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Swedes sing praises of Eurovision winner Loreen

AFP/The Local · 27 May 2012, 11:48

Published: 27 May 2012 11:48 GMT+02:00

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Foreign Minister Carl Bildt led the accolades with a tweet saying "Yes, Loreen certainly lived up to high expectations."

Author and actor Jonas Gardell was moved enough to tweet, "Loreen, I am no longer homosexual!!!"

Loreen, 28, real name Lorine Zineb Noka Talhaoui, the daughter of Berber immigrants from Morocco, is the fifth Swedish winner of the contest since Abba

took the title 38 years ago.

Sweden's media said Loreen left the competition trailing in her wake.

"Loreen created euphoria in Europe and swept away the competition," said the online edition of the daily Expressen. Svenska Dagbladet said she "massacred the rest of the competitors."

Prior to Loreen's performance, Swedish media reported she had problems with her throat, casting doubt on whether she would be able to take part in the glitzy contest in Baku, Azerbaijan. As she swept on stage, Sweden sighed with relief.

"My God what a relief... my knees were knocking," blogged Aftonbladet journalist Markus Larsson as Loreen performed her winning number.

The singer's own delight was captured by public television station SVT when she admitted she was not usually a party girl but said "Waoooh... maybe I'll make an exception tonight."

Story continues below…

However despite the praise from large swathes of a grateful Eurovision-crazy country, there were some high-profile dissenting voices.

Sweden Democrat party secretary Björn Söder used his Facebook page to question whether Sweden did in fact win, citing the fact that Loreen's song was sung in English.

Söder was subsequently criticised and he has since deleted the comment thread, claiming that he had been threatened.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:42 May 27, 2012 by Sugna Nodrog
I watched part of this with friends on Spanish TV. As ever I found the songs bland and wondered if the best that Europe can do for popular or 'world' music? The Russian grannies were cute but the song and performance terrible. Even Loreen's song was poor like the others more attention to the presentation and spectacle than to the song. We switched off after Loreen thinking that cannot win. Part of the problem is that no manager or an established group or singer will let their charge enter for fear they will come 4th or fourteenth. So the people who take part are either in the very many in early foothills of their careers or well on the downslope (see the UK entry this year - many people thought he was dead - well he is now). Not many in the first category go far. I hope Loreen does but I will not go to see her until she gets a decent repetoire. The one exception of course is Abba but the fact that they are the one exception in a contest that has been going for more than half a century says it all. At least they spoke and sang English as though they did not come from California. But anyway Eurovision is like the weather - we all put up with it, we sometimes talk about it, but we never do anything about it. Could there be a campaign to declare it over, or are we doomed to have it for ever because no one will point out how awful it is (apologies to Jordi who did have the right approach). Then if you get stuck with winning it is financially ruinous. Ireland won it three times in a row in the 1990s and nearly bankrupted the TV company RTE. Sweden is now going to have to pay for it next year (I noticed that Mr Bildt praised Loreen not Mr Borg), still maybe Abba will reform and open it and show evryone how it should be done. To make it tolerable we used to watch it on the BBC because of the caustic wit of Irish Terry Wogan who at least had the good sense not to take it seriously and to get quite drunk before commentating. Sadly he retired from doing it. Any recommendations as to other national channels to watch it on? Who has taken on the Wogan mantle?
11:45 May 27, 2012 by Rap43
"Sweden Democrat party secretary Björn Söder used his Facebook page to question whether Sweden did in fact win, citing the fact that Loreen's song was sung in English."

12:03 May 27, 2012 by Maggie Malay
"swept away the competition," "massacred the rest of the competitors."...??

How sad and pathetic that some kind of sadism among the Swede press is brought out by something as crappy as a Eurovision Song Contest

@Sugna Nodrog you're 'on the money' here: Terry Wogan used to make me laugh with his gentle sarcasm about the old Yugoslav, Soviet bloc countries - and Scandinavia who very often vote for each other.

Who can ever forget his 'Well knock me down with a feather!' comment when the Norwegians and Swedes voted maximum points for each other's dull songs, some years ago?
12:05 May 27, 2012 by refugee
Nice to hear this !This is an example of the positive side of immigrants ..
12:14 May 27, 2012 by terriergirl
Graham Norton has taken over from Terry Wogan and has a suitably similar presenting style, if a little camper. Graham Norton presents a risque chat show for the BBC and first found fame as Father Noel on the Channel 4 comedy series 'Father Ted'.

Those Russian grannies were ace! Let's hope they have an album out soon.
12:14 May 27, 2012 by HelmiVainikka
After Germanys "let us win or we will pull out and quit financing this bullshit" agenda in 2010, ESC has no meaning to me anymore.

It clearly showed that a win is something you can "buy" and with that, the ESC as a whole died off.

Just like in Germany anno 2010, I am guessing the worker bees are now farting yellow blue rainbows, psychological goal and morale boost achieved.
12:20 May 27, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
#refugee: I think its more a case of 'READ this' rather than 'hear this' LOl!

Best thing of all about 'Eurovision' is that its only on for ONE day of the year - and there are another 360 days without it - there again, nobody HAS to watch it
12:21 May 27, 2012 by towns
@ HelmiVainikka

Well the very fact five countries (UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy) buy their spot in the final automatically pretty much alone makes the contest less legit, not to mention all the bloc voting.

There's always the entertainment factor, but even that is lacklustre. At least Mr. Lordi provided some much needed entertainment during the points revelation last night.
12:32 May 27, 2012 by rise

In Loreen's case it would be "second generation immigrants" since she herself was born in Sweden 1983.
12:37 May 27, 2012 by David S
what a bunch of whiners. Simply truth is that if you found the songs "bland" etc, then it is *you* that is out of touch with world music. Euphoria was top of the charts in 5 countries and 5- Platinum before the competition even began. As for "block voting", which the UK whines about so much - the UK gave 12 points to Euphoria! As did *17* other countries.

A part from a few songs (ie the babushkas), this years was a high quality event
12:43 May 27, 2012 by HelmiVainikka

Absolutely right, but it gets worse than that.

"Lena" who competed for germany is part of a pretty influential family with Diplomats and EU officials. When the "run up" for the ESC which she won was going on, people in Germany wrote and said everywhere that they do not believe that they would allow their "little girl" to fail. It felt like she had won even weeks before it even started.

In addition to that, right before "Lena", Germany as a whole was protesting against the wasted money and lack of interest the ESC suffers under in Germany.

There was a huge majority of people who wanted to force Germany out of the whole process and use the money better.

So much, that Germany actually was about to do it, from one day to the next it went from "Yeah, we will leave" to "Neeeh, we will redesign everything about how we approach things".

This new approach spawned "Lena" and miraculously immediately she won.

You have to be a pretty naive fool to believe that there were no "helping hands" involved. People needed to see that Germany wins to shut them up.
13:04 May 27, 2012 by towns
@ HelmiVainikka

That certainly doesn't surprise me, I also thought Lena's "song" was one of the worst songs in the Eurovision 2010 Final. She was completely tone deaf and couldn't sing if her life depended on it. At least Loreen has a strong stage presence and can belt out the high notes!
13:20 May 27, 2012 by HelmiVainikka

I fully agree.

It was one of the worst indeed, it was just repacked so people find it "sweet" instead of "pathetic". Take a girl with long legs and a bitchy attitude, plug her into high heels, shiny black stockings and a mini dress and make her sing about painted toenails. Works wonders for the blinded masses.

Not for me and all of the German people I know at work and friendship circles.

We knew it was "bought" and it drove flaming donuts around in the forums and independent press.

Bribery and corruption accusations in the ESC are nothing new.

The German example however hit the nail on the head for me.

And if they do it, why would others not?

Keep in mind that this ESC stuff represents an industry where billions are to be made. And money does not stink.

There are a lot of very questionable elements in the entire ESC process that make me highly doubt that it is even 5% as fair as they claim it to be.

When you witnessed something like that, you simply loose complete faith and interest in the entire event. So in the end, I do not care who wins anymore, to me it always has a "three question marks" bitter taste to it.
15:54 May 27, 2012 by TJSmith
I am always amazed at the total lack of talent that it takes to compete in Eurovision! The only thing you need is a computer generated beat and 4 dancers. The losers who compete in Idol have a thousand times more talent and respect for the music industry then any of the....and I use this term lightly...singer/musicians that try to perform on Eurovision. Eurovision...a pathetic showcase of no talent wanna - bes!
16:33 May 27, 2012 by hackie
@rise #9,

Stop being an hater. Can you dare to refer to the Swedish crown princess with that same name? From your shallow reasoning, it can be implied that you are trying to say that first generation immigrants can never be successful in Sweden. Stop being a loser by celebrating success, rather than associating success to an individual's background. Background is not synonymous to success.
16:54 May 27, 2012 by mafketis
"Björn Söder used his Facebook page to question whether Sweden did in fact win, citing the fact that Loreen's song was sung in English"

I for one preferred Eurovision when songs were in national languages instead of bland, lifeless Euro-English. I wish they'd go back to having performers and songwriters from the country they're representing.

I thought the winning song this year was okay, but liked several others more. My favorites included Albania's screaming crazy chick and the well-mannered Estonian (nice contrast between southern and northern as well as female and male intensity).

Dumbest prop? the 'boat' in the Turkish entry (which I otherwise almost liked).

Worst was UK.... brrrrrrrrrrr.
17:48 May 27, 2012 by Mack
Estonia was great. I also like the smultz of Lithuania. When Turkey came on... my son said.... what?... vampire gay pirate sailors.... lol
19:42 May 27, 2012 by HenryPollard
Some Moroccan chick singing a song in English.

How Swedish a victory...
19:43 May 27, 2012 by philster61
Hey, its only the Eurovision, not the Grammy's. And we know who ruled at the last one.Second last jolly old Britain.
20:59 May 27, 2012 by Icarusty
Since most of the songs were in English, I think the real winner is the UK.
21:10 May 27, 2012 by oldonpalouse
Come on, you folks! Harmless fun for rising and amateur entertainers and 125 million viewers. Ignore the 'carping' and media pontificating.

Enjoy yourselves and have some fun, life is tough enough!
21:15 May 27, 2012 by tomas R

Very good song, very good show! This swedish lady Loreen has the talent!

Congratulations Sweden!

Tomas Racys (Lithuania)
21:37 May 27, 2012 by dizzymoe33
Go ABBA!! Come back and show everyone how it is done!! :o)
22:40 May 27, 2012 by Flygger
Sweden deserved to win with this vibrant and exciting song.. Whether it does actually represent Sweden is another matter. As Swedes have written songs for 10 countries.. that too is open to debate.

Congratulations Sweden !!

I hope the Golf ball can find you an alternative venue next year as the ice hockey peeps have it booked already !!

Oh. Good luck financing it too..
23:22 May 27, 2012 by towns
@ mafketis & Mack

I agree, the Estonian entry was one of my favorites!

And yes, they were some entertaining entries, I find that usually around 3-6 songs out of the 40+ songs in the contest are on the better to good side. And this year's event did certainly have more quality songs than last years.
00:07 May 28, 2012 by rise
@ hackie

Stop putting words in my mouth! Those words of yours are YOUR imagination revealing things about YOU - not me. Read what people actually have written and don't read it as you BELIEVE they actually wrote. Your believes is telling things about your delusion-infested mind and nothing at all about me!
01:59 May 28, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie

19:42 May 27, 2012 by HenryPollard

"Some Moroccan chick singing a song in English.

How Swedish a victory..."

Couldn't have said it better, except to add that Loreen mostly tweets in French! Yes: this was such a "Swedish" victory.
02:50 May 28, 2012 by J Jack
Euphoria was a joke. The presentation was a total remake of 'Kate Bush', wuthering heights. And the kick boxing dude at the end? Hallo! Embarrassing. The landslide of voting was mass hysteria and disappointed Danes, Norwegians & Finns coming to the rescue. Spain had a much better singer but unfortunately a lousy song and a stupid delivery.
04:46 May 28, 2012 by Sugna Nodrog
For those who are less than enamoured of the ESC try the Norwegian composer, pianist and songstress Susanne Sundfør this evening May 28th 20.30 at Kägelbanan (Sodra Theatre)

- very powerful, very dark, Nordic and original - Lisbeth Salander in song?

No wind machine, no dancers, nor firewords and flames - Everything that the ESC is not and cannot be. For a taster try the You Tubes on her site
05:49 May 28, 2012 by theibmsstate
hi everybody,

if native swede will win Eurovison2012 than on every newspaper front page winner photo but she is immigrant and today i have not seen on no newspaper front pages, this is so sad and it shows native swede will never ever accept immigrants.loreen won eurovision for sweden , if loreen lives in USA and she will win for USA than USA media and people will appreciate.

complex, jealousy, low mentality in sweden,

who is famous in sweden football team ZLTAN he is also immigrant i cannt see sweden hero in sweden but swede cannt do something special for sweden.

everybody in sweden are immigrants. well some people came from east europe to sweden in worldwar2 so that people are living in sweden and they dont like nobody. original and pure swedes are very good.if somebody has blond hairs and blues eyes and can talk in swedish it doesnt mean that he or she is native and pure swede.
06:51 May 28, 2012 by robban70226
There was a lot of mediocre songs, no talent there, but in the land of the blind a one-eyed is king... What a stupis statement about being in english!!! Did Abba won in Swedish? had Any? Naieve to believe that anybody care about a dying language like Swedish , in a few generations will just become another death language
07:52 May 28, 2012 by jostein
Some people say that the administrative area north of Denmark, east of Norway and west of the Baltic is poorly represented by a moroccan who chooses an africanamerican dancer to assist her on stage. I think it is perfect.
09:18 May 28, 2012 by OUIJA
Lorine Zineb Noka Talhaoui won the ESC. Now she is a Swede. If she had lost, she would have remained being a Moroccan jwith a Swedish passport. Her song was one of the best ones, but her political behaviour was not one of the best ones.

A contest where the majority of the contendents used gimmicks in their lyrics to make their contributions more memorable, is quite boring. And a contest where some of the countries did not compete because they bought the right to be in the final is not a fair one.

A contest where the songs are surrounded by fireworks, snowfall, circus acts and the likes, should not be called a song contest.

Lorine Zineb Noka Talhaoui, from now on, can add Svensson as her last name.

The ESC...what a joke!
10:15 May 28, 2012 by Tamm O'Shanter
@OUIJA - "some of the countries did not compete because they bought the right to be in the final is not a fair one."

The flip side to that is that if the 'Big 5' countries stopped their financial contributions to the European Broadcasting Union, future Eurovision Song Contests would be unlikely
11:30 May 28, 2012 by Jes
Loleen a daughter of ethinic African immigrants has beaten all odds and knocked out all racists with her voice . I notice some of them are here moaning and groaning - about how it used to be.

Sugna Something says that Loreen`s was "poor". He should move from Spain to Italy.......

The rest of the world thinks that Loreen`s song is perfect for the season . Most American pupular music artists have said they wish it was "theirs"
12:59 May 28, 2012 by towns
@ Jes

What exactly do you mean by "ethnic African?" It sounds like you're making a racist over-generalization to me.

And you could at least have the decency to spell Loreen right.
13:00 May 28, 2012 by samarbete
We both old and new Swedes celibrate Loreens and this countrys victory. It is the people who live in a country who make it great, not the pathetic racially fixed losers.
13:15 May 28, 2012 by Sven the banana
# The IBMsstate

Come on! How racist could sweden be!? The swedish peoply were the ones who voted for her in the first place. It shows you can make it in sweden even if you aren't ethnically swedish, like Zlatan!
15:12 May 28, 2012 by Jes
@towns , read and educate yourself before you offer to comment on a particular subject. Loreen` belongs to the berber tribe - the original natives in north Africa . They were there before the Arabs invaded Africa.This is a FACT, not an "over.generalization" . It is racist to expect her to be anything else .

Of cource she is a citizen of Sweden who has just proved racist wrong by flying the Swedish flag with honour and pride

Any other question ?
15:27 May 28, 2012 by towns
@ Jes

Dear Lord, do I have to spell it out for you?!

You used the term "Ethnic African" as if all Africans belonged to the same ethnic group. Which IS an over-generalization!
16:22 May 28, 2012 by Jes
@ towns , do you have a contextuality problem ?

The term was/ is used to dispel the misconception that the berber people are Arabs .

I used the term to emphasise that Loreen is actually an indigenous african- like the indians of the americas or the "aboriginals" in Australia.

If you tried to use your head a little bit , you would see that in fact , I use the term to ppoint out that not all Africans belong to the same ethnic group .
16:31 May 28, 2012 by towns
@ Jes

Then it was a misunderstanding, I am well aware that the various Berber groups (Shawiya, Kabyles, Riffians, Tuaregs, etc) are the indigenous peoples of North Africa. However, I thought you were trying to over-generalize things by using a moniker like "ethnic African" in your original post. If you read back to what you originally wrote I think you can understand where my reaction came from.

Also, please stop trying to use condescending terms like "use your head," "educate yourself" etc. it's not very nice, especially since you don't know me and it makes you come across as lacking in etiquette.
19:25 May 28, 2012 by salalah
05:57 May 29, 2012 by dukesy
First of all....Congratulations to Lorreen,and to Sweden for their success in Eurovision,I`m a Brit,and personally i think we let Engleburt down with that song.......very poor (the song that is).

Next, who the hell is the Swede joker called `Bjorn Soder`, sorry for the french.....but who is this (prick)...so the girl was from Morroccan parents,so what....she sand and performed for Sweden...AND WON, you should be proud of her.

Also,so she sang in `english`.....so did Abba,did anyone criticise them.....no.

English is an international language,spoken by many countries,either as first or second tongue,its not just for us Brits to use,so Mr Soder,i would say to you sir......shut up with the stupid comments,unless you have something intelligent to say.

As for Lorreen being from Morrocan parents,....so is Frida from Abba,shes originally from Norway....so what......She and Agnetha both put Sweden on the map,no one had a go at them for singing in english.

As Pete Waterman said at 1 event,` when you can write songs,and perform them,in a language other than your own mother language,as Abba did,it makes those of us that cant do it.....somewhat sick,and envious of 2 such voices blending as Frida and Agnetha did....IN ENGLISH.

Mr Soder,to be honest with you....i heard Lorreen`s interview after the win and she speaks fantastic `english`, possibly better than some of us Brits do....as of course did Abba.. so dont have a go at Lorreen,buy her a drink and give her a pat on the back.......she deserves it. Once again Lorreen, very well done great performance you desreve it.
12:13 May 29, 2012 by hectorshouse
14:27 May 29, 2012 by rise
I fail to see the point in just posting some link here? Just a link, to wherever and no commenting about it whatsoever as some people fancy doing. There is a place dedicated for that, it's called Pointless links:


Or better yet, if one happen to be in the mood for reading some random pointless links, here's a search on the phrase:


Hmm, maybe I should have followed my own advice and posted this pointlessness someplace else... :P
14:28 May 29, 2012 by Jes
@towns , we therefore conclude that it was a misunderstanding .

I am sorry to have used a rude tone . I suppose that I thought that I was responding to someone who had just implied that I was "making a racist generalization " besides questioning my "decency" I happen to be of the opinion that it is not for lack of decency that someone mis-spells a name . I am sure that even The Local has yet to learn if it is Azerbaijan or Ajarbaijan . Which ever it is the topic remains the same .
22:14 May 30, 2012 by Valdemaratterdag
Loreen is brilliant and world class. Congratulations for a well-deserved victory.
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