Hej Sverige! The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has arrived in Stockholm. After revisiting the home of Eurovision 2016 at Globen, we got all fika, and downed some hot cinnamon buns and coffee while discussing Sweden’s Eurovision 2017 song “I Can’t Go On” from Robin Bengtsson. Does he have what it takes to give Sweden its seventh victory? Or can he really not go on? Read on to find out!
Robin Bengtsson – “I Can’t Go On”
About Robin Bengtsson
Idol 2008 alum Robin made his Melfest debut in 2016 with the song “Constellation Prize”, which placed fifth overall. His smoky voice made plenty of ladies (and gentlemen) melt, and those eyes really drew audiences in. Building on that he returned to Melodifestivalen this year with “I Can’t Go On” — a number penned by Sweden’s Eurovision 2013 act Robin Stjernberg. And while he wasn’t the favourite of the Swedish public this year — he came third in the televote — he stormed to the top of the jury table. Why did the musical experts love him? “I think it’s a great song and the whole package,” he told us moments after his win, “from walking in on back stage and the treadmills. It brought something new to the competition and perhaps that’s what they liked.”
“I Can’t Go On” reviews
Sami: “I Can’t Go On” has it all. The song is a great pop track and the performance is polished to perfection. While there are some gimmicks — hello hand choreography — the act doesn’t rely on that. It would work with just Robin performing it solo, too. The dancers on the treadmills are just a bonus — and one that really works. It takes flight on and off stage, which also gives it huge potential to become a pan-European radio hit.
William: I despise this genre of music — it feels cheesy and schmaltzy and gets irritating very quickly. But Robin does a good job embodying the endless cool the song requires to make it palatable. My personal highlights include him pretending to grab his crotch and his fancy footwork on the treadmill — he’s just schooled Sakis Rouvas and Barei in one fierce pivot. The song is meh, but the staging takes this to another level. He’s selling it very well.
Deban: “I Can’t Go On” is a polished pop/R&B tune driven by super-slick choreography. Robin Bengtsson sprinkles some naughty-boy grit with his suggestive dance moves. There’s also an R-rated version of this track that appeals to adult-friendly audiences. Overall, there’s nothing to dislike. The 2017 Melodifestivalen winner is aiming for a Eurovision victory — and he could get it.
Jason: The consummate professionalism and undoubtable effort that has gone into the Swedish entry deserves recognition. That is undeniable. The song itself is catchy and Robin performs it very well. The grand-final Melfest performance was minimally toned down, but still loaded with cheese and sleaze. This isn’t top-three material — not for me, anyway.
Rezo: In the Melodifestivalen 2017 Wiwi Jury I gave this a perfect score, because Robin can go on — and he did. It’s a song in at least two parts — and I’m loving both of them. The opening establishes Robin as he gets ready to slay on stage. The second part shows us his strong vocals, professionalism and outstanding choreography. Yes, he knows what Eurovision needs. I can’t wait for his f*cking beautiful performance in May.
Kristin: All I can think about when listening to “I Can’t Go On” (besides that crotch shot..seriously??) is why Nano isn’t representing Sweden. This is a genuine Swedish pop production, with Eurovision written all over it and Robin does a great job. He and his posse own the stage, no doubt, but besides that, this is a forgettable tune at best. It will be all about the treadmill gimmick and Robin’s strikingly beautiful blue eyes, because the song itself is just so freaking bland.
Robyn: This is what Sweden does best — bold, confident pop performed by a skilled singer with captivating staging. While the Melfest semi-final performance verged on sleazy (it was the crotch shot rather than the F-word), the toned-down grand final performance got it right. With Robin, his treadmills and his menswear quartet, this is sure to be a stand-out performance of ESC 2017 and a strong contender for the win.
Chris: The original version of this staging — and even the swearing — made “I Can’t Go On” come across, at best, as sleazy. With the changes made for the Melfest final though, Robin turned things around. Overall, this is a good slice of pop music that won’t harm Sweden’s run of form whatsoever. There’s nothing that immediately screams “winner” though: Robin himself was in shock when he won Melfest. When the artist didn’t have confidence in victory, it’s never a great sign.
In our Wiwi Jury, we have 38 jurors but only room for eight reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:
Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 1 and a high of 10.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.58/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!