Sweden has finally decided who will be travelling all the way from Stockholm to, erm Stockholm in May to hold up a whole nation’s honour. Frans and his song ‘If I were sorry’ is the sixth Swede in this unenviable position. So we look at the previous five acts that have done this. After this video of Frans’s MF performance that is
The first home Swedish entry was in 1975 and came from Lars ‘Lasse’ Berghagen. He sang about Jennie, Jennie (so good he named her twice). He won MF at a bit of a canter (thanks to lots of votes from the Norrköping jury) and beat the likes of Ted Gärdestad and Björn Skifs. They, of course, would be back. So Lasse went off from the SR studios in Gothenburg to Stockholmsmässan and finished 8th in a field of 19. This was the first year of the ’12, 10, 8’ system but the best he managed were two 8s off Norway and Turkey. He’s still a big star in Sweden, and is even Tommy Nilsson’s father-in-law. Perhaps he is Swedish Eurovision royalty.
Ten years later, after Herreys’ win in Luxembourg, we saw ourselves in the Scandinavium in Gothenburg. Kikki Danielsson’s ‘Bra vibrationer’ beat 9 other songs in MF 1985, held this time in Malmö. Of the other performers, perhaps Pernilla Wahlgreen is the only one we’ve seen at MFs since. There was a curious scoring system, where juries in nine distinct age-groups rated the five favourite songs of the ten. If you recall, 1985 was a very close year and Kikki managed a very creditable 3rd place. She led during the voting and received maximum points from Finland and Norway. She remains the only woman to represent Sweden in Sweden.
In 1992, we were back in Sweden, this time in Malmö after Carola’s controversial win in Rome. MF 1992 was held at Cirkus in Stockholm, and saw 10 songs competing. Five proceeded to a super-final and it was at this point did the voting happen. The winner was Sweden’s contender for Mr Eurovision – Christer Björkman. He beat the likes of Py Bäckman, Maria Rådsten and someone called Kikki Danielsson. Something must have happened on the way to Malmömässan, as Christer could only manage22nd place (out of 23) with his song ‘I morgon är an annan dag’. He only scored off three countries – Denmark, Yugoslavia and France. He deserved better, but maybe had the last laugh in later years.
Melodifestivalen 2000 took place in Gothenburg’s Opera House – a fairly new building by the waterfront. SVT had really pushed the boat out (see what I did there), with 10, yes 10, presenters and an interval act that had to be seen to be believed. Ten songs also competed, with luminaries such as Barbados, Friends and Roger Pontare taking part. The voting was the 50/50 juries and televoting split that we’ve since become very familiar with. Roger ran away with the votes from the regional juries – except Karlstad – and was unchallenged with the televotes too. His Sámi/Native American vibe was a welcome change in Eurovision at Globen with its chanting and indigenous traditions. The drummer was the delightfully named Kasaluk Qavigaq. Roger finished 7th out of 24 songs. He received one maximum, from Turkey.
We wouldn’t be back in Sweden until 2013, after Loreen’s memorable win in Baku. Since 2000, MF had become a mammoth production, with four semi-finals, a second chance, and a final, all with some of the highest production values of any national final. Maybe it was an omen when the eventual winner of MF 2013 didn’t actually qualify automatically from its semi-final. Robin Stjernberg and his song ‘You’ finished third in the fourth semi-final which came from Malmö. He then had to do battle in the second chance (Andra Chansen) round in Karlstad. He even came second there, but qualified nevertheless. In the final, held at the massive Friends Arena in Stockholm, he was up against a cornucopia of big names, including Sean Banan and Yohio. But he came through, winning the jury vote and second in the televote. Onto the 26-song final in the Malmö Arena, and Robin finished a middling 14th, with one maximum, from Norway. At least he didn’t give SVT the headache of doing the double.
So what do we have to go on? Swedish home entries have finished 8th, 3rd, 22nd, 7th and 14th. The top position by a male singer was 7th in 2000. But with a decent vibe around Frans, might he go better?
But what do you think? Which of these is your favourite? Did one of them perhaps beat another brilliant MF song that you want to share with us?
Author: John Stanton
Source: Eurovision Ireland/SR/SVT