Wiwibloggs has been travelling around Europe and taking a look at all of the countries currently participating in the Eurovision Song Contest and why we love them. Today we docked in Stockholm to take a look at Sweden, six-time winners of the contest.

Sweden debuted at Eurovision 1958 in the contest’s third edition. Their first win wouldn’t come until 1974 when ABBA represented the country with arguably the most famous entry in the contest’s 63 year history.

Five more wins would follow, including two this decade. The 2010s have been a golden era in Swedish Eurovision history, with two wins and six Top 5 finishes. Ever since Anna Bergendahl failed to qualify in 2010, Sweden have missed the Top 10 on only one occasion. With a prolific run of results and a rich history to draw from, here are 10 reasons why we love Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest.

1. We have to talk about ABBA

We all have our favourites at Eurovision but we can all agree that few acts are as iconic as ABBA in 1974. ABBA aren’t the only huge stars to be born from Eurovision but they are arguably the biggest. “Waterloo” catapulted them into international fame and they never looked back. Such is the success of ABBA that we are still talking about them in 2018, with the release of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Over 1500 songs have now been performed at Eurovision and “Waterloo” is undoubtedly the most famous of the lot.

2. Their winners are not afraid of coming back

ABBA may have been Sweden’s first winners but subsequent winners have been more than willing to return to the scene of the crime. Carola has the unparalleled honour of finishing in the top five on three separate occasions, the second of which was her 1991 victory. Charlotte Nilsson came back as Charlotte Perrelli in 2008, nine years after taking us to heaven in her 1999 victory. More recently, even Loreen attempted to return to Eurovision with the iconic Melfest entry “Statements”. If you’re a fan of returning artists, Sweden won’t disappoint.

3. Everything about Melodifestivalen

There are many national finals around Europe but there are none quite as exciting as Sweden’s Melodifestivalen. Every year, the rumour mill starts churning out reports of which artists will compete. Then comes a highly publicised artist reveal, along with the titles of the songs. Producers reveal running orders which results in wild speculation before any songs have even been heard. We are given a small taste of the songs ahead of each semi-final, but still with a lot kept secret until the live performances. Then we spend six weeks debating, speculating and dreaming about which artist will fight through 27 others to earn the right to represent Sweden at Eurovision. This entire experience is almost as exciting as Eurovision itself and no other national final comes close to matching it.

4. Super slick Swedish staging

The last few years have brought Sweden some great results. Their success has been built on the back of some very slick staging, culminating in a victory in 2015 for Måns Zelmerlöw. The likes of Robin Bengtsson and Benjamin Ingrosso have continued the trend. The dwindling support for Sweden in the 2018 televote may suggest that slick choreography is no longer be enough, with more importance placed on the song itself. It will be interesting to see whether Sweden will fly or fall in 2019.

5. They love a good F-bomb

Speaking of Robin Bengtsson, he had to change the lyrics of “I Can’t Go On”. It initially appeared at Melfest with the lyrics “when you look so f***ing beautiful”. While the rules may be a bit more lax in the Nordic nation, Eurovision rules would not have allowed the song to be performed with those lyrics. Of course, Robin had to beat the likes of Lisa Ajax to make it to Eurovision 2017. The songstress repeatedly sang the lyrics “I don’t give a f*** what the others say” and “f*** what they say”. Wash that mouth with some soap once you’re done singing along!

6. The queen of popera

With a rich history at Eurovision, it is difficult to single out a handful of acts for this list. However, one name that needs to be on this list is Malena Ernman. The blonde bombshell brought popera to life in 2009 and she is the only Swedish artist to sing in a language other than Swedish and English at Eurovision. While there was plenty of buzz around Estonia’s popera effort in 2018, let’s not forget that Sweden can do it just as well.

7. Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley

While the success of ABBA was extraordinary, the group that won Eurovision a decade later also had a catchy tune that most Eurovision fans know well 34 years later. Herreys experienced great international success with the iconic number and delivered Sweden its second victory in 1984. The song was even performed at the Eurovision Song Contest’s Greatest Hits in 2015, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the contest.

8. They can bring a beautiful ballad too

Most of the songs we have talked about on this list are big pop songs and upbeat numbers. However, Sweden are certainly capable of slowing things down when they need to as well. A look through the years will reveal plenty of variety among Swedish entries but we only have to look as far back as 2014 to find a great Swedish power ballad. Sanna Nielsen was among the favourites with the powerful “Undo” and finished third with a vocally flawless performance.

9. They bring us complete “Euphoria”

ABBA may be the most famous Eurovision winners ever but Loreen is undoubtedly the most famous winner of modern times. “Euphoria” experienced huge success around Europe, topping the charts across the continent. Its success was certainly not limited to Sweden, topping the charts as far west as Iceland and Ireland and as far east as Russia and Hungary. “Euphoria” has sealed its place in Eurovision history and will undoubtedly stand the test of time, much like many of Sweden’s other winners.

10. The greatest host in Eurovision history

We’ve spoken a lot about Eurovision singers and songs but there is no question that the greatest thing that Sweden has ever given us is Petra Mede. The talented television presenter hosted the 2013 and 2016 editions of the contest and her efforts were nothing short of iconic. Her sharp wit, her contagious sense of humour and her ability to think quickly on her feet on live television have cemented her status in Eurovision history. Who needs four hosts when you have Petra Mede?

What do you think of Sweden at Eurovision? What are your favourite Swedish entries? Let us know in the comments below.

Read more Sweden Eurovision news here

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Carina
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Carina

Wiwi you seem actually to be biased against Sweden in your reporting.

Zachary
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Zachary

I’m so glad to have been introduced to Eurovision by ABBA’s musical Mamma Mia and my first ever Eurovision entry seeing being Malena Ernman and La Voix, after 7 long years of dreaming I finally got the chance and lived in Sweden for a year, this country is like no other in Eurovision/music and outisde of it. I can’t wait to finally go back permanently and go to Melodifesitvalen every year from then on.

Maya G
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Maya G

One of the best countries in the contest. In recent years it seems to me like their entries are very effective and polished, but also a bit overproduced and soulless. So far it’s working out great for them, but I woud it if once in a while they stepped outside of their comfort zone and bring something more original and daring. I agree with most of the points above, except for the one about Diggi-Loo (I thing they were lucky to be on year as weak as 1984, on any other year they would struggle to make top 3) and… Read more »

pp77
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pp77

I like Sweden in Eurovision, for me one of best countries in Eurovision, but many including me dont like to see from 2009 to 2018 that Sweden was so many times overrated in juries points. Thanks to that thew won in 2012 , especially in 2015. Petra Made try so hard to be funny, both time in 2013,2016 and she was overrated by Wiwibloggs and some Eurovision fans. Lill Linford is funny in natural way (host from 1985). For me best 3 song from Sweden song from 1995 than 1989 , 1996. I like so many song from Sweden. I… Read more »

Regina Phalange
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Regina Phalange

#1 reason for me is getting to know so many amazing artists through Melodifestivalen, especially Dinah Nah and Linus Svenning <333

Porky
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Porky

I will die happily when Sweden sends a swedish song to the contest

Mattias Sollerman
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Mattias Sollerman

It’s nice to see people having such high expectations of Sweden. I can understand why many feel disappointed by the disparity between the richness and talent in our music industry (and often Melfest) and the relative ‘flatness’ and one dimensionality of our efforts in Eurovision. I’d just like to say that to many of us, familiarity is just as much of a asset as originality. Melfest/Eurovision is one of the few traditions we have left which transcends generations. In such a context, being generic becomes a prerequisite. “This song is good, but it’s not for Eurovision” is something you hear… Read more »

Pablonita Bogusevic
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Pablonita Bogusevic

Hell no! We don’t like Sweden in ESC!

Pablonita Bogusevic
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Pablonita Bogusevic

Sweden plz boycott ESC 2019!!!

Fredrik
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Fredrik

Its more fun if your arabic country boycott it.

AngieP
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AngieP

Though I don’t like how Sweden is treated at Eurovision, especially by juries, there are things I like about them.
1. ABBA of course! Number 1!
2. Euphoria!
3. The quality of Melodifestivalen (at least most of the times)
5. The great host Petra Mede is!

MyName
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MyName

I don’t like Petra Mede. Never got the fuss around her. She seems far too high on herself in my view. And her jokes were sometimes annoyingly stereotypical / generalizing – I mean the fan jokes. Having said that, she wasn’t too bad in 2016 🙂 Probably Mans Zemmerlov helped her to be better / less dominant

Jonas
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Jonas

Edward af Sillén wrote the script in both 2013 and 2016 so if you didn’t like the jokes, take it up with him.

Victoria
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Victoria

Hey, you forgot to mention Eric Saade’ s POPULAR.

Roelof Meesters
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Roelof Meesters

Sweden is such a good ESC country. Yes they are not diverse at All but you can’t deny that All of their songs are of high quality. Their 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018 entries are of such high quality and they are All masterpieces in My mind. Too bad that their 2016 entry was so dreadfull and their 2010 and 2013 entries were so dull otherwise they would be the perfect country. Benji still has a special place in My heart, His song was amazing and The staging kicked ass!

Roelof Meesters
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Roelof Meesters

Forgot to mntion, the 2016 Eurovision was also of such a high standard, and Petra and Mans are My favorite hosts in the recent years.

Yvette
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Yvette

Maybe it’s right that Sweden’s entries in ESC are not diverse, but the songs in Melodifestivalen are really diverse. You can find all kinds of songs there. You said their 2016 entry was dreadful, I think Oscar Zia (song : Human) or Robin Bengtsson (song: Constellation Prize) should have won.

Jo.
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Jo.

Melfest 2016 had a very strong lineup. I’d highlight Oscar Zia, Wiktoria, Boris René and Robin Bengtsson. Frans was ok, not so bad as many people say.

MyName
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MyName

2016 dreadful? Actually I think it’s their best one in recent years. And it was a radiohit even in my country (sorry, my mistake – see below)

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

Petra Mede is definitely an icon, but I would also mention Lill Lindfors, who was not only a part of amazing duet in 1966, but hosted Eurovision 1985 with humour, class and charisma.

Ana
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Ana

More than for music, I love Sweden for their attitude to the contest. They are amazing and their shows were simply fantastic. And Petra Mede? (with Måns?) Come on, they gave us Love, love, peace, peace!
When it comes to the songs, I’m not a fan of their unnatural, “supertrendy” performances from last years (Robin, Benjamin). I hope they’ll change their way a bit, they had fantastic performances in the past 🙂

PS Nice that you mentioned Lisa Ajax, I have to admit I like that tune ;P

MyName
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MyName

Few countries take their NF as seriously (even if it’s too glamourous for my taste). I’ll give them that. Seems like they don’t care that much about ESC anymore though, compared to earlier days

Jonas
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Jonas

Lena Philipsson!

Her ’80s Melodifestivalen entries are iconic, and her 2004 microphone dance will be remembered forever.

ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)
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ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)

Petra Mede is simply great! I love irony in general and her humour is so amazing! 😀 😀

Joe
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Joe

Y’all haven’t even gotten to Albania yet and you’ve reached the Big Kahuna, Sweden. At this point, a Swedish act could probably sneeze and get 12 points, but for most of their history, they’ve brought solid jams and great staging. There are plenty that have never quite clicked for me (95, 03, 11, 13, 18) the way they have for others, but they clearly love the contest and I admire their dedication. Their self-deprecation when they host is also always fun, and Måns and Petra are the best hosts the contest has ever seen. Lots to choose from of course,… Read more »

JEFFERSON
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JEFFERSON

I do not care about the results, just for my opinion. Sweden has just been sending Justin Timberlake music over the last couple of years. may have been fine, but for me, it’s in the semifinal. I miss 2014,2010,2009,2008,2006,2001 and 2000, which are my favorite Swedish entries from 2000-2018. And 1995, my favorite Swedish entry ever!

MyName
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MyName

I miss more songs / singers like The Ark. Probably the most credible band / most popular band / singer to represent Sweden for ages. maybe not in ESC fan circles, but among general people. They REALLY rocked. And lyrically “The Worrying Kind” is almost what I would call a masterpiece. So all respect for The Ark – but it’s still 11 long years ago

Idan Cohen
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Idan Cohen

Sweden magic is fading away, and we saw that in the last ESC edition.
Sending the same shtick over and over again just tires everyone.
If they don’t find a way to reinvent themselves they will get the same results like this year.

olion
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olion

Sweden is definitely in a league on its own. They have mastered the art of being always amazing without trying too hard (…Russia..Azerbaijan.I’m look in your direction)

Viktor
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Viktor

Russia is still trying to win and I think they’ll do it in a few years. But I think that Azerbaijan has given up on Eurovision. I mean compare their old entries to the recent ones. I don’t think they put as much effort as they used to do before. I loved their 2008-2013 entries, and then they went downhill, it keeps getting worse.

Kaan
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Kaan

Since 2016 Azerbaijan participates in ESC just for the sake of participation IMHO. Look at their 2018 entry. They used to send competitive entries every year. From “Always”, “Drip Drop”, “When the Music Dies” to songs like “Miracle” or “X my heart”. I hope that they’ll bring something powerful after their first non-qualification this year.

Chen
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Chen

For so many years Sweden hasn’t chosen a Swedish song for ESC. Long for Swedish singers singing in Swedish can win Melodifestivalen.

Viktor
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Viktor

I really hate this thing about Eurovision fans that they detest all the countries which do well in the contest. Now they have sympathy for countries like Montenegro, Czech Republic, Slovenia etc. But I assure you that the above mentioned will get the same hate in case they win the contest one day. The same happened with Portugal, too. It was one of the most loved countries among Eurofans and once they won, people started critizing how bad of a host they are and how boring their songs are. The same happens with other countries like Sweden, Russia, Israel, Azerbaijan,… Read more »

MyName
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MyName

Two reasons why I DON’T like Sweden: The schlagers. And how Swedish songwriters dominates other NFs / ESC.

Veronica
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Veronica

OMG schlager is my favourite. You know nowadays trap music dominates the German music chart but I don’t like it. I hope some schlager music can be more listened to and schlager singers such as Helene Fischer should be more welcomed.

MyName
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MyName

OK – you like schlager, fine by me of course. I know many people share my views though. Perhaps not in this “praise Sweden” article though. Thankfully ESC has more on offer (*turns on AWS*)

Denis
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Denis

I agree with you! Schlagers is thankfully on its way out! It is now only for a limited crowd! Though we haven¨t send a proper schlager song since 2009

Fredrik
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Fredrik

i like Schlager. Schlager in a modern form can come far these days. Actually Russia 2016 is a modern form of schlager. Super catchy refrain with a nice beat. Greece 2017 i would say to, Azerbaijan 2016. Just to name 3.

I love you Sweden but not all the time you deserve
Guest
I love you Sweden but not all the time you deserve

I will never understand why the jury like so much Sweden 2013 2016 2017 2018 realy avrage songs if they were coming from another country they will never quilfed! Eurovision not fair for some country like Slovakia San marino Ctech Republic and more! Plz change!

Cesar's salad
Guest
Cesar's salad

Maybe the production value is higher and jury wants to push Eurovision to a higher standards. However all these songs including 2015 are generic and ripped off the charts. Originality, Swedes don’t have it. Perfection skills, they do. Fans love originality more than perfection and that is why Sweden is not very loved. Unlike Finland and Estonia and others which take a risk every other year.

Denis
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Denis

In 2016 the audience loved Sweden more than the jury. He got more support there than from juries

Marc
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Marc

If you talk about Juries and Sweden you should mention 2015 as well lol. That was the peak.
But yes juries love Sweden too much xd
2016 did equal better with televote and juries.
Saying these entries wouldn’t have qualified might be too much. Probably 2013 is the only one unless juries you knowm

Fredrik
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Fredrik

My country Sweden: It always get the hardcore ESC fans started on that we bought Eurovision and only send male pop acts. I never listen to that anymore because its not true:). The only reason Benjamin got a low televoting score is that people liked other songs more. We are not a superior force. 2019 i hope for a woman, a swedish song or a group :). A country that loves Melodifestivalen and Eurovision should not get bashed by fans.

Cesar's salad
Guest
Cesar's salad

Should not have won in 1984, 1991, 1999, 2015

If Petra is the greatest host ever, why was her script so awkward and her performance so wooden? Jury voting 2016 is pure cringe. The interval acts were great but not her. Mans had more charm.

Fredrik
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Fredrik

We should not have won in 1984, I wanted France then and in 2015 Italy. The rest i dont agree with 🙂

Cesar's salad
Guest
Cesar's salad

1984 is awful, 1999 winner underwhelming compared to many other songs that year. 1991 was catchy but France would be the winner with current tie break rules applied.

MyName
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MyName

Petra is NOT the greatest host ever. In 2013 I found her arrogant, and some of her jokes far too stereotypical

Jo.
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Jo.

I just want Sweden to do something different and take more risks. But it’s been working for them this way, so why change it?
It won’t work forever tho.

Denis
Guest
Denis

If it ain´t broke, make it even better!

Eastman
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Eastman

They need to fix the way app voting works. That’s been messing with the results and it favours “safe” acts over ones that might do better at Eurovision. The app is why a female artist hasn’t won since 2014 and why the jury had the deciding vote in 2017. Sweden aren’t going to win again as long as the current app system is in play.

Denis
Guest
Denis

As for female artists, I think the trend is with solo guys. They had the edge. Of the women only Mariette and Ace had something, the rest weren’t that exciting. The guys had better songs, that¨s why they won. They had more personality if you will. While the women didn¨t make anything out of the songs they had!

Marc
Guest
Marc

Mariette has never appeal to Swedes at all. When it come to Melfest finale she just flops. Like in the charts.
Wiktoria is the one who has been beloved and coming 2nd twice with the Swedish vote.
Ace opportunity was in 2014 with her amazing hit.

Regina Phalange
Guest
Regina Phalange

Don’t wanna work work work

pp77
Guest
pp77

Ace lost in 2014, because after interantional voting , we had another roud of televoting. When tv viewers saw that she won interantiona juries, they thought that she would won televote and many maybe don t vote for her in second roudn in televote after interanotiona juries voting. We had in 213 when fan favorite Yohio was in bottom 2 with interantiona voting, and many vote so hard for him in second round of televoting, but he didin t won, he was first with televote but points from telovte was not enougt to won MF .