I will be popular. I will be Sweden.

Mr. Creepy Swedish Guy Eric Saade has pulled a Carola in Melodifestivalen, placing 3rd, 1st, and 5th in the contest. He’s also managed to annoy the crap out of me while trying to represent Sweden- not only as himself, but as the country as a whole. I’m not sure whether to blame Eric Saade for singing the songs or his songs’ composer, Fredrik Kempe, for writing the lyrics.

The year he made his first attempt, Sweden’s scores were declining for the past 5 years (after Martin Stenmarck gambled all of SVT’s future points in Las Vegas). 6th place. 18th place. 18th place. 21st place. Did not qualify. Sweden turned into that guy who no one wanted to care about, and someone needed to stand up again. Eric Saade started out as just a 19-year-old from Skåne, but after qualifying direkt til Stockholm he became the “manboy” that his song presented: Yes there was potential, but SVT would wait another year. He (and the country) would still not be taken seriously, since he was still that kid.

Sweden waited one year for Team Saade/Kempe to send someone who directly expressed the country’s desire to get points and win without blatantly obvious (*CoughLithuaniaCough*): a person singing a self-fulfilling prophecy about earning a spot on the popular table. Despite getting flak for stupid lyrics like rhyming “impossible” with “possible,” he made SVT’s message clear. While Eric wanted to be popular and be liked/known by everyone, Sweden wanted to win the competition and have everyone visit them as a proud host. While he wanted the girl at the popular table, Sweden wanted sets of douze pointe. And both Eric and Sweden would succeed by dancing for his/their life.

Although he didn’t win, he brought Sweden back to the left side of the table with a 3rd place and 185 points. He did predict the country’s victory the year after, when Loreen danced against the wind machine to win with a record 18 sets of douze pointe.

Fast forward 3 years to Melodifestivalen 2015’s final. Team Saade/Kempe was back but only placed 5th while Måns Zelmerlöw won with his stickman MP. Eric couldn’t represent himself at Eurovision? Not a problem. He (as Sweden) didn’t have to say anything until the contest was over anyways. The country won with 365 points after a 3-horse race against Russia and Italy in the final. After controversy about plagiarism and jury voting trumping televoting, Sweden was allowed to keep the title as the winner of Eurovision 2015.

Of course, the fans weren’t very happy. How could the juries vote for generic top-40 pop music instead of 3 magical operatic-pop voices? They shouldn’t have that much leverage in the contest. And Eric-as-Sweden just popped back and told them: We won a fair fight. The end. It’s gonna sting so bad, it’ll drive you [Il Volo fans] mad. See you in Stockholm!

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