It was a night of jubilation, commiseration, and in the case of dear Shirley Clamp; HUMILIATION!
Half of the performances were an absolute joy to behold. Nina Soderquist gave us manic facial expressions, big hair, an enviable pair of breasts bursting out of a black leather catsuit, hot backing dancers waving black sheets around, a wind machine moment, and all in all; a performance so full of energy that it was the absolute perfect start to one of the most exciting occasions of the year. The song was bloody great too. Shirley Clamp delivered her beautiful ballad wearing a flowing ball gown, a vastly improved pairing of hair and make up (she’s never looked better), and a well placed wind machine moment that revealed a new kink to her dress right at the key change. Alcazar gave us what was their greatest Melodifestivalen song and performance ever!!! ‘Stay The Night’ sounded far better than we’d hoped for and the choreography was just perfect. It really was a breathtaking delivery of an amazing song – and their qualification to the final was the only justice in an otherwise very annoying set of results! And finally, Marie Serneholt surprised us all (and herself judging by the look on her face at the end) by giving a vocally sound rendition of ‘Disconnect Me’. The song sounded great, and the performance was electric – she looked stunning. Thank heavens she finally succumbed to entering the competition, and we hope it won’t be her last time.
Unfortunately though, the results didn’t reflect our thoughts – aside from Alcazar’s success which was an absolute triumph for pop! They thoroughly deserved to qualify directly to the final for the first time ever, and we’re expecting good result from them in March.
Nina Soderquist finished a frustratingly close 5th place. Marie Serneholt placed 6th. But it was Shirley Clamp’s result which caused the biggest shock of the night. Far from being the glorious comeback that some hoped for and others feared for, her return to Melodifestivalen was a low point in her career that will take a great deal of time, and a lot of confidence to get over. Despite the fact that many had her down as being the only definite qualifier, Shirley finished in 8th place, out of 8 songs. A disaster that’s usually reserved for unknown newcomers, unfunny novelty acts, and nondescript neverwillbes! It is not the placing usually reserved for a high profile Schlager diva, returning to the competition after finishing in the top 5 the last two times she competed, and who released a successful album a matter of months ago. It’s Shirley’s floppage that all the media were talking about the next day. We’re not worrying though. Shirley herself said before the competition that she had wanted to come back with a big uptempo schlager anthem, but that she had been persuaded to go with a ballad. So it’s safe to assume that while she’s licking her wounds, she’ll be of the attitude that the next time she enters Melodifestivalen (and there WILL be a next time) – it’ll be on HER terms. And we all know what Shirley’s terms are!!!
Joining Alcazar in the final is Emilia. And in the second chance round will be Scotts and Caroline Af Ugglas. But we aren’t going to dwell on that!!!
What perked us up though was coverage of the hotel after party in www.qx.se. Which saw all participants dressed up to the nines and clubbing the night away to their hearts’ content!!! See pictures below!