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Eurovision 2010: Sweden – ‘pleasingly inoffensive’

May 2, 2010

Sweden’s song This Is My Life is a beguiling contribution. It’s a pleasing song. It makes no demands. It does nothing to offend. It is, by the time singer Anna Bergendahl’s three minutes are up, an ultimately satisfying listen. Heads will nod in agreement. “Yeah, that was quite good actually,” people will say to one another.

There could be an explanation for this.

The Swedish national final – Melodiefestivalen – introduced a considerably more pragmatic jury system for this year’s extended song hunt to accompany the usual phone and SMS votes from the public. Five Swedish regional juries delivered their assessment along with six other ‘international’ juries representing Russia, Ireland, Norway, Greece, Serbia and France. Seems like quite a sensible way of increasing the chances that audiences outside of your country like your song.

Anna Bergendahl has previous experience too having participated in a couple of TV reality shows as well as having released a handful of comparatively unsuccessful singles. This Is My Life has already gone to number one in Sweden.

Bear in mind that Melodiefestivalen rules allowed live vocals to be sung against a backing track comprising recorded backing singers. No such luxury for Anna in Oslo. A reduced backing group will have to sing live with her. And the slightest variations in intonation come the semi-final could diminish the silk smooth texture you hear 1’51” into this version.

Backing a similarly mid-tempo pleasing song from Ireland’s Niamh Kavanagh, Bergandahl’s record company Lionheart looks set to gain if both Sweden and Ireland do well in the Eurovision. On the basis of this song alone, they should be quietly confident even if Sweden doesn’t come out on top.

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