February saw me travel to Sweden for the second semi-final in the Melodifestivalen competition which was held in Västeras. The "wildcard" entry for that semi-final was the pairing of former Swedish Eurovision winner Carola and Andreas Johnsson. It was wildly assumed that with the pairing of two huge stars that they would sail through to the final. This wasn't the case. Neither of them had reckoned on the popularity of Rongedal's catchy and Scissor Sisters-esque "Just A Minute" and Sanna Nielsen's beautiful ballad "Empty Room". Carola and Andreas though having a good song, didn't have the performance to match and watching it looked like two solo artists trying to out sing each other as opposed to dueting. As a result, the pair found themselves in the second chance round along with Ola who performed one of my favourite songs from the contest - the 80's inspired "Love In Stereo". Other highlights in this semi-final was The Nicole's "Razborka" which didn't seem to go down well with anyone apart from me and my friends. Though she wasn't a very good singer, the song and performance was great fun and very entertaining and is still a favourite of mine.
On our way to Stockholm from Vasteras my friend Craig and I encountered Andreas and Lina from one of my favourite groups, Alcazar. They had been in the area promoting their fantastic comeback single, "We Keep On Rockin'" and informed us that they were working on a new album. When we told them that we had been to see the Melodifestivalen semi-final Andreas told us that the third member of Alcazar, Tess has choreographed the routine for Ola's performance.
At the end of our weekend in Stockholm we went to the club Patricia which is on a boat. There we were treated to a PA from a previous Melodifestivalen entrant, La Gaylia. We were really excited as we already had heard her entry for the Romanian selection for Eurovision, "Dr Frankenstein" which she performed. After her performance we spoke to her where she revealed that she knew that she wasn't going to win the Romanian selection and that she would "try again next year". Here's hoping that she does!!