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Melodifestivalklubbens gamla blogg 2010-2015

Melodifestivalklubbens blogg åren 2010-2015

Detta är Melodifestivalklubbens gamla blogg. Här är klubbens rapportering från Melodifestivalen och Eurovision åren 2010-2015 arkiverad.

Till Melodifestivalklubbens hemsida.
Till Melodifestivalklubbens nya blogg.

Vi har ett resultat!

2012 Junior Eurovision Posted on Sat, December 01, 2012 23:28:48

Evening all,

What a great show. Maybe I work as a teacher and it’s wired in me, but that was one of my best Eurovision experiences. What a fun fun show!!! This was a true family atmosphere and it was a pleasure to be there.

We have the Swedish flag just left of the stage if you were looking for us at any point.

My predictions were interesting. I can never get Junior Eurovision right. In the last three years I was 2nd, 2nd and 3rd, and this year 3rd again. In fact my top 4 finished from 2nd to 5th. Ukraine was tipped as a possible jury vote winner, but I didn’t expect it to be to that level of performance. I hadn’t been able to catch any screenshots of it and the camera tricks, a la Loreen, were very very effective. Whoever the producer of that Ukrainian stage performance is, they pulled off something world class and he/she needs to go up in the world from that.

My overriding thought on this though is the nature of the juries. Azerbaijan’s voting, assumingly all jury, had Armenia last, and then almost perfectly ranking the entries in reverse order of likelihood to win. The jury system is not working if they think they can get away with this, and it will cause a headache for EBU and the new Executive Supervisor for next year.

Sweden got 6th place in the end – a great result. One 12p too (Albanian jury – and at that )! A super placement for the team. I have been a critic of some of the way Sweden has done it – but Lova’s song oozes class. People here in the press centre have been talking about the possibility of Lova being in Melodifestivalen in the future. Of course that will be great, and she is an exciting songwriter. I wrote before about how this is a great learning curve for artists and how we are preparing and nurturing those skills we need.

But no, my views of this tonight have been great. The buzz before the contest, the friendly atmosphere of everybody and the kids all around (the Dutch National Final entries performed before the contest to warm it up, and they also from there got to the front of the stage and were great) – the stage design is cheaper but not less effective. And of course, anybody who has watched an Albanian semi final, will fully understand the irony of their voting!

Junior doesn’t have to be creepy or wrong, it is a family event that generates great role models for our children. Let’s truly embrace it.

Ukraine certainly are, we are in the Winner’s Press Conference now and they are so enthusiastic about Junior Eurovision – why can’t the rest of Europe see it for this??? She inspires me and must inspire so many others of a younger age.

Sverige ha Vindmaskinschlagerfiasko!

2012 Junior Eurovision Posted on Sat, December 01, 2012 18:17:44

Viktig och kontroversiell nyhet nu för Sverige!!!

Pressplatsen jobba nu, och jag ha slutad migg blog som Fabian, och vi lyssnade till en annan genrep för Sverige! Ingen lander har genrep på lördag.

Sieste Bakker, EBU Executive Supervisor har för Junior Eurovision, ge Sverige en annan genrep. Varför??? Sverige och alla flickor har en problem med en vindmaskin! Bara Sverige…

Lova sjungade jättebra, men sjungade inte alla bidrag nu.

Vi tror att Sverige ha mer vind från bade sidor!

Mer information ska komma från

Och ny Ryssland…Va!!! I got goosebumps! En av världens bäst Eurovision låtar tror jag!!! Underbart. Men va (Sieste Bakker säga det var en problem med pyro)!!!! Med 30 minuter till dorrarna öppna!!!

We Meet Fabian!

2012 Junior Eurovision Posted on Sat, December 01, 2012 17:10:04

Outside the HMH this afternoon, we got chatting to Fabian representing Belgium!

He was giving out postcards and sweets to passers-by (the cynic will note that Belgium should be getting the 12 points from the Netherlands anyway) and greeting them all with his smile that has an energy defying his 14 years of age.

Here is how Ben’s interview went:

BR: Tell us about the Belgian Song Festival you had, it is really popular over there?

Fabian: Yes it was really popular; it was a great experience to be on TV.

BR: You have the magic tricks on stage – with the song ‘Abracadabra’ – who had that idea?

Fabian: It was our choreographer who had the idea – we just had the band on stage in Belgium, but it really fun to have the others too.

BR: What do you think of Sweden’s entry from Lova?

Fabian: It’s a really beautiful song even though it is a bit slow: her voice is really magical.

BR: We will see you in the arena late Fabian – best of luck – we think you have an excellent chance!

Fabian: Thank you and good luck to Sweden!

After the interview, I was talking to Fabian’s dancers. They were interested to know how Sweden picks their entry, and how different it was in Sweden (with it being just a jury). They really like Sweden’s entry – but did ask what it was about – and were quite pleased when they found out it was standing up for yourself. Hopefully the juries got that message last night!

Final Day

2012 Junior Eurovision Posted on Sat, December 01, 2012 13:19:05

Hej bloggen!

Ben Robertson och Alison Wren är nu på plats har i Amsterdam!

Den har morgon vi gjorde en snabbt video på engelska med sista tips från oss. Alla har från pressen tänka att Ryssland och Georgien är favoriter för ikväll, och vi tror det också.

Man kan titta det har:

Sverige är jättefin men så svensk och lågom – vi ha ingen åning vilken plats Sverige ska bli efter tävlingen.

Vi tror det ska bli kanske 100 press har för finalen – manga från Holland.

Jag och Alison har platser för finalen på Golden Circle – vi ha svensk, ryska, skottisk och storbritannien flaggor med oss så hoppas ni kan se det ikväll.

Alison ska gå runt pressplatsen nu och ta bilder för bloggen – efter det jag ska spela på Nul Points, en Eurovision ‘pundit’ tävling med – och hoppas att ge en lite information för bloggen igen ikväll.

Lycka till Sverige!!!!

Future of Junior Eurovision

2012 Junior Eurovision Posted on Fri, November 30, 2012 16:05:16

Sadly I was teaching at the time, so missed live the EBU Press Conference, but thank you to for their work uploading the details. Now the time has come to fly out to Amsterdam, and a time as well to look forward to a future of Junior Eurovision.

Because, even though a final bid is not decided yet, a future of the contest looks increasingly clear still – it is big TV in too many countries for it not to be – but it is surviving on a thread nevertheless. It will be interesting to see if a new country comes forward to host, or if the contest will stay with those who have entered over recent years (Georgia are the kings of Junior and have not hosted yet).

One interesting note from the press conference is that the makeup of the juries is for 6 people, music professionals, rather than the usual 5. Dare we read into this as something that could be included in the future to increase the jury size at Eurovision? As I wrote before, the rules of Junior Eurovision often go forward to the big contest afterwards if successful.

We will also see a ‘Kids’ jury tomorrow night open the voting period – which is a great move for the credibility and fun of the contest. Hopefully in the unique case of Junior Eurovision this will help give all countries a more equal chance of doing well. Expect Russia to take the 12 here (and every other 12 at that…).

Finally, in other news, Sieste Bakker will be stepping down after this contest. Details have not been confirmed, but his replacement is Valdislav Yakovlev in charge of Eurovision Young Musicians and Dancers. I know far too little about these to comment, but I wish Sieste well and hope he is still involved in the contest – it helps to have that fan influence and passion involved at the highest levels.

One frustration about not being in Amsterdam yet is the lack of chance for interviews – which will be happening one can hope as much as possible when I arrive. Lova has done some great interviews though and is coming across as a really lovely intelligent girl – I’m a big fan of her style and maturity. Take a view here: (couldn’t get the sound to work on my laptop for this)

Rehearsals Day 1

2012 Junior Eurovision Posted on Wed, November 28, 2012 23:58:22

Blogg på engelska. Förlåt mig svenska människor!!!

Hello blog,

Hope you’ve all enjoyed the blogs so far. Rehearsals started today in the lovely Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam. It’s going good and all to schedule. Thank you to the great work of – providing all the best Eurovision news as always with their livestream backstage and the quickest upload of rehearsal videos to YouTube.

Take a look here:

The ESCKaz team are also amazing, ESCInsight are posting great deep and humorous thoughts to the contest and, although it is a lot less of a big deal in media coverage – plenty of big names are broadcasting. I’m listening to the Radio International Junior Eurovision special at the moment. I’ll be on site first thing Saturday morning to give the build up to it – sadly teacher timetables don’t let me get to the Press Centre before then.

Here are my views:

Belarus – We learnt nothing here from A More-More. 4 dancers on stage with our lovely chap – the hand movements are rather distracting but it’s all well sung (apart from a couple of higher notes). Very similar to the National Final presentation and not enough for any 12 points here.

Sweden – backdrop probably one of the most simple we’ve had but most effective, curved beams of light slowly glide across it. Lova seems to be semi-choreographed with her hands, which I would like her to be more certain about, it is ‘Mitt Mod’ after all. The dancers are actually singing to – one on either side of her – I would rather they were further away and let Lova do this intimately, their hand movements trivialize the nature of her mood. On that note, it looks like Lova isn’t using the cameras enough, or the stage enough, to get the message across. Vocally it’s spot on and has a lovely ending, I just think at the moment it’s not hitting the magical buttons it needs too.

Azerbaijan – Red stage with lots of lighting all over. Wakes the crowd up after Sweden, but crucially before Belgium too. Routine here is a lot slicker, and vocally they have actually got this on the money today. Much improved from the party. Don’t think it’s enough to win, but could be top 5.

Belgium – Lighting here is on the beat and sharp, going to get a huge reaction in the hall. Delivered vocally great too. The dancers are doing some magic tricks (called Abracadabra) after all. This is good, but isn’t everything yet – the camera work on this needs to be clearer – it looks a bit rushed through at the moment (think Celebrate – Croatia 2011 for a clue what I mean). The colours need to change for the final chorus for me to be effective enough. But yay, the band is there still! Not sure if works with both the band and the dancing with the magic tricks, and needs to be fixed before Saturday. Watch out for this!!!

Russia – Lerika the only artist so far to use the catwalk – starting there, but leaving after the first line. She needs to get back on there in the final chorus, and really belt it there to the crowd and get the amazing shots of the crowd loving it, but it’s not going to happen. Her costume today is very similar than the National Final one (although a bit more Baby Gaga like if you remember Georgia in 2010). She still struggles on the English annunciation in that final chorus – shouldn’t matter too much though. She’s easily able to hold the top notes (holding them today to impress the press like me I’m sure) and should be the one to beat on Saturday. But beatable it is.

Israel – this is still being strongly talked up by many – and this was the first time it had something for me. The song here was well delivered and they have really thought hard about the routine and the formation to make it appealing on camera – this will be a hard song to deliver for that and it looks like they’ve made it ok. Not really a problem with any vocals – but I still have reservations about this – and I think in a crowded field of outdated cheesy pop songs this might will still be the loser.

Albania – Can’t see an appeal for the song at all now. There is nothing of interest here – the chorus gives it no kick, and although the instrumental is welcome in the arrangement – on stage nothing happens and this is cementing the placing at the bottom of the ratings.

Armenia – can this scoring well everywhere. There are concerns about this from the perspective of the cameras, but Armenia is building to a good position with this – it gives off a ‘real’ vibe – authentic. Whether they can now focus on the camera and sell it is the next hurdle to cross this week.

Ukraine – compared to Albania, Anastasiya is a natural actress and sells the mood of the song well. This is in your face and good for it. I have reservations about the staging – she is all alone (dropped the dancers from the National Final) and it comes across a little too much over the 2 min 30. However, so was Albania this year – could be an ok result for the Ukrainians.

Georgia – possibly on a par with Russia now, as these are such talented entertainers. I have worries that the lighting needs to be brighter and more colourful – and I am a little surprised by the lack of props in this. Again for me, they aren’t using the stage enough – get down that catwalk!

Moldova – a safe old-fashioned song – and full on stage with 6 performers (nobody seems to be using the 8 you were allowed in Yerevan – was this rule changed back???) 5 dancers here and star-shaped platforms on each wing with our steering wheel making an appearance like the National Final. Carola’s flags make an appearance on the language change – which is the best executed one of the show. Not top 5, but close.

Netherlands – Nothing again to learn here – very secure as you would expect after their very professional National Final process. In fact, all the props and the backdrops are identical to that. Not getting enough televotes to get up there.

Top 5 so far – Russia, Georgia, Belgium, Armenia and one of Ukraine/Azerbaijan/Sweden. Will go Ukraine based on that performance vocally and the draw.

Thanks to EBU for the photos.

Party for Everybody (to watch)

2012 Junior Eurovision Posted on Tue, November 27, 2012 23:20:26

Hej Bloggen,

(There is some English below non-Swedish speakers!)

Jag hoppas alla kan förstå min blogg med allt från Junior Eurovision på både engelska och svenska.

Jag ska ta mitt slutprov på SFI på 11:e december. Fint kanske, men igår min lärare säg att jag måste skriv bättre, och jag är tråkig med mitt grammatik, så snäll maila mig om du vet hur jag kan göra bättre.

Jag hoppades att jag ska blogga idag som alla odds i Junior Eurovision, men vi inte ha det nu – om man vet vilken plats det är – underbart!

Alla artister är nu på plats i Amsterdam. Igår var en fest för alla och imorgon alla genrep börja, och vi kan ge mer information som det där.

Egentligen, igår alla artister sjunga låter tillsammans på festen för första gången, och vi tittade det på

Jag ska skriva genom alla bidrag nu, på engelska, med vad jag tänkte som det.

After all, this was the first time to see them stage ready, even if the stage was a small party venue in a hotel. And, I just tried in Swedish for one of the songs and realized I had no vocab to express myself about it!

Belarus – opens the show – is spot on the money vocally but I little bit boring after the two minutes – no real change to my opinion (remember you can see those on my vlog on the OGAESweden YouTube channel in English and Swedish)

Sweden – will be hard work on rehearsals to control the sound levels, lots of Lova’s singing is very sincere but also very gentle, and at times here it sounded weak which I think was unfair on her. Her use of the upper register is great and the re-touched production is giving this a lovely last chorus. I’m not sure on the backing vocals. I would much prefer them live in a song like this, and I would also prefer it as an echo to Lova chorus – För nu (för nu) Idag, (Idag) – to add the emphasis and add some gentle driving to the structure. Lova needs the ability in this not to have to sing perfectly in time, it needs to flow in the mood and the backing vocal addition makes it struggle to have this quality. It still a hard song to judge, and the dancers add nothing from the shots here, but the camera work will be so important for this.

Azerbaijan – this was an absolute train wreck. They brought a stage show. But this appears here to be all about acting like silly, misbehaving boys and girls, and it comes across, if possible, as the wrong type of fun (must be the teacher inside me shaking my head). The dancing is all over the shop and is dropping down the order in the juries.

Belgium – Fabian is ill, and certainly wasn’t giving a lot here. All going well though he should be fine – it was for the National Final. Looks like they have dropped the band and have some dancing instead. Not sure I agree with this, the shots of the drums in particular were really useful in the Belgian final, especially with the hand clap beats. I say it again, dark horse…

Russia – this actually, in a great way, reminds me of some of the school Eurovision acts I have mentored. The formations and dance routines are slick, effective and make an impact. Dancers are in top form and love the matching haircuts. Is this too modern? Or too out-dated? Lerika can sing great – in Russian. In English it starts to get clumsy, it makes sense but just doesn’t quite fit. Usually at Junior I would say it was harmless, but I think it might give that final chorus less of an impact. Camera angles will be important here, really need to be crisp to show this off. Not the runaway winner at the moment.

Israel – this is naturally quite hard to fit together with all the different children singing. Can’t see anything in the staging here, but I don’t expect to see anything in particular. Some of the top notes in the chorus seem a little strained – but not the car crash I expected. Could do ok – but needs to be less static for me.

Albania – Another really unique voice here from Albania. And I don’t mean that in a bad way – but you have to give it a song to give justice to that. Nothing 40 year old ‘ooh Albania discovered an electric guitar’ music is not appropriate for this. Can see more than 14 points here though, and not all pity votes based on the production here.

Armenia – gaining ground. Sounded good here in the new production. It still sounds like the kids wrote it, but in an endearing you want to like it and vote for it way. Also they are pulling off The Beatles-esque vibe quite well, and it is an infectious hook. Looks like a top 5.

Ukraine – No backing here on show – although I would expect that for the rehearsals here. Little bit of a mini Rona from Albania look here with the hair – and the song has elements that fit that well. Well delivered, probably up in my estimations.

Georgia – These kids are so fun, they loved the party at the front of the stage and this challenges Russia now without any doubt. Note here that this been given the plump running order draw here, the last spot (as Moldova and the Netherlands were drawn) – and the broadcaster have this right. As always with Georgian acts, this is polished and perfect. Vocally they are exciting and interesting too. I hope it is great and in-your-face show to the camera and they are going to warm everybody. There is a great shot of Femke giggling through the show, they are good and are going to hoover the votes – this was clearly so written for the Junior Eurovision stage. Classic Georgia. Wonder about the full stage show but this has it all and could be two in the row.

Moldova – in the shadow of Georgia isn’t great. But here is a song, with a simple format where the backing vocals are working – and will take some votes again for a mid-table placing. No real change.

The Netherlands – in the same way – we know what we are getting from Femke, and I don’t expect any change or any surprise. Safe but not a show stopper. Wrong song from the Dutch, they should have sent the boyband.

I worry in writing this, I’m reading too much into a fun little party. The kids were just having fun after all, and this would never happen in the Senior Eurovision – it would all be too serious. But at the same time, we are seeing the A game from some countries for the first time – the new song productions, the new dance routines. It will be fascinating to see on the stage in rehearsals tomorrow. And the stage is looking fab too. It’s a small arena by Melodifestivalen standards, but looking great for the TV cameras.

Keep reading!

5 saker som JESC

2012 Junior Eurovision Posted on Sun, November 25, 2012 21:33:43

Jag försök med en blogg på svenska – lycka till mig!

Junior Eurovision artister ska träffa för första gången idag med fest på Amsterdam, och genrep ska börja från onsdag.

Jag tror det är bra att man förstå vad vi ska göra på lördag om man har tittade inte Junior Eurovision, med 5 saker det är olika från normal Eurovision Song Contest

1) Regler för låter

Jag säg det två gånger tidigare på min blogg, men bidrag nu kan ha vuxen att skriva det. Sverige ha inte och det är intressant. Också, låter ha mindre tid (2:30 till max. 2:45) och, som Melodifestivalen, 8 personer kan bli på scenen och man kan sjunga ’pre-recorded backing vocals.’ Jag tänka att man ska lyssna till Karaoke från Israel den har år ( och fråga om det är ’backing vocals’ på refrängen.

Också, Georgien vinnade i 2011 med ’Candy Music,’ men vi är på plats i Amsterdam. På Junior Eurovision vinna måsta inte bli värd för nästa. Det kan bli, Armenien var värd efter Mama vinnade i 2010, men alla länder att vill ha det ge en bjud till EBU. I 2013, Belgien, Azerbaijan och Georgien är favorit att vill ha tävling nästa år nu. Sverige ha inte Junior Eurovision på plats, och från vad EBU säga SVT ha försökte att ha inte Junior Eurovision.

På första Junior Eurovision, man kan tävla från 8 år till 15 – nu det är 10 till 15. Det är bättre att bli ung. Ralf från Nederlanderna var 14, men alla olika vinnare var 12 eller mindre.

2) Östeuropa vinna allt

Det var en små överraskning för alla hur prata det Eurovision är så politisk när Nederlanderna vinnade Junior Eurovision, bara Vitryssland ge det mindre än 8 poäng. Men så många länder är från öst – och två länder ha vunnit två gånger, Georgien och Belarus. Ofta, en låt med en “Soviet-vibe” göra mycket bättre än odds säger. Tänka ha som ’Boy and Girl’ från 2010 – Ryssland jazz – en poäng från vinna. Den har år vi ha ny länder, Azerbaijan, Israel och Albanien, och inte Litauen och Lettland den har år, så kanske det är inte så stark. Men Sverige ha inte Denmark, Norge, Finland och mer hur ofta rösta för oss.

3) Ny säker för Eurovision

Junior Eurovision hade att rösta 50/50 med juryn i 2008, och efter i 2009 i Eurovision. Att JESC 2005 det gjorde en mer snabbt röstning, i 2006 det var i Eurovision. Junior Eurovision ha TV personnel säga vilken startnummer man ska börja från (inte 1:e, sista och värd länder plats – och Sverige är 2:e den har år!!!), och nu reglar är i Eurovision också. Kanske det är mer Junior ska prova för oss i Eurovision världen. 8 personer på scenen? Backing vocals? Sieste Bakker som Executive Supervisor of Eurovision? Alla länder ge 12 poäng när röstning börja???

4) En ballad vinna inte

Alla JESC vinnare är mid-tempo eller up-tempo. En stor power-ballad ha vunnit inte – kanske Molly Sanden var bäst med 3:a plats i 2006. Vitryssland med ’Angely Dobra’ i 2011 var en stor favorit med press på Yerevan, men det var bara 3:e plats också. Den har år, det är bara en ballad att tävla, från Sverige. Kanske med bara en det är en bättre chans för oss???

5) Artister är mer roligt

Det är så mycket mer informell med Junior Eurovision och det är bästa vecka för alla barn där. Alla älskar allting, och barn säger vad de vill. Man kan fråga vilken låt de tycker om och de svara. På Eurovision, många artister svara inte som frågor som det, men det är allt så glad med Junior. Bästa saga jag vet från JESC var det en tjej från Litauen i 2011 har pratade med alla artister, men inte Erik från Sverige. Varför? Han är snygg….

Alla artister är så bra att hoppas alla gör bra också – titta på Green Room när alla sjunga och se så många glad barn hoppas alla gör din bäst.

Varför inte så bra på Eurovision, vi måsta fråga…

Lilla Melodifestivalen

2012 Junior Eurovision Posted on Sat, November 24, 2012 21:52:32

Hopefully, you have all seen Lilla Melodifestivalen shown live on SVT this week. If not, you can find the link here:

I was there in the crowd on that beautiful summer day (you can see me in the bright blue tracksuit behind Molly Sanden with my arms folded about over 17 minutes in). 8 acts, all female I note (but that could be the torment boys have in their voice at this age), performed for a decent audience in Gröna Lund. The winner was decided by a panel of 3, including our much beloved Christer Björkman.

This already is different from Lilla Melodifestivalens gone by; kids across Sweden (or at least at my school) can still sing Hej Sofia (Benjamin Wahlgren, 2006 – with a memory of bliss and joy. This was a much smaller production and a much smaller event than the TV show extravaganza it once was. On one point, the show was filmed many months ago, and only three people got to decide our winner. How un-Swedish! There is lots of positives with expert juries, and we would hope Björkman would deliver that, we note too that the production value the songs were put up against was not to the same degree it needs to be for anything with the ‘Melodifestivalen’ label. There was no backing singers, no dancers and no camera work that would be an extra hurdle for the kids to cross.

The songs were also all ‘written’ by the kids, and then ‘produced’ by one of the members of the jury. Not only am I wondering about conflict of interest of two of the jury members already, but there is no requirement for this in the Junior Eurovision rules (as in my previous blog, Thomas G:Son helped write Allt Jag Vill Ha in 2010). It leaves Sweden at a disadvantage – and sadly the production quality of any of those 8 songs doesn’t match that of favourites Russia and Georgia. They were safe professional production jobs rather than vote-grabbing ones. Although music varied in styles of ballads and up-tempo – it all felt quite samey.

In a similar way, the song rules were to sing in 100% Swedish – again possibly cutting off Sweden from the other countries and the chances of success. Perhaps these are ethical decisions from SVT, I would be interested to ask, but considering of course the Swedish link on the EBU Reference group, and that other ‘Melodifestivalen’ traits such as 8 people on stage and pre-recorded backing vocals are already a part of the mix in the Junior Eurovision rules it seems a bizarre contradiction (not to mention the high ability in English of Swedes).

It was an odd contest. Although humorous for the level of the production, trying and failing to give these 21st century beats to the uptempo songs in particular, the atmosphere was incredibly enthusiastic. Mathilda was the star of the show from a participation level – she was getting claps going in the green room, singing along and being a shining example of why Junior Eurovision is so special. Iva too was a shining example of what a good competitor should be like. Felicia who started off the show drawn no. 1 has good stage presence and could be one to watch in the future. Lisa Ajax had the most ridiculous key change of all time. OF ALL TIME. She has a wonderful voice not just in the blasting power ballads but also the gentler tones and again we will see her continue as an artist. I assumed it would be either Felicia or Lisa to go to Amsterdam, and was pleasantly surprised when Lova took the victory. However, I will note it was the only song, perhaps from its downbeat tone, that I would have thought had decent production to it.

Lova is refreshingly brave and different as an artist – and is herself. She is even more impressive in her lyric writing which is surely what got her the place to JESC I believe. Hopefully Europe will understand this enough. The more I listen, the more I think it has half a chance. I can’t work out if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

In Eurovision, Sweden we all know leads the way in the quality of selection through Melodifestivalen – it attracts fans from across Europe each year and the songs are great hits. Lilla Melodifestivalen used to have that touch too – and of course has been the first stomping ground for many artists (including Ulrik Munther). I would hope Sweden could consider again how Belgium and the Netherlands do it – the songs are big stuff (some on way over 1,000,000 YouTube views now from the National Final) and learn something in the same way they learn from us about how to do Eurovision, in the same way other countries are looking to Melodifestivalen. It can be popular inspiring TV to inspire a generation – and, as I said in my previous post, even if we are not fans of this, getting it bigger and giving our kids a chance on this kind of stage can only be a good experience for our Eurovision entrants of the future.

Why Junior Eurovision

2012 Junior Eurovision Posted on Sat, November 24, 2012 08:30:19

Hello Melodifestivalklubbensblogg,

I am Ben Robertson, Stockholm Co-ordinator of Melodifestivalklubben.

On December 1st, I will be seated (note, not standing) in Amsterdam for the 10th edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. I will be blogging for Melodifestivalklubben all this week on the contest, and both myself and other club member Alison Wren will be there representing the club. You can see my first video on the songs in this edition of Junior Eurovision here in English:

Och har på svenska:

Often, Junior Eurovision, among hard core fans of the main song contest is treated with distaste and displease. The days of putting young children through the stress of the main contest in the 1980’s were something we wanted to change and thus Eurovision has a 16 years old age limit. Would Sandra Kim have won a 80’s Junior Eurovision?

I am going to do my best possible job here of saying why we should care about Junior Eurovision, and in Sweden, Lilla Melodifestivalen.

Firstly, I will talk about why I love Eurovision. I love songwriting, I love competitions, I love the pressure included in representing your country, I love voting and democracy, I love performing on a big stage, I love the equal playing field of an amateur performing for the first time against the big global superstar, I love the mix of cultures and languages that would never come together anywhere else (especially in Euro-skeptic UK) I love that the songwriter is such an important part of the process compared to other talent shows, and it is a Song Contest. The song is what matters, and how the songwriter manufactures that piece to be on the stage.

Junior Eurovision, is very different. The nationalism is still there, but it isn’t strictly a songwriting contest. The rules originally were that, the songs had to be written by the under-16’s themselves. Unsurprisingly this was impossible to ensure in our non-orchestral Eurovision world, and the rule scrapped. Even Thomas G:Son had a song in Junior Eurovision a couple of years ago (and no, it wasn’t as good as Euphoria). One could easily note this, and the demographic of countries involved in it (it is biggest in Eastern Europe, with Belarus and Georgia traditionally dominating the top 5, and bizarrely the Netherlands and Belgium). There are concerns with the contest being full of stage-school kids who have been relentlessly trained in singing and dancing for years in an unhealthy way.

Furthermore, there are the issues of the songs themselves. Successful Junior Eurovision are way less likely to be commercial, and that label of Junior is always going to be attached – like all the songs are playing up to be the cute younger brother or sister and attention for being a good boy or girl. There are some great catchy songs that fit this, but that ‘Junior’ label is too hard to shift for many a song and songwriter.

Before we go further, I recommend you get a nice comfy sofa this weekend and watch this:

Sounds Like Teen Spirit is a very well done documentary about the Junior Eurovision in 2007. I had the joys of meeting director Jamie Jay Johnson this year at the OGAE UK EuroBash. The film follows some of these great kids and their Junior to the Rotterdam that year. Perhaps it is a little simple, but these kids are so refreshing, they support each other to do well, they are honest about what they feel, what they like and don’t like – and it is such a loving atmosphere. This is so refreshing in a Eurovision bubble full of hate and scandal at the moment.

These kids are all as well doing the best thing they have ever done so far, nobody is washed up and nobody doesn’t care about the Contest. They are so passionate to do well but so supportive too.

To say we don’t care and don’t support the Junior Eurovision is the same as saying we don’t support the youth team of our favourite football team. The rules are different, the quality is worse; it can be traumatic if kids lose. However it’s firstly great fun, still as exciting, and furthermore it’s also a great breeding ground for the future. Nobody yet has made it all the way from Junior Eurovision to Eurovision – but Molly Sanden certainly made her name from it and that opportunity has helped create the beautiful star we know today, who may make it to the real thing one day.

As a member of Melodifestivalklubben, I know it barely features on fans radars. I remember trying in vain to rally support for people to go to Lilla Melodifestivalen at Gröna Lund this year – I went alone. It’s the equivalent to keep the image going of your Youth Team reaching the Cup Final, and if OGAE Sweden is the organization of Super Fans we should be so supportive. In doing so we further foster the excitement and the passion that may further help the main contest in the future if nothing more. It is sad I will not be at the next Stockholm event on December 1st, Schlagergalan, because I am of course in the Arena at Junior at the same time. When trying to organize Schlagergalan, the consideration that Junior Eurovision was at the same time was nil – it wasn’t cared about as important. This is so sad. I have to ask what our purpose as a Eurovision Fan Club is if we don’t even support our own youth coming through if only once a year?

The contest this year may be not one of world class songs and performers, even on a Junior Eurovision level, but the infectiousness of the kids should override that. Who knows when we will find the next Molly Sanden after all – and we should be a part of making that experience the most supportive and wonderful as possible – not dismissing it as just rubbish.

We talk of a contest on its last legs, people saying that every year could be the last year the EBU does Junior Eurovision. Only 12 countries are in the contest this year. I really hope not. I work now as a teacher in Stockholm, and we have a Eurovision competition. It is such great fun, the kids do develop loads and learn loads throughout (the EBU learns things too, but my opinions on introducing juries and introducing a producer decision on the running order I will keep quiet here). It is such an inspirational thing and we should use it to coach and to guide – these are important skills for the future. Plus, it is so very fun. Everybody I know who has been has praised the atmosphere so much – it really is played in such good spirits.

I for one will be getting behind Junior Eurovision. It is what it is, but has the spirit of a contest pulsing through it still brighter than any of the ‘real’ contests. Here’s to hoping it churns out more great songs like these below (It was hard to limit it to 5!) and gives kids great memories in one of the most wonderful environments we could ever wish for.

The first winner and the best use of a woodblock we will ever see – Ti Si Moja Prva Ljubav –

The greatest football shirts ever made – Barcelona –

A surreal but technically brilliant piece of music and use of the kids voices – Bzzz –

One of the UK’s best Eurovision songs of the 21st century – My Song for the World –

And of course Molly – Det Finaste Någon Kan Få –