Of course I have held off till the last minute to write about Melodifestivalen 2014, since I tend to gush and be completely impartial. Sweden’s national selection process takes over my Saturdays for six weeks, and is almost as exciting as Eurovision itself (and the song selection IS often better than Eurovision).
The first four weeks of Melodifestivalen we meet all 32 participants, divided into four semis of eight entries each. Each semi sends two lucky qualifiers to the Stockholm finale, and two almost as lucky to the fifth week Andra Chansen second-chance round. That fifth week pits the eight runnersup from the four semis int battle against each other, to compete for the final two spots in the finale.
This year’s contest features a BUNCH of big names, from 2005 Eurovision winner Helena Paparizou to perennial Melodifestivalen runnersup Alcazar, Sanna Nielsen and last year’s brightest debutants, Yohio and Anton Ewald. Songwriters include superstar composers Fredrik Kempe, the Debs, and Thomas G:Son. So this year’s festivities should be great.
Week one features Yohio, Helena Paparizou and potential upsets from Linus Svenning and Alvaro Estrella.
Week four is usually when the biggest favorites are on display. This year that’s Anton Ewald and Alcazar, with Janet Leon and Linda Bengtzing as possible upsets.
Next week I will start introducing and rating the songs from each semi, starting Wednesday afternoon with the press reports from week one.