15: Sweden 1999

last year Jill Johnson sang 'Karleken ar', achieving 10th place with 53 points
Sweden have already qualified for the ESC in 2000

Charlotte Nilsson
'Take me to your heaven'

Review of the Melodifestivalen

Charlotte Nilsson will be Sweden's representative this year with this very 1980s-style schlager song - not the worst in the Melodifestivalen by any means, but not exactly likely to improve that reputation for modern, cutting-edge music that Sweden haven't really got. She's also Another Intimidating Scandinavian Blonde, but once the male televoters get home from the pub, this might not be a disadvantage. What could be a disadvantage is that she'll sing in English, which is never a good idea for schlager songs, as then people try to understand them.

The ten songs in the 1999 Melodifestivalen, on the 26th of February, were as follows. The performers' names were released on the 20th of January, and the running order given to us a little later. Wonderfully efficient those Swedes:

  1. 217 points: 'Tusen och en natt', 'A thousand and one nights', a schlager song performed by Charlotte Nilsson, a dance-band singer (which is very different from a dance singer in Sweden apparently).
  2. 148 points: 'Stjärna på himlen', 'Star in the sky'. Oh no, not again. To be sung by the group Dromhus, whose website is at http://www.dr-records.se/index2.html. About double-sided love, or so they tell us
  3. 114 points: 'Det svär jag på', 'I swear' Warning: Spanish Guitar Will Be Played. Performed by Arvingarna from 1993 (website at http://www.fjl.se/cgi-bin/w3-msql/arvingarna/index2.html, a dance band (and see other warning above)
  4. 109 points: 'Du är så yeah-yeah wow-wow', 'You are so yeah-yeah wow-wow'. Back to the 70s with this one, I think. God help us all. To be performed by the songwriter Martin Svensson, a young up-and-coming Swedish composer and I imagine a Scandinavian Petar Grašo. There are rather a lot of Martin Svenssons out there, so I can't say if this is him or not
  5. 98 points: 'Som av is', 'As of ice', a 'national romantic' folk song performed by Roger Pontare from 1994. This wasn't very popular among the Swedes, despite Roger's attempt to cash in on what's presumably quite a pressing Scandinavian concern
  6. 87 points: 'Det gäller dig och mig', 'It's about you and me'. But at least it isn't about water and salt. The performers are a four-piece, Crosstalk, three men and a woman ominously described on euroActive as 'a modern pop-disco with some rap elements', rather like Ace of Base
  7. 66 points: 'Jag kan se dig', 'I can see you'. This slow ballad, possibly the worst in the final unless you like Mariah Carey, was rumoured to be sung by Lena Philipsson who did rather a lot of Melodifestivalen in the late 80s, but instead a new singer Janica Ahl, whose background is in musicals, will do her best. I think there's a picture of Janica here although it is admittedly from 1995
  8. 59 points: 'Natten är min vän', 'The night is my friend', yet another dance-band number performed by Cleo Nilsson, who I presume is no relation to Charlotte!
  9. 42 points: 'Bilder av dig', 'Pictures of you'. It was thought this might well be sung by the Graaf Sisters, a pair of blondes who put the Babes in the Wood to shame. Instead the honour will go to Ai, a new Swedish girl-band. Anna, Josefin, Malin, Claudia and Helena did about as well as their Eurovision predecessors Mrs Einstein, or indeed ENIone else. Their name means 'love and friendship' in Japanese, and they would have sung in English in Jerusalem
  10. 6 points: 'Välkommen hem', 'Welcome home', a ballad performed by Christer Bjorkman, who sang for Sweden in '92