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Is Loreen a worthy Eurovision winner?

Is Loreen a worthy Eurovision winner?

Published: 30 May 2012 13:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 30 May 2012 13:30 GMT+02:00

Love it or hate it, Eurovision is going to be hard to avoid in Sweden for the next year. But why does Sweden get so wrapped up in the event, and was Sweden’s entry the deserving winner? The Local’s Oliver Gee looks deeper.

Sweden, usually a serious, modern and forward thinking country, goes positively berserk each year for Eurovision.

While the rest of the world scratches their heads about “those crazy Europeans”, Swedish media is suffocated – in no small part thanks to “Melodifestivalen”, a six week “Idol” like series of nationwide concerts to determine the best entrant to send to Europe.

While the rest of the world may be laughing, Sweden takes it seriously and reaps the glory. The Stockholm mayor is already excited about the possibilities for the capital city after the last Eurovision in Stockholm reportedly earned the city 77 million kronor ($10.8 million) in tourism turnover.

Sweden has strengthened its ties with world music and with Eurovision ever since Abba’s unusual costumes and funny guitars put the country on the pop-music world map forevermore in 1974.

And since, Sweden’s attention has concentrated into giving its absolute best possible song to the Eurovision contest, which this year resulted in Sweden winning with the second-highest point total in the contest's history.

After the competition on Saturday, Loreen gave an interview to Sveriges Television (SVT) where she was asked why she thought people had voted for her.

Click here for a gallery of Stockholmers' responses to Loreen's victory

She responded that it was thanks to the message she sent in her performance (let’s be honest, it wasn’t the message in the lyrics).

“I don’t use much make-up and I’m barefoot. I think people long to be allowed to be as they are,” she responded.

It’s a fair point; she didn’t use sex to sell her song. None of the winners did. Russian grannies finished in second place and a middle-aged Serbian man came third.

However, I’m not entirely sure it had so much to do with Loreen herself, sex appeal or not.

She looked like a barefoot ringwraith, her dancing wasn’t spectacular (though the crab shuttle certainly raised a few eyebrows where I was watching), and with all the flailing hair and the heavy fringe, it was hard to even see her face.

Plus it was mostly in the dark.

It was an entertaining performance for sure, but by Eurovision standards where magic and acrobatics are the norm, it was nothing special.

So if sex, glitz and glamour took a back seat, why did Loreen win by such an enormous margin?

Why? Quite simply because she performed what all the evidence suggests is a fantastic song. This, I hasten to add, is not the typical Eurovision’s winning formula (see Azerbaijan’s winning entry last year).

“Euphoria” swept the world, long before the fever of Saturday night. It was the international favourite to win, provided Europe didn’t fall for the dancing grannies from Russia.

Bookies in the UK even called off betting on Sweden after a resounding response when the odds became as short as 5/4.

In Sweden, it was madness. Nightclubs embraced the song for a dance-hungry crowd. And the clubbers lapped it up - not because of national pride or Euro fever… simply because the song was irresistibly catchy.

Soon at The Local, we started getting more Loreen love from around the world. The wildlife park adaptation from the UK was a particularly unique example. Some kids from as far as New Zealand sent us their own adapted version of the song too.

Meanwhile, “Euphoria” reached the top five of the iTunes charts in five countries. Euphoria was big news, very big news for an entrant in what some may say is a silly music competition.

But deep down, that should be what it’s all about right? The song.

It’s called the Eurovision Song Contest after all, not the Eurovision “performance” Contest, nor the Eurovision “If her parents are Moroccan then she shouldn’t compete for Sweden” Contest.

There was little doubt that the song itself would take Sweden up-up-up-up-up-up-up to the voting charts to the top for Sweden’s fifth ever win.

And it did.

Every single voting country (besides Italy) gave points to Sweden, with 18 of them giving Loreen the top score of 12 points. Even the voters most irritated by the “neighbour helping” voting layout could accept that the best song won – for a very pleasant change.

Is Loreen the deserving winner? Sure.

But is “Euphoria”, the song itself, the real deserving winner of Eurovision Song Contest 2012?

All the evidence suggests a resounding yes. 12 points.

What do YOU think?

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:30 May 30, 2012 by renklauf
It's a good song and a worthy winner, although I think that this year there were a lot of strong songs. The fact she won was mainly down to the fact that the song was already a huge hit across Europe. Does that mean that all countries can just pick an artist and song that is already a huge hit? It doesn't really seem to be in the spirit of the competition. Mind you, it's preferable to the 'Love thy Neighbour' voting that is a complete joke!

Personally, I think the telephone votes should make up 100% of the votes, not just 50%, then we might get a real competition again. Then the likes of the UK might take it a little more seriously!

But well done Sweden!
14:41 May 30, 2012 by Shazzer
I don't think Melodifestivalen does anything to insure the "best possible" entry to Eurovision. Witness the "Las Vegas" debacle of a few years back. That the Swedes who voted in Melodifestivalen managed to pick the actual Eurovision winner this year is pretty much a happy accident

Most Melodifestivalen entries can be divided into three categories:

The best (i.e. most musically sound) song of the competition.

The song most likely to score well in Eurovision.

The song the Swedish voters pick.
17:01 May 30, 2012 by Achilles7
I don't understand what all the fuss is about this song or this singer.
20:07 May 30, 2012 by Tarc the Mexan
#3: then why do you even bother to post?
09:11 May 31, 2012 by JulieLou40
Typical shoddily written article from TL. Do they think we can't read anything more than a sentence long, just because they can't??
11:37 May 31, 2012 by SwedenMonkeyTrash_istan
Eurovision is more a political vote than a talent vote period....European Union is a shitty Idea that will NOT WORK period...the writer of the article showed a great deal of Xenophobia and a racist purpose and expressed himself almost to the tone of the head of the Sweden Democrat Racist Party when he/she said quote: It's called the Eurovision Song Contest after all, not the Eurovision "performance" Contest, nor the Eurovision "If her parents are Moroccan then she shouldn't compete for Sweden" Contest: End quote.

98% PERCENT of white Europeans are racist towards people of color except the higly educated and the rich since they are less disgruntled and less threatened by the foreigners existence, though migration policy is a joke here in Europe...indicates the dilemma of the level of both Hypocrisy and the level of Incompetence of the elite running these so called Democratic Countries...
12:20 May 31, 2012 by Jes
I feel sorry for the boy who said that Sweden had made a mistake by not voting for him . He claimed that it was only his song that had a chance in Europe .

WRONG !

I also think that Italians are not so smart afterall . You look really dumb when the song you gave zero points turns out to have been considered the best by 18 nations.
23:03 May 31, 2012 by Shawntooth
what a crappy article, total nonsense, word for word...have you written anything people don't already know or has your "analysis" deep enough that it disclosed any hidden truth we're unaware of? hell no...how could someone like this be a journalist...disgusting
12:55 June 1, 2012 by towns
@ #6 (SwedenMonkeyTrash_istan)

Well your name says it all, I certainly hope you don't live in Sweden, Sweden doesn't need such a callous individual with a wasteful and hateful attitude such as yours. Or perhaps you're just trolling.
13:52 June 1, 2012 by prince T
I agree with you on this @towns. That statistics does not exist. We dont meed monkey in sverige.

However i want u to think back on what the secretary of SD said on the victory of looren despite the fact that she was born here. I am awaiting your apology.
14:46 June 1, 2012 by towns
@ prince T

I'm not sure what you want me to apologize for? I never said anything bad about Loreen.
09:14 June 2, 2012 by OUIJA
@towns

Wrong towns, wrong! Here you have to apologyse for everything. That is what is expected from you by the majority.like the As, Ts, and whatever.

As far as the theme of this "news" is concern, Loreen was a worthy winner who, unfortunately has been compared with ABBA. Poor ABBA. What have you done to deserve this type of comparison?
11:15 June 3, 2012 by eton75
What has her parents coming from Morocco got to do with it . She grew up in Sweden and is Swedish . If some of the bigots want to play that game then Crown Princess Victoria should not become Queen because her mother is Brazilian German . Bloody bigots get on my nerves . She had the best song !!
11:54 June 4, 2012 by SwedenMonkeyTrash_istan
@ # 9 The jerk : both The monkeys and the racist animals are already in sweden...i was so disgusted with my business visit to sweden this year....Sweden is such a garbage can or Trashistan is a more suitable name for sweden....i'm glad my description of sweden got to u...frickin' rats...
12:50 June 4, 2012 by towns
# 14

I find it difficult to imagine you as a businessman with such an uneducated cache of vocabulary. And your description of Sweden didn't get to me, especially since I'm not technically Swedish. Nice try, though.
10:34 June 5, 2012 by spo10
i find it stupid that this writer questions Loreen's ability for winning the Eurovision contest. she had the best song and her beautiful voice complimented it!
21:16 June 6, 2012 by Greysuede
Loreen is worthy but there were too many good acts also in the face of Switzerland, Serbia, Hungary, Azerbaijan, San Marino, Slovenia, Netherlands, Germany, UK, Albania, Spain, Estonia, Greece and Cyprus.

Particularly Azeri musical culture and instruments were impressive !
12:27 June 7, 2012 by Åskar
The Eurovision is NOT a contest!

The Eurovision Song Contest (ie a song contest organised by a body called Eurovision) is, however.
16:57 June 8, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
We are being asked "Is Loreen a worthy Eurovision winner?".??.. on a SWEDISH chat site, regarding a SWEDISH winner.....??

Come on!
19:03 June 8, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
Bravo Italy! You were the only ones who realized Loreen's song sucks!
13:48 June 9, 2012 by Max Reaver
#1

They had only telephone votes a couple of years ago, and the result was Balkan states ALWAYS got into the top 5, and the winner usually comes from an east european country. You dont remember 2007, when the Ukrainian Verka Serduchka got 2nd place with the worst song possible. By today's standard, that song would've only make the bottom two. The winner was Marija from Serbia, again, not the best song that deserved to win. As a result, UK, Germany among others demanded a jury system, otherwise they'd boycott the competition. Thereafter, the voting system became how we know it as today. Then and only then it became possible for Germany, Norway and any other non-east european countries to prevail. Please read before you speak.
03:24 June 12, 2012 by Harry®
Can Sweden afford the bill for hosting next Eurovision

Spain couldn't not sure about Portugal Greece, Italy,Ireland and the rest of Europe?
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