Sweden are certainly the modern powerhouse of Eurovision, and since 2011, the nation has fallen out of the top 10 just once. That’s not to mention the two wins Sweden achieved recently, so it’s unsurprising that year after year, Sweden remains high in the odds to win the contest. This year is no different, and it will be up to John Lundvik with his song Too Late for Love to potentially score Sweden’s 7th win at Eurovision – is it possible?
Song + Vocals
Coming off one of my favourite Swedish Eurovision entries ever (unpopular opinion alert), it was going to be a tough task to find something that could trump the love I have for Dance You Off. Looking back at Melodifestivalen, there were a lot of acts I liked, but the songs weren’t quite at iconic status. If I had my choice, I would have put forward Lisa Ajax with her ballad, Torn, but now looking at the semi-final, picking an upbeat song will play to Sweden’s advantage.
Does Too Late for Love impress me more than last year’s entry? No, it doesn’t, but overall Sweden is sending another catchy pop number that is bound to do well at Eurovision. Dance You Off was more contemporary, while this year’s entry is more of that traditional, textbook pop with a bit of gospel influence. The song begins with John singing simply backed by the piano, but as the song progresses, it builds its way to the catchy chorus. The verses are when John can let his vocals shine alone, but the pre-choruses and choruses are where a really uplifting atmosphere is created with the addition of the gospel backing singers. In true form, the song features a key change, and it is a bit cliché, but really, the whole song is one big cliché. This is John Lundvik we’re talking about here…
Although this won the Swedish pre-selection by a landslide, I don’t see it doing the same at Eurovision. I think this will gain considerable support, especially with juries but I feel as if some of the novelty of Sweden is wearing off. We saw that in the televote last year, but I would also argue that John Lundvik is more of a likeable personality. There’s confidence in this performance, but it isn’t cockiness by any means. This will very likely qualify into the final in the Top 5, and I think rightfully so.
Act + Performance
As much as I think we’re due for a female artist to represent Sweden, I do think John will represent Sweden well and likely end up with another Top 10 finish. John has a lot of charisma and he knows how to work with the camera which is ideal for Eurovision.
As for staging, I probably wouldn’t mess around too much with what they had at Melodifestivalen. It’s usually the case that Sweden keeps the same concept from national final to Eurovision, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the exact same staging. That’s not a bad thing. Yes, we know what’s coming, but why fix it if it ain’t broke.
The biggest surprise for this entry would be if it didn’t finish in the Top 10 in the final. It will cruise through to the final, and likely be a big hit with jury if not the public as well. It’s an uplifting song that will connect with a lot of people, and it’s very confidently performed so why shouldn’t it get a high placing? I wouldn’t go as far to say it’s Sweden’s best, nor will I say that it will win the competition, but it’s another strong entry from the powerhouse nation.