Now that the National Finals season is finished and all songs for Eurovision 2016 have been selected we now have a period of only 3 days where we wait for the rehearsals to begin in Stockholm. What better way to fill the time than to look back over the 60 years of Eurovision at some of the best and worst entries that countries have sent to the Eurovision stage. There are 43 countries going to Stockholm to take part in the 2016 edition of our favourite musical extravaganza and we continue our journey with Sweden who have won the contest six times, finished second once and finished third six times too. They have also finished in the top 10 a staggering twenty four times.They have failed to qualify from the Semi Finals once finishing 11th. They have come last in the Final twice also. This has all been achieved in 55 participations. You can check out the previous articles in the best and worst series for Ireland HERE ,Spain HERE, Austria HERE, Bosnia & Herzegovina HERE, Iceland HERE, Belarus HERE, Denmark HERE, Georgia HERE, Germany HERE, Cyprus HERE, Finland HERE, Belgium HERE, Hungary HERE, Switzerland HERE, Ukraine HERE,Moldova HERE, Estonia HERE, Norway HERE, Italy HERE, Slovenia HERE,The Netherlands HERE, Armenia HERE, Azerbaijan HERE, San Marino HERE, Israel HERE,Albania HERE, Poland HERE,Serbia HERE,France HERE, Romania HERE, Russia HERE, Croatia HERE, Czech Republic HERE, Malta HERE., Macedonia HERE, Lithuania HERE and Latvia HERE.
So this year Sweden are represented by Frans with the song ‘If I Were Sorry ‘. We will have to wait and see if it turns out to be more of a best or worst song for Sweden but the overall reaction is fairly positive so far. You can catch up on our recent article on things about Frans HERE.
So my selections for best and worst entries are based on a combination of actual results and personal taste. Now Sweden have fifty five entries to choose from making the task very difficult. There are some great songs from Sweden that have deserved better results over the years but I am struggling to pick out the three best. So I will highlight more good Swedish entries after I have picked three good and bad ones.
We only have to go back four years to find our first song that is one of the best for Sweden. The year was 2012 and we were in Baku to see Loreen singing the song ‘Euphoria’.
Now this was a cracker of an entry sung in English it was a Eurodance number. It received wide critical acclaim among fans and journalists pre contest. Loreen tried to represent Sweden in 2011 but failed to reach the Final in Stockholm. She was of course more successful in 2012. Euphoria went on to get 1st place in the Semi Final then 1st place in the Final with 372 points. This was the second highest winning total but also was awarded the most 12 points from 18 countries and it received points from 40 of the voting 42 countries excluding itself. The only country that did not award any points was Italy. The song went on to good chart success throughout Europe.
So moving along we look at one of the worst entries for Sweden. We were in Malmo in 1992 to see Christer Björkman perform the song ‘I morgon är en annan dag ‘.
Now the song was sung in Swedish and was of course competing for the host country that year. It was a gentle ballad and was a favourite with the bookmakers before the Eurovision contest, and Christer Björkman himself had thought that the song would finish among the top three. Christer started his career in music in the 80s and also entered Melodifestivalen again twice without success. In 2002 he became the supervisor of Melodifestivalen and has done ever since. Also he was Show Producer when Eurovision was held in Malmö in 2013 and is again this year in Stockholm. So the song ended up in 22nd place with only 9 points which is the lowest place in the Final for Sweden(although it is 2nd last).
So now we move back to look at another best of entry for Sweden. We were in Dublin in 1995 and the performer was Jan Johansen with the song ‘Se på mig’.
Now the song was sung in Swedish and was one of the favourites to win. It was a lovely haunting ballad which is literally translated as Look at Me. Jan was certainly worth looking at too. Jan wore a long leather coat on the night and was backed by some singers. He has Norwegian parents though he was born in Stockholm. He also tried for Melodifestivalen another 3 times in the 2000s. The song went on to finish 3rd in the Final with 100 points.
Our next song that has to be considered one of the worst was in the year 1977 and we were in London to witness Forbes singing ‘Beatles’.
This was a song whose lyrics are about the popular 1960s British rock group the Beatles and include the phrase “Yeah, yeah, yeah” as an homage to the Beatles song “She Loves You”. Forbes was a Swedish Dansband popular in the 70s. The song went on to give Sweden their equal worst finish in 18th and last place with only 2 points.
So onto our next song that was one of Sweden’s best. It was in 1974 and Brighton was witness to seeing ABBA perform with the song ‘Waterloo’.
Now starting with the song it was sung in English and is about a girl who is about to surrender to romance, as Napoleon had to surrender at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, as referenced in the song. ABBA had competed in Melofestivalen the previous year with ‘Ring Ring’ but narrowly missed out. ABBA consists of four artists whose names spell out the group name, Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-Frid. The song gave Sweden their first victory at Eurovision winning with 24 points(this was before the newer scoring system was introduced). The song went onto worldwide success and ABBA of course went onto worldwide superstardom which still exists today even though the group have not been together since 1982.
We now arrive at another song for Sweden and it’s another of the worst ones. In 1979 we saw Ted Gärdestad in Jerusalem with the song ‘Satellit’.
It was a song that was sung in Swedish and was midtempo rock track. Gärdestad’s first four albums were produced by Benny and Bjorn of ABBA, featured backing vocals by Agnetha and Anni-Frid, and were released on the Polar Music label. He had previously competed in Melodifestivalen, the Swedish pre-selections, three times before winning; in 1973 with “Oh Vilken Härlig Dag” (#4), in 1975 with “Rockin’ ‘n’ Reelin'” (#7) and in 1977 when he and brother Kenneth wrote Lena Andersson’s entry “Det Bästa Som Finns” (#8). Ted went onto have a very successful career both at home and abroad but was also plagued by mental health issues. Sadly he took his own life in 1997 and was mourned by many.
So I have mentioned 3 best of songs above but also have to mention the following songs as all great entries too.
2015 Måns Zelmerlöw with the song ‘Heroes’ which gave Sweden their 6th win.
2007 The Ark with the song ‘The Worrying Kind’.
2014 Sanna Nielson with the song ‘Undo’.
2004 Lena Philipsson with the song ‘It Hurts’.
1999 Charlotte Nilsson with the song ‘Take Me To Your Heaven’ which won for Sweden.
1998 Jill Johnson with the song ‘Kärleken är’.
1996 One More Time with the song ‘Den Vilda’.
So there we have it folks, my little delve into Swedish Eurovision history and some of the best and worst moments over the years. Do you agree with all or even any of my choices? Feel free to comment below.
This series will continue with another look at songs over the years for each and every country competing in Eurovision 2016 so keep coming back for more reflections of the best and worst that Eurovision has had to offer us.
Author: Andrew Main
Source: Eurovision Ireland