Sweden got a smashing win at the Eurovision Song Contest final in Baku, Azerbaijan this weekend (if someone managed to miss it). The competition, both the local one where the country’s representative is picked and the international one are big events in Sweden and CNN has made an analysis to this phenomena. Why CNN find that so important is somewhat unclear but reading their analysis is quite entertaining.
To the rest of the world, Sweden seems to represent all that is enviably European. Scandinavia’s largest country has a reputation for being stylish, progressive and glacially cool — in short, everything the Eurovision Song Contest is not. So it may come as a surprise to some to learn that the Swedes take the annual song competition -occasionally viewed by some of their neighbours as a bit of a joke -very seriously indeed.
No other TV show gets the Swedes so rallied up. People put on dinner parties just so they can watch it together. They even get dressed up for the occasion.
Melodifestivalen, a six-week, “American Idol”-style TV series in which established acts compete against unknowns for the honour of representing Sweden, has broken every local ratings record. Nearly half of the country’s 9.4 million people tuned in to this year’s final. Sweden in the winter is very dark and can be quite depressing. When ‘Melodifestivalen’ starts airing in February we’re in the middle of this season, but every week leading up to the final is a week closer to spring.
So it’s beacause of the dark that Swedes love the Eurovision Song Contest so much…interesting. I’m not a fan myself but normally watch the competition if I don’t have anything better to do. This year I was in Prague. 🙂 But a win is a win and Loreen did kick ass winning with 137 points and with her 372 points getting the second highest total score ever received in the competition. Sweden doesn’t win that often, actually it has only happened 4 times before since the international competition begun in 1958 and the last time was back in 1999 so of course we’re allowed to be a bit euphoric right now. 🙂
- 1974 ABBA
- 1984 Herreys
- 1991 Carola Häggkvist
- 1999 Charlotte Perrelli