Sweden is a huge threat to Ireland’s record of most number of wins in Eurovision history, and there’s a reason for that. In recent years, Sweden has been an absolute force, consistently sending modern music with innovative staging. Their national selection process Melodifestivalen is to thank for that, as it has now become more of a breeding ground for established and new artists to push boundaries and perform top quality music. This year was no different, with a plethora of songs that have now easily made their way onto my iPod. The winner of this year’s contest was somewhat unexpected, but not unwelcome. Robin Bengtsson will be heading to Eurovision in Kyiv with the song I Can’t Go On, which former Eurovision Representative Robin Stjernberg helped write.
This is yet another strong entry from Sweden. The song has some serious Justin Timberlake vibes, which makes it a song that could easily be heard on the radio across the world and it wouldn’t sound out of place. It’s essentially guaranteed to do well at Eurovision, however I do still wish that one of my other preferred songs won the Melfest final. With that said, my judgement is based on the knowledge of what else could have been picked, so this isn’t a bad song, but I think they could have picked better, including the songs from Nano, Benjamin Ingrosso, Lisa Ajax or Loreen, just to name a few. I suppose with such a good field of songs, great songs will miss out, as only one can win.
The song itself, like I said, is a good song. It’s insanely catchy, but the coolest part of this song for me is actually the staging. Once Robin and the backing dancers reach the stage and hit the treadmills, everything really comes together, and I suspect this will be the staging we see at Eurovision. Everything about it, from the choreography to the colours and design on the backing screens is very eye catching, and is a key part of their almost guaranteed success come May. If I’m going to nit-pick on something, I’d say that Robin actually lacks a bit of stage presence, and although his eyes are pretty dreamy, other than that he seems a bit dull on stage.
With all that said, this song is landing somewhere in the middle of my rankings, but high middle, not low middle. It’s probably around a 7/10 for me, simply because a) there were songs I preferred in Melodifestivalen, and more importantly, b) there are songs I much prefer in Eurovision 2017. Regardless of what I think, this is bound to do well.