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February 16, 2011

Eurovision Watch: Update

Sanna Eurovision season is well and truly in full swing in the Nordic lands now. Indeed, three of the five countries have already chosen the acts that they’re sending to Düsseldorf. Meanwhile, the Melodifestivalen juggernaut thunders on in Sweden, while the Danes wait patiently to do their choosing over the course of a couple of hours. None of this marathon contest nonsense for them.

The big news so far is from Norway, were Stella Mwangi’s Haba Haba took 36% of the votes to win. It’s a fabulous, African-inspired sound that was a world apart from the rest of the entries. Its popularity is such that Norway is the only country where Lady Gaga isn’t number one in the iTunes chart, because Stella refuses to budge. Haba!

Finland has picked a 19-year-old lad called Axel to sing an eco-ballad called Da Da Dam. He’s performing with the name Paradise Oskar, and from a mediocre selection, it’s probably the best song to represent the country. And he’s a lovely chap as well.

Iceland was hit by the sudden death of Sjónni Brink, one of the participants in its Eurovision search, which seemed to change the entire focus of the competition. Despite having Jóhanna Guðrún Jónsdóttir (she came second in Moscow a couple of years ago), Iceland went for Sjónni’s song, Aftur heim (Almost Home), which was performed by his friends. It’s unclear whether the song will be allowed to go to Germany yet, but I don’t think anyone cares really – it was a very emotional moment when Sjónni’s widow, Þórunn Erna (also the song’s writer) accepted the prize.

Meanwhile, Denmark will have Ace Of Base’s Jenny Berggren in competition, while Sweden is falling in love with schlager again. Sanna Nielsen topped the leader board last Saturday, while Jenny Silver’s ABBA-tastic Something In Your Eyes is also tipped to be in the final. With Shirley Clamp and Linda Bengtzing also back, it’s all very exciting.

To hear the three winning songs from Norway, Finland and Iceland, visit Schlagerfiasko.nu at schlagerfiasko.nu/scandikitchen/

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