Why my choice to win Melodifestivalen won’t win Melodifestivalen

This year’s Melodifestivalen has been something of a disappointment for me – all of my favorite songs were pretty much knocked out in their heats. (Oscar, Margaret, High 15, Lovers of Valdaro – thank you for your sacrifice).

But I was also surprised by how much I liked four of the songs that qualified for the final.

Lina Hedlund’s Victorious was truly inspiring as we all watched this veteran of sequins and disco balls navigate a treacherous set and wind machine without skipping a beat. I’ll be keeping this one on the active rotation playlist for quite some time.

Arvingarna’s I Do was the unexpected schlager delight of the contest. It’s all strings and guitars and sugary bubblegum and my goodness, I love this so hard. I know it’s not going to win at all, but I’m so glad that Arvingarna brought this three-minute slice of joy about middle-aged married life into my life.

Malou Prytz’s I Do Me took me completely by surprise in Malmo. It was bouncy and fun and also reflected a really mature view of a breakup for a 16 year old. The staging was also quite inventive. Of course, it didn’t hurt that I was sitting directly behind a row of Malou’s friends, all of whom had donned t-shirts and were singing along with the song. But this is Malou’s first time at this show, and her chances of winning are low. Thank you, Malou, for this absolute bop.

But the non-underdog entry for which I ended up completely stanning was the duet Hold On by Hannah Ferm and LIAMOO. I saw this performed live, and I was completely mesmerized by Hannah’s voice booming through the arena. I’m also a sucker for good Eurovision ships, and was cheering for Hannah Ferm to get her man (I mean, if LIAMOO is your thing, I guess he has to be someone’s thing.) It was a beautifully passionate performance to a song that will become one of my karaoke staples in future years.

And then this week, I heard some dispiriting news coming out from Sweden: Melodifestivalen has turned LIAMOO up. And that’s going to kill the song. I mean, I know how much Sweden loves its male pop stars, but let’s not forget, we’re talking about this LIAMOO:

The mix that played in Malmo had just the right amount of LIAMOO, but (rightly) gave all the glory to Hannah Ferm, who does the heavy lifting here. And now, on absolutely no one’s request, we’ve got more LIAMOO.

Oh well. Hannah Ferm, I look forward to stanning you in a future Melfest, and guess I have to hope that Jon Henrik Fjallgren is looking forward to sweating through a week of rehearsals in full Sami gear in hot Tel Aviv.

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