It’s over. The greatest hangover of the year that lasts a week.
A reprise to 2014. Thank god, I need 200 days to recouperate before Sweden’s Melodiefestivalen attacks my eyes and ears like the zombie virus of bad singing and fashion.
For now, let’s visit the worst of Eurovision fashion from last week. Please be ready to be offended.
Un Point – Israel – Poorly Fitted Mermaid Dress. Honestly, the fashion designer and seamstress(es) should be fired for this outfit. It was poorly shaped, poorly stitched, and lumpy. Just because Moran is a luscious sized woman, doesn’t mean your stitching has to suck.
Deux Points – Ukraine – It was plain, it was forgettable and it was nude. Nude colors are bad for the stage; they make you look naked!
Trois Points – Germany – Congratulations for adding 20 years to your age by wearing a disco infused bomb of sequins and stringy stuff.
Quatre Points – Belarus – Girl, you ain’t Shakira. And Belarus is not allowed to have sunshine. That would be totally anti-communistic. Want to have fun and dance on the beach? Go to Spain.
Cinq Points – Turkey – I always love it when a stripper goes to Hollywood and meets prince charming. Errr, I mean goes to
Eurovision and is wearing a Madonna bustier.
Six Points – Finland – Trash the dress session meets Courtney Love.
Sept Points – – I don’t even know what country this is, but I don’t want to be visited by the Red-Reaper.
Huit Points – Moldova – She lit herself on fire. She lit herself on FIRE! Nevermind, that was just a plastic reflective dress for the digital projector to shine flames.
Dix Points – Montenegro – Spacesuits. Really? Spacesuits?! No wonder they couldn’t even make it past the first semi-final, they forgot about the most important theory in science: the bad costume – shitty singing continuum. Meeting both these conditions causes one to fall into the abyss of Eurovision hell.
And the douze points goes to…
Vampire meets Annie Lenox meets Cher. OMGWTF is going on?!
Saturday night was the holy event of Melodiefestivalen. It was in this final episode of the myriad of Melodivestivalen shows that actually determined who will go to the Eurovision Song Contest.
With over 4 million people watching in a country of 9.4 million, there was no way escaping Saturday night unscathed from the event.
And Danny Saucedo (pronounced Sau-ce-do not Sauce-Do), lost. Again. He came in second place again after losing last year’s title to unknown boy called Eric Saade.
According to the tabloid Aftonbladet, Danny was seen running out after the show and being a “sore loser.” Losing two years in a row in extremely close races, does earn the man the right to cry his heart our.
Poor Saucedo. His song, Amazing, really wasn’t amazing enough to win against Euphoria by Loreen. She won 268 points to his 198 points.
I thought Danny’s Tron-style act was fun and memorable. His song was catchy with a touch of Schalger.
Loreen has an amazing voice. It’s reminiscient of Celine Dion and at any moment, she just might break out into My Heart Will Go On. Unfortunately, Loreen’s act was borderline psychofrenic. Rapid arm movements in no particular direction, running from one side of the stage to another with arms flaying in the air, and the most bizarre backup dancer yet to be seen: a black man rolling around and then hugging her from behind.
Doesn’t he look he’s going to do something very very bad??
Borderline molesting her while arms are flapping around, euphoria is in all the wrong places.
For yet another year, Sweden is sending something of a joke. Loreen’s great but not memorable and if she continues with the current choreography, people just may wonder what Swedes have in the water supply.
I’ve never been into Melodiefestivalen. Honestly I don’t get it. I do enjoy Eurovision and all their political voting that goes on, but the whole singing around Sweden like a banshee isn’t for me.
Instead, I have asked my good friend, Melodietjej*, to write about her love affair with Melodiefestivalen. Oh, and she’s American too!
Over the next 6 weeks my friends will start coming out of their winter doldrums, enjoying the extra hours of light, and having parties that I cannot attend. Because I will be watching Melodifestivalen.
Yes, I love Melodifestivalen. It is an epic battle of singing, dancing, and everything good and bad about Sweden rolled into one. I will try to capture my love for this contest as adequately as possible, but sometimes feelings are too strong to be described in words.
Melodifestivalen is Sweden’s preliminary runoff to the big Eurovision contest (this year in Baku, Azerbaijan – one of the former communist countries that you had no idea was part of Europe). Melodifestivalen happens each week in a different Swedish city (Växjö, Göteborg, Leksand, Malmö and Stockholm).# Each week 8 songs are be debuted and people in Sweden vote for their favorites via text message.
There are a few things to understand about Melodifestivalen and why it’s so wonderful.
First, the people performing the songs can (usually) actually sing well.
Second, the performances are all-out productions. We’re talking lights, dancers, choreography, outfits, backup singers. Last year, Eric Saade (Sweden’s Justin Bieber) even had exploding glass panes as part of his act.
Third, these two things combine with some of the worst pop songs you will ever hear in your life.
The people selected to perform at Melodifestivalen are actually pretty diverse. All ages, pretty equal sex balance, different styles. It’s no Idol (American or Swedish) with its parade of people who’s mom’s lied to them about their singing ability. But, at least once or twice each week someone slides through the cracks and makes you wince. It’s bad to be able to tell someone is out of tune on a song you’ve never heard.
Since Britney, Beyonce, and Justin the idea that you just stand there and sing is pretty much unacceptable – especially if you want to appeal to your voting demographic. Lady Gaga may make it look easy, but few people dance well and sing well at the same time.
At Melodifestivalen this works out in a few different ways.There are the few traditional, non-dancing singers. Then there are the non-singing, dancers (sorry Danny, those were some sweet moves, but there were backup vocals during the whole song!), and the trying-to-dance-therefore-not-able-to singers (pretty much everyone else).
On the positive side, the production aspect is usually very high quality. Lots of lights, sometimes smoke and fire, elaborate outfits. There is also the infamous fan. It wouldn’t be Melodifestivalen without wind whipping the performers’ tresses while they croon.
Oh, they’re catchy — I sing them around my house and my husband is able to sing along without ever having heard the originals. But, they are the types of songs that tend to make all but the tweens groan. Since the primary voting demographic is probably 12 year-old girls, it works out ok. The lyrics make sense as long as you don’t think about them for more than five seconds (“Manboy, manboy you can call me manboy”).
Before you go after me for Swede-bashing, the Americans like seem to like these kinds of songs too – “The Sign” (Ace of Base), “Baby One More Time” (Britney Spears), “I Want it That Way” (Backstreet Boys) – just a few of the many Swedish-written pop songs (of course Ace of Base was also a Swedish group).
Performed by The Moniker
But, perhaps the best part about Melodifestivalen is how it is a huge guilty pleasure. Try going out on the night of the final and tell me how many people you find before the show has ended. Then, after it’s over, when the bar starts to fill-up, eavesdrop and see how many casual “getting to know you” conversations discuss the show. Most likely, if you ask people whether they have or do watch Melodifestivalen, they’ll say no. But come March 10th at 20.00, you’ll have a good shot at correctly guessing where they are.**
*– not her real name to protect the identity of herself and friends… :facepalm:
**– Ok, this may not be completely true. Plenty of the 30-somethings loathe Melodifestivalen and you may get an awkward look if that’s your pickup line.
***– You can catch Melodiefestivalen on SVT channels and streaming on the internet through www.svtplay.se.