2017 Review: Sweden

Aside from Finland’s Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu, Sweden’s Melodifestivalen was the only national final where I watched/listened to all the NF entries. I’m still pissed off that the official Mello channel is blocked on YouTube in the USA, but thanks SVT Play and everyone else who isn’t SVT on YouTube posting all the videos.

Overall it was a pretty good Mello year. There was a lot of variety and favorites in the semifinals (and a lot of returnees—12/28 of the artists this year participated in former years). The final didn’t turn out as diverse as UMK but I’m still fine; I liked most of the entries. My favorites were Jon Henrik Fjällgren+ Aninia, Robin Bengtsson, and Mariette; Nano, Ace Wilder, and Boris René were pretty good too. I also found myself warming up to Benjamin Ingrosso’s entry after seeing the results in Semi 2.

As for the ones that didn’t make it, my favorites were Loreen, De Vet Du, Roger Pontare, and Adrijana. Loreen and DVD crashing out of AC was slightly understandable, due to the entries being either a)marmite or b)entries that needed to be watched at least 2-3 times to get what was going on, as was Adrijana’s entry getting 6th in Semi 1. Roger Pontare placing 5th, on the other hand…I’m still annoyed. Even though I knew that Benjamin Ingrosso was going to qualify direct when there was only one more name to be announced I was hoping that it would have been the epic anthem rather than the entry that sounded similar something on a Disney Channel special. Eventually I warmed up to Good Lovin’ but I still wish there could have been an extra 13th slot. (SVT would have put me on Mariette’s bungee cords to keep me from tampering with the results though). So now I’ll just imagine that everyone who didn’t vote for Roger probably took A and P with one of my professors and didn’t do very well in his class.

Anyways the eventual winner was Robin Bengtsson with his song “I Can’t Go On” (which is sort of a prequel to his previous entry “Constellation Prize”). And fun fact, this is the second artist named Robin that won Melodifestivalen by winning the jury vote only. One of his song’s co-writers, Robin Stjernberg, did the same in 2013.

When I first listened to the song in Semi 3, I couldn’t get it out of my head after one listen and I wanted to listen to/watch it again, with the slick performance, the snapping, the catchy hook. Okay I’ll admit it; the lyrics aren’t going to be AP English material and someone posted in a confessions box that they could fit on a Post-it note due to all the repeating lines. Then again, that’s probably one of the reasons why “I Can’t Go On” is Ohrwurm-y as hell. I’m probably guilty for at least half the listens on YouTube, most of which are involve rolling down the car window and singing with at the top of my lungs.

Or should I say “as fuck” instead? Had the original Mello version been sent to Eurovision, the contest would have been rated R in approximately one minute, and/or the EBU would be slamming the dump (censor) button on average every 18 seconds. I’m not the EBU, SVT, or anyone in Robin’s delegation, but IMO throwing an R in the system interferes with the sound aesthetic. However, like any of the three parties mentioned above, I don’t want the song disqualified, so I’m keeping my discourse down about the song getting Kidz Bop treatment and the word “fucking” getting changed to “freaking.”

OK so I can definitely say this song is in my top 3, and that’s despite two major things that should be keeping me from liking it:

I got food poisoning when listening to the song. Something similar happened prior in 2015, when my friend tricked me into drinking milk when I’m lactose intolerant and I got really nauseous while listening to Moldova’s entry at the time. As a result, I associated the song with nausea and was forced to put it in my bottom 3 even though it would have gone maybe 5-10 places higher. As for Sweden’s entry this year, somehow I didn’t end up hating the song after combining it with food poisoning, nausea, and a migraine. Okay then.

I’ve probably mentioned this ad nauseam (*facepalm due to above paragraph) but I’m asexual. I’m a pancake and a bit flux-y, but I definitely have my baker’s cred. The issue is that this song is literally about sexual attraction. I’m pretty sure after the third semifinal I’d been having an internal debate over whether I should even like the song being a cakey person. Eventually the “Liking this song has absolutely nothing to do with your identity; you’re still valid” voice won over, but I still find it a bit ironic.

So yeah…I really like this song, despite factors suggesting that I wouldn’t. I don’t have any flags at the moment; maybe I should borrow one from Ikea for the semi/final?


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