voting public show that he was indeed the victim of vote-splitting, as I predicted. Also, apparently I'm not the only one who finds him unlikable.
* The big controversy will be, of course, the disconnect between the Int. Juries and the public. The juries really didn't like Yohio, and the Swedes really did. I hope they don't cave in and get rid of the juries. I think the contest needs an outside perspective.
* Poor Ulrik landed right where I predicted he would, and right where he did last year (even though the song was vastly superior this time). He did increase one place with the public vote this year (he came sixth last year, and was fifth this time -- against much tougher competition)
* I am baffled by the points that the juries gave to Sean. Hopefully his placing in the bottom half yesterday will be the nail in the coffin of his MF career.
* The two biggest losers of the night? David and State of Drama, who both flashed rude expressions when their meager votes were announced.

And now, a look at the winner.
I feel largely ambivalent about Robin, actually. It was exciting to see a dark horse triumph unexpectedly, but his song was only my 4th or 5th favorite in the competition. Plus, the bitter side of me thinks that if Robin hadn't been in the final, his votes may have gone to Ulrik, paving the way for him to win. Of course, we'll never know, but I can speculate :)
The song is good, the performance is good. He seems nice, if a little needy. There's just something about the whole package that hasn't connected with me, no matter how hard I try. I predict it going top ten in Eurovision, but not winning (which, honestly, is probably what Sweden wants anyway). In the grand scheme of MF winners, it's no atrocity like This Is My Life, but it's certainly no Euphoria either. I can be happy with it, if not excited.

I do, however, quite like this remixed version. The added hook takes it past its adult-contemporary leanings and gives it more oomph.

And finally, my top ten songs of MF 2013 (likely to change):

1. Ulrik Munther - Tell The World I'm Here
2. Anton Ewald - Begging
3. Martin Rolinski - In And Out Of Love
4. Behrang Miri - Jalla Dansa Sawa
5. Yohio - Heartbreak Hotel
6. Army Of Lovers - Rockin' The Ride
7. Robin Stjernberg - You
8. Ralf Gyllenhammar - Bed On Fire
9. Eric Gadd - Vi Kommer Aldrig Att Förlora
10. Caisa & Michael Feiner - We're Still Kids



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