World of Chig   

And they all went into The Ark, for to get out of the rain.

Well, at least the regional juries and the national televote both agreed on the Swedish winner this year, for the first time in at least three years. The Ark's retro shang-a-langing won convincingly last night. The Schlagerboys were distraught as Anna Book schlagered her way to one solitary point (versus The Ark's 248), by sounding out of breath all the way through 'Samba Sambero'. It was doomed. I tried to warn the Schlagerboys by text, because I know you can't hear properly when you're in the hall - I was there last year. We heard from them later that they are now "over Sweden". I think they may be convinced to change their minds.

The dark horse contestant also cocked up slightly on the vocal front, but in a different way. Marie Lindberg's lack of experience - she hadn't sung in front of an audience until she performed in an arena last month, and qualified for the final - showed through at the start, with a few bum notes in the first verse, which made it slightly uncomfortable to watch; I really felt for her. The Swedish public did too, voting her their fourth favourite in the televote, leaving her fifth overall. The juries had all ignored her, apart from Malmö, who gave her four points. I suspect she may be from somewhere near Malmö.

So, The Ark will no doubt be listed as one of the favourites in Helsinki. They've definitely secured Sweden another top ten finish, but I'm not sure it's the winner. (To my mind, that's currently Switzerland's DJ Bobo.)

We had a great party last night watching the Melodifestivalen final. Twenty-one people, including a Finnish woman (who spoke Swedish, which was useful), a Belgian man and a Frenchman. These were the results of the Glitterball Mansions international jury (with the real Swedish positions in brackets):

1 (3) Måns Zelmerlöw
2 (7) Sanna Nielsen
3 (1) The Ark
4 (4) Sarah Dawn Finer
=5 (8) Sebastian
=5 (9) Anna Book
7 (6) Sonja Aldén
8 (2) Andreas Johnson
9 (5) Marie Lindberg
10 (10) Tommy Nilsson

(To be continued - I'm off to watch the rugby first!)

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