Sweden has decided: it’s Loreen!
In an exciting result (that, let’s face it, surprised nobody), Loreen took the Melodifestifalen Crown in Sweden last night with “Euphoria”, pushing Danny Saucedo into a second consecutive runner-up position. Written by Thomas G:son and Peter Boström (who have already each got a a song in the ESC 2012 lineup already… Spain’s “Quédate Conmigo” and Norway’s “Stay”, respectively), this was Loreen’s second go at Melodifestivalen glory.
“Euphoria”‘s win was one of the most decisive in Melodifestvalen history. Loreen won 32.7% of the public vote (impressive, when you consider that there were ten competitors in the Final), and she broke the record for the highest number of votes cast for a song in a Final (670,551, more than twice the number that Eric Saade’s “Popular” received last year, and beating the record of 492,180 votes set by 2007’s “The Worrying Kind“). The 70-point spread between Loreen and Danny is also the widest margin in Mello’s history. She’s currently topping the singles and download charts in Sweden, and she’s also making an impact on the charts across the border in Finland.
It’s hard to predict if this kind of success on the National level will portend a “Fairytale”-style victory in Baku, but it’s one heck of a start for the 28-year-old alum of 2004’s season of “Idol”.
Last year, Azerbaijan took a pretty standard song and turned the volume up to eleven on it through a brilliant staging. This year, I think Sweden is taking a strong song and combining it with a staging unlike anything we’ve seen in Eurovision before. By focusing almost entirely on Loreen, and keeping the camera on her at all times (as opposed to a backing band, other dancers, or random gimmicks), it gives “Euphoria” an intimate, modern feel that feels completely unique. Considering that the Swedes have the tendency to keep their Melodifestivalen staging pretty close to intact for Eurovision, we may have something truly standout on our hands. I hesitate to make predictions, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see this equal Sweden’s bronze-medal position from last year, or possibly surpass it.