• Sweden edition
 

Swede triumphs in Eurovision

Published: 22 May 2005 14:14 GMT+02:00
Updated: 22 May 2005 14:14 GMT+02:00

The result means Sweden will have to qualify for next year's contest through the ignominious back door of the semi-finals.

"I did my best," said a tearful Stenmarck afterwards. "I hope Sweden will forgive me."

Throughout the week, Swedish papers had reported one lack-lustre Stenmarck rehearsal after the other. And leading Eurovision figures such as SVT's Christer Björkman had been confidently predicting that Sweden didn't stand a chance against the passion and organisation of the east European and Balkan countries.

All these pressures were reflected in a pallid performance by Stenmarck, light years from the bravura he showed in winning the Melodifestivalen in March. Taking the stage after a confident, cheeky chappy number from Denmark, Stenmarck and his four dancers seemed to disappear on the vast stage. He donned an Elvis-inspired costume for his 'Las Vegas' song, but there was little energy and his few dance moves were hesitant.

It was only after he successfully caught his trademark flashing mike stand that he seemed to relax and pick up the pace.

The longer the interminable voting went on without a point for Sweden, the more depressed SVT commentator, Pekka Heino, seemed to get. Finally, after about a dozen countries had awarded their points, came a six from good old Finland. "Kitos, Suomi," intoned an audibly relieved Heino. Thank you, Finland.

After much whingeing in the media about 'buddy voting' by other countries, the Nordic countries were just as bad as anyone else. 14 of Sweden's 30 points came from Scandinavian neighbours and Sweden awarded their highest points to Norway, Denmark and Greek Swede Paparizou.

After the show, Björkman didn't hold back in his criticism of just about everybody, not least the man he was supposed to be there to support, Martin Stenmarck:

"He sees Eurovision more as an experience, a buzz. His focus was on Melodifestivalen, where success gives long-term rewards in Sweden. Martin wasn't that bothered about being relegated to the semi-final group next year, but Lena Philipsson was scared stiff last year."

If Stenmarck's commitment beforehand could be questioned, his devastation afterwards seemed genuine enough:

"This feels like the worst night of my life. This is worse than I could ever have imagined. I came here to win and finished 19th. What a humiliation."

Overall, the Ukrainians put on a spectacular show - apart from the embarrassing slapstick of the famous Klitschko boxing brothers.

"Eurovision eeees vrrry seemilar to baaaaxing," said Vladimir. "Weeeeell, leeeet's hope there are noooo knockouts!" replied last year's winner, Ruslana. Quite.

There were strong folk influences in many of the songs and a lot of the early acts seemed to be competing to have the most / biggest / craziest drums. Elena Paparizou's winning entry was the Britney Spears style 'My number one'. But even this had an odd folk dance inspired section in the middle, amidst the glossy pop sheen and slick choreography.

Paparizou, who moved to Athens from Sweden a couple of years ago and came third in the competition in 2001, has been lauded all week in the Swedish press for her ultra-professionalism. She promoted her song in 14 countries prior to the final, a tactic which seems to have paid rich dividends and which the Swedes hope to learn from next year.

The twelve points Paparizou received from Sweden virtually sealed her victory and she screamed joyously at the camera "Heeeeeeeja, Sverige!". Go Sweden! After the show, she told GP:

"I hope to be able to do this for Sweden one day too. I'm not saying that you necessarily need me, but it would be fun because I love Sweden."

Perhaps even more embarrassing for Sweden were the solid performances from Norway and Denmark, which traded places for much of the evening in the top ten. In the end Denmark's soft reggae boy band style thing and Norway's Kiss-inspired glam hard rock had to share ninth place - and a ticket direct into next year's final.

Meeanwhile, there's a risk that Sweden won't even be on the scorecard. The country has a glorious Eurovision history and failure to qualify from the semis in Athens would leave an entire nation wondering what on earth to do with Saturday May 20th next year. Sweden has participated in every Eurovision Song Contest final.

"Bloody hell," said Stenmarck, on being told of the situation. "I'm sorry for whoever has to do it next year."

Whoever that may be could learn something from the Moldovan entry, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers wannabes who gave royal, adrenalin-fuelled entertainment with their insane 'Granny beats the drum'. The performance featured an elderly Moldovan in a rocking chair merrily beating a drum.

The Local's douze points, for what it's worth, went to Croatian crooner Boris Novkovic, who sang about wolves dying alone to the accompaniment of a bagpipe. Now that's a song for Europe.

Sources: Svenska Dagbladet, Expressen

Today's headlines
Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes
A political career for Zlatan? Some fans seem to want to see that. Photo: Peter Dejong/TT

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes

The Bilderberg Group, the Satanic Initiative and Adolf Hitler all received votes in Sweden’s general election, according to a list released by the country’s electoral authority. READ  

Sport
Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games
The Swedish team in action. Photo: TT

Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games

Sweden's capital has missed out on a chance to host any Euro 2020 games, with Copenhagen the only Scandinavian city among the thirteen winning locations. READ  

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests
Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of Uppsala, is the first woman to head the Swedish church. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests

A Swedish priest has been fired after telling his congregation that people who support female priests would be rejected by God - despite the fact that his own church is led by a woman. READ  

Analysis
Women set to dominate top post-election jobs
Margot Wallström (right) could become Stefan Löfven's new Minister of Foreign Affairs. Photo: TT

Women set to dominate top post-election jobs

Sweden could soon get a female Foreign Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt's ousted Moderate Party is preparing for its first woman leader and the grandmother of actor Hugh Grant's son is being tipped as Parliament's next Speaker. READ  

National
Sweden protests over Russian plane incursions
A Gripen plane was scrambled to see off the Russian planes. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Sweden protests over Russian plane incursions

UPDATED: Sweden has summoned the Russian Ambassador for a dressing down after two Russian planes violated Swedish airspace last week. READ  

Elections 2014
'Good prospects' for Alliance co-operation

'Good prospects' for Alliance co-operation

UPDATED: Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven says he is positive that his party can co-operate with the former governing Alliance on some issues. READ  

Lifestyle
Introducing...Astrid Lindgren
Pippi Longstocking comes to live at the Astrid Lindgren theme park. Photo: TT

Introducing...Astrid Lindgren

The creator of Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren, is the most translated author from Sweden, and has filled children's imaginations since the 1940s. The Local finds out why her work has become a timeless classic. READ  

Scotland Decides
Sweden welcomes Scotland's 'No' vote
No supporters celebrate victory in Glasgow. Photo: Matt Dunham/AP/TT.

Sweden welcomes Scotland's 'No' vote

Sweden’s outgoing foreign minister Carl Bildt has welcomed Scottish voters’ decision to reject independence from the UK in Thursday’s referendum. The pound rose against the krona following the result. READ  

National
'Sexsomnia' addict cleared of rape

'Sexsomnia' addict cleared of rape

A Swedish man who had sex with a woman while he was asleep has been acquitted of rape because he suffers from "sexsomnia". READ  

National
Russian jets spotted in Swedish airspace
Russian Su-24 medium-range bomber, known by Nato as 'Fencer,' flies at undisclosed location in Russia in 2002. File photo: AP

Russian jets spotted in Swedish airspace

UPDATED: Two Russian fighter jets violated Swedish airspace on Wednesday, prompting the government to request an urgent report from the Armed Forces. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Blog updates

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 

17 September

Deep election analysis (Blogweiser) »

"You think you’re bad? Well I’m American. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFbomLID0vU Deep deep analysis on Swedish election results. Vlog post: https://t.co/tjQgfa5Yie #svpol #val2014 #politics pic.twitter.com/oEK5ADFT8L — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) September 17, 2014 " READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

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 Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

883
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:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN