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EUROVISION

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
Måns Zelmerlöw and Petra Mede perform "Love Love Peace Peace" at the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, 2016. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

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.

 

Tingeliin

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:

 

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SWEDISH HISTORY

Centuries-old time capsule opened in Stockholm Cathedral

Multiple time capsules from the 1700s and early 1900s were discovered during renovation works at Stockholm Cathedral (Storkyrkan).

Centuries-old time capsule opened in Stockholm Cathedral

The first and oldest of the boxes, from 1742, contained a tightly-folded A3-size piece of paper covered in elaborate handwriting stating that the old tower was removed in 1736 and the new one was completed in 1742, a date which had not previously been confirmed.

“This is the nicest capsule I’ve ever opened,” building restoration expert Max Laserna told church magazine Kyrkans Tidning.

“The handwriting from 1742 was so beautiful, almost like a piece of art, it really stood out,” he said.

The capsule from 1903 was flat like an envelope and difficult to open. It contained a newspaper, some letters and an old piece of sheet metal with the text “gammal plåt” (old sheet metal), presumably a piece of the old roof from the 1700s.

A historian opens the time capsule from 1742. The younger time capsule from the early 1900s can be seen in the background. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

The final capsule from 1930 contained a gilded piece of metal along with a number of daily and weekly newspapers. This piece of metal sparked a renovation of the cathedral’s spire when it was discovered on the ground one morning after falling down from the cathedral’s roof.

There was also a rusty nail in the same capsule along with a ten-page long text titled “An account of the 1929 renovation”. According to Laserna, such a detailed report is a rare find.

Similarly to 1929, the current decision to renovate the cathedral was made when a large piece of stone was discovered on the ground outside in 2016. Upon investigation, it was discovered that it had also fallen down from the roof, which had loose plaster in many areas and needed renovation.

The cathedral’s facade is currently being renovated and will return to the same pink colour it had in the 1700s. It is expected to cost over 100 million kronor and be finished in January 2023.

The time capsule tradition will be continued, with a new capsule being placed in the cathedral’s tower to mark this renovation. 2022’s capsule will include pictures of the workers who carried out renovations, drawings from five-year-olds and a copy of Kyrkans Tidning – to be opened the next time a piece of stone or metal falls down from the heavens, maybe in another 100 years’ time.

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