Cornelia Jakobs to represent Sweden at Eurovision

Cornelia Jakobs swept to victory in Sweden's Melodifestivalen song contest on Saturday night with her mid-tempo break-up song Hold me Closer. Jakobs will now represent Sweden at Eurovision in Turin.

Cornelia Jakobs celebrates her victory on Saturday.
Cornelia Jakobs celebrates her victory on Saturday. Photo: Annika Berglund/SVT

With 27,000 fans crowded into Friends Arena, over a million phones voting, and nearly 6m kronor raised via televoting to support people in Ukraine, it was an exciting night. 

Cornelia was the top choice of the eight international jurors who award half of the points. She then scored 70 points in the public vote, pushing her to first place.

It was a close-run thing, however, with Anders Bagge winning the public vote to finish on 121 points, just 25 behind Cornelia Jakobs’ overall score. The former Idol judge finished 12 points ahead of the hip-hop duo Medina and their song In i Dimman, giving him the highest placing for a song in Swedish since 2017. 

Cornelia Jakobs has had a roundabout road to get to stardom. As a 16-year-old she failed to get a golden ticket to qualify through to Idol, and ended up being a member of the girl group Love Generation created by music producer RedOne. Since then she has released nine singles and is now looking to release her first album. 

The song heading to Eurovision, Hold Me Closer is a world away from the glitz, glamour and spectacle one often associates with the Eurovision Song Contest. This is an emotional, heart-on-the-line story where Cornelia begs for one more night with her lover, even though she knows the relationship is going to end, and she wishes that she could love her romantic partner a little less.

Cornelia will now go to Turin for the second Semi Final on Thursday May 12th, with expectations high that she will then qualify for the final. If she wins, Sweden will equal Ireland’s record of seven Eurovision victories.

Sweden is placed third in the bookmakers’ odds behind host nation Italy and war-torn Ukraine.

For those who missed one of the biggest highlights in Sweden’s TV calendar, you can watch the show again via SVT Play, with this link taking you to the English language commentary that SVT organised this year. 

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VIDEO: Three times Sweden poked fun at Eurovision

With Sweden one of the favourites to win Eurovision this year, let's take a look at the times when the country showed up the sheer ridiculousness of the song contest.

VIDEO: Three times Sweden poked fun at Eurovision

Eurovision is often known for eyebrow-raising entries featuring bizarre local traditions or, frankly, eccentric outfits. Although Sweden takes the contest seriously when it comes to its song entries, that doesn’t mean Swedes don’t sometimes celebrate the weirdness of Eurovision.

Love Love Peace Peace

Who could forget Måns Zelmerlöv and Petra Mede’s run as Eurovision presenters in Stockholm in 2016? Zelmerlöw, who won the contest the year before in Vienna, was joined by comedian Mede, who had presented the contest in Malmö three years earlier.

The two performed a sketch titled, “Love Love Peace Peace”, an attempt to make the perfect winning Eurovision song. The clip features former winners Lordi who won for Finland in 2006, and Alexander Rybak, the Norwegian violinist who won for Norway in 2009.

Watch the clip below and see how many references to previous Eurovision entries you can recognise.



In this bizarre clip from Sweden’s Eurovision Song Contest qualifiers Melodifestivalen in 2009, Swedish comedy group Grotesco perform a mid-show sketch full of Russian stereotypes, including Cossack dancers, matryoshka stacking dolls, and a chorus of men dressed like Russian soldiers. The choreography also featured several scantily clad women wearing tight-fitting shorts with a single red star splaying their legs toward the camera in unison.

The clip caused controversy in Russia, after The Local reached out to Russia’s embassy in Stockholm for a comment – a spokesperson called the song “offensive” and “disconnected”, and condemned the sketch in an official statement:

“We do not react to eccentricity by some lunatics whose Russophobia should place them in an asylum rather than on Globen’s stage.”

See the clip for yourself here:


Lill Lindfors and her wardrobe malfunction

Lill Lindfors, a Finnish-Swedish singer and comedian, presented the 1985 Eurovision Song Contest in Gothenburg following Sweden’s win the previous year in Luxembourg.

Prior to hosting Eurovision in 1985, she had placed second in the 1966 contest with the song “Nygammal vals”.

In a clip which reportedly displeased the European Broadcasting Union who manage the contest, the bottom half of Lindfors’ dress was ripped off by a piece of set, exposing her underwear.

Lindfors paused, feigning shock, before quickly pulling a new dress down from the remaining top half of her outfit.

You can watch the iconic moment here (narrated by Terry Wogan, the BBC’s Eurovision commentator for many years) and decide for yourself whether it was meant to happen or not: