Saying that Tusse won Melodifestivalen this year is an understatement. He totally won the living daylights out of Melodifestivalen this year. He received 12 points from four of the eight international juries and received 10 points from two others. In the detailed televoting results, he received 12 points from all seven age groups in the app vote and 12 more points from the telephone vote. Eric Saade finished 10 points behind him in the jury vote, and The Mamas finished 40 points behind him in the televote. He received 2,964,269 votes from the public, which beat John Lundvik’s previous record by just over 750,000. His win was comprehensive.
Not bad for his first Melodifestivalen entry.
Tusse is a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who came to Sweden at age eight. He has discussed the difficulties he had leaving his family behind as a child and settling into a new country on his own. He is now 19 and still in school; he mentioned in interviews before and after the Melodifestivalen final that he had a science paper due the week after the competition ended.
Sweden's entry to the @Eurovision song contest is Tousin ”Tusse” Chiza – a refugee from the DRC.
Tusse fled war as a child, found safety in Sweden, and now will compete at #ESC2021 with his anthem 'Voices' 🇸🇪
We're rooting for you Tusse! 🎤 https://t.co/926SNJnZhb
— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) March 18, 2021
Aside from being a wonderful story about being celebrated by his new home, Tusse is also a wonderful story about an incredible performing talent. His vocal on “Voices” is flawless, and he has that rare ability to stare into the camera and express personal warmth and comfort to whoever is watching at home.
He can also elevate a song that is really a paint-by-numbers world harmony number, the type that Russia usually sends when they do internal selections. I don’t really like “Voices” on its own; I find the lyrics to be a bit trite. The fact that Tusse can take those lyrics and make them sound meaningful just highlights what a special talent he is.
I mentioned in my review of the Swiss entry “Tout l’Univers” that I sort Eurovision entries into two broad groups: songs that stand out because of strength of the song itself and ones that stand out because of the package in total. “Voices” stands out because Tusse is the total package.