So we have at last come to the climax of the six week Melodifestivalen tour that is aimed at finding a Swedish representative for Eurovision. The final at Friends Arena in Stockholm includes 12 songs, most of which deserve to be in the final. But is there anybody who could even dream of winning beside the huge odds-on favorite Loreen?
Loreen has really been in a league of her own in this year’s Melodifestivalen, both in terms of the performance and the staging, which are both at top Eurovision level. The betting odds put her at a staggering 84% chance of winning the Melfest, very likely the most overwhelming odds ever in this competition.
Loreen has brought her A-game and given the masses exactly what they have been waiting to see and hear from her all these years, the second chapter of Euphoria. This has also put Sweden on top of the Eurovision betting odds, long before Loreen has been confirmed as the Swedish representative.
Beside Loreen, there are pretty much just the Norwegian twins Marcus and Martinus, who have a song and a staging with high enough ambitions for ESC. So M&M are also more or less the only possible option, if you were to ask “If Loreen is denied victory, who could possibly win?” But alas, the odds give them just an 8% chance of winning. But their contemporary pop song and laser show are very much worthy of that second place this year.
The young Ukrainian Maria Sur could have been a contender, and she is indeed in third place in the odds, with a 3% chance of winning. She has clearly immense talent, and if she had been given a catchy pop tune and a dance number in the vein of what Kiana is doing in the final, she could really have had a greater chance to shine with her stage presence. But ‘they’ had to go for the sympathy angle with a ballad detailing her experiences about leaving her country and family members behind. She does it well of course, but it just feels a tad calculated.
The remaining finalists will have to be content with being the somewhat better ones of the also-rans of this year. As a whole, Melodifestivalen has been a bit disappointing this year and it has felt like the production is playing it too safe with too many of the same old songwriters and pretty generic tunes (there are of course some exceptions). And it also feels like the record companies don’t seem to be giving very big budgets for the staging of most of the numbers. This has left many of the artists in the hands of the SVT team, who are of course world-class and very competent in what they are doing, but being winning material at Melfest and Eurovision does require that little something extra and out of the ordinary.
So it looks very much like we can look forward to the coronation of Queen Loreen on Saturday night. If anything else would happen, the Eurovision fans around the continent would have a total meltdown.
All photos courtesy of SVT : Live photo Alma Bengtsson / Portrait photos Janne Danielsson