While Benjamin Ingrosso’s “Dance You Off” ensured Sweden kept their top 10 streak in Eurovision alive, the result could not have been more polarized. It scored an incredible second place with the juries, but could only muster 23rd place and 21 points with the public. That disastrous televote left a lot to be discussed and analyzed. So I’m the week’s after the contest in Lisbon, Melfest Maestro Christer Bjorkman dwelled on the nuances of Sweden’s final result.

Bjorkman, who only has two more years as head of Melodifestivalen before he steps down, claims that although he is happy about the result, the split between the jury and televote did not surprise him.

“It’s such a smooth song, it’s very slick and it doesn’t have a built up dynamic, ” Christer told wiwiblogger Kevin at the Melfest artists reveal on Tuesday. It didn’t follow Eurovision parameters. “It’s not screaming for attention, and everything in Eurovision is screaming for attention. This was laid back and cool.”

The Melfest producer argues that the qualities in “Dance You Off” were more geared to impress juries, who have more time to analyze the song’s appeal. “The musicality, professionalism and the whole act is detected by the juries. I have a feeling everybody liked the song, but would have been more inclined to vote for another act that pops out more. That’s why we have juries, and overall, a seventh place is just fine.”

As the visionary he is, Christer keeps marching on with the new edition of Melfest already in the works. “This edition is great, for someone who loves contests, you have it all in there, all fabulous artists. We know for sure it’s going to be really competitive, we got a lot of people who really want to win.”

Will Sweden manage to maintain its stellar Eurovision results once he steps down as the Melodifestivalen head honcho? Christer is confident in the woman he appointed to take over — Karin Gunnarsson. “She’s going to be fantastic, we had very fruitful discussions about everything and it’s invigorating.” And, if he is needed to help with Eurovision, they can call him anytime. Speed dial at the ready!

What do you think? Do you agree with Christer’s theory about “Dance You Off”? Or was it indeed screaming for attention? Let us know in the comments below!

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Elin
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Elin

Suck, alla gnällspikar hur orkar de fastna i ord. CB pratar ju om att själva låten ”Dance you off” inte är dynamisk rent musiksliskt och därav inte skriker på uppmärksamhet …. även om själva framförandet med ledskärm osv gjorde det. Jag tror CB har rätt, sedan tror jag själva musikstilen är för smal även om den är av hög kvalite. Jag hade låten som favorit, men bland mina bekanta så var jag ganska ensam. Sedan tror jag faktiskt det generella Sverige hatet och det drew bla Wiwi bidrog till mot Benjsmin kan nått fram till de som kommenterar showen i… Read more »

Arizona
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Arizona

I think there were two major problems: firs of them is people have started of getting tired of Sweden for its quality. Not in a bad way, but it’s like ‘òh hey, that’s Sweden making it great. Well, they always do…let’s vote for another country’ (2 victories in 4 years help to that). And the most important reason is Benjamin is a cool guy but this was not a song and act for him. He can be that sweet guy you wanna hug but this song was screaming for an impressive hot man with sexy moves. Benjamin’s body and moves… Read more »

Héctor
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Héctor

He is very arrogant. So the LED structure and dance moves weren’t screaming attention. Oh, please…

Maya G
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Maya G

He really doesn’t get it. It was just that the entry had nothing except for the slick staging. The song itself while not bad at all, was unremarkable, and Benjamin was just an OK performer. The staging in this case was nothing more than a smoke screen, meant to stir excitement over a so-so song. Well, the people aren’t as dumb as Bjorkman thinks they are. When a song has no merit they don’t bother to vote for it and when it does, it doesn’t have to cry for attention to get public support (e.g. Portugal 2017, Belgium 2017, Poland… Read more »

Joseph
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Joseph

Excuse me, but Sweden is constantly crying for attention. How else can you explain a projection wall with animations interacting with the singer, singer in a treadmeal, wall of flash lights, and these examples are only from this decade… Not to speak of their show presenters and all the media circus around Melfest. The worst part is that they are getting it, in massive doses… Money talks…

Lianne
Guest
Lianne

Say what you want guys, but his new album Identification is AMAZING.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Whew, the homophobe jumped out of his cave!

Riana
Guest
Riana

Why all the hate towards DANCE YOU OFF?
It was on time, it could be played on radio, parties etc.
The staging was great, Michael Jackson:ish.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Michael Jackson, sweetie, I’m so sorry…

voix
Guest
voix

The thing is that Bjorkman -who i fear he would take the place of Jon Ola- wants eurovision to be full of american generic pop songs while eurovision is what it is because of the D I V E R S I T Y. He has created a voting system where in mello there is no chance that something traditionall swedish or original would win (Hasse Andersons song was so loved by sweden but again, international juries had a different opinion). So every year they send slick cold radio songs which was tottaly fine until a point of time. Every… Read more »

Denis
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Denis

Swedes don’t like traditional songs with ethno-vibes, we laugh at those kind of songs. We certainly wo¨t let that represent us. And what’s so wrong with constantly aiming to be in top 10? Is it not a contest? I rather want every country to send something that has a chance e to do well than send something “fun” that ends up 25th, what’s the purpose of sending something like that to a contest? Plus constantly sending songs that do bad leads to lesser interest in ESC. That happened 2005-2010 when Sweden had nothing but crap to offer and people stopped… Read more »

Loin dici
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Loin dici

To an extent, people would stop caring for your country if your representation becomes predictable and stale. That’s why we need a shake-up.

Henrikh Mugosa
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Henrikh Mugosa

“what’s so wrong with constantly aiming to be in top 10? ”

The problem is that the game is CORRUPTED & Sweden (+ some other countries) is always more likely to end up in the TOP10 than literally dozens of other countries. And this has gotten worse lately when only songs that Swedes like are acceptable.

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

And I wouldn’t call ‘The Worrying Kind’ or ‘La Voix’ crap.

Denis
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Denis

Yeah, so.? If every country made as big as effort as Sweden and other countries and actually aims for win as opposed to anything goes mentality you would be in top 10 too. Don’t hate on countries for being ahead of the game

Trh
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Trh

More like behind the game, trying to maniuplate it in their favour

Esc1234
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Esc1234

This isnt country idol. Eurovision, is a chance for every country to showcase its music. Not trying to win as if we are in a school classroom.

Trh
Guest
Trh

Interesting… Your true colours shining through… And they are not beautiful, like Cindy Lauper’s song…

Gin
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Gin

As a Finn, I have no idea what success in Eurovision feels like, but I can tell you that sucking at it hasn’t made us any less interested in it.

Adversity makes success sweeter, doesn’t it?

Jo.
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Jo.

The contest will die if the takes Jon Ola’s place. It will become something totally meaningless.

T.J.
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T.J.

Really? That didn’t scream for attention? He can’t be serious. EVERYTHING in this song was designed to catch attention. The light show, the choreography, the singer. Saying now the opposite is just a lame excuse.

Fredrik
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Fredrik

We were 7th. We were happy and we never thought we would win 🙂

NickC
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NickC

I think it was too much screaming for attention, and that was the problem…

Lloyd
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Lloyd

My biggest fear is that Bjorkman will replace Jon Ola Sand. If that happens then there will be a major focus on Sweden (as if there isn’t already). You just need to look at the Eurovision Facebook page for that. Always focus on melodifestivalen, hardly ever on other national finals.

Fredrik
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Fredrik

how can that be a bad thing? Someonoe who likes fair play 🙂

Lloyd
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Lloyd

Fair play? When there is extreme bias towards Sweden? If this was Austria that scored as low, would he have talked about it then? Also “it was screaming for attention”? was Salvador Sobral screaming for attention? He’s just throwing his toys out of the pram because he expects Sweden to be a juggernaut with the public as well as the juries.

Christian
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Christian

If Björkman will replace Jon Ola, this might lead to a rule that allows pre-recorded vocals. I’m urgently against a rule like that!

Lloyd
Guest
Lloyd

Does that happen in melodifestivalen? I hope it doesn’t happen in Eurovision. I felt it was bad enough with Netta and her vocoder (at least I think that’s what it is called) this year

Christian
Guest
Christian

Yes I think it’s pretty common there. Also they’re allowed to have up to eight persons on stage. I think that wouldn’t be bad for Eurovision too because six persons is an old rule already, but as I said, please no pre-recorded vocals!

Lloyd
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Lloyd

I agree with both points. Look at Georgia this year. They had to leave a member behind because there were 7. 8 people on stage can allow more performance factor

Iveta Mukuchyan
Guest
Iveta Mukuchyan

The song was bad. And his flamboyant pseudo-sexy dancing made it super awkward. That look at the camera with the nod was pure cringe.

Jake
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Jake

Listen, this guy is just being diplomatic. He knows if Sweden just play it safe with a radio-friendly pop song he gets himself into the top 10 irregardless of what the public thinks. He knew that even in the run-up to the show Dance You Off had zero heat…everyone just assumed the song would qualify because its Sweden and its professional, but no one LOVED it. But juries seem to fall all over themselves for this Americanized sound which is why Sweden and Australia seem to score well every year, because it sounds like every other song on the radio… Read more »

JJ Alvarado
Guest
JJ Alvarado

I couldn’t read after “irregardless”. That word makes you lose credibility.

Jake
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Jake

You are a troll who is finding ways to knock someone down for petty reasons…if you are looking to find fault in someone’s grammar/spelling whose first language is not English then you would spend your entire day on this blog tearing down good people who want nothing more than to have a positive shared experience to read and discuss a common interest and use their best-English as a way to communicate…thank you for posting your photo and exposing yourself for who you truly are

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

Can I ask why my comment was blocked?

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

He was sandwiched between two strong performances, and it totally looked like he was lip-synching through the chorus. It was too camp for the girls, but unappealing to the gays as well. The song wasn’t bad but it was too bland to make an impression. That’s why it flopped. And not him trying to justify the juries when they’re known for voting for the most bland acts! There was no quality in there.

Meliris
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Meliris

Soulless, cold, too slick, boring, generic, meaningless lyrics, staging failed to connect with people, my least favorite song from the final.(even worse than Australia)

Dalth
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Dalth

Oh dear he doesn’t seem to get it, personally didn’t mind the song but it was radio fodder not really for the eurovision stage and he has to recognise that. I get why the jurys love Swedens songs but the average person at home doesn’t really care if a song is credible or well produced. Personally in the last few years I have found Swedens songs although decent devoid of any real emotion or personality

Jo.
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Jo.

Kinda cool, but forgettable.

SpirK
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SpirK

Last year I saw eurovision with 6-7 friends who heard everything for the first time. I was expecting to at least have a comment on Sweden’s staging. No one really cared. They talked through the performance and were even annoyed by the song playing. Everyone wrote it off as just boring and nothing to care about. They were all shocked when it almost topped the jury vote. So yeah, people generally did not really enjoy the song. At least that’s the feedback I got.

Trh
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Trh

What a lame excuse. The song was plain bad!

Sabrina
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Sabrina

I think NoGeoblocks said it right: “Dance You Off” wasn’t just smooth and slick, it was also very cold. The staging was great, but it felt like he was performing on a studio. The song itself is very well crafted and it gets better if you listen to it without the vocals (I’m not throwing shade at Benjamin, it’s just that the instrumental is quite enjoyable). But everything was so extra calculated, that it’s very normal that the “pop lovers’ televoting” went to things that were riskier (“Toy”) or much more engaging (“Fuego”).

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Sexuality has nothing to do with it. Hetero men and women are a huge, huge part of the show already – who do you think produces, direct, performs, composes, rigs etc. The small core audience of diehards are not representative of the broader audience at home either. I agree that the fans in the arena can be spoiled and obnoxious, but that is not exclusive to gay men.

It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's
Guest
It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's

I still don’t understand how Sweden came 2nd with the juries? The televoters put it where it belonged!

It’s time for Sweden to be A LOT MORE original next year, I’d send Jon Henrik Fjällgren with a Sami/Swedish song. The Nordic countries should send more songs in their mothertounges!

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

“The Nordic countries should send more songs in their mothertounges!”

Of all the countries, the Nordics singing in their own languages!!! Now this is SOME idea!!!! Especially when all countries are being pushed into singing in English. Especially when a song in a language other than English is very rarely successful these days.

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

Especially when EVEN France, who historically is England’s n° 1 enemy, is now feeling forced to include English lyrics in their songs. Especially when a country like Spain has absolutely no place in this contest. Especially when the Scandinavian/Anglo-Saxon way is being pushed through our throats as the only way of being successful @ Eurovision.

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

Someone from the EBU should explain why this is happening.

So, the Nordics singing in their own languages? That won’t happen.

Gin
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Gin

I would love it if we sent something in Finnish, but I know we won’t, because the general consensus is that “we’re not [insert country] and we can’t succeed using our own language”.

Yes, this worry is relevant, because we’ve done so well with our English language entries…*eye-roll*

PP77
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PP77

Poor result for Sweden in televote had 2 reasson. First reason because him ( in past few years He decide order of pefromance and every year some countries get good draw in semi and final, and many see many nordic people in EBU reference group for Eurovision )and because Sweden is so overrated from 2012 in points by juries in semi an dfinal. Same problem because overrated points from juries have Australia in last 2 year in televote, 26 last place in 2017 and 25 th place in 2018 .

angelika
Guest
angelika

Good staging, bad song, AWFUL singer. The juries must be completely crazy to put this so high.

Paul
Guest
Paul

I feel like Christer Bjorkman gets a lot of hate – and I never really understood why, but this article kind of explains it a bit. He just comes across as really arrogant.

I absolutely hated Dance you off, because it was too safe and beige. Plus Benjamin Ingrosso’s voice is like nails on a chalk board for me. I know I’m not a jury member, but I listen to all the entries a lot in the lead up (and after!), as do the hard core fans, and loads of people hated it….

Wind your neck in Christer!

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

It’s not just Christer. It’s SVT’s whole attitude as well, especially when they host. (Re-watch the 2016 Swedish jury vote announcement, for example.) + some Melfest participants who delude themselves by thinking they’ll have an Abba-like career. (There are many great Swedish artists, but those didn’t necessarily do Eurovision!)

Yssy
Guest
Yssy

So like always Sweden and Australia just play to win with the juries rather than televote.

Qw34ty
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Qw34ty

Australia wouldn’t be having a national final and Melfest would’ve removed the televote if the two broadcasters didn’t care about public opinion.

eurovision6
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eurovision6

Will continue to be that way as long as the international jury groups stay unfortunately..

Gin
Guest
Gin

Too bad this strategy doesn’t work for the rest of us. Go figure.

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

Not getting into Bjorkman himself (I have a lot of thoughts there – check comments below), but rather simply, Sweden have got themselves into a rut with regards the type of song that they send. Their Melfest voting system does not allow for a truly original and winning song to get through to the public due to the dilution of the public voting compared to the importance of the jury vote. They had a similar problem in the early 2000s and it might take a shift of focus for them to arrive at entries that really work at ESC. Of… Read more »

NoGeoblocks
Guest
NoGeoblocks

Actually for the 2nd year in a row, Sweden sent a song that was just too slick. It was very professional, extremely well done, very calculated and very very cold. Eurovision audience votes from the heart, for songs and performances that touch our souls. ‘Dance you off’ and ‘i can’t go on’ were both just too cold…

Sandra
Guest
Sandra

Well…. to be honest… Robin Bengtsson was only the swedish voter’s third favorite to win. It was the international jury that had him at number 1. Sweden wanted to send Nano, who had a much warmer song and much less slick. I, as a swede, wish we didn’t have the IJ anymore. The only thing it does is assure that we got in top 10. For me it’s top 3 or we might as well send a fun song that doesn’t stand a chance of winning.

Denis
Guest
Denis

The thing is we tried fun songs with both the Ark and Malena Ernman which gave us our worst results in a final. Which is why juries were brought in . As it is a competition I would rather go with a song that stands a chance than sending a fun song that wont work. Whats the point in competing if youre only sending fun songs?

Mimis
Guest
Mimis

I think that the international jury shouldn’t have that big of an impact, but the last time we didn’t have ave the the IJ we didn’t even qualify for the finals…

Its me
Guest
Its me

I understand Sweden tactic they know jury OVERRATED them then they SCREAM WITH INSANE STAGE

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

It’s not like the song is bad, it’s just that we’ve seen this before.

In a nutshell, “Heroes”, “I can’t go on” and “Dance you off” work on the same shtick – American Pop-like song, with a handsome singer and a strong visual aspect that makes your eyes stick to the screen.

It obviously worked in 2015 and brought them the victory. it somewhat worked in 2017 and made Sweden the top 10. this year it felt recycled and un-inovative. in the end of the day, it felt too safe and undaring.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Aye. Well said! That shtick is wearing off fast. It looked like a Justin Timberlake performance from 2003.

If they send another act like those 3, they could very well lose ALL of the televoters and lose a big chunk of the jury. I ranked Ingrosso 11th on my scorecard.

Annomy
Guest
Annomy

Sorry i am dont agree Sweden was overrated by the jury televote show Sweden in the face! I HATE Dance You Off and i was so happy when that happen… Sweden get realy bad after Mans won and 2013 entry You realy bad as well.
We so this year that power house like Russia Azerbajan Romania Greece Armenia can get bad result eurovision changing in 2000-2005 Latvia Estonia and Dennmark was power house but they get down that will happen to Sweden as well

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

Of course he would support the juries, sweden and australia are the juries babies, how can he say anything else?…

Its me
Guest
Its me

U are sooooo right!

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

i know my friend, just ignore the downvotes, truth hurts

Qw34ty
Guest
Qw34ty

The truth is that this year Australia only came 11th with the juries and in 2016 Sweden did better in the televote! Both countries do well more than often in the jury vote but to claim that we are “the juries babies” is false, or else things like that wouldn’t happen.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

To be fair, considering this year’s Australian entry, 11th is an amazingly kind jury vote.

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

11th in the juries-26th in televote.

Thats all i have to say. Facts are facts.

Qw34ty
Guest
Qw34ty

If Australia was the apple of the juries eye (which you insinuated) they wouldn’t place them anywhere outside the top 5.

Meckie
Guest
Meckie

Australian singer was singing really bad live, however still 11th… that’s what only a juries eye can do!

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

100% on the money but it might be even more cynical than that when you really think about it.

Dame Tu Conchita
Guest
Dame Tu Conchita

Idk if he is being a diva here or that his statements scream male menopause.

voix
Guest
voix

They built a small stage with neon lights and he claims that it wasnt screaming for attention? ohh thats sooo soo funny

Its me
Guest
Its me

Yes tha staging scream VOTE ME I AM KNOW HOW DO DANCE AND I HAVE MONEY

Milla
Guest
Milla

Björkman meant that the SONG was not screaming for attention.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Well we knew it would polarise. It doesn’t really have that European sound, does it? It was a slick American sound being written there and all. People want that undescribed European sound over entries, even if they are modern . And it didn’t scream for attention like most who are there. I think people thought it is a nice sound but it’s not immediate.
I still don’t Think it was that bad to reach third last but nor was it that good to be second either. I dont agree with either groups.

srulik
Guest
srulik

Bjorkman has a felling everyone liked the song…well i didn’t and a lot of my friends didn’t either. It was a weak song with abd awful performance that seemed like it was shot elsewhere. He also hints that the televoter is not as wise as the juries and can’t recognize professional quality. It is a TV show, you have to impress the televoter! I get him defending the song as the winner of melfest 2018, but why disrespect the fans, viewers and audience?

Its me
Guest
Its me

What u talking no sense is was not a good song i dont like it to it was boring and cheap

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

Quote: “To impress juries, who have more time to analyze the song’s appeal”. Did Christer Björkmann really imply with his statement that the “normal televoters” cannot detect a good song? It was generic and there is a difference between “crying for attention” and “being non-generic”. Most fans don’t want number one here, but they want number two! Not generic! Please, don’t make the same mistake again…

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Please remember that Bjorkman is behind the televoting at Melfest that allows for the viewer to vote for multiple songs (also used at JESC). The end result, of course, if that nobody scores lowly in the televote but also, nobody scores particularly highly. This allows for the winner to be selected almost exclusively by the jury. Bjorkman’s dream is for the winners of these contests to have nothing to do with appealing to the unwashed masses and to be generic, soulless Swedish/Australian tick-the-boxes songs that experts are to embarrassed to put low in their rankings. Of course, I have no… Read more »

Qw34ty
Guest
Qw34ty

Christer may be implying that televoters are simply subjective and vote based on what they like rather than breakdown and analyse the song (rightfully so). If he is insinuating casual viewers don’t know better well he is probably right – though this doesn’t apply to everyone. At the end of the day music is an art and just like any artform you need years of studying and practice in order to knowledgeably critique it. Don’t get me wrong though, “Dance You Off” was still overrated with juries!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Actually what are juries impressed by? Because they all seem to vote very differently. Many gave Sweden and Austria 12 points, many gave them 0. Should they be given parameters to vote on from 0 to 10, and should their detailed votes on each parameter be released?

Onetimeuser
Guest
Onetimeuser

I actually believe that is a wonderful idea and after 2016 contest had actually mailed the EBU to introduce such a change! They didn’t respond though I had suggested the criteria be 1)Vocals(range, techniques, delivery) 2)Suitability of the stage show to the songs atmosphere and mood 3)Song production , arrangement 4) Suitability of the song to the current music tastes of the audience and it’s impact on the longevity of the contest Also I had suggested a mathematical formula to discard tainted jury votes 1)The mean and standard deviation of all 40*5 jury members scores should be calculated for each… Read more »