The hosts of the 61st Eurovision Song Contest have had quite a journey. from hopeful outsiders in the Sixties to Kings Of Eurovision in the Teenies. A home win in Stockholm would see them tie with Ireland as seven-time winners. Their elaborate annual selection Melodifestivalen, is a huge event in itself and an annual Mecca for fans from beyond Sweden as a staging point in the road to the contest itself. Along the way the Swedes have provided more than a few memorable moments.
1966 “Nygammal vals” by Lill Lindfors & Svante Thuresson
Sweden first competed in the third contest in 1958 but their first podium result wasn’t until six years later with this perky number about cattle (really). In 1966 each country awarded just five, three and one points to it’s top three favourites. In probably the earliest example of “friendly voting” fifteen of Sweden’s sixteen points came from Denmark Norway and Finland.
1973 “You’re Summer” by The Nova
This was the song that delayed Abba’s march to global domination by twelve months. The fabulous foursome submitted “Ring Ring” to the 1973 Swedish final but the “expert jury” only placed them third, a long way behind this little song, which to be fair acquitted itself perfactly well at the contest finishing fifth in Luxembourg City. It also features a jaw-dropping line about breasts.
1982 “Dag efter dag” by Chips
Schlager. What is it? Well it’s that feel-good, rather retro sound that would come a common theme in Eurovision over the last three decades, and here is a cracking early example. Chips were actually a fully formed group however on the Harrogate stage it was just Kikki Danielsson and Elisabeth Andreassen who took to the stage, finishing a creditable eighth. The latter would go on to win the contest for Norway just three years later with the rather similar “Let It Swing”, as Kikki singing solo came third.
2000 “When Spirits Are Calling My Name” by Roger Pontare
Sweden proudly hosted the first contest of the new millennium in Stockholm’s Globen, which will stage the 2016 contest, a vast arena that has set the tone for 21st century stadium Eurovision,and while the home entry only ended the night in seventh place (very average by recent Swedish standards) it certainly stood out. Roger Pontare had previously represented Sweden in 1994 with a much more sober effort.
2015 “Heroes” by Måns Zelmerlöw
The only way to end our look at Sweden at Eurovision is this visual tour-de-force that has put the Swedes just one win behind Ireland on the medal table. Måns will co-present the 2016 contest with Petra Mede.