Robin Sjernberg and Anton Ewald. Photo: Jessica Gow/Scanpix
Radio Sweden's Eurovision Blog

Anton and Robin win through to the final

So, the line up for the Swedish final is complete. The seven male singers/male groups and Louise Hoffsten will be joined by two more men in Friends Arena on Saturday. Anton Ewald with his uptempo "Beggin'" and Robin Stjernberg with the wail-fest that is "You" won Andra Chansen. Both are now doing very well in the download charts.

The final will be one long row of blokes. There hasn't been such domination by one or other of the genders since 1965 when Ingvar Wixell sang all the six competing songs himself. The group Family Four sang all of the songs in the 1971 final as well, but the gender balance in that group was 50/50...

On top of this, it is a very even line up, and the running order as decided by SVT seems to indicate three main favourites...

1. "Tell the World I’m Here" – Ulrik Munther

2. "Skyline" – David Lindgren

3. "Falling" – State of Drama

4. "Begging" – Anton Ewald

5. "Only the Dead Fish Follow the Stream" – Louise Hoffsten

6. "Bed on Fire" – Ralf Gyllenhammar

7. "En riktig jävla schlager" – Ravaillacz

8. "Copacabanana" – Sean Banan

9. "You" – Robin Stjernberg

10. "Heartbreak Hotel" – Yohio

Songs one and ten tend to be big favourites with the voters, as SVT likes to start and end Melodifestivalen with a bang, and the songs that have recieved the most votes in the semis.

Ulrik Munther's arena-pop will no doubt go down well in the Friends Arena, as will Yohio. Loreen won last year from starting position number six, and that is occupied this year by Ralf Gyllenhammar, also one of the favourites.

The two songs that qualified to the final from Andra Chansen, Robin and Anton, also have a lot of support. Many now think that one of them could take the ticket to Malmö, thanks to the extra momentum from competing in AC. Their songs have had more chance to grow, and songs from AC have been close to winning in the past. Caroline af Ugglas was just a few thousand televotes away from beating Malena Ernman in 2009 for example.

But it is also very risky for Sweden. Thanks to Loreen's victory last year Sweden already has its place in the final booked. That means that viewers around Europe will probably only see the Swedish Eurovision entry once, while most of the other songs that will have qualified from the semi-finals will have been heard twice.

So when that is the case, is it wise to send a song that obviously takes a couple of listens before viewers warm to it?

My gut feeling is that viewers should vote for the song that grabbed them within the first minute. The song that they liked best in the first round of the semi-finals. The one that stuck out instantly.

The question is, which one will that be..? Will all the young boys in the line-up steal votes from each other, leading to Louise Hoffsten taking a surprise victory? Or will the rock fans push Ralf Gyllenhammar to the top of the podium? And what role will the international jury play this year, awarding fifty percent of the votes? There are many unanswered questions, and despite the bookmakers predictions of a hefty victory for Yohio, nothing is certain.

One thing that is for sure is that it is a weak final, at least as far as I am concerned. Almost all of my favourites got knocked out straight away this year, so I only really have one song in the final that I would even consider voting for. I wonder if Sweden and I will agree, like we did last year.

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