Is this the face of a Melodifestival winner? Yohio. Photo: Caroline Aronsson, P4 Sjuhärad.
Radio Sweden's Eurovision Blog

The final countdown

And now, the end is near.... After six weeks, four semi finals and 32 songs, tonight Sweden chooses which song will represent this country in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, to be held in Malmö Arena in May.

And after six weeks, four semi finals and 32 songs I still have no idea who is going to win.

Let's start off by saying that the line up isn't fantastic. There is only one female singer, and a few weird choices by the Swedish voting pubic have meant that several really good songs missed out, and there are a few songs that shouldn't really be in the final tonight.

Having said that, it is one of the closest finals in years. I did a quick poll among Sweden's leading Eurovision journalists last night following the dress rehearsal. And nobody dared to tip a winner. It's that close.

Yohio is the narrow favourite. He has the shortest odds among the bookies, and he also won the dress rehearsal poll carried out among the audience there last night.

Robin Stjernberg and Anton Ewald have the momentum of taking part in Andra Chansen last week. They are also outperforming all the other finalists on the download charts and Spotify.

Ulrik Munther came third last year with a weaker song. He also has a strong fanbase, and it is the best song of the evening.

Ralf Gyllenhammar sticks out, and if the teenage vote is split between the four artists above, then the rock vote could be strong enough to give him a narrow victory.

Fifty percent of the points awarded tonight will be by the International Jury. There are eleven of them, with six members in each jury. They have been told to vote for the song they think has the best chance in Eurovision, and are voting on a recording of yesterday's dress rehearsal.

And I think they will be the ones that decide all of this. So who will they vote for? Ralf Gyllenhammar and Ulrik Munther both had average rehearsals yesterday, with both suffering from small vocal issues. Robin Stjernberg had a brilliant rehearsal, the best I've seen him. Yohio was just ok.

So, I hear you scream, WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Well, basically, that any of those five could win.

But if I am going to follow my head, I think Yohio will win.


PS. The programme itself is great fun. Don't miss the beginning song and dance number, with guest appeareances by past Swedish Eurovision hosts Anders Lundin and Kattis Ahlström, as well as Harald Treutiger and Lydia Capolicchio, and the host for Malmö 2013 Petra Mede.

Sarah Dawn Finer's character Lynda Woodruff also makes an appearance, showing viewers the delights of Malmö and Skåne.

On top of that two of Sweden's past Eurovision winners will also be on stage in Solna performing new versions of their Eurovision entries. Loreen will perform "Euphoria" together with a choir of both hearing and hearing-impaired schoolkids, while Carola will sing "Främling", Sweden's entry in the 1983 Eurovision.

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