Today’s National Final throwback takes us back to 2014, in Sweden for Melodifestivalen. The winner of the Swedish national final in that year was Sanna Nielsen with the classy ballad Undo, but today we’re looking at one of Sanna’s fellow finalists – YOHIO. If you haven’t yet seen YOHIO or his performance of the song To the End at Melodifestivalen, let me give you a bit of a rundown of the situation. YOHIO is a Swedish singer and songwriter who is best known for wearing Lolita dress with an androgynous appearance. He has participated in Melodifestivalen twice, in 2013 and what we’re focusing on today which is his 2014 performance. Both songs took him to the Melfest final.
If we focus on the song alone, To the End is a really great pop-rock song that isn’t too pop to offend the rock fans, and isn’t too rock to offend the pop fans. The song has a really catchy chorus, and easy to follow melody during the verses. In terms of creativity, song-wise it’s not very creative, just a simple verse-chorus-verse type of song with no real surprise moments.
Where the surprise lies is simply within the type of performer YOHIO is and his Lolita flair. I suppose in a sense, the song contrasts the performance in the way that the visuals and costumes are not orthodox but the song is completely textbook. It’s a nice balance of having a good song, and visuals which create interest in the performance. Having the pyrotechnics towards the end of the performance is another gimmick, but with YOHIO it seems more is more.
Could this have done better than Sanna at Eurovision if it had won? I don’t think so, however I don’t think it would have been that far off. For me, the votes for YOHIO had he been in Eurovision would have come more from the performance values and the ‘gimmick factor’ as such, rather than simply just the song. The performance as a whole is good, and being Sweden it would have naturally had success at Eurovision, however it seems likely that it wouldn’t have reached the heights of Sanna at Eurovision.
Overall, I really enjoy this song, enough that I actually downloaded it back in 2014 – and that says a lot. I’m going to give the song an 8/10.
Song: To The End