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Well, what an odd beast this year’s Swedish Melodifestivalen turned out to be! After Loreen’s stomping victory and global success with Euphoria last year I had anticipated a field of big names and big songs to cash in on the marketing potential of even greater home interest than usual. Instead we were given what to many was a decidedly lacklustre set of tunes, with the international fans further disappointed as their few favourites headed for an early bath. As ever though speculation was rife that the running order –decided by TV producers and not a random draw, as will also be the case in this year’s Eurovision shows – favoured last year’s runner up Ulrik Munther, or newcomer YOHIO, who usually fashions his look on that of Japanese schoolgirls. On the night though we were in for a surprise as the international juries backed a different artist, Robin, who had had to qualify the hard way through the Second Chance round. Nobody had ever taken a Second Chancer seriously, but it seemed the Swedes too had warned to him and whilst he was only second in their televoting his combined score was enough to hand him the win. It’s a slightly unusual entry for Sweden, initially not seeming to flow and with vocals that fleet up and down on the otherwise monosyllabic title lyric. Robin could do well to reign the vocal in a bit at times, and the move into the big note (with yet more of those golden shower pyros) is a little clumsy, but otherwise I really like this, and was thrilled it beat YOHIO, who with a very plain song was all style over substance. I can see this doing very well for the host nation, and though I think it does have a not-quite outside chance it will probably stop short of doing the double for them.
My score: 8 points