Tim: With the number of songs competing every year, it’s not unusual there’ll be some overlap behind the scenes. Thomas G:son, one of the most prolific Eurovision songwriters —
Tom: I had to check, and that’s not a typo, he’s got a colon in his stage name.
Tim: Correct — had two entries in 2007, 2012, and 2016, and this year Laurell Barker has a hand in composing the entries for Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. What is new this year, though, is for one song to have been written by another country’s actual performer. In this case, ours, written by, as of Saturday night, Sweden’s choice. This choice, to be precise.
Tom: Well, that’s a Eurovision winner right there. Or at least, strongly on the top-left of the table. Good grief, Sweden’s good at this pop music thing, isn’t it? And I note that Lundvik’s kept the really good track for himself.
Tim: He has, hasn’t he? It’s basically a better version of our song. Oh, well. There are a lot of things to say about it, even after that lengthy intro, and I almost want to do bullet points but that wouldn’t exactly fit with our format, so let’s have one quick fact: absolute landslide. This got the full twelve points from all eight of Melodifestivalen’s international juries, in the end getting 181 points with second place getting 107.
Tom: Now I’ve heard it, I am not surprised by that at all. Listen to that chorus! It’s not quite a Love Shine A Light, but for the first time I can genuinely say that it’s close.
Tim: The things is, it’s a brilliantly constructed song. It’s a standard quiet first verse, we’re relaxed a bit, and then we get some energy for the chorus, again standard. But then OH, there’s a second part of the chorus, with backing singers and everything. Doesn’t cut back much for the second verse, and then come the second chorus we’re right back in at the high level and still higher.
Tom: A gospel choir! They’ve made four backing singers sound like a full gospel choir. I wonder if that’s pretaped? If not, I hope they can replicate something like that on the night.
Tim: Except, of course, we’re still not quite there, and as listeners we know that there’s more coming after this quiet middle eight, and OH MY WORD, suddenly it’s more than just Britain that has a key change, and apparently countries that take Eurovision seriously have them as well, and the song is just brilliant.
Tom: It has the old Demolished Man jingle problem: the chorus never quite resolves. It stops a little too soon. You can always add another chorus on, in your head. For a regular pop song, that could be infuriating. For a Eurovision track? It’s just going to make it extremely memorable.
Tim: Oh, and another thing, though not about John but one of the backing singers:
The on stage backing vocalists of John Lundvik are two American and two Swedish women. One of the Americans, Ashley, didn't get the time off for the #Melfest final from her day job in Washington DC. So she quit and decided to move to Sweden.
— Melodifestivalen (@SVTmelfest) March 9, 2019
Tim: That is Eurovision.
Tom: See you in Stockholm in 2020.