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Saturday, March 08, 2014

Melodifestivalen 2014: The Final

This is a weird one. Last year everything seemed already etched in stone at this point of the competition, but we ended up with a big surprise winner. This year, things seem to be a little more flexible, yet I don't think the winner will be much of a surprise at all. I feel like it's going to be Ace vs. Sanna. But as we learned in 2013, anything can happen when it comes to the juries.

* Always nice to see Charlotte Perrelli, even if she's singing Disney. Maybe she should host next year?

* It sounded like the announcer announced Yohio as "Loreen." Maybe it's just me.

* Seeming like Oscar, Linus and Ace are getting the most audience love, but then again I'm not sure the audience knew they were supposed to be clapping when Yohio and Anton first showed up.

ANTON: I can't help but think that, with a stronger song that catered more to his vocal range, he could have walked this final. It's a shame, as I think he'll struggle to finish in the top three this year. His vocals are better than two weeks ago, though. Still, it's no Beggin', and that's what's going to hurt him the most. You just can't come back with a weaker song.

ELLEN: She's the real red herring of this year's final. I like the song. It's pleasant. It just doesn't jibe. She may win some votes with it, though, just for the fact that she's got no direct competition. But SVT's given her the death slot. Never a good sign.

ALCAZAR: Talk about a change of tempo! Out of the ten acts, these guys would be my choice to win today's final, even though it's not their best song. I would just love something so campy and Abba-esque to represent Sweden. I think they'll probably end up 3rd or 4th in the results, unfortunately. Weirdly, I think the live version of this is better than the studio version.

OSCAR: Another song I like a lot. I wish his live vocals were better, but you simply can't deny the strength of that chorus. Now watch him finish middle of the pack and come back next year with a weaker song. Seems to be the pattern.

LINUS: I wouldn't be surprised if this guy finished higher than most are predicting. The juries probably won't like him, but I bet his televote is pretty strong. The song's grown on me as well. I love how this is the third Kempe song in a row. That guy owns MF.

HELENA: I can't muster the excitement for this song like everyone else seems to. I don't dislike it. It just doesn't do anything for me. In the battle of the divas, I guess I prefer Sanna. She does give it her all, though.

YOHIO: Last year, when he was the presumed frontrunner, I thought his song was incredibly weak. This year he's got one of my favorite entries of the competition, yet nobody seems to be talking about him. I would love to see this surprise. I doubt it will. Still, the televote should help him quite a bit. I do hate that he does these great pop/rock numbers on MF and then his albums are filled with absolute, grungy/screamy crap. Kinda feels like he's just using this competition.

SANNA: I've come around with this song over the last few weeks. I've always loved her, but I liked Empty Room better. However, this would be a worthy winner for Sweden. The moment the second chorus kicks in, it absolutely takes off. If it truly is between Sanna and Ace, I vote for Sanna.

PANETOZ: I feel like they're destined for a finish somewhere towards the bottom. Any other year and they might stand out more. The quality's too high. It's a fun festive song, nothing more.

ACE: It's definitely the "cool" song of the final, but I don't think it's the best. I like her, though, and I'm happy to see that this has been a great launching pad for her. Personally, I think she'd do better not to win and focus her attention on a great album. Eurovision can really be a double-edged sword for an artist like her. But she's in with a major chance, so we'll see how things go.

* Getting the International Jury scoreboard ready below. Excited! These are the votes that can really change things up.

* You simply CAN'T beat an Abba tribute. Makes up for all the crappy intervals this year.

* Wow, I am loving all the former winners coming out to salute the best. Wish Loreen would have been there, though...

* Edit: That baker's fingernails are disgusting!

Denmark - 12 points: Ace
Estonia - 12 points: Linus
France - 12 points: Alcazar!!
Germany - 12 points: Linus (woah!)
Israel - 12 points: Ace
Italy - 12 points: Ace
Malta - 12 points: Helena
Netherlands - 12 points: Ace
Russia - 12 points: Ace (and of course they gave nothing to Alcazar...)
Spain - 12 points: Sanna (finally!)
UK - 12 points: Alcazar (haha yes!)

So we've got:
1. Ace
2. Sanna
3. Alcazar
and poor Anton in last place....
Still hoping for a Sanna or Alcazar win, but I feel like Ace has it pretty much wrapped up.

* Weird that they're letting the public vote after the jury selections were revealed. I don't think they did this last year, and it could definitely change things now that we know who the frontrunners are.


The winner is...
1. Sanna!!  (by. two. freaking. points.)
2. Ace
3. Alcazar
4. Helena
5. Linus
6. Yohio
7. Ellen
8. Oscar
9. Panetoz
10. Anton (!)


A deserving winner, I'd say. This has gotta feel like sweet justice after Charlotte squeaked by over Sanna in the 2008 final. What an incredibly close victory, though. I can't remember one being this tight. The biggest surprise for me is Anton's last place finish with both the juries and the voters. Let that be a lesson to next year's artists: don't come back with a crap song. Still hoping for that Anton album that surely must be in the works.



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