Last weekend OGAE Finland’s annual Eurovision Cruise set sail from Helsinki, ferrying hundreds of fans from over 30 countries to Tallinn. Just a week before the cruise, one of the acts set to perform — Melodifestivalen veteran Nanne Grönvall — had to pull out due to health issues. Luckily organisers quickly replaced Nanne with an artist that had passengers even more excited: Eurovision 2012 winner Loreen.
Loreen was quickly named the headline act and fans could not wait to watch her perform some of the many songs they’ve downloaded and/or looped on Spotify in support of their beloved star. Anticipation built as UMK favourites Mikael Saari and Eini, Denmark’s Eurovision 2007 star DQ and Lithuania’s Donny Montell all performed multiple tracks. Then it was time for Loreen to take the stage.
She sang her winning song “Euphoria” and then vanished backstage. Fans were in shock.
— Tiina Marju Nuotio (@tmnuotio) September 4, 2016
Tabloids in Finland and Sweden quickly seized on the story.
Jouni Pihkakorpi, the president of OGAE Finland, told Finnish paper Ilta-Sanomat that Loreen was booked to appear for 30-40 minutes. He claims that just an hour before she was supposed to take the stage, her manager announced that fans would only get to hear “Euphoria”.
Loreen on the Eurovision Cruise 2016
Loreen’s manager Helen Wigren told her side of the story to Sweden’s Aftonbladet.
She claims that the contract between Loreen and OGAE Finland explicitly stated that she would perform one song.
“She just did what she was asked to do,” Helen said. “This is very unfortunate because we agreed that she would perform a song. If the organizer [interpreted it as] something else, it’s really sad, both for the fans and for Loreen, who did what she was booked to do.”
— ?Hugo? (@GthbergHugo) September 6, 2016
Indeed, the contract explicitly states ONE song, which organisers would have seen, suggesting they misunderstood or at least expected Loreen to go above her stated duties.
Whether there was a misunderstanding or not, it was clear that fans were shocked and disappointed after Loreen’s extremely short appearance. Loreen might have mitigated the disappointment by meeting with fans afterwards — as all the other artists did.
In years past, Eurovision winners have given much more of their time. For comparison: When Sweden’s Charlotte Perrelli performed on the cruise in 2014, she sang four songs and posed for selfies with fans afterwards…and she even had her baby on board, so would have had a very good excuse to cut it short. But she didn’t.