Just outside my top 10 this year is the undisputed current superpower of Eurovision – Sweden. With 6 wins overall, and 2 within the last decade, a string of top 5 or top 10 results in recent years, they are within touching distance of pulling alongside 7 times winners Ireland (and overall better results). Can John Lundvik, co-writer of the UK’s entry this year, help Sweden finally take an official place as the most successful country in the contest?
As with all Swedish entries, the selection was determined by Melodifestivalen, the long running and huge popular Swedish national selection series. John was a contestant last year, finishing third, and this year won by a landslide in both international jury vote and Swedish public vote. As mentioned, he’s the co-writer of “Bigger Than Us”, the UK’s entry this year, but has another connection to the UK as he was born in London and adopted by a Swedish couple at a week old, who then moved back to Sweden permanently when he was 6.
Like “Bigger Than Us”, “Too Late for Love” is both uplifting and has that big gospel pop element, especially in the latter part of the song. It’s much more uptempo than “Bigger” though, and while John had apparently wanted to give this to the UK selection, and sing “Bigger Than Us” for Melfest but SVT producers advised he submit “Too Late for Love” for Melfest instead as his song last year had been a ballad.
I think that uptempo and uplifting nature of this song, combined with a great gospel chorus could really chime with a Saturday night televote. Sweden may have flopped in the public vote last year but I don’t see that happening with this song. Meanwhile, this will still get the usual love for Sweden from juries. I only hope that Sweden and the UK get drawn in different halves of the final though! There’s no doubt that this will qualify and I think that Top 5 is easily achievable. It’s the only song of the 41 that stood out to my 69 year old mum, and if it can channel the votes of the casual viewer rather, don’t rule out that seventh Swedish win.
Official music video (national final performance:
My preview video:
Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1958
Appearances (excluding this year): 58
Best result: Winner 1974, 1984, 1991, 1999, 2012, 2015
Last year’s result: 7th