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.