Sweden opts for slick staging and uptempo pop once more
Sweden is the most successful country in recent Eurovision memory. In the past seven years, they only missed out on top 5 one single time and they won twice! Last year they reached the 5th spot for the second year in a row, when Robin Bengtsson took the stage with a slick performance of his contemporary pop tune ‘I Can’t Go On’. The Swedes must have realized that this is a successful formula and they chose something similar for the 2018 contest. Benjamin Ingrosso won Melodifestivalen, the Swedish preselection, with his song ‘Dance You Off’.
Melodifestivalen 2018 was critized for not being up to standard with the quality of the entries in previous years, but the international juries and Swedish televoters seem to have chosen wisely. Benjamin Ingrosso is a charismatic performer who will definitely get some teenage hearts racing. His song ‘Dance You Off’, just like ‘I Can’t Go On’ last year, might not sound like a winner on first listen, but it is a catchy and very contemporary uptempo tune that could have been part of a Charlie Puth album.
It is the staging however (again, just like last year), that might send Sweden up to top 5 (or at least top 10) again. Ingrosso performs a choreography in front of moving strips of light and it just looks like a music video on camera. Benjamin and his team will have to make some changes however, as backing vocals have to be performed live in Lisbon in May. As he is on stage alone, he could easily place five backing vocalists behind that wall of light to support him vocally. If they manage to recreate the same effect on stage in Portugal (although there is no LED on stage this year), Sweden will easily sail through to the final and score another high finish there!
Review of Semi Final Performance:
It almost starts to become boring how well Sweden handles the Eurovision Song Contest. Since 2011 the country only missed top 5 in the final once! They excel at slick pop songs with even slicker staging and this year is no exception. They have a serious shot at another top 5 this year with Benjamin Ingrosso’s ‘Dance You Off’. It is a catchy little pop tune with a funky rhythm which follows the latest trends in terms of production. The staging with the lights behind him and the little dance routine is simple but oh so effective. If they want to improve anything before Saturday, they might work on a better balance between Benjamin and his backings in the chorus, because we hardly hear him there. Top 10 seems almost guaranteed and top 5 is within reach for the Swedes again.
Review of Final Performance:
Sweden sent another handsome young fellow with an infectious, contemporary pop tune ready for the European charts. The staging with the lights behind Benjamin Ingrosso, who’s dancing is the main focus of the performance, works and I was convinced Sweden was ready for another top 10 result thanks to both juries and televoters. What I did not expect is that the juries would appreciate it enough to give him 2nd place. The proper shock however came when it was announced Sweden only placed 23rd in televoting! Even with a 7th position overall, this must have come as a shock for the Swedish delegation that clearly takes Eurovision very seriously every single year!
Read our other Eurovision 2018 reviews: ALBANIA – ARMENIA – AUSTRALIA –AUSTRIA – AZERBAIJAN – BELARUS –BELGIUM – BULGARIA – CROATIA – CYPRUS –CZECH REPUBLIC – DENMARK – ESTONIA – FINLAND – FRANCE – FYR MACEDONIA – GEORGIA – GERMANY – GREECE – HUNGARY – ICELAND –IRELAND – ISRAEL –ITALY – LATVIA – LITHUANIA –MALTA – MOLDOVA – MONTENEGRO – THE NETHERLANDS – NORWAY – POLAND – PORTUGAL – ROMANIA – RUSSIA – SAN MARINO – SERBIA – SLOVENIA – SPAIN – SWITZERLAND – UKRAINE – UNITED KINGDOM