The deadline for presenting a Eurovision song for the contest in May is coming closer in every country, so more and more tracks are released. Last night, both Sweden and Norway chose their contestants in big shows and both have selected hot favourites for the win in Vienna. Let’s take a look at what went down in Stockholm and Oslo. Oh, and Belgium also means business this year!
Sweden: Måns Zelmerlöw – Heroes
No surprises in the Friends Arena in Stockholm during the Melodifestivalen final. Måns Zelmerlöw. who became the hot favourite to win the show after the fourth heat he performed in, took ticket the to Eurovision home with a landslide victory. Both the juries and televoting placed him on top of the scoreboard and rightfully so I would say. His song and especially his act, are their biggest chance to take the victory in Eurovision back to Sweden again. ‘Heroes’ is a contemporary composition that reminds somewhat of the more recent work of David Guetta and Avicii. What makes this performance stand out even more is the genius graffics used on stage. This will definitely be remembered by the European voters and that is why I believe Sweden will once again be the one to beat in the final in May. My personal favourite Mariette with ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ ended up in a respectable third place eventhough the televoting didn’t bring her that much points. The other favourites to win Melodifestivalen, Eric Saade and Jon Henrik Fjällgren, both did a good job with a 5th and 2nd position, but nobody could come close to the superiority of Zelmerlöw. Keep an eye on this guy in May, because he might win the whole thing.
Norway: Mørland & Debrah Scarlett – A Monster Like Me
The winner in Norway wasn’t a big surprise either, as the hot favourite to win MGP, the song ‘A Monster Like Me’ by Mørland & Debrah Scarlett, did claim victory in the end. The gorgeous duet does not really stand out in terms of style and the fact that they are a duo isn’t that original this year either. No less than seven countries selected a man and a woman in duet for this years contest, probably thanks to the trend that the Common Linnets from the Netherlands, who finished in second place last year, set. But what does set them apart is that in terms of quality, only Estonia (‘Goodbye To Yesterday’ by Elina Born and Stig Rästa) can match the beauty of this song and I am pretty sure both tracks will do very well in the final of the contest. It wasn’t an easy win though for Mørland & Debrah Scarlett in the Norwegian preselection. They won by a margin of 3000 votes to Erlend Bratland and his powerful ‘Thunderstruck’. The other two songs that proceeded to the superfinal in MGP, were either simply horrific (that pizza song) or hopelessly outdated (‘All Over The World’). It surprised me that not even one of the contemporary electro pop tracks that I loved (‘Human Beings’ by Karin Park and ‘Next To You’ by Jenny Langlo) made it to the top 4, but having said that, ‘A Monster Like Me’ was the best choice and will bring Norway success once more. If they improve their vocals slightly before May, I am sure top 5 will be reachable for the Norwegians.
Belgium: Loïc Nottet – Rhythm Inside
Belgium usually is kind of a hit and miss country when it comes to Eurovision, but this year, they obviously mean business. They internally selected the only 18 years old singer Loïc Nottet and his contemporary pop track called ‘Rhythm Inside’. The song is like a male combination of Lorde’s tracks ‘Royals’ and ‘Yellow Flicker Beat’ and this is quite the compliment actually. In a contest full of duets, ballads, and show jams, this one is definitely going to stick out in a positive way and the ‘rapapap’ bits are catchy as hell. His vocals sound strong and distinctive on record and I have faith he can pull this off live on stage as well. I am curious to see what the Belgian team will do with the stage presentation. If they are able to put on a good show with flawless live vocals, Belgium is definitely going straight into the top 10 in May in Austria.
Sweden, Norway and Belgium all went up in the rankings of the bookmakers. In a list of betting odds for the winner of Eurovision 2015, they are currently at the respective 1st, 6th and 11th position.