Back to back Nordic countries in the countdown and it’s this year’s hosts – Sweden. Considering the superpower/juggernaut status of Sweden within the world of Eurovision, this might be a surprise to see them down this far in the ranking list, but Frans and his song have been dividing opinion amongst Eurofans it seems. Can Sweden hold on to their title and win for a seventh time to match Ireland’s record?
Frans is the youngest artist in the competition this year at 17 years old. He’s also got a very strong connection to the UK – his grandfather is English and he’s spent much of his life in London, including a whole year to study music when he was 15 (ie just two years ago!). He certainly sounds like a Londoner when you hear him speak at the London preview party.
Why has this come (relatively) low for the hosts – Sweden almost always occupy the upper echelons of these lists. Well, it’s actually riding high in the betting but it is a bit of a Marmite song and I think both he and his song tend to appeal to the teenage girl demographic which isn’t necessarily going to be the biggest group watching the final itself.
Personally, this isn’t to my taste and I do find it rather dull and quite wearing. Plus Frans’ accent goes all over the place in the actual song which is rather odd given his fluency in (British) English. It could do well, it could do middling, or it could bomb. It won’t repeat Austria’s feat of being the first country to get nul points as hosts, but I also don’t think we’ll be back in Sweden for the 2017 contest.
Live at London Eurovision Preview Party
Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest:
First entered: 1958
Appearances (excluding this year): 55
Best result: Winner 1974, 1984, 1991, 1999, 2012, 2015
Last year’s result: Winner