• Sweden edition
Swedes stay at home with Eurovision fever

Swedes stay at home with Eurovision fever

Published: 16 May 2009 10:43 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 May 2009 10:43 GMT+02:00

At least for a day, Eurovision Song Contest fever will be making bigger headlines than swine flu.

If recent figures are anything to go by, almost a third of Swedes will be glued to their televisions today to watch Malena Ernman, a 38-year-old classically-trained opera singer, attempt to add another Eurovision notch to Sweden's bedpost.

Carolina Noren, a radio disc jockey on the P4 music channel who has been commentating on Eurovision for 10 years, said the 1974 victory by Sweden's most famous musical export turned the event into a national obsession.

"When ABBA won it became so big and we've had a lot of success since then," Noren explains.

"In Sweden, it is really serious. During the time of the national contest when our entry is chosen, few artists release any records during this period because (Eurovision) is the only thing that people are interested in," she added.

Not all participants share Sweden's burning passion for Eurovision. In 2008, only 10 percent of Britons, five percent of French and seven percent of Germans tuned in to watch, according to data from the three countries' public broadcasters.

Eurovision's popularity, like many other things in Sweden, might be blamed on the weather. Ernman, a graduate of the Swedish Royal Academy of Music, told AFP her country's national contest, which runs for six weeks from February to March, provides welcome relief for music fans from the dark, long winter nights.

"We all need something to do during those five to six months with all this greyness and winter so I suppose this is why it is so big. People are looking forward to it," she said.

But Martin Ekelund, an entertainment news reporter for Aftonbladet newspaper, said Ernman's offering "La Voix" faces an uphill battle to take first place on Saturday night in Moscow.

"It's going to be very tough for Malena to win," he told AFP. "Sweden isn't a big nation in the competition as it used to be."

Ekelund thought Sweden's Norwegian neighbours might take home the prize, and expected many Swedes to vote for them.

"We usually vote for each other. I suppose it is because we have the same tradition of music and you like the music that is close to your own traditions. It's not a political thing, it's a cultural thing," he said.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

12:48 May 16, 2009 by Mzungu
Haha...Practicing for 2010,special dispensation for Afghanistan...


*will make you go,did me*
13:03 May 16, 2009 by Streja
Why is it unusual to find any grey matter in some men's brains at any age? I mean some men were ugly from when they were born and still are, so don't throw stones in glass houses as we say here.

Malena uses her face a lot when she sings, so she has wrinkles. Most people do after 35 unless they have had botox or have managed to not use their facial muscles. Looking at some men every day would probably give the viewer many wrinkles around the mouth due to the horror felt at being faced with such an ungodly sight. But perhaps after a few years the only expression would be that of a zombie on cannabis as some men are so boring.
15:29 May 16, 2009 by peropaco
In reality Swedes are still farmers and by this I mean, "FARMERS" from deep inside in the woods. They are like Lemurs and this is attributed to their antisocial personality disorder; their fear of communication and for this reason they all will be glued watching that drag queen show tonite. ;-)
17:42 May 16, 2009 by Kooritze
Classic comment that peropaco! It has taken 70yrs to progress from peasant society to socialist reality of today. The mentality is still farmer...yes you are right.

A third of the nation is indoors watching this crap! My God!!! On top of the as you say antisocial behaviour, this is undoubtedly the strangest country I have got to know.........streets deserted at times, no local pub where you can laugh and joke.......small country towns almost devoid of humanity........it,s almost like the Russians have dropped a neutron bomb.....no humans!...................and all this on normal days when its not the friggin Eurovison song thing
19:40 May 16, 2009 by Vitas
Show your face, Streja
20:04 May 16, 2009 by Mzungu
Go to search, Streja is there somewhere if you are that inquisitive...

*she's a real beauty*
20:07 May 16, 2009 by Streja
Can you actually search for me and see a piccy? On here?

Clearly that should be abolished.

Lucky that it's not a picture of me right now sitting here in my badrock watching daziel and pascoe. Hmmm tis a bit boring actually.
20:18 May 16, 2009 by Mzungu

Don't you remember? The one in the green dress...

I know, read Reginald Hill's book "A Cure For All Diseases" a Dalziel and Pascoe novel booooring.
21:05 May 16, 2009 by Streja
That's an old picture from like 98. I'm much uglier now.
21:33 May 16, 2009 by BillyB
Oh my god...i thought id hang around to hear Swedens entry before going out but that was not just bad..it was horrible.

what kind of noises were they supposed to be??

Nul point....
21:51 May 16, 2009 by Muttlestar Galactica
Dear god, MY United Kingdom 3rd fave to win...Who'd have thought?

Anyhoo, rather wonderfully and presciently for the first time tonight I'll be seeing one of my fave bands from the 80's: Buck's Fizz, U.K's Eurovision winner from 1981 play live.

Finally, before we are inundated by a hoard of giggling 30 somethings of newly dubious reputations, I've only one more thing to say.

Shame on you Russia. I'll be strictly adhering to the gay boycott of anything to do with you.
21:59 May 16, 2009 by LauraSwed
Living in Scandinavia for over 11 years.... I find it most entertaining to view how other countries in Europe view on TV and what they find entertaining. So its just on TV... get over it---- get friends.... sit with them and view the ok INTERESTING at times but most entertaining TV :). Open your mind and raise a glass...SKÅL!! learn to live and keep a open mind! :) Life is too short!! SMILE and get over it!
22:20 May 16, 2009 by Vitas
It is not Eurovision Gay Contest...

But not for all

22:42 May 16, 2009 by Muttlestar Galactica
Yup there's nothing braver than 4 paramilitary trained guys beating up on a single gay boy.

23:32 May 16, 2009 by Mox Mox The Manburner
Is this poster "peropaco" the same guy as that Brave New Wankker guy who used to get banned from the web site about once every full moon? He sounds eerily similar.
00:47 May 17, 2009 by Grass
Why do they even bother with the songs?

You would get exactly the same result pulling 25 European countries out of a hat and then asking the countries to vote on how much they liked each country..

The whole thing is based on politics and each countries like or dis-like of each other.. The music is just a bloody smoke screen.

All I can say is if that song from Norway is the best Europe have to offer, the Music industries elsewhere in the world have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Last question, since when is Israel part of Europe? I would have thought calling it the Middle-East would have been a damn sight more appropriate.
01:10 May 17, 2009 by 7
that would seem to be the way of the past few years, but this year norway won in a landslide. could be that so many countries just like norway. i do, beautiful fjords.

i have to take my hat off to alexander rybak. he wrote the song, composed the music and performed like a professional. the original contest only judged the song and not the performance. here we got both.

it's not. but the contest is open to any country in the eurovision network.
01:18 May 17, 2009 by Jasoncarter
Well, I think one of the funniest things tonight was the Swedish commentators dumping the official Swedish entry and adopting the Azerbaijaini entry as Swedish - on the basis that the singer is a Swedish national and that no-one was actually voting for the proper Swedish entry,

ACtually, no - I think what's funnier is Sweden moaning like heck about neighbouring countries voting for each other last year then getting all excited when all the Nordic nations get through to the final. Only for none of them to give Sweden any meaningful points...

You could see the 'Fiaskot!' headlines in the papers within seconds of voting starting.

Still, at least Sweden didn't come bottom. Which is what would have happed had that Carolina Af Ugglas song had been chosen.
01:26 May 17, 2009 by 7
so true
06:24 May 17, 2009 by Muttlestar Galactica
The dust is settling and a continent considers what could have been.

From what I saw, this year's comp was outstanding. I will give the Russians their due.

Won't bore you any more, as there's and overweight 30 something broad, climbing up may balcony, singing 'like a virgin', with a gang of guys clapping her.

I recommend holiday camp 80's weekends...It's Like kiddie camp for 30 somethings.
08:32 May 17, 2009 by peropaco
Is this poster "Mox Mox The Manburner" in anyway related to Julius Streicher? Great grandson or something? Cause his comparability is admirably similar; nothwithstanding by his brilliancy of choice of name
Today's headlines
Sponsored Article
On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends
House keys: Shutterstock.

On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends

Finding somewhere to live when you move to Sweden is a challenge. With changes afoot The Local caught up with an expert from letting agency Residensportalen to find out in what direction the market is going, and how Google Glasses may just help you find your dream home. READ () »

The Local List
Ten most disgusting Swedish foods
Salty liquorice, anyone? Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Ten most disgusting Swedish foods

Swedish food is, of course, a matter of taste. But it's mostly disgusting. Our loyal followers on Twitter and Facebook shared what they thought were the worst of them all. READ () »

Sweden wants cruise missiles 'for defence'
Defence Minister Karin Enström. File photo: TT

Sweden wants cruise missiles 'for defence'

The Swedish government has announced plans to beef up its defence forces by fitting its fleet of Gripen fighter jets with long-range cruise missiles. READ () »

Swede of the Week
Sweden's oldest would-be MP: 'They promised I wouldn't get in'
Swedes vote in the 2010 elections. File photo: Dan Hansson/TT

Sweden's oldest would-be MP: 'They promised I wouldn't get in'

Gösta Arvedson, 89, is the oldest Riksdag candidate in Sweden, but our Swede of the Week explains that the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) had to make some unusual promises for him to put his name forward. READ () »

Elections 2014
Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote
The Green Party is one of only two parties devoting their websites to the EU elections. Here campaign manager Emma Rung presents the party's posters. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote

The majority of Swedes feel the country's political parties are not doing enough to inform them about the upcoming European Parliament elections. Only two of the eight parties have dedicated their homepages to the May 25th polls. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping Brawl
Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders
Swedish police on the scene following Monday's fatal brawl. File: TT

Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders

The Syrian-Orthodox Church in Ektorp had tried to quell tensions between two rival families just hours before bad blood spilled into a massive brawl and two brothers lost their lives. READ () »

JobTalk Sweden
'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'
The bridge that connects Sweden to the European continent. File: L.E. Daniel Larsson/Flickr

'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'

The Swedish agency that helps Europeans fight impediments to the EU principle of free movement has revealed an increase in complaints, including one from a foreign citizen unable to open a bank account in Sweden. READ () »

Eurovision 2014
Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip
Sanna Nielsen in the new clip. Photo: YouTube (screenshot)

Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip

Sweden's Eurovision hopeful Sanna Nielsen released the official video for the song Undo on Wednesday, a clip featuring leather, slow motion destruction, and a frozen pig's heart and some violence. READ () »

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds
Swedish apartments. File: The Local

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds

A Swedish landlord suspects that a property fixer has set up a software robot to sign up for new flats on the market within seconds, and is charging house hunters to use the service. READ () »

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'

Twenty-five fire fighters were on hand on Wednesday night when a fire broke out in a southern Sweden animal park. The vast majority of the animals were unharmed, but the cluster of spiders wasn't so lucky. READ () »

Sponsored Article
On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends
People-watching April 23
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
University applications rocket to record high
People-watching April 18-20
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
People-watching April 16
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
Abba duo hints at reunion
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit: