The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Sweden to visit the ABBA Museum in Stockholm. Amid the platform shoes and sequins, we discussed Frans‘ song “If I Were Sorry”. Did we accept his apology? Read on to find out!
Frans with “If I Were Sorry”
“If I Were Sorry” reviews
William: Chit-chatty, charming and quietly powerful, this bucks all the rules of Eurovision, which leans toward the over-the-top and technical. Its simplicity and his slight awkwardness make this endearing and his voice works well with the casual nature of the song. Many have compared this to Justin Bieber mated with Ed Sheeran and rightly so. It’s well-produced, memorable and worthy of the airwaves.
Deban: “If I Were Sorry” is a lazy pop effort that has taken Sweden by storm. Frans’ is unassuming, and despite the toil that has gone into packaging this entry, much of it reads as underwhelming. To make an impact on the big night, I’m strongly advising against a Melodifestivalen copy and paste staging. This entry needs new life!
Denise: Sweden is keeping it simple this year and that might be the key to another victory. Almost every other country is going for big, bigger, biggest while Sweden is doing what they’re best at, doing something no one else does. The song is good and Frans is a good performer for his young age. Lots of people don’t like his accent, but I just think it sounds really sweet.
Angus: I was the farthest thing from a Frans fan at #mello, but since, “If I Were Sorry” has grown on me. The key to its appeal is how anti-Eurovision it sounds, relying upon the simple backing and lyrics to power it forward. It riffs off the current chart hype for Justin Bieber, and Frans fits straight into the mould Bieber left behind. If the Swedes stick to their staging guns, as they normally do, this will really sparkle at home in May.
Bogdan: Sweden’s entry is anything but what Sweden was expected to send. A quirky kid who recites more than sings an atypical song with unexpected lyrics? There are countless songs about how the protagonist is sorry, but how many are there where he is not? And herein lies the strength of “If I Were Sorry”: it stands out because it’s not spectacular, but frank and humble. Frans’ stark and credible rendition stole an otherwise glamorous show and that is why I love it. David beat Goliath and it might do the same in May.
Josh: Sweden, we need to talk. I love your music, but you should be sorry for selecting “If I Were Sorry” at Melodifestivalen. You guys had a plethora of talent with amazing songs and you went for the cutesy boy with a song that is so dull. The Australian jury didn’t award any points to Frans at Melfest, and this Australian on the Wiwi Jury won’t be voting for you either. And for that, I am sorry.
Tobias: I am from Sweden and I’m not a fan of Frans at all. I was surprised he won Melodifestivalen since there were much better songs that would do better in Eurovision. The Eurovision crowd may find this song a bit boring as most of them expect a big impressive and expensive stage performance in this contest. Compared with most songs this year, Frans doesn’t have a big stage performance but that could also be something positive, making him stand out. Typical Eurovision fans won’t fancy this but I think that the families and children watching this will like Frans. There won’t be another victory for Sweden this year but I do think they will end up in the top 10.
Judit: Please welcome the Swedish Justin Bieber. When I heard that song for the first time my reaction was: is it too late now to say sorry for this song? What is the hype around it? How can people go crazy about it. And then I realised the Bieber effect. But the thing is, Bieber can be original, and this song not. Frans could have a bright future, he just has to find his own voice!
Padraig: I’ve developed a new appreciation for “If I Were Sorry” since it’s moved beyond the Melfest Arena. The appeal lies in its simplicity. There’s no bombast or excess. Just Frans singing of all the ways he’d make up for the wrongs he’s done. But of course, the sting comes when he reveals that he’s not sorry at all. As Justin Bieber proved with the similarly themed “Love Yourself”, the population at large is a sucker for unapologetic boy-next-door types. Frans is already conquering the charts. The question now is whether he can win over televoters and juries too.
Patrick: Well, I’m pretty sad and also really pissed about Sweden. You stage a fantastic selection with so many freakin’ good songs and then you choose a bland boring song which goes nowhere. Ehh! I’m so annoyed by the cuteness factor that people credit him with. And also I don’t understand why he is so high in the odds. Can somebody explain me this?! I’m pretty sorry for you, Sweden.
Robyn: If there’s any song that can give Sweden its much desired consecutive victory, it’s this. “If I Were Sorry” is an antidote to all the overproduced “Heroes”-inspired power-pop heading to Stockholm this year. If the audience on 14 May is tired of all that relentlessly upbeat pop, Frans will serve a quiet moment of cute folk-pop, with a teenage boy shuffling around the stage instead of delivering a slickly choreographed number. This is Eurovision 2016’s moment of Zen.
Sami: People say this is so different from Sweden’s previous entries and it’s nice to have something sweet and genuine. That is what they are trying to make us think, at least. Frans is very charming, but as we saw already during Melodifestivalen, he really tries to get everything perfect, for example spending hours choosing the right hat. “If I Were Sorry” is a great pop track and deserves to do well in the contest. But winner it is not, and I will be really disappointed if Sweden wins once again.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 12 reviews. The remaining 28 scores are below.
William C: 2.5/10
The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 0 and a high of 9.5.