Sweden, participant of the Eurovision Song Contest since 1958, is one of the highest scoring countries in the competition. Eurovision is also extremely popular there. This is mainly due to their legendary national selection round, Melodifestivalen, which is the most widely watched television programme in Sweden (sometimes more so than the international Grand Final), and in which famous artists gladly participate.
Sweden has finished in the top three many times: coming in 3rd six times, 2nd once, and 1st an impressive six times - only beaten to the top spot by record holder Ireland (with seven wins). These six wins came, in reverse order, from Måns Zelmerlöw (2015, Heroes), Loreen (2012, Euphoria), Charlotte Nilsson (1999, Take Me to Your Heaven), Carola (1991, Fångad av en stormvind), Herrey’s (1984, Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley), and of course, ABBA (1974, Waterloo).
The group, consisting of members Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid (Frida) Lyngstadt, is still the most famous act ever to come out of the Eurovision Song Contest, and Waterloo the most famous song.
But the Swedes aren’t only successful when it comes to choosing their own entries and creating highly professional stage acts; they are also widely regarded as the best hosts overall. Other participating countries frequently make use of Swedish set designers, producers and floor managers - some even use Swedish songwriters. Azerbaijan, for example, almost always makes use of Swedish creators.
Translation: Amber Hughes