Even casual observers of Eurovision tend to be aware that Sweden is considered to be rather good at Eurovision. They will of course know Abba, and inevitably might have seen Måns pop up on UK TV and it’s quite likely that many non-Eurovision fans will know the song “Euphoria” and it’s the 2012 contest winner and singer of that song who returns to Eurovision this year with “Tattoo”. Yes, it’s Loreen, seeking to win the contest twice, something only achieved before by “Mr Eurovision”, Johnny Logan. Can she get Sweden’s record-equalling seventh win?
Loreen had to win the Swedish national selection, Melfest, of course, something she did quite comfortably. It’s not the first time she’s tried to go back to Eurovision though – she tried in 2017 with the song “Statements” but was unsuccessful – that proved a bit too art pop for the Swedish public. With “Tattoo” she’s returned to the polished, anthemic dance pop combined with some memorable staging and a dramatic performance. The writers of “Tattoo” (which includes Loreen) are like a roll call of all the most successful Swedish Melfest and Eurovision writers of recent years and include two of the co-writers of “Euphoria”.
I have a feeling that this might prove one of my more controversial placings – and actually, it shouldn’t be controversial given that a) this is all my personal preference, not predictions or an objective review, and b) being in my top 20 is high up. I think the thing for me is that it’s a good dance-pop song, Loreen of course delivers a dramatic performance and showcased some amazing staging at Melfest – but at the end of the day, it’s a competent example of that polished Swedish dance pop that dominates Melfest and at times isn’t always the most innovative or unusual, but is still undeniably good. The songs I have above this (especially in the top 10) just have something a little bit different about them – and “Tattoo” just doesn’t quite do that for me.
I realise a lot of people love this song, and have it as their number one. I suspect there a few at least who have it highly because it is Loreen rather than just because of the song itself – but that’s a perfectly valid reason to rank it highly. Betting odds are, at time of writing this, very heavily in Loreen’s favour, though it’s worth noting that hype and familiarity often drive the odds, and a lot of people betting at the moment are Eurovision and Loreen fans. Things might shift a bit once into rehearsal week.
It’s the 50th anniversary of Abba winning the contest next year, and I am sure Sweden’s broadcaster would be keen on hosting the anniversary contest on home soil. A victory would mark Sweden matching Ireland for the number of wins, and Loreen would become the only other double winner of Eurovision, and the first female artist to do so. Juries do tend to favour/upmark Sweden, so I can see this doing extremely well with juries – maybe winning the jury vote (though there are a couple of songs that. The key to winning will be if Loreen can stay in touch with the big televote favourite(s) who may not score so highly with the juries. It won’t be a Euphoria-style landslide (unless juries all go for this) but the record-equalling win is definitely there for taking.
Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1958
Appearances (excluding this year): 61
Best result: Winner 1974, 1984, 1991, 1999, 2012, 2015
Last year’s result: 4th