Well it’s all over, and Loreen emerges victorious from tonight’s Melodifestivalen in Stockholm’s Globen theatre, and will represent Sweden in Baku’s Eurovision Song Contest in May.
As expected (or just hoped), it was a duel to the death between Loreen and Danny Saucedo, who were miles ahead of the competition by the time the final votes were tallied up, but a heartbroken Danny was the bridesmaid for a second year running. I really hope he gets to go to Eurovision next year. His vocals were much improved from the qualifying heat two weeks ago, and he gave his best, so at least he can be proud of that.
I was also very impressed by David Lindgren, lots of energy, and some incredible dancing while not losing anything from his vocals. He’s certainly one to watch next year.
But back to Loreen, what a marvellous song. I originally thought it sounded a bit late-90’s, but in a good way. However it’s really grown on me in the last month, and it’s a bravely full-on dance track for a contest that often picks its winners from the middle-ground. In fact I can’t remember a Eurovision won by a dance song, but that is the sound of the moment, so who knows?
I think this is a great thing, Eurovision doesn’t exist in some bubble with its own particular genres in favour, it should be a song that Europe will want to listen to, and in that respect, sending something as straight-up modern as Euphoria is a brave move that I hope will get rewarded in Baku.
From the opening siren, through the bleak black staging, Loreen mesmerises me with her (perhaps open to jokes) interpretive dance routine. It’s exotic, and a lot less straightforward that the smiling made-up popstars we usually see on the Eurovision stage. But the song is instant as it comes: dark, catchy, with some moments of real … euphoria (I really can’t think of another word) when she kicks into the “u-u-u-u-u-up” bridge and that full-on chorus. Well done Loreen, I hope you find as many fans in each of the other 41 competing countries as you have in Sweden.
I was amazed by the voting though, the jury vote came and went with few surprises, leaving a ranking pretty close to how I felt. But in an admittedly-tight bottom end of the public vote, seeing Lisa, David and Molly in the bottom three was astounding. Thorsten got the third highest votes too, bonkers! I do like how they democratically split the public vote, much better than the previous scaled-up version of the old 12,10,8,7 etc system they used in 2010 (when I last watched the final).
Anyway, good job Sweden, might we be in Stockholm in 2013? Sweden loves Eurovision, and I would be overjoyed to see the contest make its way there, though no country has won the contest twice in the last 17 years, could Sweden sweep away a tough half-decade of results and win for the first time since 1999?