Melodifestivalen was a nail biter, but then it really wasn’t. As anticipated, Sweden has selected Eric Saade to represent them with “Popular.”
We’re fans and are happy that Eric gets to go to the big show. However, we grudgingly admit that the song is pretty formulaic and not that special on its own. “Popular” draws its success from Eric’s charisma and a lengthy list of stage gimmicks including cheerleader choreography, strobe lights, appropriately-timed key changes, and, of course, shattering glass. Assuming that the ESC organizers let him break three panels of glass onstage, this is probably a pretty close approximation of what we will see in Dusseldorf.
Those who vote for Sweden will probably be casting a vote for the performer more than the song. There may well be plenty that do–the host segment at Melodifestivalen made light reference to his hordes of screaming teenage fans. We’ll see how it goes. Interestingly, Germany has a similar strategy this year.
At minimum, “Popular” is the kind of entry most of us expect from Sweden. It’s also the kind of entry Sweden has refused to send for the last couple years. It feels good to have them back.