I feel like I could almost reuse the intro paragraph I used last year for this country – it’s the modern day Eurovision superpower and juggernaut, Sweden. 6-times winners, their dominance has been almost absolute recently. Since 2011, they have won the contest twice, and only once in that period finished outside the top 5 in the grand final. So the young Benjamin Ingrosso has a lot to live up to – can he carry on Sweden’s remarkable run of success?
Despite his youth (he’s only 20), Benjamin isn’t a newcomer to the party – he reached the final of Melodifestivalen in 2017, finishing 5th with his song “Good Lovin'”. His entry this year won Melfest decisively, winning both jury and televote. I was firmly behind Samir and Viktor; I was very disappointed (though not surprised) that “Shuffla” didn’t go to Lisbon.
The song and performance feel very in line with Sweden at Eurovision recently – very slick, well staged, confidently performed, yet again, it’s more of that throwaway production line of pop hits and somewhat soulless. I don’t dislike this, but it doesn’t grab me in the way Shuffla did, which, while also throwaway pop, was totally fun, unpretentious and sung in Swedish. I do feel that its success owed much to its visually arresting staging – and Sweden have the financial resources to replicate that sort of staging in Lisbon.
If I owned my own house, I would bet on this reaching the final. There is no way it will not qualify, not least because it’s in the weaker second semi. I am sure this will do well in the final as well – and will probably finish far higher than it may actually deserve or would have finished if it had come from another country. Not sure if I see this getting to the top 5 again (though I wouldn’t be surprised if it did) but top 10 seems certain…
Official music video:
Live at Swedish national final (Melodifestivalen):
Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest:
First entered: 1958
Appearances (excluding this year): 57
Best result: Winner 1974, 1984, 1991, 1999, 2012, 2015
Last year’s result: 5th