Eurovision Song Contest 2013 Entry: Sweden - Robin Stjernberg - You
May 04 2013 06:02 pm CET

Sweden will be sending the song "You" by Robin Stjernberg to the final in Malmo. Though not the strongest entry to come from Sweden in recent years, is the host country using the event as an opportunity to test out some ideas for the Eurovision Song Contest?

Country: Sweden
Title: "You"
Artist: Robin Stjernberg
Last year's entry/position: "Euphoria" - Loreen (1st)

I wish I had more insight into how the song selection process works for national selections. Not songs coming out of national selections (I know how voting works) – I mean how contestants are selected for national finals. I ask because it seemed this year's field for Sweden's Melodifestivalen was rather underwhelming compared to the last few years. I don't want to take away from Robin Stjernberg's victory with the song "You" as it was the better entry of the eight finalists, but this song does not quite compare with "Euphoria" or "Popular":

I think one of two things may have happened. The first is that Sweden may have pulled its punches with what it wanted to send to the Contest. What would motivate this is unclear: not wanting to host two years in a row, or perhaps trying to maintain a culture of avoiding repeat wins, which last happened with Ireland's three-peat 1992-94. Although I can appreciate Sweden being a gracious host, it raises the same concern I had with Spain's Entry: why jump through all the hoops of this competition if you aren't going to actually compete? Azerbaijan was not messing around with their entry last year and earned 4th place – that is what I would like to see all host countries do.

However, I could be reading the situation incorrectly, which leads to the alternative motive for Sweden's selection. If this were a normal reality show, Sweden has essentially won immunity. Sometimes that means a contestant will experiment with something new since there is usually no penalty in doing so. However, I think this particular experiment has resulted in a song that would have had trouble advancing out of either semi-final. The lyrics are a bit too melodramatic and Eurovision-y, with talk of "destiny" and writing music, all presented with far too many vocal tics.

I don't think Sweden is too concerned about its final ranking, which is good considering how the rest of the field is stacking up. If Sweden were to be a legitimate contender, that may cause further vote-splitting with Denmark and Norway. What I'm most curious to see is which songs will bookend this entry. Sweden is the only entry that drew position this year, landing in Slot 16 in the Final. I don't think "You" will harm whichever songs it ends up next to, but I could see it potentially getting muted if placed next to stronger entries.

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