He’s the Swedish maestro that spear-headed Melodifestivalen for 20 years and will now help produce the American Song Contest. But for now, Christer Björkman is spending time in Rotterdam as a commentator for Swedish broadcaster SVT’s coverage of Eurovision 2021. Christer has now revealed that his personal favourite act in this year’s contest is France’s Barbara Pravi with “Voilà”.

Christer Björkman backs France’s Barbara Pravi

Christer was speaking on the latest episode of the BBC’s Americast podcast. Although much of the discussion was about the American Song Contest, the final moments of the chat returned the focus this side of the Atlantic and Eurovision 2021.

The podcast’s host, Emily Maitlis, asked Christer what he thought the outcome of Saturday’s grand final would be. The Swedish singer and producer shied away from giving a prediction, but did reveal his personal favourite act of the year:

“I have to go to my personal taste and I totally, totally love France”

Christer goes on to compare Barbara Pravi to legendary French singer Édith Piaf:

“Such a clever homage to Édith Piaf. I listened to one of Piaf’s songs, ‘Padam Padam’, and after you’ve heard it once next to ‘Voilà’ you can’t keep them apart.”

Our own William Lee Adams joined Christer on the podcast and echoed his thoughts, saying “France is also my top choice”.

Noting the message behind “Voilà” and Barbara’s own personal journey, William reminded listeners that to truly understand the depth of Eurovision “you’ve got to go beneath the sequins”.

 

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A post shared by William Lee Adams (@williamleeadams)

Christer Björkman on the American Song Contest

In addition to revealing his favourite song of Eurovision 2021, Christer also spoke widely about the upcoming American Song Contest. The Swedish star believes that there is enough diversity in music across the different states and territories to produce a wonderful show:

“You do get a little bit of diversity really from where they come from, because it comes sort of automatically in a way. They do have different cultures when it comes to music in different parts of the [United] States. […] I think the variety is fantastic and we will see that come to life in these qualification rounds. Then whatever makes it to the semi-finals and the finals will be very interesting to see.”

Despite this, Christer does appreciate that one genre of music might feature more prominently than others. “Obviously there is a risk that a lot of them will be country songs maybe.”

When questioned if it was necessarily a bad thing that there would be a number of country songs in the contest, the former Melfest producer noted that they don’t want one musical genre to take over:

“As long as it doesn’t end up being a country competition. We want it to be as diverse as Eurovision is itself.”

To finish off, Christer discusses the ‘camp’ that is often linked to Eurovision. Although he believes the Unites States could handle an over-the-top competition like this, he notes that the same elements of camp that are seen in Europe may not be applicable in America:

“I believe they are ready for a really, really flamboyant show that’s with good music and excellent artistry. Some of the camp in Europe comes from our cultural differences, which is by far wider than it is in the [United] States, so I would look at trying to get the musical diversity rather than cultural because it doesn’t really exist that way, like it does in Europe. We have so many different styles when it comes to how you stage a song and how you package it, so that’s a difference.”

What do you think of Christer Björkman naming Barbara Pravi as his favourite act of Eurovision 2021? Are you excited to see the American Song Contest come to life? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more American Song Contest news here

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esc1234
esc1234
22 days ago

Interesting, his favorite is a song that would probably be rejected in Melodifestivalen, or would have stayed in the second chance round.

Denis
Denis
22 days ago

Björkman always favours France though so I don’t know if he actually means it this year or not. His favourite ESC winner is Marie Myriam and he lived in France for like 20 years or something so he a soft spot for French

Jonny
Jonny
23 days ago

Guys, this hate in the comments against Sweden and Swedes is becoming racist. Stop it!

sucof
sucof
23 days ago

Björkman who?
does he work for ikea?
I do not know him.

Last edited 23 days ago by sucof
Dida
Dida
23 days ago

Who cares about this man? Just retire!!! It’s enough Sweden being favored year by year, they put it perform on the 25th position, seriously??? From all the entries….. I’m so sick and tired about small countries being put in weird spots, Albania 2nd… Moldova 14th, and so on.

Gilad
Gilad
23 days ago

Am I the only one which think that the American Song Contest won’t happen in the near future?
Eurovision asia is in the making for 5 years and nothing.

Adrian Trujillo
Adrian Trujillo
23 days ago

I concur. Voila was always my favorite to win it all.

Darren
23 days ago

Bjorkmann and Kirkorov are two people I’d love to see not being involved in Eurovision anymore.
They are two sides of the same coin only one is eastern and one is western

Jonny
Jonny
23 days ago
Reply to  Darren

Kirkorov is a criminal, Bjorkmann isn’t

Darren
23 days ago
Reply to  Jonny

Well…….

Teddy
Teddy
23 days ago

One of the few occasions where I agree : )

voix
voix
23 days ago

The best thing to happen to eurovision is the day he decided to go to the US.

Eurovisionary
Eurovisionary
23 days ago

I don’t like these known names announce/publish their favourite, favouritism, to give credit over other contestants, it’s unfair, wiwibloggs published too many articles about Destiny too, we users can say our favourites as we vote and we are unknown. Sad and pathetic for well known names to pick favourites and promote it over other hardworking contestants, sorry but it’s true

Escfan
Escfan
23 days ago

I always said that voila was similar to padam padam and Barbara sounded like Edith Piaf. Even the staging is similar.

Sot
Sot
23 days ago

So much support for Barbara lately! I remember in January everyone was like “Meh, decent but not a winner”… Well safe to say these people were WRONG

Eve
Eve
23 days ago

I was listening to spotyfy it’s esc2021 playlist today for about 2 hours in a row and there was promotion for Malta for like at least 6 times.ONLY Malta.
Don’t get me wrong I di not hate the song but I think it should be forbidden to promote just ONE song all the time.Makes me angry !

The truth
The truth
23 days ago
Reply to  Eve

Only Malta wow! They really just appreciate you. I have been receiving similar promotions/ads from 4 different countries – basically Iceland, Italy, Norway and Ukraine. And, not just in Spotify but also on YT and FB. If you don’t like it or them just skip it like I do. What I found totally despicable and unethical was receiving a post from a particular country telling me not to vote for another particular country. Now that should make one angry nit a blooming promotion. But since it’s Malta, Eve has to comment.

Gippa
Gippa
23 days ago
Reply to  The truth

Me too have only recieved promotion of the Maltese song (on spotify and multiple times, a bit too much to be honest), still nothing from other countries (maybe once from Norway, but I’m not sure).
On youtube nothing.
Probably the ads are personalized based on the country you are in, but I think Malta is the one that invested more on ads (I’ve read many other people from different countries talking about it)…

A bout du Monde
A bout du Monde
23 days ago

It is wonderful that we’ll have an American Song Contest, – Finally!!!

Eurovision and The American Song Contest can co-exist.
Just think of the endless possibilities. In the US most don’t know anything about Eurovision and its amazing history, yet. But the interest is growing, even at a snail’s pace.

The first time we heard ANYTHING was in 1995 when Norway’s “Nocturne” won. (Mentioned as a side note on the evening news.) Shocker!!!
And that was the end of it….(until Netta and Duncan)

America will fall in love with Eurovision and love our contest just as much.

Chris Malta
Chris Malta
23 days ago

Now you can all stop criticizing Wiwi for promoting Destiny because we know William is rooting for France

Chris Malta
Chris Malta
23 days ago

Is Christer involved in determining the running order for next Saturday or am I wrong? Because if yes it s not professional to side with a singer when you re involved in the whole setup. I stand to be corrected

Last edited 23 days ago by Chris Malta
Lesbi Honest
Lesbi Honest
23 days ago
Reply to  Chris Malta

No. He’s just a commentator for the Swedish broadcast.

Chris Malta
Chris Malta
23 days ago
Reply to  Lesbi Honest

Thanks for explaining. I was under the impression he was involved. If not, then he has the right to say who he favors

pasi
pasi
23 days ago

Of course he do. I mean he is a big friend of Bruno Berberes and France is always part of the voting for melfest. 😉 So no surprise here.

Celeste
Celeste
23 days ago
Reply to  pasi

Yeah because, every his favorite to win is France !! come one !! and is just an opinion 😉

WestMids
23 days ago

Eurovision is more like Stars in their Eyes this year. We have Cyprus’ Lady Gaga tribute act with an obvious rip off of Bad Romance, Malta’s Weather Girl and France’s Edith Piaf copycat reinventing Padam Padam.

Last edited 23 days ago by WestMids
Agent 007
Agent 007
23 days ago
Reply to  WestMids

don’t agree with either association

Roodi
Roodi
23 days ago
Reply to  WestMids

Cyprus song is 10 in global viral 50 but yeah it’s a bad romance copy

Vytautas
Vytautas
23 days ago
Reply to  Roodi

I’m afraid you’re a liar because EL DIABLO is not even in TOP200, but ok.
https://kworb.net/

Escvegi
Escvegi
23 days ago

Now we all know who wins…. :/ seeing the producers putting France in a shining light..

Agent 007
Agent 007
23 days ago
Reply to  Escvegi

I bet Sweden’s jury will give12 points to Malta.

ESC 21
23 days ago
Reply to  Agent 007

Or Iceland…

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
23 days ago
Reply to  Escvegi

Nooooooooo somebody who doesn’t even function as a eurovision producer this year has a musical opinion. /S

Why do people keep making surprised pikachu faces at favorites receiving attention? And can you explain the logic why ‘france will win now’?

Yeah yeah fire
Yeah yeah fire
23 days ago

Two things I don’t care about. What some swede thinks and american song contests.

Lesbi Honest
Lesbi Honest
23 days ago
Reply to  Yeah yeah fire

Why the need to be rude?

Luc
Luc
23 days ago
Reply to  Lesbi Honest

Because said swede has undermined the contest just to favor his country

Erik
Erik
23 days ago
Reply to  Luc

That’s of course not true

Erik
Erik
23 days ago
Reply to  Luc

Luc…. Christer loves the Eurovision contest since forever. He would never jeopardize the contests reputation by doing that. Then… again you seem to hate everything Swedish and express that everywhere and anytime you get the opportunity. You are probably only one of those Sweden hating trolls that fills the commentator fields with trash.

Denis
Denis
22 days ago
Reply to  Yeah yeah fire

That’s alright, Swedes don’t care about your opinion either..

Alex
Alex
23 days ago

he is very smart, i like reading his interviews.

Also, good to see him having France as top favourite.

Sale
Sale
23 days ago

Taste, hope she wins