The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — are re-watching all of the top three entries at the Eurovision Song Contest between 2010 and 2019. We’re rating the performances to see who stands the test of time, and who is lost and forgotten. Today we go to one of many the Swedish tracks on the leaderboard, “Undo” by Sweden‘s Sanna Nielsen.

It was seven times lucky in Melodifestivalen for Sanna Nielsen, who fought her way to the top of the Melfest scoreboard after many times of trying. She beat a fellow fan favourite Ace Wilder by just two points and finally got that golden ticket to Eurovision with her power ballad “Undo”.

Once Sanna made it to pre-season, she became favourable with the bookies, eventually making it to number one with them on the night of the grand final. Alas, it was not meant to be for Sanna. Tough competition meant that despite giving a stellar performance, she walked away with third place. In the five years since, the staging remains iconic to many, with a circle of light beaming all around her. Are the Wiwi Jury crying at Sanna’s sad, or did we switch over to 2015 already?

Sanna Nielsen – “Undo”

“Undo” reviews

Antranig: Allow me to be really controversial and say that this is Sweden’s best entry of the decade by far. Ace Wilder was robbed and “Busy Doin’ Nothin'” should’ve won Eurovision 2014 but when “Undo” is your backup plan, you’re doing something right. If the legendary Conchita wasn’t competing, I believe Sanna would have shored up enough of the ballad vote to squeak past The Common Linnets and win. But focusing on this song, it’s a quality entry in its own right and completely deserving of its result. Oh, and the plentiful dance remixes make “Undo” even better!

Score: 10/10

Calvin: I’m not the most emotional person, so it’s no surprise that “Undo” leaves me quite untouched. Yes, Sanna Nielsen has a fantastic voice and the performance fits perfectly to the song. However, it’s simply trying too hard. Starting with the puppy eyes into the camera and ending with the enormous mirror ball. I’m a huge fan of key changes, but here it just seems gimmicky and almost aggressively sad. Also, sack the stylist.

Score: 5/10

Edd: “Undo” really is the perfect Eurovision power ballad. Sanna has the voice of an angel, and belts out the (very vocally challenging) melody, but without sounding shouty, as many other Eurovision divas fail to achieve. The stage was stunning simplicity, and the song builds and builds and builds, climaxing at one of the most dramatic key changes that Eurovision will ever see. This is exactly the kind of schlager-meets-contemporary that is in good need of a comeback in Melodifestivalen.

Score: 9.5/10

Steinunn: “Undo” is just one of those typical Swedish Eurovision songs that I like to compare to IKEA. It possesses quality at the same time being affordable and you know what you are getting by buying it. Sanna is a great singer and the song is fairly well written. The lyrics might be a bit questionable, it had a good staging and was an overall good performance. I can’t say that I listen to it regularly but when I do, I always hum along and sometimes even move my arms in an elaborate interpretive-dance way.

Score: 7.5/10

Katie: Watching Sanna perform back in 2014, I never would have predicted that she’d still be the most recent female Swedish entrant. As much as the charming male artists from more recent years have been brilliant, Sweden is home to a powerhouse of female voices that the Swedes should cash in on more often at Eurovision. In terms of Undo, the lyric “undo my sad” still irritates me slightly. I’d suggest sticking to your native language if English grammar is going to present a problem (I’m a languages student — I’m allowed to say that). Nevertheless Sanna knew how to sell every word of that ballad, whether it made sense or not.

Score: 7.5/10

Charlotte: Sanna Nielsen has an amazing voice and just like that, she doesn’t need much to wow me. Sometimes, simple and beautiful is all that’s needed to stand out. No big fireworks, only Sanna’s pain portrayed in a song, combined with a circle of light beams shaped like an hourglass, opening up at the end of the song as it reached its climax.

Score: 8/10

In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:

William: 8/10

Pablo: 8/10

Robyn: 7.5/10

Angus: 8/10

Lucy: 5/10

Sebastian: 8.5/10

Jonathan: 9/10

Bernardo: 8/10

Deban: 6/10

Luis: 7.5/10

Oliver: 6.5/10

Kristin: 8/10

Lukas: 8.5/10

Barnabas: 9/10

Florian: 8/10

Natalie: 8.5/10

Julian: 8/10

Tom: 10/10

We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 5 and a high of 10.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.93/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See all of our Wiwi Jury of the 2010s rankings here

43 Comments
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Yohio
Yohio
1 year ago

However cheesy the lyrics are, this should’ve won in 2014.
Oh, the incredibly low margin by which she won Mello in 2014 is completely understandable – Busy Doing Nothin’ is (still) a bop and actually could’ve possibly outvote Sanna at the ESC that year…

Saney
Saney
2 years ago

overrated… I’m with Calvin on this one. Still better than “Rise like a phoenix” tho

Jo.
Jo.
2 years ago

LMAO you’re so funny 😀

Jack Pricefield
Jack Pricefield
2 years ago

Loved “Undo” from the first listen and I was so happy Sanna Nielsen finally won Melodifestivalen after 7 attempts in 14 years, she truly deserved it and that spectacular gorgeous staging in Copenhagen proved so and how freaking cool was it hearing the audience sing along? I’m a total sucker for power ballads and key changes but anyway the song clearly deserved it’s Top 3 placing, interesting to note Mans & Sanna are still the last 2 Swedish entrants to finish Top 5 on both jury and televoting!

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Mr. Vanilla Bean
2 years ago

Yes, I’m so jealous that I am unable to write such mind-numbingly stupid lyrics. My brain just won’t allow it.

Magpie
Magpie
2 years ago

Call it controversial but I really hate this song, so much it was in my last place that year. I don’t know if it is the trite lyrics, the Farid Mammadov-esque tune or the fact that Iceland 2009 was simply far superior, either way I felt that the 3rd placing overall was an insult to the other countries that tried to send their best that year.

Rasmus
Rasmus
2 years ago
Reply to  Magpie

haha your opniion is really weird

SpirK
SpirK
2 years ago

It was my #2 in Melodifestivalen thag year, which was the first year I watched, due to Helena Paparizou competing. As a Greek, I wanted to support her. I believe Helena, Sanna and Linus Svenning were the best ones that year and all would have mad great entries, as well as Ace. Anyway, in Eurovision 2014 Sweden was in my top 3 then alongside San Marino and UK. Nowadays its San Marino- Austria- Sweden. But “Undo” stands well against time. Really like the dramatic melody, don’t mind the undoing of the sad, great voice and a beat that hits you… Read more »

Sam
Sam
2 years ago

She deserved to win Melfest after all her attempts (btw I don’t think Ace Wilder would have got a better result in the esc…) with an apparently simple and yet stunning song enhanced by powerful vocals, impressive staging and an outstanding performance.

Alex
Alex
2 years ago
Reply to  Sam

Ace would have match Sanna’s result for sure if not better.
We had RLAP, CATS and NA that year so Busy doin nothing was the better choice to stand out compared to Undo. We didn’t have any real Bop.
Conchita was unbeatible anyway that year..

Jonas
Jonas
2 years ago

Sanna is better than the song. It’s her that makes it excellent. She is a star!

Cesar's salad
Cesar's salad
2 years ago

I love emotional songs. I hate Undo.

Not as much as “Where I am”, but it is insincere and plastic, designed to show off vocal abilities rather than delicate emotions. A song like pain inside the ears instead of the heart.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Mr. Vanilla Bean
2 years ago
Reply to  Cesar's salad

Careful now. Certain unstable Eurovision fans think one is a hater when one points out the obvious. Don’t burst that delicate bubble of insincerity and non-existent emotions. You just don’t understand the greatness of soulless, formulaic, nonsensical and unbearably unimaginative Melodifestivalen songs.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
2 years ago

But is it too late for love… for Melodifestivalen?

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Mr. Vanilla Bean
2 years ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Hope never dies.

Cesar's salad
Cesar's salad
2 years ago

0/20

Sabrina
Sabrina
2 years ago

Well, the staging was beautifully done. About the song, Skiwalko described it better than I could. I’m not a big fan of the key change/long note combo that most power ballads use and I guess Sanna hadn’t done enough for me to forget about how it follows a formula. I avoid “grammar policing” lyrics (arts demand freedom), but the “undo my sad” sounds more like lazy songwriting than artistic license to me. Not a bad entry, but one that makes my rational side shut down the emotional one.

KESC
KESC
2 years ago

For me “Undo” is the second best Swedish entry in the recent years. I like it much more than Heroes.
Great song, great singer, great live performance, great staging.

Milan
Milan
2 years ago
Reply to  KESC

Just shows how tastes differ. I (as a big ESC fan) cannot remember the song.

KESC
KESC
2 years ago
Reply to  Milan

Exactly! 🙂

ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
2 years ago

A “classic” ballad, but performed extremly well. And the stage not only with the “circle of light” (xD Eurovision-Insider) but also with that gorgeous glitter backdrop. Beautiful! 7.5/10

Skiwalko
2 years ago

If you asked people outside of the ESC bubble, what a Eurovision-winning ballad sounds like, most people would probably have something like that in their minds. It’s a rather safe, generic entry with some sort of grand feel to it, acceptable, yet forgettable lyrics, talented vocalist and powerful staging that ties everything up. Emotional, but cold, using the typical structure, but not adding anything to it, monumental, but empty. What you see is what you get, and Sweden gets 7/10 (#19 in 2014)

Héctor
Héctor
2 years ago

Good song, but very artificial. Why are you overrating those tyope of songs? Denmark 2013 and this…

Idan Cohen
Idan Cohen
2 years ago

I’m surprised most people don’t see that this song is heavily inspired from “unbreak my heart” by Tony Braxton.
It’s not a bad thing, but “unbreak my heart” is a legend. this one is nice, but the original is epic.

Joe
Joe
2 years ago

It is neither my favorite song nor my least favorite. It and Armenia are the two songs from 2014 where I totally understand the appeal but don’t think they hold a candle to the top two (or Hungary). She’s still a great singer. Solid 7.5/10.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
2 years ago

I first heard this song before the “sad love” part was added, so in its first review obviously I remarked that it was “incomplete” lyrically and grammatically. However, musically this song is the perfect technical template of how to write a four-chord song and make it work. Let’s have a closer look. The actual end-of-song four chords are E-min, C, G and D/Bmin – but the song starts the sequence on a semitone lower than this, on E-flat minor. The lower key at the start of the song deliberately gives it time to build up the emotion to a fantastic… Read more »

Sabrina
Sabrina
2 years ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Two reviews in a row to feed our ongoing “Mask likes to play it on piano, but Sabrina picks on the lyrics” gentle conflict. 😀 By the way, I replied you in the “Scream” post.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
2 years ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Aha, indeed. Thanks.

Jo.
Jo.
2 years ago

UnUnUnUndooo this baaaad song

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Mr. Vanilla Bean
2 years ago

Undo my grammar, undo cause it hurts so bad. Kempe’s grammar, of course. Sanna is awesome. But clearly, Ace had the good song that year with lyrics that didn’t make my ears bleed.

Patrick
Patrick
2 years ago

I loooove this so much. And it was performed on the best stage Eurovision ever had!!!!

Tibor
Tibor
2 years ago

Can I just say, how much I loved the Copenhagen stage? It looks huge, but more grandiose than empty. “Undo” to my ears is much more a Disney song than “Gravity”, like Edd says, it teeters on the edge of schlager, sounds a tad old-fashioned, but not plain dated. Like with John Lundvik, I can understand what appeal this kind of music has, but I cannot unhear the schlager vibe. I don’t think it’s horrible, but I’d never actively listen to this. For me personally to enjoy it, I’d need a different, more daring instrumentation and probably another singer, especially… Read more »

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Mr. Vanilla Bean
2 years ago
Reply to  Tibor

I totally wish my favorites in 2015 could have had the Copenhagen stage to perform on. This stage even gave really unworthy acts a touch of grandeur. At least it wasn’t totally in vain. There were The Common Linnets who made exceptionally good use of it.

Tibor
Tibor
2 years ago

I think there were a lot of acts in the line-up who made good use of the Copenhagen stage, among my favourites (other than the Common Linnets) would be Softengine, Dilara Kazimova, Aram MP3 and Twin Twin. On the other hand, the stage wouldn’t have helped Il Volo, the music was already beyond salvage, I’m afraid. 😉

Sabrina
Sabrina
2 years ago
Reply to  Tibor

I was thinking the same when I was rewatching Sanna’s performance (probably for the first time since 2014). It’s a beautiful stage that enabled great things for those who knew how to use it, like the top 3 of the contest.

Tibor
Tibor
2 years ago
Reply to  Sabrina

It really is, isn’t it. And it tells you something about a great stage design, if you remember performances of songs you don’t even particularly care for.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Mr. Vanilla Bean
2 years ago
Reply to  Tibor

I also noticed that this particular design was NOT one of the many Florian Wieder designs. Just saying. Maybe the one who designed 2014 should be the one in popular demand.

Tibor
Tibor
2 years ago

I didn’t know that, but you’re right, his name is Claus Zier and it kind of baffles me that he hasn’t been sought after more.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
2 years ago

Hate to be that guy but it’s not for me am afraid. As with a lot of Swedish entries, I just don’t find anything “special” about it. Nothing against Sanna, of course…but she should’ve went to ESC with “Empty Room”, not this.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Mr. Vanilla Bean
2 years ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

Those juries again. The people totally wanted Sanna in 2008.

Dave
Dave
2 years ago

But though, I have to say that Ace Wilder would have done just as good or better. Her song had that quality that had it won MF it could have won the entire ESC

Dave
Dave
2 years ago

One of the best songs in modern ESC history