Sweden enters its 60th Eurovision as the undisputed current superpower of the contest. Following the cancellation of the 2020 contest, it was swiftly announced that its internationally popular song contest, Melodifestivalen would take place in 2021. Given its popularity it is perhaps no surprise that decision was made, but it meant that last year’s winners, The Mamas, were not internally selected. They did however get the chance to re-enter for 2021 and while they reached the final again and did well, there was no stopping Tusse who scored a decisive victory with the international juries and an even bigger one with the public vote.
Tusse is a really interesting act, with quite the backstory. He arrived in Sweden alone six years ago as a 13-year-old refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo; settling down with a Swedish family. He entered a TV music contest in 2018 and then went on to win Swedish Idol in 2019. In 2021, Tusse swept to victory at Melfest. His song “Voices” is in many ways quite typical of successful Melfest songs (and indeed successful Eurovision entries) and the team behind it have a lot of Eurovision success behind it – they include the writers of “Heroes”, “Fuego”, “Too Late for Love” as well as a couple of other songs in this year’s contest.
I have to say though, I think it is Tusse – his personality and his voice, that pushes this up my rankings. The song itself is decent, but it does feel like something we have heard before and not especially groundbreaking. It will be certain to qualify from the semi-final and it may well finish top 10 in the grand final or higher. The juries will be sure to mark this highly and it should also get a decent televote. It will be interesting to see how Tusse’s career progresses following Eurovision and what music choices he makes in the future.
Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1958
Appearances (excluding this year): 59
Best result: Winner 1974, 1984, 1991, 1999, 2012, 2015
Last year’s result: 5th