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Swedes stay at home with Eurovision fever

AFP/The Local · 16 May 2009, 10:43

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

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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."

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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)

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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
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