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.