Tonight: The Melodifestivalen Webbjoker Final!


So, tonight the final of the Melodifestivalen Webbjoker competition takes place. From 5 songs competing, 2 will win a coveted place to then compete at Melodifestivalen 2011. These 5 songs have been whittled down from 424 initial entries to the webbjoker competition – a competition which basically serves to allow non-professionals a chance to participate in Melodifestivalen alongside the usual popstars and seasoned songwriters. It’s a concept only in its second year, and hasn’t been without its critics, ourselves included.

We’re not against the idea of the webbjoker contest per se. It’s a nice way to try to include ‘’everyone’’ in the name of fairness, especially since SVT have been criticised by the Swedish press for always using the same singers and songwriters. And ideally, it should be a good way to unearth some talent or some gems. However, it really does need a makeover, to be done properly. This year’s webbjoker contest has had an air of absolute farce about it. It’s been laughable. Last month, the Swedish public were presented with 232 songs by SVT. They were expected to listen to all 232 and vote for their favourite to go through to the next round. Oh, and they only had a week to listen to all of these, as in a week’s time, the list would be shortened to 100 entries for the next round. And that’s really where the crux of the problem lies. First of all, WHO has the time in their life to listen to 232 songs in a week? And who in their right mind wants to even find the time for that – bearing in mind that a lot of these entries you have to wade through are pure piss-takes, and ridiculous – not in a good way. For that week we spotted the occasional facebook status update, tweet, or comment on a forum, from some poor soul or another who was trying their very best to listen to all of them. Some of them succeeded, wearing the fact like a badge of honour, despite the odd reality of what they’d just spent a whole week of their lives doing. But most actually couldn’t make it through all 232. Some gave up quite early on, others tried until the very last hour, but still didn’t have enough time before voting closed. And how is that fair on all contestants? Asking people to vote, when realistically it’s impossible to give every contestant a fair listen. And then doesn’t it just become a contest to see who has the highest volume of friends and family that are willing to vote for them?

Even in the next round, when the number was reduced to 100 – it was still a tall order, an unwanted order, to listen to all of them in a week, before they were reduced to 50 for the next round.

Like we said, the concept of the webbjoker competition is a nice one. And we’d welcome it back next year, but it HAS to be done properly. SVT need to select a jury to wade through each of the webbjoker entries, in the same way they have one to listen to all of the entries submitted to the actual Melodifestivalen competition. At the very most, 50 should be selected internally and then presented to the public for them to vote on. Or even 32, in the name of mirroring the real contest. That’s a number, and therefore a contest, that the public can actually realistically approach, and vote in. It’s something that they can realistically follow and take an interest in. And unlike what happened this year, it doesn’t have an air of ridiculousness about it. It becomes a genuinely credible competition that Swedes, and international Melodifestivalen fans can watch and discuss. It could be really really good, and a great stop-gap for fans to get behind, until the real contest in February.


Right, enough of the critique. Let’s move on to the final which happens this evening. And which you can watch online here from 20.00 UK time, wherever you are in the world. And we do recommend that you watch, despite our harsh words above, as now that it’s at this point (the end!), it should be fun. We’ll be in attendance of course, so look out for us!

And here are the songs;

Out of 5, we think that 2 are very good, and 3 are alright. Alright in the sense that they’re obviously good songs, but not something we’d ever listen. Predictably, it’s the two female fronted songs in the competition that have got our interest!

Engla: ‘Don’t Stop’

This is our favourite. It starts off a bit odd, and we didn’t like it at first, but then that huge chorus reared its head and made itself known! It’s massive on the synths, which have been tailored towards a schlager sound. And it’s all very very schlager, so of course we’re gonna love it. And yes – there’s a key change. Even if you can’t be bothered to listen to all five, listen to this one. If you like the type of music we normally write about, you should like this too. It’s a lot of fun, and we’re looking forward to seeing it live tonight. Let’s hope she delivers.

Julia Alvgard: ‘Better or Worse’

This is very difficult to pigeon hole into a genre. It’s a little electro, a little r&b, and a lot of other things too. But the best thing about it is its melody throughout. It’s very very strong. And we think that this has a good chance of nabbing one of the two slots available, as it’s the most instant song here. And she’s got a cracking voice on her too.

Anton & Dejo: ‘I Wanna Be With You’

Catchy, summer, reggae pop. It’s good!

Jonas Matsson: ‘On My Own’

This may well be the other entry that goes through. It’s got a likeable melody and performer. A little too bland for our tastes though.

Billy: ‘Tusen Nätten’

Frantic guitar pop, not dissimilar to the likes of Busted, Son Of Dork, etc. Not THAT catchy, but it’s got a good energy to it. And we like the fact that at least one song is performed in Swedish.

Televotes from Swedish viewers tonight will be added together with all of the votes that each song has already received so far in the voting stages of the competition. To take a look at where the songs currently stand in the voting, follow this link to the SVT website.

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