Two Days to go to the Melodifestivalen final in Globen, Stockholm. I was supposed to be going there today but am not well enough to travel so will sadly miss it this year having seen the 2009 final live and Malena triumph over dark horse Caroline Af Ugglas. Disappoinment aside I like all ten songs in the final, some more than others, although arguably the quality overall isn't as high as last year - there's no Stay The Night in the final shake up that's for sure!!! 18 year old former Idol contestant Anna Bergendahl appears to be the favourite with the country's current No.1 single, the radio friendly ballad This Is My Life. Her husky unique voice set her aside from the pack and would differentiate it slightly from the numerous other ballads selected for the Eurovision Song Contest so far, and they're obviously trying to repeat Yohanna's success last year for Iceland. Producer Christer Bjorkman has enlisted the help of six international juries (from Russia, France, Greece, Norway, Serbia and Ireland) to help pick the best song for Eurovision, an interesting new way of doing things but the public will be more interested in voting for the best song, not necessarily the one that will perform best in Oslo, so expect the jury votes to differ wildly from the public voting again this year.
Andreas Johnson's We Can Work It Out, Ola's Unstoppable, Peter Jöback's Hollow, Pernilla Wahlgren's Jag Vil Om Du Vågar and Jessica Andersson's I Did It For Love are generally thought to be no hopers in the final, surprising considering that all five of those acts are big names in Sweden, but this is a song contest after all, and those are certainly not the best songs here this year. Darin's atmospheric ballad Out Of My Life is tipped for a top five finish, despite him and Peter originally being favourites to win, but a win looks unlikely for him now. So onto Anna's real competition then. Three more Melodifestivalen debutants are still in with a shout. Eric Saade's Frederik Kempe penned pop anthem Manboy could get the Hope & Glory vote, and has an outside chance to win, but I think the other two to watch are girlband Timoteij's infectious Swedish language ethno-pop song Kom, and quirky singer songwriter Salem Al Fakir's Keep On Walking. I expect one Timoteij, Salem and Anna to win and wouldn't be surprised to see any going to Oslo, although I genuinely think that Timoteij would perform far better at Eurovision than the other two as it's instantly likeable and distinctive. It should be an interesting final on Saturday, shame I won't be there to see it.