Two finalists in Sweden

The first of four Swedish semi-finals is over and Mr Becks is scratching his head. As usual, SVT has put on a very slick show that looks good and is fun in almost every aspect. Loads of this and loads of that, and funny gags and funny scripts. And an audience that loves it all. Very unlike the tiny productions that take place in Finland.

But songwise, this first Swedish semi was not very far ahead of the first Finnish dito. More or less all the songs were fair, quite good, completely enjoyable, but in no way eternal masterpieces.

And when there are no real monster hits, people tend to vote for singers they feel familiar with. Christer Sjögren is a household name after fronting the most popular Swedish dansband Vikingarna since 1979, and he is deeply loved by many people out there. That must be it, because I can't find it in me to believe that people actually voted for "I Love Europe".

There is no melody line in that song. In fact, I'd like to question whether it really is a song. It goes on and on, but there is nothing to hold on to. But a few ostrich feathers seem to be enough to light up the gloomy Swedish winter.

But thank you, Amy Diamond, for qualifying and raising the level a bit. "Thank You" is a quirky and happy pop song of the kind that A-Teens tended to pour out during their first years of existence. Not the definitive pop classic either, perhaps, but ten times more suitable (or more) for Belgrade than dear old Christer.

Amy Diamond - Thank You - Melodifestivalen 2008

Christer Sjögren - I Love Europe - Melodifestivalen 2008

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