Think About Things (Results Edition) – Sweden

It’s the time of year when the Post-Eurovision depression is in full swing, but there’s no better cure than to reminisce! Together with ESCDaily Editor, Dennis Van Eersel, we will be discussing each of this year’s competing nations – from their results to how we think they could improve in the future!


Predictions, Personal Scores and Results



Results: 14th place, Final

Did Sweden live up to expectations? 

A: I’m torn on this one, because I feel like there’s two aspects – Sweden lived up to the expectations in the sense that we knew how Voices would be performed, based on Melodifestivalen. On the other hand, Sweden failed to live up to expectations in delivering a cutting edge song and performance, something we have come to expect from the nation. 

Voices is a decent pop song from Sweden, but from a nation that has delivered some of the best pop in years, I would have expected more. Tusse performed the song well, and the staging was fine but all in all, it just lacked that special factor. 

D: Sweden did what they always do, a replica of their winning Melfest performance. So yes, they lived up to the expectations. However, when you do what you did, you also get what you got. With this I mean that Sweden always comes with slick staging performances by (over)produced pop songs. This usually works very well with the jury, but the connection with the televote has been lost on multiple occasions.

How do you personally feel about the song for Sweden at Eurovision 2021?

A: The song has definitely grown on me, and it has become a bit of a guilty pleasure. While I still dislike how unimaginative the song is, I can openly admit that it’s incredibly easy to sing along to, which I guess worked in their favour this year. This is a song that might pop up every now and then, and the melody might get stuck in my mind here and there, but overall, it’s not one of my Eurovision 2021 essentials.

D: I liked this song from the first time I heard it in the Melodifestivalen semi final. It’s contemporary and made me think about music from The Weeknd we hear on the radio often. I thought he would have a good shot at winning Melfest and I saw it as a stable qualifier at Eurovision, but not more than that. This had to do with the vocals of Tusse, which weren’t very impressive in Sweden. And with all the help in the audio at Melfest, that says something. He wasn’t as bad as I feared he would be at Eurovision though and that certainly helped him in getting a decent position in the final. 

Could Sweden have done anything different?

A: Technically speaking, I think the Swedish team managed another seamless performance, however it just lacked… something. Even though the technical aspects like camera work and choreography seemed professional, it was uninspiring to watch. The song is meant to be inspirational and uplifting, but the performance was kept quite dark. I also think from a vocal perspective, the lead vocals from Tusse were too quiet towards the end, meaning that the pre-recorded backing vocals overpowered him. 

D: I hope Sweden will take the results in recent years and sets the bar just that bit higher. SVT needs to investigate why their televote result isn’t that good anymore and find songs that spark a higher emotional connection with the viewers at home and at the same time, doesn’t become to artistic or out-there to miss their jury-votes (like Norway has had a couple of times now).

What can Sweden do to ensure success in future years? 

A: I think this year’s performance and result (while not a terrible result) will light a fire for the team in Sweden, in the same way the 2010 non-qualification acted as a turning point. Sweden takes Eurovision seriously, and with two modern day wins under their belt, they remain hungry for success. 

Looking towards the future, I think Sweden has all aspects covered bar one. The Swedish team is incredibly professional in all aspects, but the public will only vote if the act seems relatable or approachable. I think sometimes their acts come across on screen as almost too professional, too staged and too slick. There needs to be more of a human aspect in there. Even in the context of this year, we saw so much personality from Tusse in the interviews, but yet on stage barely any of that came across. Even for a country such as Sweden, with a number of strong results in their back pocket, there is room to improve. 

D: I hope you are right Anita, that this will be a turning-point for Sweden again. I fear the result isn’t bad enough for that to happen and the nation could ‘need’ another non-qualification at a certain point to change things around. But, I’m always positive, I think there will be some new people involved in Melodifestivalen in the post-Chirster Björkman-era. That alone should spark new energy and new ideas so Sweden can reinvent themselves.

And one more side note. We sound very critical about Sweden and that is because we know just how good and successful they can be. Also in recent years, they have been very successful when compared to some nations that always struggle to even make it to the final. We’re talking about winner potential here, because in general Sweden remains top of the bill at Eurovision.

Which was better, the live-on-tape performance or the actual performance?

A: If Sweden was forced to use their back up tape, they certainly wouldn’t have been disadvantaged. The performances were incredibly similar, with the main change being the colour of the lights. Tusse had a slightly different outfit, but overall the vibe was similar and the vocals were similar. I would say I actually prefer the back-up tape, but only marginally. That comes down to preferring the green lights rather than the golden yellow. Personal taste.

D: Yes, the vibe and feeling of Voices was the same in Rotterdam and in the live-on-tape performance. This makes sense, since Sweden professionally always copies their Melodifestivalen staging and camera plan. They did so for both the back-up tape and live performance. I think the result would have been (nearly) the same.