Sweden is the modern day powerhouse at Eurovision, with a number of strong results under their belt. The nation’s 2020 representatives, The Mamas, had to fight for their ticket to Rotterdam this year by once again competing in the national selection, Melodifestivalen. Unfortunately, they won’t be returning to the contest this year, as newcomer Tusse finished out on top with his song, Voices. Will this achieve another Top 10 finish for Sweden?
Anita (Eurovision Union)
Song and Vocals
It was expected that Sweden would host Melodifestivalen again this year, with their national selection process reaching cult status within Sweden and among Eurovision fans. While it was unfortunate for The Mamas, I was excited to see what Sweden had to offer this year, especially with the line-up they announced. Fan favourite Dotter returned, as well as former Eurovision participant and finalist, Eric Saade. I expected Eric to win the competition this year and return to Eurovision, but Tusse had charmed the nation and won with ‘Voices’.
Sweden is once again offering a strong pop song performed by a strong vocalist. The song features a nice melody and a catchy chorus. The stand out of the performance is definitely the vocals. Tusse is a confident performer, and this song does offer the opportunity to hear the range of his vocals. The choruses are vocally powerful, especially towards the end of the song. The backing vocals also add a lot to this song, supporting Tusse and giving him the platform to hit all those big notes.
With that said, I still get that feeling like this has been done before. It feels formulaic, and that might come down to the fact that many of the same songwriters work on a large amount of Melodifestivalen songs year after year. It’s certainly enough to send Sweden to the final, but I would love to see something raw from Sweden in the coming years.
Performance and Act
Sweden knows how to stage an act, and there were few if any badly staged performances at this year’s national selection. Usually, what we get at Melodifestivalen is carried through to Eurovision, so I doubt there will be any major changes with the staging. Not that it needs any, it’s a relatively strong staging that allows you to focus on Tusse’s vocals, while remaining fairly dynamic.
It will be another comfortable qualification for Sweden this year. It has both jury and televote appeal, although we’ve seen Sweden struggle for a big public vote in the last few years. In the semi-final, I don’t anticipate this to be a huge problem, although in the final I am certain the televote will go elsewhere.
Song and Vocals
Sweden comes up with one of the more contemporary songs in the first semi final. ‘Voices’ is a song in the style of recent hits from The Weeknd and since its victory in Melodifestivalen the bookmakers placed it in the top-5 of this year’s field. I don’t know about that, because despite the quality of the song, the vocals have been an issue throughout the preselection season. Knowing that there is more technical vocal support at Melodifestivalen than allowed at Eurovision, this might be a tricky thing.
Performance and Act
Nothing bad to say about the performance. Tusse gives a convincing performance when it comes to how he presents himself. He does every move right and looks in the camera at the right moment. It’s slick and well-produced, what we expect from Sweden. The biggest issue with that in recent years is that the performance does not always come across very sincere, which is very important to get the televote on board as well.
Sweden comes up with another slick composition and performance. This is something the jury should reward again, definitely íf the vocal performance by Tusse is improved. If the Swedish problem of convincing the jury, but forgetting to please the televote is resolved remains to be seen. Once again, I feel Sweden has an over-produced entry, not connecting enough to make impact in both fields.
Additional Scores from Eurovision Union and ESCDaily editors:
Average Score: 6.3/10