Swedish toad chorus croaks to glory

In a remarkable turnaround in musical fortunes, Sweden has emerged triumphant from the first ever European Bombina Song Contest.

Fire-bellied toads from four nations croaked out their tunes to a rapt audience of internet voters. But disgruntled bombinas from Denmark, Latvia and Germany will have to wait until next year to make their musical mark.

While Swedish group The Ark failed to impress at this year’s Eurovision, the toad contest organizers remind listeners that “the Bombina Boygroup is in the fine Swedish tradition of ABBA, Herreys, Carola and Charlotte Nilsson, who have won the European Human Song Contest.”

The toad choir from Mölle in southern Sweden enthralled Europe with its delivery, pitch and sheer determination.

The final, spread out over two legs, was a one-sided affair. When sound files from the four entrants went online after the first leg on May 4th, the Bombina Boygroup blew the opposition out of the water.

And choirmaster Claes Andrén was delighted with the performance of his thirty toads in front of a jubilant crowd of around fifteen people in Mölle.

“Even though I am incredibly biased, I think our toads were best. I intend lodging a protest if we don’t win,” he told Helsingborgs Dagblad at the time.

He needn’t have worried. The second leg on May 11th proved something of a damp squib, with cold and rain silencing the toads for much of the day.

But the amphibian boy band had already done enough to ensure that the cherished title made its way to the marshlands of Skåne.

The song contest is run by the Schleswig-Holstein Nature Conservation Foundation in Germany. The aim of the competition is to promote the preservation of the endangered bombina toads.