Saturday, February 14, 2009

This will be the one

After today's show, my main question is this: when do they start production on mass-produced models of Måns? I want one. Valentine's Day wish?

I'm much more content with this week's results than last week. Well, in one sense, there's a strong similarity between the two weeks: there was one act I was willing to throw everyone else on the fire for as long as it got through--last week, Alcazar and this week, Måns Zelmerlöw. Both did, thank goodness. In results better than last week for me, though, the top four of Måns, H.E.A.T. (the other final qualifier), Amy Diamond, and Lili & Susie are probably just about the four songs I'm most likely to listen to, even if not necessarily in that order.

I'm still having trouble characterizing my feelings towards the semifinal as a whole. Song-wise, it felt more consistent for me than last week's, but also as if it was maybe missing out on the high highs to some degree. Medium highs? Yup, it had those. Me biting my lip with my hands clasped in front of me schlager-praying Måns made it through to the final? Of course. I'm just not sure that we got a true classic out of this semifinal, whereas I can easily see Alcazar's "Stay The Night" being just that for me.

Don't get me wrong: I'm dying for the studio version of Måns's song to come out and I'll probably play it incessantly and have loads of fun doing so. It could well turn out to have a lot more lasting power than I expect it to, and it's already a song I like--a song I love. It just feels a bit...light on the bottom for me. Does that make sense? I don't necessarily need depth in the sense of emotional depth in music (if it comes to that, I actually love the lyrics to "Hope & Glory"), but I'm left imagining would it would be like if the music itself had depth to it; to some degree "Hope & Glory" feels like it's bouncing along near the "top" so much (like the sort of thing you'd wave giant flags to crossed with cheesy marching) that it ends up feeling lighter as a result. This is just minor niggling, though, like the criticism you might give to A- work instead of the A+ you know the student's capable of. The song is still my easy favorite in the semifinal and at worst my second favorite song of the contest so far, with the potential for my opinion of it to improve and improve, something which it's absolutely done with further plays of the live version (to the extent that I may regret any reservations in the future). Måns is such a star, too. And does cartwheels!

(Have I mentioned on here yet that for something like a week now "Impossible," a track from his new album and the one he put the preview of on his site, has been for sale at Swedish-only digital music store Telia? I can't remember.)

The other final qualifier, rock band H.E.A.T., had a singer with a great voice. I wish their song had a little more impact to it, was catchier, but I liked them and it at the level I expected to. I don't know that I would have put them in my top two, but I was glad they were in the top four. Plus, you've got to love a group willing to play the game by using wind machines and putting their obviously best looking member (the drummer) shirtless on stage (and having the camera go back to him and pushing him to the front of the gropu when not performing whenever possible)

Lili & Susie and Amy's songs were both OK--maybe not as good as I was hoping for (though Lili & Susie's "Show Me Heaven" is the better of the two for me), but respectable entries.

All the sites I'd been reading had talked about their dislike for or problems with Markoolio's performance, but I was still surprised at how poorly the aimed-for humor of the staging came across. In theory, Dima Bilan's eccentric and over-the-top winning performance from last year as well as his earlier second place performance from 2006 should be prime fodder for satire that, even if the general public doesn't understand, is laughed at by Eurovision fans; heck, Sergey Lazarev and Dima managed to do so easily enough for a no budget short skit when they hosted an awards ceremony together (each mocking the other), even that would obviously never have sufficed as a Melodifestival performance. The execution here just didn't work.

Cookies 'N' Beans and Jennifer Brown both put in good performances of decent songs--songs I won't be in a rush to buy but am fine with. Ditto Lasse, I suppose.


Bas said...

Loved Mans performance, I think he did really well. The song still is very similar to Cara Mia & Hero so I don't see it winning this year's MF. Besides I'm not sure how it all will sound without the backing tracks, may it reach no.1 at Globen in March.

Show Me Heaven really screams Abba all over and also reminds me of Alcazar's entry. I think we should all be glad it isn't going to the finals (yet) as there isn't a huge difference between the two songs which I think might cost Alcazar votes in Globen.

The HEAT song isn't bad - but not winner either. Somehow I can't think positive about Amy. Don't like her vocals and I don't konw what her age is, but I think Junior ESC is more appropiate for her...

Len W said...

PPG, did you read in the Swedish blogs that the drummer for HEAT sent out for a banana to stuff into his spandex tights, but it kept slipping out of place while he sat at his drum kit? He has a great sense of humor--I saw him give a gay MF blogger/interviewer a big kiss to show that he's not bothered by having gay fans.

Euro Sheep said...

Not too sure that I'm allowed to make this into a frequent thing - but I couldn't resist commenting again! Such is the power of MF...

I completely agree with you about Måns, I thought his song was fantastic and his performance was super but the first thing I said to my friends is that it is missing a certain something which would give it the power and sheer ferocity that "Hero" possessed - having said that though, Mr Kempe seems to have outdone himself on the key change this year!

Lili & Susie were fantastic (although part of this may be attributed to relief and happiness gained from the fact that my webcast worked without skipping this week!) and H.E.A.T were great as well.

I can't help but feel that Amy stole Cookies 'n Beans' place in Andra Chansen, but this is pop after all and I have to leave me adoration for the 3 ladies to the side!

What's very interesting is the whole Amy versus Molly scenario. They're both the same age, although from their singing voice you would be forgiven for thinking Molly was in her 20s whereas Amy was still 12 :P I love them both (Molly a bit more) but it's just fascinating how they're so different!

Best Wishes

Poster Girl said...

Bas, I think you're right about Måns--and that's probably for the best. It's a track fully worthy of Globen, but winning is probably best left to someone else. See below for comments on Amy...

Len, I missed that about the banana (well, I might have seen it somewhere but not understood or missed it entirely)! I did see the kiss, though. He's adorable--total eye candy and that just makes it all the better.

Euro Sheep, I'll enjoy the comments while you're still leaving them--they've very welcome and insightful! I agree with you on all counts about Måns and the song and your comment about Amy versus Molly's voices couldn't be more accurate; I'm hoping Molly will have a track worthy of her, though "Det finaste någon kan få" is always going to be difficult to follow up. Amy does continue to dress "young," too. I was surprised she was the international jury's choice. I too found the whole experience so much more enjoyable with the webcast working properly--it put a better spin on everything. I'm not sure why SVT underestimates the number of people likely to watch the first week.

eurovisionessex said...

I think I'm in agreement about Måns's song not quite hitting the heady heights of 'Hero', but as much as I loved the performance from Charlotte and team initially, it soon got tired. Hope and Glory, however, benefits from an absolutely stonking, contemporary performance. Oddly, my main criticism of 'Hope and Glory' is that the weakest line melodically is probably 'I'm still standing for hope and glory' despite its great lyricism. I was also left pondering whether, in fact, Charlotte and Måns should have sung each other's songs. The brief YouTube clip of Måns singing 'Hero' is amazing and I'm sure Charlotte would have done justice to 'Hope and Glory'.....

Paul said...

i think for me, i had hyped the new Mans song up in my head so much that when i actually heard the entire thing it wasn't quite as glorious as i imagined. that said, it still knocks socks off a lot of other songs hovering around the charts nowadays, and if - for some extremely bizarre reason - his album isn't a massive hit, perhaps he could go and sell his DNA, the guy is like genetic perfection of something!

Rick said...

In London, once Måns finished performing, a huge crack in the earth opened up and hot lava flowed out all over the London streets. This was the after-shock from the force of a meteor crashing somewhere in the US when a certain Poster Girl jumped up and down so hard in pure joy that she accidentally broke one of the earth's plates. Please curb your enthusiasm next time.

Damian said...

When I've been watching Mons' performance now I've just realized that Dea and Jessica have lower voices and it's gonna be Anorah who sings again Kempe's song. So I've checked her myspace profile and it was really she! :)
I really hope Lili & Susie will be in final, for me their performance was strongest and had most of energy and power. I wouldn't even mind to see them in Moscow!
Mons had strong show, but the song doesn't have so big impact on me like Cara Mia or Hero, however it's quite nice.
I'm glad HEAT went further, love their song.
Amy was losing breath again, I would say that I'd better see Jennifer in final, but Jennifer had even bigger problems with live singing, however I love her song,, it's sooo emotional, so much of heart in it.

Nikola said...

Hey! Here u are Alcazar official myspace page with MF performance. :)

Can you please post the link on your blog?

Thank you!


Adrian said...

I'm loving Måns' song and loving the performance. I thought it really suited him, the choreography especially. With a good draw, I can definitely see this doing well in the televote... maybe not with the juries, though.

I'd love it for Eurovision, just to bring Måns to the masses.

Poster Girl said...

Eurovisionessex, I agree with you about "Hope & Glory" having a contemporary and probably more accessible performance. If it was to win, I'd be very open to it being reworked, but I do think the more energetic and...what's the word? Accessible again? Youthful? Whatever--that that style of performance could be a boon in Eurovision. You've totally made my day by mentioning that Måns had performed some of "Hero"--I don't know how I missed that, but I YouTubed it instantly. Oh, I would PAY for the full version of that. Heck, I'd break into MF or Warner headquarters to hear the full version of that, if it exists. Actually, you've both made my day and possibly put me on the road to insanity, given that we can't hear the full thing ;)

Paul, I do understand where you're coming from. Luckily in cases like that--at least for me--time tends to help. Sometimes.

Rick, just be grateful I wasn't watching it on a proper TV screen (instead of a computer scream)--the earth might have split in half entirely then!

Is it really? Do you know if its the songwriters who choose the backing singers? If so, Kempe must really like her! Understandably. Amy does have to work on her breathing in the long term--it's been noticeable the past two years now (though she's young and the songs are up-tempo).

They have an official MySpace page now? Great news!

Adrian, great to hear from you! The performance did suit him to a T. "Måns for the Masses" sounds like the name of a charity campaign we should start.