Sunday, March 02, 2008

Try to deny what you're feeling and you know that your heart will say no

Having slightly calmed down after last night, I'm going to attempt to write something more than "AMAZING!!!!" over and over again (though really, that's what I still want to do).

10 things I loved about Linda's and Charlotte's performances last night (I had to choose some arbitrary number or else it would basically end up as a second-by-second list of what they did), in no particularly order:

1.) the aforementioned pause and look right before Linda's key change--that determined, hah-I'm-going-to-nail-this-and-prove-that-I-can moment

2.) Linda beaming and looking like she's going to bounce right out of her skin after the key change--she radiated confidence throughout the performance and now really has this incredible energy and presence on stage (I know it's a cliché, but she's grown so much as a performer), but she was obviously hugely relieved and happy she pulled it off

3.) Charlotte's opening pose and mic grab--iconic

4.) Linda's little head-cocked-back strut during the first chorus (right before the first "se mig" section)

5.) The leaning and swirling camera bit in Charlotte's performance

6.) The three-part group hand point right before Charlotte's key change (LOVE this way too much! Possibly my favorite moment of the night)

7.) Charlotte's soaring vocals overtop those of the backing vocalists singing the chorus during the key change (you know how I mentioned in one of my year end round up entries a song that had the one moment in music in 2007 that most stuck with me, that just thinking about could get me excited about the whole concept of music? I think I've found my moment for 2008)

8.) Linda's "hah"(s) (not new, but I've always loved them)

9.) Charlotte's reaching-towards-the-audience hand gestures in the second chorus, with the wind machine on

10.) Linda's styling and outfit

Also, I'd like to add that I think Linda's dancers worked fabulously and that someone needs to upload Linda's post-qualifying performance to DailyMotion--she was just so excited that it made the performance even more fun to watch. Oh, and the fact that I loved all the group strutting in Charlotte's performance is a given.

Moving onto the other contestants, I was genuinely surprised when Sibel's song ended--"that's it?" I'm not trying to be snarky or anything, but I hadn't really even realized we'd had a chorus, let alone a climax--I couldn't believe the song was over. I'm not sure whether that's a function of the song itself (which from the previews sounded great, but maybe it didn't have a chorus that stood out enough) or Sibel singing the whole thing so dramatically that it was kind of flat in a way--nothing "popped" like it should have. I'm not saying that she or the song was bad by any stretch, or that they didn't deserve to go to Andra Chansen (Sibel sang very well and I adored the "You and I belong together/We share a hidden past/And nothing more than your forever/And mine is what I ask" lines)--but I am saying she didn't deserve to go straight to the finals instead of either of the two songs that qualified.

I was kind of surprised to read the negative reactions to Daniel Mitsogiannis online after the fact. I definitely love the song, but I'd go further than that: for a young Melodifestivalen debutante to have to do that much complicated dancing (all these leg movements and hip wiggles and twists) and still manage to pull off singing an uptempo song impressed me. In the hands of many other young performers, that could have been a total unequivocal crash-and-burn scenario, but I didn't feel like it was at all for him (though I'm not saying it rivaled the night's top performances!). Apparently Sweden (and online fans) disagreed, though, and he ended up taking seventh, although that could partly be down to schlager and dance-pop fans who might otherwise have voted for him focusing their efforts on Charlotte and Linda.

I'm not complaining, though--getting Charlotte and Linda straight to the finals is a dream result that makes for a fantastic-looking final, only marred for me by Christer Sjögren. The second chance round, taking place this next weekend, has the potential to make it even better; two acts will be chosen to make it to the final.

Stealing Wikipedia's chart thing (though it looks small and blurry here--sorry about that! If you click on the picture you can see the full size version), I think the toughest matchup in this knockout format for me is Ola versus Caracola--I love both acts' songs. I think ultimately I'd like Ola to win this matchup; however, I'd prefer Ola or Caracola to either of the acts in the top bracket, where of the two Sibel is my preference. If Sibel ended up making it to the final, I wouldn't be too upset, but I'd definitely prefer it if Ola or Caracola did.

In terms of the bottom half of the lineup, my favorites are Carola/Andreas Johnson and Thérèse Andersson; put head-to-head, I'm not sure yet who I'd like to see win, though I might end up going for Carola and Andreas in the end. I haven't heard their song in a while, so it's hard to say. I'd be happy with either, though!


Robpop said...

Love this! But looking over and over at the performance....its so Lindas. Theres something cold about Charlottes performance. Its good but its not, as kylie would put it, wowowowowowow!

Len said...

It was Linda for me too--Charlotte was a great singer and performer, but Linda's number seemed like a wild, spontaneous celebration. She was just so alive and exciting that it makes me smile just to think of her.

Truth be told, there's not a lot of difference in ages there, but Linda seems like she's from a whole different generation than Charlotte.

The other funny thing for me about this deltavling is that now every big dramatic dancepop schlager out of Freddie Kemp seems to feel like it was designed for Mans Zelmerlow.

Rick said...

Man, I'm definitely more a member of Team Charlotte than Team Linda. Linda is a great performer but I've listened to the song a few times trying to see why it appears to be popular and I just can't get into it. ALLA FLICKOR and JAG LJUGER SA BRA had brilliant performances but were actually great songs. This year's song didn't stand up as well I think - you'll probably see what I mean compared to the other songs when they appear in the final.

I'm not sure if HERO was a very calculated attempt to throw in every MF cliche they could think of, or just a perfect match of song, performer, and choreography. Whatever it was I bet it will go down in MF history as one of the most popular songs - its immediately catchy and the perf was so over the top, who could forget it.

My more detailed view:

Jaker said...

"Linda seems like she's from a whole different generation than Charlotte"

You know, I was noticing something similar. It seems more of a pedigree issue for me, actually.

Charlotte is like this perfect schlager creation, all bright smile and perfect body and great music, but sort of Stepford at the same time. Like, she was created in a lab to give these over the top pop performances but never seems to REALLY feel the joy about it that we all do.

Linda, on the other hand, seems to me like nothing more than a giant goofball in every best possible way. From the interviews and stuff that I've seen, she's FAR more personable, she's got a sense of humor (especially where it comes to herself), and when she's onstage, you can tell that she's THRILLED to be there.

And, while I loved Charlotte's performance, Linda's is the one that got my schlager-blood boiling, cuz you could just tell she was having the time of her life.

Melodimen said...

Just delighted both Linda and Charlotte made it! But, especially if Sibel doesn't make it, will it be Sanna's year?

If you wish to relisten to the Androla chansen songs, join us at

Expecting a battle between Therese and Carola, can't wait for Andra Chansen!

Poster Girl said...

Wow, so many points raised--I don't think I have very much to add, because really, I love both performances and both songs.

Linda's exuberance is infectious--her performance matches the way she's always come across vocally (at least in studio, if you want to add that caveat) and one of the main reasons I love her: so full-bore, giving it her all. Her performance here is just so full! Len, I think your description of Linda's performance captured the feeling of it perfectly.

That said, there's something about Charlotte's performance that keeps drawing me back to it, over and over and over again, so that, though immediately after both performances I thought Linda's was better and bigger, I'm now rewatching Charlotte's more than Linda's. Result of the song or the performance or both? I'm not sure. I do know, though, that there's something very....well, it it's the sort of song and performance you want to see go the whole way, that feels like it should go the whole way. Plus, it does have some truly iconic moments, and that three part hand point just absolutely does me in every time.

Hej Melodimen! Me neither! I'm off to vote at your site--though oddly the addition of a poll has made the formatting look odd. I've been really remiss in commenting recently, but I still adore your blog.

Poster Girl said...

I forgot to say that Len, ha ha, I know what you mean! I didn't have that with "Hero" so much (I think the female singer thing helped), but I couldn't help thinking that during "Pame."

Adrian said...

Having watched Charlotte - yet again! - the only thing I would change is the three-part group hand point: instead of going high-middle-low, I'd do it low-middle-high leaving room for plenty of arms-aloft strutting!

Poster Girl said...

Ooo, now THAT is an idea! Hmmm...