Spotlight on…Sweden

It’s been a while since my last country profile, so I figured it would be appropriate to do one now on the next host country of the ESC. In case you’ve been locked in a soundproof room with no access to a television/PC/Mac/laptop/tablet/smartphone for the last month or so, or missed the title of this post because you were too busy frantically scrolling down to get to the content (I don’t know which is more preposterous) that country is Sweden.


As of yesterday, and suggested by ↑, it’s the third largest city in Sweden, and not the capital, that will specifically play host to the contest next May, for the second time in ESC history. After all the predictions I made about it being Stockholm (me and many others) I’m a little embarrassed that I dismissed Malmö, but now that it has been chosen I’m also excited to find out more about it. With the as-yet-to-be-confirmed-but-really-the-only-choice Malmö Arena resembling Helsinki’s Hartwall Areena, we could be looking at a similar Eurovision to that of 2007, which was one of my first and will always be a favourite. It’s definitely going to be more intimate than if Stockholm had nabbed it, but I don’t think a live audience of over 15 000 is anything to sneeze at – although if you did happen to sneeze whilst in the audience, nobody would hear you (come on, it’s fifteen thousand people!). I reckon it’s going to be an awesome contest.

So that’s that, and this is this.*

* ‘This’ being a profile of Sweden’s Eurovision history, of course.




1958 – 4th place with Lilla Stjärna by Alice Babs




5 – 1974, 1984, 1991, 1999 and 2012

Silver medals

1 – 1966

Bronze medals

5 – 1983, 1985, 1995, 1996 and 2011

Wooden spoons (last places!)

1 – 1977

Top 10 finishes


Top 10 success rate


Top 5 finishes


Top 5 success rate


Semi final qualifications


Qualification success rate




My favourite entry

Se På Mig by Jan Johansen (1995). This song has a magical quality for me that I just can’t put my finger on. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s humbler than many of the frou-frou entries that came before and after it, or that it’s not quite a ballad, but not a straight pop song. There’s always the chance that it’s Jan’s open-necked outfit, but that’s not very likely. It’s all about the song. I guess it’s just one of those that you love, but you don’t know why.

My least favourite entry

Bra Vibrationer by Kikki Danielsson (1985). Again, I can’t say specifically why I dislike this song, but there’s something in it that drives me crazy – in a bad way. I feel like it was dated even for 1985, but feel free to correct me if you were actually alive in the 80s. Another song I can’t stand is Malena Ernman’s La Voix. When the chorus kicks in I just want to strangle her, only I can’t because she’s (presumably) in Sweden and I’m in Australia, so I just end up strangling the plastic girl on my 2000 Under 10s basketball trophy. I could always skip to another song, but the rage is more fun.

More of the memorable

Waterloo by ABBA (1974) – one of the most famous Eurovision songs of all time.

Diggi-loo Diggy-ley by Herrey’s (1984) – who could forget those golden shoes?

Fångad Av En Stormvind by Carola (1991) – Carola’s third ESC outing, which was both her most successful and the one in which her costume was the most hideous.

It Hurts by Lena Phillipsson (2004) – the song was overrated IMO, but Lena ‘Cougar’ Ph performed the heck out of it.

Popular by Eric Saade (2011) – a smashing (get it?) song and stage show.

Euphoria by Loreen (2012) – if you can’t remember this I suggest a trip to your GP.

Their best stage show

Eric Saade’s Popular/ Loreen’s Euphoria. It’s a tie between brash choreography, lighting and glass-breaking, and something more subtle. Saade and his posse of backup dancers commanded the stage in Düsseldorf, but Loreen brought something brand new which used the bare minimum of the stage to the greatest of effects. Oh, and she had fake snow.

Their best costume/s

Charlotte Perrelli, with emphasis on the Perrelli so nobody mistakes it for Nilsson (hot pink pants were fine in ’99, but are positively YEUCH in 2012). So she only made the 2008 final on the jury vote, and her face looked like E.T.’s on an off day. So what? C.Pizzle looked amazing from the neck down, what with the silver explosion that was her mini-dress, those fierce heels, and a pair of legs I’d slap Mr. Lordi for.

Their best vocalist/s

Carola, on all three occasions she took to the big stage. From 1983 to her win in 1991, and then again in 2006, Sweden’s Eurovision darling proved over and over that she’s got serious vocal chops.

I love Sweden in the ESC because…

They don’t live up to their stereotype. Sweden is one of the most successful Eurovision participants, in terms of wins and high placings. But the country is by no means a one-trick pony named Schlager who only trots up-tempo. There has been a lot of that genre over the years, and they do it well, but when it comes to the contest, the Swedish aren’t afraid to move in different directions.  As well as that, I love the fact that Melodifestivalen is such a big deal. It’s my favourite national final, and since it’s almost as massive as Eurovision itself, there’s no better warm-up for the big event. The standard is always high, and especially in the last few years, the winner has translated brilliantly to the ESC. I’m not having trouble seeing another top 10 finish on home soil next year. Makt till dig, Sverige!


What are your best and/or worst memories of Sweden in the ESC?


19 Responses to “Spotlight on…Sweden”

  1. Lukman

    Thanks for that post, I wouldn’t of discovered some awesome songs Sweden sung in ESC. To tell you the truth Sweden is a country I kinda avoid when it comes to Eurovision, though their Melodifestivalen has produced some songs I luvveeeee. Some real awesome songs in that competition. After watching that recap I reckon 1969 is perhaps my new fave Swedish entry! I also like “Just nu!” and of course “Euphoria”. I agree “La Voix” is horrible!!!!


    • Jaz

      MF is the best thing about Sweden in the contest, I reckon. Not that they haven’t had their moments, because they certainly have! Especially (for me) recently. I’m expecting something good from them next year. I feel like some countries pick better entries when they’re hosting. When the pressure to win is off.
      PS – Hooray!! Someone else who is repulsed by la vwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. NOT one of Sweden’s aforementioned moments, IMO.


      • Lukman

        I expecting something good from them this year too! In my weird and twisted logic countries shouldn’t try their hardest when they hosting. First thing they already qualified and second thing I don’t think they want to host the thing second time in a row unless it’s some rich country. But then again they want to do well on home turf. Well hope to see you post more individual post on countries!


        • Jaz

          I think we saw that with Azerbaijan this year…throwing in the shouty guy (who I know is very famous there, but let’s face it, he was irritating in the performance) to supposedly “enhance the ethnicity” when what it was really doing was just ensuring they didn’t do a double.
          I will definitely be doing more country-specific posts. I have done a few in the past with varying formats. If you want to check them out, they should be under the tag ‘country profiles’ =D


  2. nprovenghi271

    What a lovely recap! In my short Eurovision history, I actually haven’t been super fond of Swedish entries. I really liked “Euphoria” this year, but I couldn’t stand “Popular” and was indifferent to “This Is My Life,” “La Voix” and “Hero.” In terms of Nordic countries, Sweden’s at the bottom of the five, but only because I just really enjoyed the other countries more (Iceland and Denmark are tied at first, Norway’s third and Finland fourth).
    I wish I could go to Sweden, but considering I’m still a dependent, that probably won’t happen until 2014 at the earliest (first year of university). I really wish that there was an IKEA where I lived.


    • Jaz

      I never considered ranking the Nordics before. I would probably have Iceland and Sweden on top. Finland, not so much (although I loved this year’s song, and Waldo’s People, and Lordi…)
      I wish I could go to Sweden too!! Especially around, I don’t know, May 2013?? Ahaha. I love how you can stay in Copenhagen (as many people will do) and just hop on a train to Malmo Arena in less time than it takes to get from Malmo Airport to Malmo Arena.
      Apparently we are all sharing the Ikea love on this post! The only one in my state is about two hours away from me. I haven’t been there for a while but I may have to just to get into the ESC spirit a little. How festive and exotic XD


      • nprovenghi271

        Yeah. I kind of break it down by regions when ranking, so I don’t go overboard with changes. (For example, the Netherlands topped the list for Western Europe and the whole list). Iceland has only had one dud in five years, this year, surprisingly, one more than Denmark, which missed my mark in 2008 and 2009. Norway really peaked with Rybak and hit bottom with Didrik one year later, in my opinion, and is tied with Denmark for second (Don’t know what I was thinking with my previous comment). Actually, maybe Norway should be ahead of Denmark and tied with Iceland, as they have the same 4/5 record. Hmph, decisions, decisions…
        Copenhagen is definitely on my must-see list, along with Oslo, Reykjavík and Vienna. Actually, my sister visited Denmark when she went to Switzerland to meet up with one of her friends. All I know is that she really liked it. The nearest IKEA to me is two states away and a six hour drive (in other words, not near at all). Maybe, to get into the spirit, I’ll bake some Swedish cookies, if there are such things. Last week, I baked some Swiss Christmas cookies this week and they came out great! Now if only the Swiss would win, I’d have a better reason to make those kinds of cookies in the middle of the year.


        • Jaz

          Just make the cookies anyway as a show of support for Switzerland!! I think I might make something English to make the UK win. Or at least send something good. And then there’s the Dutch food that has to be produced for JESC if it goes ahead. Man, we are going to be overweight by May!


      • nprovenghi271

        Thank you very much! That was actually my first foray into Photoshop design, so the other designs I’ve made are much cleaner than that, but I still like it.


  3. Annika

    I think I’m not much of a Swedenfan either even though they were my favorite country in MGP Nordic xD I’d love to visit the country, I love IKEA too and I do like ABBA xD and I love watching Melodifestivalen, but when it comes to the actual esc entries…meh…. Well, to be fair I can’t remember all of the Swedish entries, so I kind of discovered a couple by watching that recap you posted. And I think Sweden is kind of overrated by the fans and (I admit it) that put me off some of their entries.
    I think my favorite Swedish entry is Diggi-loo Diggy-ley. I like “Hero” too, and I kind of like “Invincible”, and contrary to you, I enjoy “La voix” 😛 Oh and I agree with you, “Take me to your heaven” sounds like a Christmas song…but I like it xD My best memory of Sweden in ESC is discovering Melodifestivalen and a bunch of artist that I adore now, but who didn’t make it to ESC (YET) such as Måns Zelmerlöw, BWO or Timoteij. I don’t know what my least favorite entry is, but I really disliked Popular 😛 Sorry!


    • Jaz

      I love how this conversation has turned to Ikea. I suppose it is one of the first things that comes to mind when somebody says ‘Sweden’.
      I agree that they are overrated. I don’t think they are particularly/generally better or worse than most other countries. There are countries whose entries I tend to like more though, e.g. Serbia and Romania. I think non-fans think Sweden is the Eurovision master, but even though they have been successful, they are far from that.
      “Diggi-loo Diggy-ley”? Really?? Ahaha. It’s not up there for me, but each to their own. The golden shoes were amazing.
      Melodifestivalen is easily the best thing about Sweden in Eurovision. Best NF on the planet!!
      Don’t apologise for disliking “Popular”. I get it. I actually didn’t like it initially and it grew on me, but I can see why it wouldn’t. But you can’t deny the merit of the lyrics. JOKES.
      PS – Timoteij MUST get to Eurovision in my lifetime!


  4. Balkanheart

    .. Malmö..
    .. Hahaha. Malmö :’D oh my god. hahaha. can’t stop saying this. Malmö. Malmö. Malmö. Malmö.
    sorry. 😐 serious face again.
    Oh I liked Charlotte P. (: a bit. Her face is a little creepy with this botox brr.. but I liked her song 2008. yuup. and the others.. hm. I don’t know I am not a Swedenfan. I love Ikea and H&M but I can’t hear ABBA. :s Eric was okaaay & Loreen too. Just okay for me. =D this is only my opinion.

    Malmö :’DD
    huhu. so sorry ❤


    • Jaz

      Malmö is pretty fun to say. But it means another whole year of typing an accent!! I had enough of that with Düsseldorf. Life is so hard…when you aren’t used to accents, that is =P
      It’s strange but Charlotte looks normal these days (I guess the Botox wore off). At Melodifestivalen she looked amazing, even if she didn’t get anywhere. But in Belgrade, you have to admit that she looked like an alien. Hero is definitely my favourite of her two entries though. Take Me To Your Heaven always reminded me of a Christmas carol, and I think there were so many good songs in 1999 that would have been deserving winners. But what can you do??
      Ikea = AMAZING. I don’t know about the stores elsewhere, but the ones here are so huge Eurovision could actually be held in them!!



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