Sweden - Melodifestivalen 1997

[Blond]Two reports available on this page:

At the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest Sweden will be represented by a group of three men, who call themselves Blond (seen here) singing 'Bara hon älskar mig'

Date: 1997-03-08
Venue: Eriksbergshallen, Gothenburg
Duration: 120 minutes
Presenter: Jan Jingryd, when intended presenter Peter Ragnmar fell ill.
Conductor: Curt-Eric Holmquist
Number of entries: 12

After a James Bond-ish opening sequence, we were welcomed to Gothenburg by Jan Jingryd, who has been involved in all Swedish finals hosted by Gothenburg since 1984.
He complained before the contest that he had to step in with short notice, and we could tell from what he was saying that this was not the best manuscript ever used in an MF-final.

Before each song the composers/authors were introduced in a little film. And off we went:

[Song 1]1.NU IDAG (Now today)
Monia Sjöström

The schlager of the night. Pleasant and recognizable - a bit too recognizable, the orchestration of the verse is an exact copy of the orchestration of "Eloise"... Anyway, a quite catchy chorus, delivered in a nice, if not overwhelmingly inspired way by Monia, who is the front figure in the well-established dance-band Grönwalls. She is currently #2 in the "Svensktoppen"-chart with her recent hit, and this entry is probably bound in the same direction. Probably not the choice if the jury wanted renewal, though.

2.[Song 2]NATTENS ÄNGLAR (Angels of the night)

Supposed to sound the way Swedish pop did in the early 80's, Jonas "Ace of Base" Berggren's entry left quite a lot to be desired. The two young men from Eskilstuna performing his creation hardly seemed to be prepared for the big occasion, and the verse and chorus didn't seem to fit together. The lyrics sounded really amateurish: "Oscar Wilde here and now in uthopia/play hide the key/run-over at Holiday Inn/the air is vibrating" Anyway, the chorus wasn't too bad, and this could very well end up in the charts.

3.[Song 3]HAND I HAND (Hand in hand)
Robert Randquist

A big, yearning love-ballad, delivered in a sensitive way by Robert, who won "Sikta mot stjärnorna", impersonating Julio Iglesias. You could hear a touch of Julio at times, but Robert will probably emerge as a star. The song itself was classy and catchy, but hardly original. Reminiscent of, among others, "Ti amo" by Umberto Tozzi. That probably doesn't matter, as all Swedish women aged 40 or more will faint while hearing this.

4.[Song 4]DÄR EN ÄNGEL HÄLSAT PÅ (Where an angel has paid a visit)

At first, this reminds you annoyingly much of "Den vilda", but after a couple of listenings you realize the similarities aren't that big after all. Lead singer Pernilla Emme delievered the song in a professional way, giving a very visual performance together with two female backing singers. Towards the end Pernilla makes a yelling sound, a bit similar to Maja Blagdan's screaming in Oslo. A strong entry, that could very well do the trick if the jury wanted an etno-winner again.

5.[Song 5]CHARLIE
Jim Jidhed

When Jim Jidhed's career declined after his big MF-hit in 91, nobody really understood how such a talented singer could loose a career like that. The reason seems to be that he has no judgement when it comes to selecting his material - this entry was a sobbing, sentimental ditty about an old musician that the world had forgotten. Nothing special in any way.

Nick Borgen

The entry the world had been waiting for. Nick Borgen trying to sound like Bryan Adams, while the curvy computer saleswoman Helen Wellton danced in the background, wearing a blue dress inpsired by Star Trek. Add to this a hysteric lyric on how happy Nick Borgen is to have his "new home address" where people are invited in, since he's throwing a party there... Very entertaining for it's humorous values, but disturbingly enough, one of the tabloids stated this song could very well win. Hmmm...

7[Song 7].JAG SAKNAR DIG, JAG SAKNAR DIG (I miss you, I miss you)
Andreas Lundstedt

Using more or less full singback, Andreas Lundstedt entered the stage together with a backing group showing us that this piece was composed by one of the brains behind Army of Lovers: four decadent-looking women with extravagant hair-dos playing instruments, while giving us the impression they ate two cans of valium before going on stage. The ballad was in the same vein as "Driver dagg faller regn", but less direct. Not bad at all, but maybe a bit too difficult for the jury.

8[Song 8].EN GÅNG SKA HAN GRÅTA (Once he shall cry)

Written by the team behind Nordman (incl. Py Bäckman, composer of SE'88), one expected a direct hit, sprinkled with some folk-influences, but we were in for something of a surprise. This song was much more of a genuine piece of folkmusic than Nordman ever got close to: a difficult, monotonous-sounding verse, exploding into a very catchy chorus with a distinct folk sound all way through. The perfect touch to it was also the brilliant lyrics about love, betrayal and revenge. My favourite on the night.

9[Song 9].JAG SKA ALDRIG LÄMNA DIG (I'll never leave you)

This number sounded very much like Swedish contemporary pop-rock sounds like, but a closer look at the song itself reveals a pretty simple composition, a schlager song in a rock costume. Anyway, the group give it a good performance and the chorus was catchy, but also repetitive. OK, but far from brilliant.

10[Song 10].MISSARNA (The flops)
Wille Crafoord

The kind of music you never expected to hear in MF: Wille, from the witty rap-group Just D, delivered a soft, delightful little song, inspired by comic revues of the 40's. Very good and clever lyrics, good and relaxed performance, orchestration with mainly piano, soft drums and violins. Sure to be a huge hit in Sweden, but it would be a disastrous choice for the ESC, since the whole brilliance of the song lies in the lyrics.

11[Song 11].DU GÖR MIG HEL IGEN (You make me complete again)
Cajsalisa Ejemyr

An interesting sensation to see one of the main characters of TV4's successful soap-opera "Skilda världar" enter the stage with a song co-written by the Swedish soul-sensation Robyn. A trendy, laid-back r&b-sounding entry. Good, but lacking a real hook to make it memorable. Cajsalisa seemed to suffer a bit from nerves, but is still a good performer.

12[Song 12].BARA HON ÄLSKAR MIG (If only she loves me)

blond (with a small "b") is three male blondes, who have been busy backing Henrik "Elvis" Aaberg the last year. Now they performed the entry from Stephan Berg, composer of SE'91, who saved himself from a lot of work and sent in "Mitt i ett äventyr" from Melodifestivalen 1990 again. The ressemblance between that song and "Bara hon älskar mig" is embarrasingly obvious. The final result was a Carola-song, performed with Herrey's choreography and a sound reminiscent of the Swedish popsensation of 94, G.E.S. A mix of old things that worked before, that very well could work again.

After the interval act, we got into the voting with a new voting process: each jury gave the points 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12, leaving five songs with no points. And - there were two voting rounds as well: in the first each jury delivered the points 1 - 10, and in the second round all the 12-points were distributed. This system worked very well, and managed to increase the excitement a lot. Unfortunately, the winner was obvious before all juries had cast their top marks.

[Stephan Berg]Stephan Berg (on the right), writer of the song told Jan his favourite song was Robyn's (no 11)

The scores in place order:
1. Bara hon älskar mig/If only she loves me - 80 pts.
2. Där en ängel hülsat på/Where an angel said hello - 68 pts.
3. Missarna/Misstakes - 65 pts.
4. Du gör mig hel igen/You make me whole again - 56 pts.
5. Hand i hand/Hand in hand - 55 pts.
6. Jag ska aldrig lämna dig/I'll never leave you - 40 pts.
7. Jag saknar dig/I miss you - 32 pts.
8. En gång ska han gråta/He'll cry one day - 28 pts.
9. World Wide Web - 26 pts.
10. Charlie - 12 pts.
11. Nu idag/Now today - 11 pts
12. Nattens Änglar/Angels of the night. 0 pts.

So, the jury went for recycling, so the song we send to Dublin is a very cheerful and catchy song, which unfortunately is completely out of date. I believe Sweden will score low this year.


Thanks, Tobias!

A personal view and report by Johnny Andersson:

[Blond]At the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest Sweden will be represented by a group of three men, who call themselves Blond.(seen here)
The song, 'Bara hon älskar mig' or 'If she only loves me', sung by Gabriel Forss (22), Jonas Karlhager (22) and Patrik Lundström (26) is a modern uptempo pop song, not unlike the 1993 'Eloise'. Text and music by Stephan Berg who won the 1991 ESC by Carola.
That wasn't really my favorite. But the song is quite good, and stays in mind - not like the 1996 ESC winner!

Here are the results of the 37th Melodifestivalen of SVT:

The voting itself was a mess!
The jury of several cities didn't announced the highest score (12) until they all had voted. Then the jurors returned and gave the 12 points. You could never knew who was in the lead until the end!
The newspapers will not be nice.
A complete disaster!
The host got sick and they had to make a replacement in the last minute.
The entries were very unlike each other. 6 of them were written by professional artists.

I really hope Sweden won't be allowed to participate in the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest!

Here are the lyrics of the winner, by Stephan Berg, with a translation of mine:

Jag ser en flicka dansa genom natten/I see a girl dance through the night
så alla hjärtan stannar/so that all the hearts stop
Fast jag har vandrat/Even though I wandered
genom eld och vatten/through fire and water
rör hon mig som ingen annan/she touches me like no one else

Vandrar hon förbi mig/Wanders she away from me
se fördndras allt/everything will change
och hon ser att den man hon väntat pe/and she'll se that the man she waited for
Det är jag/That's me
Det kan bli hon och jag/It could be she and me...

Bara hon älskar mig/If she only loves me
får jag den ängel/I'll have the angel
hela himlen saknar/the entire of heaven misses
hon är den enda kvinnan/she's the only woman
jag vill ha igen/I want to have again

Bara hon älskar mig/If she only love me
blir jag den man hon ser i sina drömmar/I become that man she sees in her dreams
alla andra har förlorat/all the others have lost
Hon kan aldrig älska utan mig/She could never love without me

Jag vågar inte möta hennes blickar/I don't dare to meet her looks
Visa att mitt hjärta brinner/Show that my heart is on fire
Hur ska jag nensin fenga denna flicka/How will I ever catch this girl
Frega innan hon försvinner/Ask before she disappears

Fast andra män kunde dö/Even though other men could die
för hennes skull/for the sake of her
se förster jag att ingen ser/I understand that no one sees
vad hon vill ha/what she wants
Det är bara jag/Its just me...

Bara hon älskar mig/If she only love me
får jag den ängel/I'll have the angel
hela himlen saknar/the entire of heaven misses
hon är den enda kvinnan/she's the only woman
jag vill ha igen/I want to have again

Bara hon älskar mig/If she only loves me
blir jag den man hon ser i sina drömmar/I become that man she sees in her dreams
alla andra har förlorat/all the others have lost
Hon kan aldrig älska utan mig/She could never love without me

Jag har inget kvar att leva för/I've nothing left to live for
ingenting är värd nåt/nothing is worth any
om inte vi finner varandra/unless we find each other
Vi finner.../We find...

Bara hon älskar mig...

Phew! It gave me a hard time. Hope you'll have use of it.
That's all from the Melodifestivalen 1997 from Göteborg, March 8.

By Johnny Andersson,
Rättvik, Sweden

Thanks, Johnny!

Swedish Television has a site about the Melodifestivalen at http://www.svt.se/melodi/index.html

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