Our six carefully chosen music experts look at Melodifestivalen finalists Linus Svenning and former Eurovision winner Helena Paparizou to rate their chances of winning the golden ticket to the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen. Read what they had to say about ‘Broder’ and ‘Survivor’.
So So Gay contributor & Eternal Lover Andy Hastings, Melodifestivalen expert Katja, Eurovision and Tim Schou expert Uli, Eurosong.be contributor and Jaspergossip.com editor Jasper, SoundinStereo.com editor David Barnsey and our very own Popcorker editor Dimitri have given their verdict on four Melodifestivalen finalists already. Today they add Andra Chansen winners Linus Svenning and Helena Paparizou, who’s also a former Eurovision winner, onto the ranking.
Each expert has listened and watched the performances of the finalists. They’ve given their verdict and handed out a score out of ten on each finalist. This Friday our panel of experts will have their overall favourite ranking ready for the grand Melodifestivalen final, which takes part Saturday March 8 in the Friends Arena, Stockholm.
Here’s what they make of the Linus and Helena’s contributions:
Dimitri: A song about his brother… in Swedish…. I have a bit of a similar feeling as with Oscar Zia’s song here… I feel like the singer’s voice is much stronger than the song he’s been given, but it feels so cheese and out of touch… Having said that I like it more than Yes We Can.. partly because it’s sung in Swedish. The main problem I have with the song is, if it were to be chosen as the Swedish entry, its most likely to be translated in English, which means the new version will turn out to be an absolute cheesefest, ruining its imact. I’d say, Melodifestivalen is nice platform to kick off your career Linus, but see you next year with a better song. Score: 6/10
Andy: I don’t want to be too unkind about this song, but as X Factor has taught us, a back story can only get you so far in a competition without the goods to back it up. This a boring song by a man with piercings and tattoos. He thinks this makes him more rock than it actually does. Eurovision does not need a Nickelback inspired ballad and the lyric will be lost on the vast majority of the audience. Score: 4/10
Jasper: I’m glad to see him in the finals. Linus can sing! I think this would do quite well in Copenhagen. This works in Swedish, so keep it that way. Maybe he’ll be the surprise of the evening, but I’ve got my own taste and Linus isn’t what I’m looking for this year. Score: 5/10
Katja: I think it’s Fredrik Kempe’s weakest song in the final (and in the lineup for this year). It’s very Nordman, but not so good version of Nordman. Linus is a good singer, but it’s the back story which is dividing people, there are people who are moved by it and the ones who think it’s a cynical attempt to gain votes (as he had done two songs on his brother before). I don’t find the cynism, but the song still doesn’t fully convince me. Score: 6/10
David: I feel a bit bad for scoring Linus so low, as it is a lovely song but is lovely enough for Eurovision or Melodifestivalen? I can’t fault Linus’ heartfelt performance but personally, the song just doesn’t make any real impact for me, (and sorry in advance for being harsh!) dare I say a little forgettable….Sorry Linus! Score: 5/10
Uli: Very Interesting, this track by Linus! It’s actually very nice to hear it being sung in Swedish. The only concern I have is that I’m not sure if ‘Broder’ is the right and appropriate song to go to Eurovision. Score: 5/10
Overall Scoring: 5/10
Jasper: This diva is my number one, once again! This is a smart pop song that has a big chorus that gets in my head immediately. Helena is a very good singer and that brings the song to another level. It’s a pitty that Paparizou doesn’t get a big Destiny’s Childish act. And what about the prerecorded vocals of the backing vocals? They are crucial in this song, they give the power that makes me love it. Will this win? No, I doubt it but it’s on my iPod as we speak. Thank you Helena! Our Belgian national selection could use a song like yours. Score: 10/10
Katja: it was quite surprising when Helena failed to qualify directly to the final from her semi-final. Some people say it’s because of her, some people say it’s because the song is not strong enough. Personally I love it! It’s very »girl power« in lyrical sense, it reminds me of Christina Aguilera’s »Stripped« album era, it could be the type of song performed convincingly by the likes of Charlotte Perrelli or even Maja Keuc! Helena of course oozes professionalism and class and thankfully was given another chance because of that. Will probably gain a lot from the international juries, but will not do so well with the televoters. But I don’t think Helena was aiming to win, so it’s a win-win situation for her anyway. Score: 9/10
Andy: Helena’s Eurovision winner ‘My Number One’ is one of the best of the past decade or so, so her entry in Melodifestivalen came with HIGH EXPECTATIONS, which Survivor both meets and falls slightly short of. There’s no denying that it packs an absolute KILLER of a chorus and Helena is a charismatic performer, but the verses are a little underwhelming and the overall staging lacks the melodrama that that would lift it into something truly special. There isn’t even a bloody wind machine for god’s sake – come on Helena, that’s a schoolboy error. Score: 7/10
Uli: Helena surely has the power, she’s a gorgeous looking woman and she has an amazing voice, but I’m wondering if that’s enough… I’m not sure her track, ‘Survivor’ is that good enough for the big Eurovision stage? Score: 3/10
David: Helena is back for another shot at Eurovision glory with a song that if someone like Katy Perry or Shakira were to release tomorrow, would no doubt fly to #1 and stay there for weeks! The combination of Helena’s powerhouse vocals and a track which comes complete with some empowering lyrics, just clicks together perfectly and could do well at Eurovision. Score: 9/10
Dimitri: It’s always a double feeling, seeing a former Eurovision winner return to the contest, especially because they haven’t really got anything to prove any more. Helena’s ‘Survivor’ is a dramatic ballad and while the song itself is not really the best we’ve heard, it’s without a doubt as Eurovision as it can get. Helena’s voice carries Survivor effortless, and it sort of proves the song is just no match to her. I personally think Sweden’s a bit passed sending this traditional ballads, but Helena has her winners status carrying her, so I wouldn’t rule her out completely just yet. Score: 8.5/10
Overall Score: 8/10
So what impact do the scores of our juries have on our full Melodifestivalen ranking?
1. Alcazar – Blame it On the Disco 8/10
2. Helena Paparizou – Survivor 8/10
3. Ellen Benediktson – Songbird 7/10
4. Anton Ewald – Natural 5/10
5. Linus Svenning – Broder 5/10
6. Oscar Zia – Yes We Can 5/10
What do you make of the entries? Do you agree with our experts? Get in touch!
Tomorrow they’ll cast their penultimate verdict on Yohio and Sanna Nielsen.