Monday, 31 March 2014

Part II - Sweden

The Good Part II: Sweden

Welcome to the second edition of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Today's post is another "good" and this time it's Sweden!

'Undo' by Sanna Nielsen

Sweden have one of the best records in the Eurovision Song Contest, and rightfully so. Last year I blogged a history of Swedish winners in the contest following Loreen's euphoric triumph in 2012. If you missed that, you can read it here. Sweden have won at pivotal points of the Eurovision Song Contest, could they be on for win number 6? Polls and odds indicate that Sweden 2015 is very possible - and with 2015 being the 60th edition of the contest, the winner of this year's contest is 'pivotal'. It seems to all point in Sweden's favour.

So what of the song? Well 'Undo' is a classy ballad. A beautiful melody starts the song before Sanna's soft lyrics ease into the song. The first verse builds to a gentle first chorus, juxtaposing the tragedy for which Sanna sings about. By the time the beat kicks in on the second verse, Sanna's voice begins to strengthen and leads to a big second chorus. All the while, the song is just beautiful: the composition, lyrics, everything, just works. Sanna Nielsen adds that necessary elegance, and you feel the emotion channelled through her voice. As well as that, if her Eurovision performance is anything like her Melodifestivalen performance then the choreography will be perfect; no cheap gimmicks, just the right lighting - a cold, yet soulful blue. It's a recipe for success.

But there's just one thing hanging over me - in my opinion, something is missing. I think this song is very, very good, I've almost played it too much over the last 2 months, and I just think there's not a "winning factor" about it. I could easily see this song finishing in the top 10, potentially top 3, but not winning. I speak brutally honest, and I appreciate the fact that many will disagree with me. Over on ESC Stats, Sweden dominate the current poll, and they come a very close second on ESC Nation - I don't deny its a good song, I just can't see this winning. I have this horrible feeling that if this was to win, people would vote for it in polls such as "worst winner", for which it just doesn't deserve (in my opinion that crown could rightfully go to many countries: Latvia's win in 2002 still baffles me for example).

Additionally, it's another ballad, for which we are not short of this year. Being female does help, since 2004, 6 of the last 10 winners have been solo females, and in fact there have been more solo female winners than males or groups who have won the contest since Lys Assia's win for Switzerland at the first contest in 1956. But because of the ballad pile up this year, although not admittedly on the same scale as the fiasco that was 2012, we can pretty much guess that the draw for the final will play a strategic role in who wins the contest. For example, another popular female ballad is the UK's 'Children of the Universe' by Molly, which probably won't finish higher than Sweden if the Swedes perform last and the UK performs first. Therefore, it's all to play for. Sanna has been dealt position 4 in the hot first semi-final. Not ideal, but recent patterns suggest that performing 4th makes you at no great a disadvantage than performing last.

Could Sanna Nielsen do it? Could we be going back to Sweden once more? Let's be honest, it would be nice to go somewhere hot for Eurovision once again, but we all miss Petra Mede's hosting so it wouldn't be so bad. And plus, Sweden is a fantastic country.

Good Luck Sanna! Good Luck Sweden!

I leave you with this gem from the Greek entrant Freaky Fortune & RiskyKidd - it's a medley of the last few winners, although the seem to missed out 'Molitva'. Perhaps singing in Serbian was a bit too much for them, but nevermind, this still is pretty good. Could 'Undo' be mixed into another medley next year?

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