Welcome to MelFlopstar Blog’s 2014 MelodiFlopstarvalen grand final held at Frienimies Arena in Stockholm, Sweden! After 6 long weeks, the final is here! Who will win? Let’s take a look!
10th Place: Martin Stenmarck – “När änglarna går hem”
Okay, so picking who barely made the final was tough. There were a couple other fairly underwhelming but ultimately competent tracks that almost made the number 10 spot, but ultimately I picked this. As a former winner Martin is a small scale legend, and the song has it’s moments. The staging is tacky and out of touch, and he’s had better songs in the past, but this fully enjoyable number is worthy of filling out the bottom of the top 10.
9th Place: Josef Johansson – “Hela Natten“
Even though Josef was dressed like he belonged in the crowd of an experimental electro DJ’s set at a seedy dive bar rather than on a stage singing a flashy pop number, this song is quite pretty. Some tacky and confusing staging aside, (are those spinning garden lanterns?), this is a solid entry and deserves some recognition.
8th Place: Shirley Clamp – “Burning Alive”
Upon first listen I found this ballad to be utterly forgettable. It didn’t help that it features one of the years worst lyrics: “there’s fire burning on the ceiling of the world tonight.” I mean really, but the song kind of soars at the end. It’s the type of pretty schlager cheese that may not revolutionize the contest, but without it the contest would not be the same.
7th Place: Janet Leon – “Hollow”
The night of the performance, Janet seemed to have some vocal issues which caused the song to flow in an odd way. She was apparently sick and the song suffered. If you give the studio version a chance though, you’ll find it’s quite haunting and very lovely. It’s no “Heartstrings,” but then again, what is?
6th Place: Alvaro Estrella – “Bedroom”
This fully competent number is both catchy and fun. Sure, the vocals are way off, but whatever. His biggest sin was his lack of star quality; (stop looking down! Make eye more contact! Stop blending in with the backup dancers!); but all sins are forgotten when ‘sweat stains’ are involved. Besides, this song gave us one of the years best lyrics: “is it your turn, or my turn to be on top.” Iconic!
5th Place: JEM – “Love Trigger”
For those of us who remember the Black Eyed Peas, JEM’s formula may seem a little 2000-and-late, but thanks to some over-the-top staging gimmickry and an infectious EDM song, JEM have quickly won me over. Their EP is solid from start to finish as well. Not a winner, but a solid debut. Hoping they return to the contest next year!
4th Place: Sanna Nielson – “Undo”
As far as Melfest ballads are concerned, this does not have the mandatory over-the-top corn ball staging of Sarah Dawn Finers defining “Moving On,” but the solid vocals, diamond rain drops, and the illuminati pyramid of lights mind controlling the public to vote for her are enough for me to give it a solid top 5 placing. I’m not sure why she didn’t wear something a little more formal though. Her outfit should have read ‘Oscar nominee’ rather than ‘soccer moms who lunch.’
3rd Place: Anton Ewald – “Naturally”
I had a hard time placing this. On one hand, the song very good. Anton brings me to church (after downing a few of Jesus’ wayyy too strong water-to-wine cocktails) with this angelically tender dance floor stomper. On the other hand, that live performance was a wreck. Where do I start? Everything from the awful X Factor audition-week vocals, to those ikea bookshelf props on stage with him, to the post-breakdown Brittleknee’s Spears stiff and robotic auto-pilot dancing, this performance was a sloppy mess. Usually I should punish a songs placing for preforming so terribly, but fuck it; your talented faves will have to settle at the bottom of the barrel while king Anton gets that bronze medal.
2nd Place: Ace Wilder – “Busy Doin’ Nothin'”
While placing this final I had a tough time picking a winner. Out of all the entries, Ace Wilder’s is the most modern and forward thinking. This isn’t some rehash from Melfest past. It’s what pop sounds like NOW. The performance is also very modern and cool. This song is edgy enough to preform outside of Sweden as well, but ultimately one deciding factor kept this as the years runner up, and that brings us to our winner….
1st Place: Alcazar – “Blame It On The Disco”
Let’s be clear here: Melfest isn’t about winning Eurovision anymore. It isn’t about scoring a big hit in the UK, or about showing the rest of Europe what a powerhouse pop music nation Sweden is (everyone already knows they rule pop). It’s a demotic ratings gold mine about entertaining the Swedish population and celebrating Swedish artistry. And nobody is more classically ‘Swedish’ than Alcazar. They’ve competed numerous times at Melfest with fantastic songs, but it’s really their time to finally win. It’s long overdue. It doesn’t hurt that “Blame It On The Disco” is possibly their best song ever. It composites all the greatest moments of their past classics – the strong catchy hook or “Not A Sinner, Not A Saint,” the glitzy and glamorous staging of “Alcastar,” and the take-no-prisoners dance beat of “Stay The Night” – and puts them on acid to form a thundering instant classic that is both sonically and visually spectacular. Whether this will play well outside of Sweden on Eurovision’s big night does not matter. They deserve the Melfest crown.