Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Eurovision 2013 news: SVT throws the world a curve in naming comedienne and new mom Petra Mede as its sole host for Eurovison Song Contest Semifinals and Finals in Malmö in early May. And not everyone is happy with the choice, whom even the show's producers call "beloved but controversial"; #euro2013, #eurovision2013, #sweden

SVT video: Petra Meade: "It's been hard to keep quiet about it." 
SVT throws the world a curve in naming comedienne and new mom Petra Mede as its sole host for Eurovison Song Contest Semifinals and Finals in Malmö in early May. And not everyone is happy with the choice, whom even the show's producers call "beloved but controversial"
So, either still feeling the effects of lingering jet-lag from my trip to Stockholm and my return to reality -six hours in the past- or restlessness, I woke-up early this morning, more than early enough to watch something that I've known was coming down the pike for a while.

The IT was the press conference carried LIVE on both Aftonbladet and Sveriges Television, SVT, at 5:15 Miami time, to see whom SVT would name as hosts for the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest's Semifinals and Finals in Malmö in May, which are expected to be watched by about 100 Million viewers throughout Europe in May. 
Plus me and other interested parties around the world, of course...

The first surprise was that there will be only one host, and the second surprise was the identity of the sole host, a name that created a frenzy this morning: Petra Mede

It's clearly a real coup for anyone to host such a big-time show with so much attention and pressure coming your way, much less for Mede to host solo, since while the veteran Tv presenter and comedienne, who hosted Melodifestivalen in 2009, is well-liked, it's not a slight against her just to recognize that her name was NOT on the tip of anyone's tongue, given that she just had a baby five weeks ago.

But it's just the latest serendipitous step for the former ballerina-turned-tour guide-turned-stand up comedian, who is so well-liked by most but not all Swedish TV viewers. 

Info about Petra in English:

But already, less than two hours after the official announcement's been made, the mainstream Swedish news media is reporting that a not-so-small element is really NOT-so-crazy about her selection, with many penning words on social media much worse than these: "Det här kan inte vara sant." (This can not be true.)

Sverige uppdelat i två läger. Christer Björkmans beskrivning av Petra Mede "älskad men kontroversiell" stämmer in på reaktionerna.
(Sweden is divided into two camps, Christer Björkman's description of Petra Mede "beloved but controversial" applies to the reactions.)

Additionally, as was somewhat predictable, and as would be the case here in the U.S., with the identity now known, the press is now focusing on the story line of how the brains behind the selection were able to keep their months of inquiries secret from THEM.

It turns out that the small band of SVT insiders involved in the important selection(s) used code words to keep the news about who was being actively considered -and perhaps more importantly, who wasn't!- from being prematurely disclosed and blowing-up in their face.
The name they used for Mede in their various meetings and communications?
"Harry Potter."

Aftonbladet video: Christer Björkman - "Vi kallade Petra Mede för Harry Potter" Björkman om hur hemligheten hölls.

This selection of host today effectively starts the three-month countdown for the national music contests throughout Europe, some of which have already started in earnest, like in Iceland, where HBB fave Yohanna has already competed.

In the case of host Sweden and its selection to Eurovision, via Melodifestivalen, which begins on February 2nd with the First Round in Karlskrona, well, it is exactly as I've described here on the blog many times before, a national obsession.

To quote myself from an upcoming blog post here that was written about some news re SVT that I discovered while I was in Stockholm ten days ago:
The whole country watches Melodifestivalen, even people who think it's stupid, and people were talking about it last week to me, despite my only being somewhat famiar with some of the contestants, because the first nationally-televised competition takes place very soon. The Swedish news media positively fixates on the weeks of competition to an extent that would be hard to explain if it wasn't so self-serving, and yet also surprisingly, mean-spirited in many cases, as lots of people have reason to create or pass-along rumors!  
 It's on, baby!



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#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy

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