Robin Bengtsson wins Melodifestivalen and flies the Swedish flag in Kiev
Sweden has chosen! After six weeks of Melodifestivalen, the Swedish national final for Eurovision, the country has selected a winner that will represent them in Kiev in May. Robin Bengtsson will fly the flag with his uptempo pop number ‘I Can’t Go On’. It was a close call, in which Bengtsson won the international juries vote and came 3rd in televoting, gathering enough points to secure the win. Nano, who won the televote, finished in second position with ‘Hold On’, while favourite to win Wiktoria ended up in 6th place although being the runner up in the televote, as her ‘As I Lay Me Down’ was mostly ignored by the juries. Either way, Sweden has got another entry that will get them far in the competition.
Yeah ok, I admit, ‘I Can’t Go On’ might not the be the most original or innovative piece of pop, but it’s a contemporary tune with an uplifting production. It is catchy and memorable and sonically similar to some hits by artists like Justin Timberlake and Nick Jonas. Bengtsson does own the song vocally and the staging is probably the best thing about this entry. The choreography on the treadmill is flawless and just like with Sweden’s victory in 2015, they take a decent song to a higher plan with the performance.
As long as Sweden uses Melodifestivalen as their selection platform, they will deliver acts that are ready for the big stage of Eurovision and we see that clearly in their results. Since 2011, they only missed out on the top 5 once and finished in top 3 four times, winning twice. Another victory might be too much to ask this year, but top 10 and maybe even top 5, should be possible again.
UPDATE – Review on semi final performance:
Just like we have seen from Sweden in the past few years, Robin’s show was impeccable with a little dance routine on a threadmill, some flirty looks in the camera and most of all a song that sticks, although maybe a bit repetitive. The Swedish delegation knows how to deliver contemporary tracks that could become hits in the real world and they always come to the contest with a well thought out performance. Vocally I have heard Robin do better, but Sweden’s qualification for the final was a no-brainer and I predict they will end up in top 10 there again.
UPDATE – Review on final performance and result (5th):
Not a year goes by without Sweden in the top 5 of the Eurovision Song Contest. In the past seven years they only missed the top 10 once and that truly is an impressive record. The Swedes know how to produce contemporary pop and how to put on a appealing show and that is what Robin did with his dancers as well. It was all very slick, just like the song, maybe a bit too produced even, but Europe showed its appreciation with a top 10 spot with both the juries and televoters.
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