Eurovision helped launch ABBA to global stardom, paving the way for them to sell hundreds of millions of records and, more recently, launch the much-ballyhooed ABBA Voyage avatar show in London.
But despite warm memories for the song contest, ABBA member Benny Andersson says he no longer watches it.
Speaking to Metro newspaper a few days before the launch of ABBA’s live London residency, Benny was asked if he tunes in to the show.
Benny from ABBA says Eurovision isn’t fun anymore
“I try not to,” he said. “It’s too much. It’s too many countries. Everyone sings in English. It’s no fun anymore.”
That comment alone makes it clear Mr Andersson isn’t watching Eurovision. This year seven of the Top 10 finishers, including the winner, all sang in their native languages. As those of you who did watch will remember, that’s Ukraine, the UK, Spain, Serbia, Italy, Moldova, and Portugal.
Benny, it would seem, prefers Melodifestivalen, which his band famously won with “Waterloo” before conquering Eurovision.
“I watched the Swedish five-week competition to choose the song. I like that.”
Despite the shade, Benny does admit to watching the 2022 edition and had some kind words for the UK, which is, of course, home to the band’s avatar show.
“I did see this year’s Eurovision. Good for the UK. If Ukraine hadn’t been at war, you’d have won.”
He also revealed that he didn’t really expect to win Eurovision. Back when he competed — in 1974 in Brighton — there wasn’t as much pre-contest hype.
“At the time you didn’t know who else was in the contest,” he remembers. “Nowadays everybody knows everything about everything before it starts.”
“I had heard Mouth and MacNeal’s song [for the Netherlands] ‘I See A Star’. Good track. Olivia Newton-John was in with a good song for the UK [she came fourth with ‘Long Live Love’]. I bet on us.”
And he won a whopping £100.
ABBA Voyage launches in London
Last September the band revealed that they were re-uniting, releasing an album, and launching an avatar show in London called ABBA Voyage.
Writing on their official web site, the band said: “Thank you for waiting, the journey is about to begin.”
“Join us for a concert 40 years in the making. A concert that combines the old and new, the young and not-so-young. A concert that has brought all four of us together again.”
“ABBA Voyage is the long-awaited concert from one of the biggest pop acts of all time. See ABBA’s avatars accompanied by a 10-piece live band, in a custom-built arena at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.”
The show premiered last week to rave reviews. The Guardian gave it five stars out of five, applauding the realism of the holograms: “Any sense you’re not actually in the presence of the band dissolves during a setlist of crowd-pleasing hits.”
What do you make of Benny’s comments? Do you agree with him? Let us know in the comments box below.
Can Mr.Benny tell us in what language did he sing when he competed? Did he sing on english or swidish?
Do the know that Spain got 60 more points than the UK sms 12 points by the Swedish jurors…Its 2022 for heavens sake…
Benny doesnt like Eurovision cause everyone sings in English, but loves Melodi where everyone sings in English. plus ABBA won singing in English.
Benny, shut up.
While Ukraine probably did get quite a boost from sympathy, that’s not the only factor in their victory. Their peformance was top-notch! It was different from the others, and was exceptionally well-executed (good vocals, good stage presence, and decent staging).
To be honest, Kalush Orchestra was the only act to give me “winner” vibes…something I didn’t sense in any other act (including my favorite, Greece).
I agree. No longer watching, sadly:(
they are right we all knew ukraine would win the song is mediocre they only won because of the war
Wheres the lie tho??????
I love ABBA but their London hologram cash grab residency is “not fun” either…
He’s not wrong.
I don’t like ABBA’s latest album. The production sounds horribly dated. Benny, your prime is over.
I agree to disagree…..and I’m speaking as a hard(er) rocker 🙂
In part I do agree with Benny’s words on Eurovision. The band’s that perform in it nowadays just have the same stamina, prowess and talent ad ABBA had way back when.
I love ABBA, but many of their statements lately are hard to defend. I understand they are in love with different times, but as much as I try to find excuses for them, still sounds as if they don’t think before speak. They won with a song in english. To say that you want less countries is even disturbing. Like saying : why did we invite the poor relatives, they spoil our party. Waterloo genre and staging (with that Napoleon conductor) would be seen as a joke entry nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about ABBA, I just… Read more »
He gives me such an “okay boomer” vibe fr. 😀
The world is no fun anymore in general. Humans became too greedy, too manipulative and too narcissistic. For sensitive people this is unbearable.
And for that matter it would be hypocritical not to think Eurovision brings in all that greediness and narcissism to some extent … It’s the world we are all in, a world of excessiveness in which everybody seems desperate for attention and the spotlight. A world in which every single time we pop in the toilet get to be known worldwide … for no reason whatsoever … but gets to have its worldwide knowledge for no reason at all.
Plus: like Benny, most Swedes do also prefer MF to ESC …
He’s also right there are too many countries (in the final) 26/25 is too much and this is why the songs that usually perform 1-6 usually do bad in the televote.
Get rid of the big 5 privilegies and make 2 SF of 20 countries (even the host has to pass the semis !) and as usual 10 countries will advance to the final per SF.
This will make 20 songs in the final and a more tight competition lefting behind useless songs like Switzerland/Germany competing in the final this year.
The other countries would have to fork out for the competition then, its the big 5 who fund the majority of the thing.
Why he’s comment is wrong ? He’s right too many songs in english out of 40. It’s not that some finished in the top 10 that suddenly 30 songs in English out of 40 fact disappear and I still don’t understand why so many countries keep sending trash english pop songs when there is clearly a trend in the last years that suggest public wants more native langages songs.
Why are people confused or scandalized when a member of ABBA says they’re not into the contest anymore? We all know how much it’s changed. How much music has changed. They are nearly 80. Did we think they’d be banging away to Maneskin or shimmying away to Chanel? They defined their time, created incredible music, and we honour them for it. They’re not obliged to be ESC fans for life.
Iggy Pop is nearly 80, he’s still banging away. He wants to be my slave.
Eurovision has too many countries(in his opinion),
but at the same time 5 weeks of Melodifestivalen is not too much?
As if the Melodifestivalen songs aren’t in English…
Cash grab hologram residency is not “fun” either…
Lip-sync Britney ain’t that fun either … but hey some people seem to enjoy the idea of spending loads of cash on wanting to see a woman and a bunch on half naked male dancers doing their “thing” while a prerecorded track is played in the background …
If holograms are pathetic … Spending money on lip-synch is as well. But hey, whatever floats your 21st century boat.
I would admit that in a certain way it is true: the Eurovision is really a little bit too much. You have so many pre Eurovision shows and parties, so many rehearsals, then the 9 shows like semi final 1 dress rehearsal, jury show, live show, semi final 2 dress rehearsal, jury show, live show etc… When the grand final is happening, you have already seen the acts for a hundred times. You better exclude yourself from all of the Eurovision activities until the grand final live show. They have blown this show up to a real monster. But: I… Read more »
But… Waterloo was … in English?
Performing in English during a period of time in which the idea of a non-English group or act singing in English in Eurovision as NOT as welcomed as we might believe it was. Those were more conservative times and singing in your national language meant more than anything else … even though the world either gave focus to English or Franch … it worked luckily for ABBA and gave them a way to build on a career … but the same did not happen to anybody else after that … wonder why?
It was in english in the festival but have to make a swedish cover first .but Abba as a group alwAys sang in english because they were looking for the whole picture Europe England … Not only their country where they were for separated very famous alredy
I love Benny. He can do no wrong and his point of view is very interesting to me. I personally love ABBA and think all the contests are great!
Technically the UK also sung in its native language
And after more than 20 years put their musical act together and understood how important great songs are in this contest … so English is not even the problem here.
What does he have to spwak about language? Melodifestivalen has more songs in english than in swedish, they sang a song in english and all ABBA’s songs career were in english.
If you want to change, please do it by yourself first.
He’s not wrong, this show and all the others have detiorated over the past five years. Pop hype nonsense. Simon Cowell and American Idol which left the air over terrible ratings only to be dug up again in America are so burned out and the ratings prove it, yet lack of creativity in network television let’s them live on another day. These shows are great if you’re 12 and not an adult
Without Ukraine, Spain would be the winner.
But let’s not tell her that. She will freak out.
Lol, I thought Benny was a female name.
Sam Ryder Did a Brilliant Job with the Spaceman song The Last time we were 2nd was in 1998, I didn’t want Spain to winas they were Not Singing so much But Scantily dressed and thinking it’s an Erotic Dance Show And NOT THE EUROVISION Song contest it’s for singers NOT Erotic Dancers, WELL DONE SAM RYDER YOU DID THE U.K. PROUD!!!! Yours Sincerely Karin Meider.
It’s just a series of bad takes from an old man who says he no longer watches the contest. I don’t think they’re too be taken too harshly.
Remember! It was these ‘old men’ who created the contest in the first place. Less of the nasty ageism please.
Lol the arrogance to think that one swedish band changed the face of esc. You’re so wrong it’s laughable.
Mateo tried to explain in simple English that many people who once created the contest and helped turn into what it is today are now old, and that we should have such things in mind when we think of showing disrespect to the old. The simple English apparently wasn’t simple enough.
Did you change the face of Eurovision by any chance? I don’t think you did … did you? Is your name 21st century televoting?
ABBA are one of the very few pre-21st century reasons that now enables you to love and worship the contest and all its insanity and over the top madness… What you fail to understand is that YOU are not old enough to have a comparative element between the past and the present … he DOES … and so does your father or your mother. The next time you wanna shade an “old man” think about your father and then tell yourself “I am going to be old too one day and some young twink or young punk is going to… Read more »
A very disappointing comment indeed. He should remember that he himself won Eurovision singing an English language song. It’s also worth noting that NOBODY will ever know who would have won this years competition if Ukraine hadn’t won. It’s impossible to say how the points awarded to Ukraine would otherwise have been distributed. As much as I’d love the UK to win, we can’t assume that they had this in the bag had ukraine not won. I think we all just need to remember that only 1 country can win per year, accept our disappointment if our own country doesn’t… Read more »
True. I believe Spain would have Gort Ukraine views and would’ve won, not the UK. I preferred the UK song, but I think the majority would’ve preferred Spain. But what do I know. My favourite all together was The Netherlands, and they didn’t fair too well.
Netherlands was my winner this year too. An amazing song and totally my kind of music. I can’t speak a word of Dutch but I can feel what she’s singing! It’s the only song from this year that I play frequently.
The UK winning is the only thing that we can predict and SHOULD have happened. Make the UK host Eurovision alongside Ukraine!
Wait, so this guy says there’s too many songs in English and then proceeds to say that he likes Melodifestivalen? When was the last time overrated Sweden sent something in their native language?
Exactly! Sweden are WAY overrated. Time to bring them down a peg or two.
Going through Wikipedia, the last time Sweden sent a song in Swedish was in 1998. Heck, my mom wasn’t even pregnant with me back at the time! xd
Purple-faced outrage from thin-skinned Eurovision fans landing in 5…4…3…2…
I don’t think Eurovision fans are too angry about these comments, after all it’s pretty clear that Benny doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It’s complete nonsense. But it’s what the British tabloids like to hear.
So are you saying British tabloids wrote this? So how can we be sure this was Benny saying these things? How do we know this was taken out of context and changed for the sake of tabloid sensationalism and controversy that only the UK tabloids know how to do?
Olivia Newton John’s song good? It was so bad, she herself hated it.
When did she say that? She was still singing it decades later.
Here for example:
Thank you, that was interesting. The song definitely was not her preferred style at the time, but maybe “hate” is too strong a word. That interview was in 1994. She sang the song on her 2013 tour, which we can watch on YouTube, so at least she made peace with it. I think Lulu really does hate her song to this day.
Yes, ONJ even said that again in 2013, that she did not like the song at the time but has since made peace with it since it references the Salvation Army. As for Benny and Bjorn, not sure which one said this, but one of them said (sometime in the 70’s) that when they first heard the UK song entry, they sighed a breath of relief knowing that they didn’t have to worry about it.
Benny liked her song … He didn’t say that Olivia liked her song. And the fact that someone likes something you dislike is not a reason to be all outraged and annoyed. Come on…
Technically the UK also sang in native language ?
he hates esc because “everyone sings in english” but enjoys melodifestivalen because…. everyone sings in swedish? like, give me a break. every year melfest has twice as many english songs as eurovision, why is he not complaining about that?benny should retire, he is obviously senile
abba members consistently saying stupid nonsense about eurovision really makes me not want to ever listen to their music again
Calling him senile is stupider nonsense than anything he has said.
he is stating things that anyone with a working brain would tell you isnt true like esc being all english songs, maybe senile is a bit harsh but i think it is appropriate
Exactly. What a rude comment
Mamma Mia – here we go again …
Although I agree with him that Eurovision was much better when people sang in other languages (The whole idea of the ESC was to celebrate Europeans cultures!!), at least don’t contradict yourself. Sweden NEVER sings in Swedish nowadays.
evidently you cant pick up on sarcasm
Swedes in general prefer their own MF and not ESC not because of the language issue … it’s a TV show that has far more significance to them than ESC – that is what Benny was trying to explain. The only Swedish person who prefers ESC to MF is Christer Bjorkmann because he is the only one crazy and desperate for the 7th win … regardless of how irrelevant Swedes feel about that.
i never said swedes had a problem with melfest. i said that i have a problem with benny pushing false narratives about the esc when those very same things he’s criticizing can be applied more appropriately to melfest
More and more countries should send the song in their native languages. Eurovision became globalised unfortunately.
Um, this guy is a fool. If you want Sweden to win every year, just say it. LOL
Or perhaps Moldova. We’ll never know.
Well, they stole Romanian votes and gave them to Ukraine. We all know where these would have gone to.
Said the man who writes song in English and not Swedish and won with an English song… right!!!
Also, what’s wrong with many countries? Eurovision is accessible to all countries, the more the merrier. He really acts like a grumpy old man which is a shame.
His point about Ukraine is fair and we all know but UK wouldn’t have won as they came 5th in televoting…
UK would never be this high without war too.
Precisely. They got payback votes from Ukraine and Poland for peddling weapons. Spain would have won it had it been fair and square.
I’m sure Europe would have been well represented by track 7 from ‘Generic Latin-esque summer club bangers volume 12’. Such talent, such artistry.
Waterloo was actually sung in Swedish
Not in the contest.
Why on earth do people assume Spain would have won? Without Ukraine, there still would have been UK. Also, without Ukraine, Moldova would have obviously picked up more televoting points.
“If Ukraine hadn’t been at war, you’d have won” man, you disappointed me so much.
ABBA sang Waterloo in Swedish at Melodifestivalen in 1974 but in English at Eurovision Talk about irony.
Also, the reason why Melodifestivalen sounds the same every year is because you have the same songwriters / producers with 4 songs each in the finale.
This year, you had Anderz Wrethow and Jimmy “Joker” Thörnfeldt who wrote and produced 4 songs in Melodifestivalen final. 2 other songs in the semifinal/other rounds.
Bring new songwriters at Meloifestivalen and it will sound different. As long as you have the same people writing multiple entries every year, it will sound the same.
“Old Man Yells at Cloud”
Benny does not really care one way or the other. He was asked a question, so he answered. These thirty seconds were probably the only thought he gave it, he is not out campaigning at the EBU HQ.
He must be KGB communist
does he know that UK is 5th by televote?
Actually I think Spain would have won, if some of the results had not been made up…
This year 6 songs in the top 10 were not in english and for the second year in a row a song won that was not in english. He gets a pass because of his age, lets move on now
The notion that having too many countries in Eurovision is a bad thing is absolutely ridiculous. The more the merrier. Also he complains about Eurovision being only in English yet he doesn’t make the same complaint about Melodifestivalen, which hasn’t had a Swedish language song win in over two decades.
But then again, Benny is in his seventies and very few people at his age watch Eurovision so I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that he’s so ill-informed.
A Swedish song last won Melodifestivalen sixteen years ago… so not recently, but not over two decades ago either.
He has a point. Yet the show attracts a young audience and therefore Eurovision had to change in terms of free language rule. Of course in the 70’s everyone was waiting what the UK and France will bring to the contest and now it’s irrelevant, as there are so many other countries to follow.
It is very difficult for the average viewer to watch a 4 hours TV show, and here something must be done. 1/3 of the show is just the voting time, and it should be reduced.
I still listen to ABBA, but the man points out to things which deteriorate his viewpoint. If ESC is about unity, why should any country be excluded? He possibly feels nostalgic (you know when old people trash the young generation out on every level). What was he expecting current ESC to be? Not impressed with his commentary.
Also, that complaint about supposedly too many songs in English … apart from it being simply wrong, I’m sure he has a good explanation why ABBA didn’t sing in Swedish.
It’s an age thing. Once you’re 75 you have experienced so many things and had such a long career that any events in it, seem like a small fragment of your life and relatively unimportant if you have been successful as much as ABBA. I suspect that if Maneskin is still making music 40 years from now they will also downplay their Eurovision experience.
40 years? They are downplaying it one year later.
Funny fact: in the top 7 this year the only country that did not sing in its own language was…. Sweden!