For the past few years the Nordic countries have consistently worked hard to provide Eurovision with a winning candidate. Sweden, first of all annually holds one of the most extensive and long running national finals, rivalled closely by Malta. Sweden also has one of the most impressive Eurovision track records as since their last win in 1999 Sweden has managed to qualify for a place in the final even after the introduction of the Semi Finals in 2004.
This makes them one of a handful of countries whom have managed to have a place in the final every year for the past decade. Melodifestivalen 2010 was no exception, some of Sweden’s most loved and famous artists once again banded together for the chance to represent Sweden in Oslo. There were no outright winners or early predictions in the competition; there were of course popular songs and some good songs managing to qualify from the second chance round. This year 18 year Anna Bergendahl won the competition by coming second in the jury vote but winning the public securing her win. The song is a charming ballad with few or no gimmicks; she has a nice voice and performs well. She lacks the stage presence her predecessors bought to the competition however; it is refreshing to have some fresh talent brought from Sweden.
Norway has had a mixed history in Eurovision, still holding the highest number 0 points scores in the history of the competition. The past two years have seen this reversed in 2009 Maria Haukaas Storeng managed to secured a 5th place in Belgrade before producing one of the most talked about ever Eurovision entries and winner. Alexander Rybak ratkked the Eurovision record book in Moscow and gives Norway one of the most peculiar records in the competition as they now have the records for the highest number of low scores and now the highest score ever. This year 21 year old Didrik Solli-Tangen is singing his ballad “My Heart is Yours” which beat early favourite boy band A1 to the right to represent the host country. Didrik’s ballad is very emotional but is reminiscent of a typical Westlife song. However, Didrik bravely performs it by himself and the home entry really isn’t one that is unpleasant on the ears. I wouldn’t assume it to be a winner, but this one will be picking up votes from right across the board.
Denmark has now become the less successful country from the Scandinavian peninsula over the past two years. In spite of qualifying for the final in 2008 & 2009 they have failed to neither make the top 10 nor really leave any lasting impression on the stage. Arguably similar for Sweden however Denmark’s acts lacked any real strong charisma or originality. Anyway, Denmark will be represented by Chanee and N’evergreen in Oslo this year and although the performance had a few cheesy elements the singer sing excellently live, which is not a bad thing at Eurovision. Their song “In a moment like this” is a power ballad sang as duet. The song was sung flawlessly a number of times in Melodi Grand Prix 2010 and I am sure they will have had time to perfect their onstage performance and as much as I would love for this to win, I do fear that some of the other songs will over shadow this.
Iceland has had a terrible few years not at Eurovision just in general terms, through economic collapse and now sending half the worlds aviation into turmoil. Iceland has however sent some of the most remembered acts to Eurovision in recents years. In 2008 Eurobandið had started out with high hopes but ended disappointingly outside of the top 10 yet last year Yohanna equalled their best ever result finishing second, albeit miles behind Norway. For 2010, Iceland has sent Hera Björk with her song “Je ne sais quoi” an up-tempo entry with only the title being sung in French the remainder being sung in English. This is certainly an enjoyable one, but I doubt this will make a huge impact in the competition as there are a number of better songs.
Finally, Finland; who have had steady success since their win in 2006. This year however, they have decided to send a rather unusual song. Kuunkuiskaajat “Työlki ellää” is a little like a Nordic folk-like pop song. As it is sung in Finnish it is difficult to understand exactly what the song is actually about and the onstage performance is actually quite bizarre I just think this is a little too weird and Eurovision fans will not appreciate this. So, Once again the Nordic countries have tried to send decent or at least memorable songs. I am quite a fan of Denmark and Sweden followed closely by Norway, but this may not be what fans think.