Sweden sends John Lundvik with swinging gospel pop
Sweden is easily the most successful country in the recent history of the Eurovision Song Contest. In the past eight years, they only missed out on a spot in the top 10 once, while winning the contest both in 2012 and 2015. Although last year’s contestant Benjamin Ingrosso made it to a respectable 7th place, some cracks seemed to appear in Sweden’s success story at Eurovision. After the juries placed his ‘Dance You Off’ in second place, televoters mostly ignored the tune, placing it 23rd out of 26. Of course, SVT still organized another year of Melodifestivalen, their massive national selection, which was won by John Ludvik with his swinging tune ‘Too Late For Love’. Will he be able to connect with the televoters more?
Last year, John Lundvik debuted in Melodifestivalen with ‘My Turn’, finishing in 3rd place, but this year he won the contest by a landslide, getting the maximum of points of the juries as well as the most of the televoters, underlining the broad appeal of ‘Too Late For Love’. Lundvik co-wrote the tune together with Anderz Wrethov and Andreas ‘Stone’ Johansson. They came up with a swinging pop song with heavy influences from soul and gospel. The instantly catchy chorus gains power thanks to the addition of prominent backing vocals. The build up in the track is perfectly suitable for Eurovision and the key change in the last chorus makes for a satisfying climax. It is radiofriendly and slightly middle of the road, but executed well enough to still stand out in this big competition.
John Lundvik is an excellent vocalist and performer and did sell the hell out of his song on the Melodifestivalen stage. Halfway through the performance, the backing singers appear and their interaction with John is contagious and the uplifting vibe of the performance comes across well on camera. Lundvik has a likeable attitude and has the potential to bring in the ‘mom-vote’ in this year’s contest. I am pretty certain the juries will fall for this and I expect him to do better with televoters than Benjamin Ingrosso did last year. The bookmakers currently have him in third position. I am not convinced of his chances to finish top 3 just yet, but another top 10 finish in the final seems likely!
Interestingly enough, ‘Too Late For Love’ is not the only song in this year’s competition that John Lundvik worked on. He co-wrote the UK entry ‘Bigger Than Us’ (performed by Michael Rice) and rumour has it he was planning to perform that song himself, while SVT’s Melodifestivalen team advised him to go with ‘Too Late For Love’. The rest is history!
Review on semi-final performance:
With his soulful, gospel inspired piece of radio pop, John Lundvik is currently one of the bookies countries that could win. His uplifting performance swings and the interaction with the backing singers is contagious to watch. Vocally they sound impeccable and the the whole performance is a joy to watch. Sweden delivers flawless staging every single year and this is no exception. I am not utterly convinced yet ‘Too Late For Love’ is strong enough to win, but John Lundvik sure knows how to sell his tune to the max. Sweden is a serious contender for top 3 on Saturday.
Review on final performance and result:
Sweden’s John Lundvik gave another impeccable performance of his catchy, soulful and gospel inspired ‘Too Late For Love’. The interaction with his backing vocalists was a joy too watch and the overall uplifting vibe of his performance is contagious. The juries voted him second (but he was their number one before the Belarusian result was corrected), which caused him to be in the final showdown with the winner, but as televoting put him in ninth place, he finished fifth overall. Sweden’s sixth top 10 result in a row!
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