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Sweden: Måns Zelmerlöw – Heroes

    As widely predicted, Måns Zelmerlöw won Melodifestivalen and will now represent Sweden at this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna. Just 24 hours after winning Melodifestivalen, Måns now tops the outright market and carries the heavy burden of being called the favourite. Just a few days earlier, Sweden could be backed at over 10/1, even though it was obvious Måns would win selection to Vienna. At the time of writing, Sweden are just under 4/1 having been much lower throughout much of Saturday night. That price seems far too short for a song many were describing as a…

Review Overview

Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Historical Support Strength

Who da Måns

Heroes is a modern, commercial pop song worthy of clocking up a solid Eurovision score, but there's just something missing, in addition to a number of what ifs

User Rating: 3.85 ( 55 votes)

 
 
As widely predicted, Måns Zelmerlöw won Melodifestivalen and will now represent Sweden at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.

Just 24 hours after winning Melodifestivalen, Måns now tops the outright market and carries the heavy burden of being called the favourite. Just a few days earlier, Sweden could be backed at over 10/1, even though it was obvious Måns would win selection to Vienna.

At the time of writing, Sweden are just under 4/1 having been much lower throughout much of Saturday night. That price seems far too short for a song many were describing as a great stage show, but shame about the song. Social media and other betting sites have been overflowing with hyperbolic praise with vastly overstated predictions based on Måns’ Melodifestivalen winning margin:

“Mans did better than Loreen and Eric, so will therefore win Eurovision etc…”

“Måns even beat ABBA!”

Those bright sparks who’s minds are well shielded from the mass hysteria that follows big selections will know that Melodifestivalen 2015 was a weak year. Måns’ closest competitors, Jon Henrik Fjällgren & Mariette had noticeably inferior songs and struggled to garner support from both sides of the vote. The televote had Guld och gröna skogar as it’s 3rd best song, just 4% short of Jag är fri, which had six lines of lyrics. It’s hardly surprising Måns won by 149 points.

When Loreen won Melodifestivalen in 2012, she had Danny Saucedo’s equally strong entry, Amazing, to compete with. Her 60-point Melodifestivalen advantage didn’t match her 133-point Eurovision landslide, so those investing in Måns on the back of his wining margin should exercise caution.

Similarly, in 2011, Eric Saade won Melodifestivalen with a 44-point advantage to Danny Saucedo. Eric came 3rd at Eurovision despite having one of the lowest, recent Melodifestivalen winning totals.

Accomplished Eurovision gamblers and experienced fans & bloggers should be treating Melodifestivalen and Eurovision as totally separate events.

Heroes was first described by friend of ESCtips, Tobbe EK, as a great radio song, who on first listen, wasn’t at all confident about it winning Melodifestivalen. This is the same song that won by 149 points on Saturday night. When I first heard Måns’ song, I was pleased it improved on his dated 2007 entry, Cara Mia, which then prompted me to visit a few high street bookmakers to back Måns to win Melodifestivalen; not on the strength of the song, but because his price should have been much shorter based on what we had heard to date.  At that point, people were still telling me they were backing Mariette and Fjällgren, or were unsure what to do next. To me, this isn’t the certainty of a Eurovision winner.

The Avicii influences and obvious similarity to David Guetta’s Lovers on the Sun shouldn’t be overlooked, as originality is part of the Eurovision jury’s marking criteria, however, that never stood in the way of Chanee and N’evergreen, so its implementation appears lax and inconsistent.

I can’t deny that Heroes is a modern, commercial pop song worthy of clocking up a solid Eurovision score, but there’s just something missing for me, in addition to a number of what ifs. Eurovicious shared some solid reasoning on Sofabet, and assigned Måns the delightful soubriquet, Måndroid the pop-bot, adding: “there’s nothing human to hold or grab onto, no relatability or crack of vulnerability.

Eurovicious is correct in highlighting a certain Germanic coolness in the production. We labelled last year’s Swedish artist, Sanitary Sanna, due to her robotic, choreographed-to-within-an-inch-of-her-life production.  The same criticism can be levelled at Måns; there is a lack of warmth and he does have that vacant, psychopathic stare that seems incapable of projecting any emotion.

The projection staging is highly effective and it does ensure Sweden stands out from the pack. Whether that will work in a 27-song final is debatable, especially against several more likeable males and a barrage of other staging gimmicks yet to be unveiled.

As I mentioned in the comments section on Sunday, Heroes has a fair few vocal layers throughout the song – more so at the end. This isn’t a problem at Melodifestivalen, as SVT don’t enforce the 100% live vocals rule required for Eurovision. Måns’ song has a child choir during the refrain, bridge and climax, and subject to a large consignment of helium being made available, this can’t be recreated in Vienna. So how do they tackle this? It’s likely Sweden will deploy five secret-singers to a far corner of the stage, well out of sight of the cameras. One singer will have to perform the vocoder-part during the bridge and song close. Four others will deliver the chorus in place of the pre-pubescent boys. Four or five backing singers is a lot to rely on, and although Sanna had the same level of support, the complexity of their task wasn’t as great.

It’s also worth comparing Måns’ vocal to that in Cara Mia. There are differences in the low register, and given Melodifestivalen’s penchant for playback assistance, it’s another component to be wary of. There is an acoustic performance that supports Måns nailing his live vocal, but this is outside of the Eurovision pressure cooker that has claimed the likes of Blue’s Lee Ryan.

Those of you who studied the full jury points last year will have noticed the seemingly coordinated under-marking of Sweden from certain national juries. With a resurgent Azerbaijan and Russia, a similar plan might already be in the making for Vienna.

Will Måns be Sweden’s hero in Vienna?

  • Qualification History
  • Final Performance
  • Allies
Since the introduction of the new semi-final format, Sweden have failed to qualify once times in six attempts. 84% qualification success.

Highest semi-final score: 214 (2006: Carola – Invincible)
Lowest semi-final score: 54 (2008: Charlotte Perrelli – Hero)
Average semi-final finishing position: 5th
Average semi-final score: 114 points

Sweden has finished in the top-10 five times since 2004.

Highest score (since 2008): 372 (2012: Loreen – Euphoria)
Lowest score (since 2008): 30 (2005: Martin Stenmarck – Las Vegas)
Average final position: 11th
Average final score: 124 points

Average Points Received

Denmark – 8.4
Norway – 7.4
Estonia – 7.0
Iceland – 6.2
Finland – 5.4
United Kingdom – 4.5
Malta – 4.2
Slovenia – 4.1

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About Gavster

Owner & Chief Editor   I’m a qualified designer and the official geek in the crew, dedicating most of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.

96 comments

  1. Cant find out why this will go to bookies favorite!Top 5 for sure with this staging but not winner for several reasons. Still waiting for rehearsals to find the winner

  2. If Mans wins ESC we’ll see a lot more of this in next year’s entries:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MXwJpKToEY&feature=youtu.be&t=18s

    Which is fun. For a while.

  3. Stephen Colville

    No question the standout song so far at ESC this year. Italy and Sweden going tooth and nail for victory?

    • Could be.

      It’s a shame we won’t be able to get a Semi Final reaction from both of them to compare before the final.

  4. I think this will end up like “Popular” (2011)……I am not so sure the masses are bought so cheaply these days….another top 5 finish, but another near miss I think.

  5. The new favorite to win esc!

  6. I think that Heroes has significantly broader appeal than Popular, and significantly more jury power(as evidenced by its near total domination of the international juries tonight.) It’s a bit of a Guetta/Avicii by numbers and the visuals are slightly gimmicky, but I’ve yet to see anything else that ticks as many boxes.

    I think that this will chart very well, and as a result wont be budged from favouritism before rehearsals week…

    • Well there was very little competition for Mans this year. Saade had Saucedo and The Moniker – both were more instant, chart-friendly songs than Mariette, Fjallgren and this year’s entry from Saade.

      The market has simply gone with what it deems to be the most finished product. But I agree, Heroes has great chart appeal, but will it have enough gas in a 27-song final?

  7. And thats the golden 5/2 question – there is very little room for it to improve from this point given that the stage show looks fairly settled and the vocals solid, so the Swedes will be hoping for a Satellite/Euphoria type chart impact so that it simply needs to turn up on the night and mobilise the fans it’s already got. The warning sign for this will be if it doesn’t make much chart impact pre-show.

  8. I put a grand on this to lay at 4.1s and would of took more if my book wasnt tied up.Once i release funds il lay a lot more at those prices.I also priced up backs on Estonia and Slovenia at higher prices hoping Sweden would force a drift in them,and it did)
    I like this and was a decent result for MF.In an ESC context the juries will have Latvia,Estonia, and Norway way ahead.Lets face it.Its rubbish.

  9. Personally, I like the song “Heroes”,and what is a competent well produced Pop-Package.
    Although it just doesn’t for whatever reason jump out as a winner from a song point of view, without the projection mapping. The other day I listened to, on my I pod, the last five winners from Lena through to Conchita, and each time I felt something, an uber-specialty from either Vocals/Arrangement or both that makes them all class acts in their own right. I heard Heroes directly after and felt hollow. It’s almost like it’s too professionally clean-cut and polished to make sustainable aural impact that is otherwise recovered by the strong visuals.

  10. For those who can get on B365 Mans is still 4/1 there while trading @3/1 on bf, it seems the trader went to bed 🙂

    • The trader just knows when to lay the wall,my old gaffer would of been pricing above everyone on this soaking up the loot.Bookies dream laying this at 3s/4s.

      • Soaking or not it’s an easy free money trade…

        • Sure is Boki but i would expect the trader wants to fill their boots first.They will soak up this to set their book off later.Easy to trade a book as a bookie if soaking up money on this standard of song at 4s.The bookies might even drop it in to 3.0s/3.5s across the board.Nothing like a Swedish favourite to attract the fav backers.If i was pricing id have Sweden 9s minimum,and that would be 30% on the books side.

  11. The song isn’t of course the best of the bunch but no one will be able to top this presentation in Vienna… even with a much better song. Sweden is coming for the trophy again

  12. On a fair book squall Sweden would be 9s not 3s/4s.Happy to be laying it at 3.9 and 4.1.Might stay short into rehearsals though and move around 3.0s/4.5s.
    I dont think this quite has the televote firepower to win.Im not convinced on the jury vote either.The new vote system should help it of course.Not for me at all this at that price on the back side.

    • Fair enough. We all have opinions about over- and undervalued entries of course, otherwise we wouldn’t be here 🙂

      • Thats very true squall and the beauty of ESC is the length of time you have to adjust books.I actually put lays on Sweden into the BF book before last nights final at 3.85,3.9,4.0 and 4.1s.I figured once Måns won that would be the level the market would take out lays down to and of course they all got matched.

        Björkman wont be able to hand pick his friends onto the juries at Esc like he could last night.Plus the Esc juries will be far less likely to be won over given the much stronger competition.This entry will split peoples opinions down the middle id expect.
        Im on the overrated side.

        • So the reason Måns did well with the juries was because of Björkman having hand picked his friends? Perhaps he handpicked the televoters also, to achieve the landslide there as well 😉

          Seriously though, it’s good that we all disagree on various things, otherwise the great exchange of views here on esctips wouldn’t exist. That being said though, the discussion on this particular entry at times seems slightly emotionally laden.

          • There was very little quality to push Mans this year, so the landslide victory wasn’t a surprise. We all knew he would win.

            Loreen had Danny Saucedo to contend with.
            Saade had Saucedo and The Moniker
            Stjernberg had Yohio
            Sanna had Ace

            Once Mans has 10 other decent entries to contend with at ESC, I doubt he’ll enjoy the same level of comfort.

          • Which was exactly the reason he massacred the jury vote – no orders from Björkman necessary.

            Obviously ESC is a tougher nut to crack, but I think we all can agree that we this year not exactly have been spoiled with quality there either. Hence Måns’ position in the outright market.

          • That I agree on. I wouldn’t back Mans at current prices, but nor would I lay.

          • Some people here saw Isa getting more jury points than Mans. So the quality was there, it must be those orders then 🙂

          • Who said Isa would get more jury points than Mans?

          • @gavster Me and Durhamborn predicted ISA and Mariette above Mans in the jury-vote and I was wrong. I just over-rated the jury’s ability to vote according to music. But I guess I’d rather be rich than right as I backed Sweden long time ago in various market’s.

            Those who point out the lack of competition in this year MF, I can tell you that even if Mans had been competing against the best song ever written who would have snatched a full house of 12s, Mans would still have finished well a head of Sanna and Ace last year. The field of 12 instead of 10 obviously make thinks even more impressive. Mans lost 2 points to the jury’s overall 12th. Judging the field is always an objective thinking and the stats can’t be overlooked. I think most people agree on Melodifestivalen to be the strongest NF in europe and Mans slaughtered it by an international jury.

            Don’t get me wrong I despise this entry with every single cell of my body and I’m not going to feel happy taking the blood money if this garbage wins, but I prefer to be rational.

  13. Something I posted on Facebook:

    There are a lot of vocal layers in Heroes that they will struggle to recreate in Vienna. The child choir will need to go for starters. It will sound different at Eurovision.

    I will expand on this in the review.

  14. Id probably go as far to say that this is the most striking visual package since loreen.
    I do kind of agree with those who say the song itself is nothing special,if we heard this song without the stage performance initially i dont think anyone would have been amazed by it.

    Not sure if any of that matters though,as a package this looks amazing and total eye candy for the casual saturday night voter.

  15. Valid point, Gav. Although I could see Mans and his team take a page out of Sanna Nielsen’s book, in regards to the live. Due to the fact he’ll be the only person onstage and with dark lighting, five “Secret Singers” like with Sanna’s performance, could be recruited to layer his vocals if necessary, unbeknownst to the viewers at home.

  16. I actually thought it was a worthy winner. One thing to consider when deliberating, though: the jury vote. The international juries are always going to be Melodifestivalen fans – that’s why they volunteered. Won’t be the case come Vienna.

  17. Great review Gav!

  18. Good review gav,

    However i do feel this cold calculated robot point is a touch harsh on mans actually, in my opinion his demeanour is perfect,hes coming across as perfect guy husband material,no attitude or arrogance,just a sweet guy smiling at the camera and pumping fists with his little cartoon friend. In my opinion its being played perfect its nearliy the male version of pixie dream girl.

    • He is, as somebody put it at Sofabet years ago, “the kind of guy mothers would want their daughters to come home with”. With that, he scoops both the mother AND the daughter vote.

      • Bang on squall!. He also doesnt isolate the streight male vote like a lot of pretty boy singers tend to do,yes hes good looking but he doesnt have to pose and rub that in peoples faces every 5 seconds. Now compare that to the actions of eric saade who acts like a 16 year old that thinks hes the best thing since sliced bread.
        This is what i mean with mans demeanour being perfect hes playing the inofensive good guy and doing it very well.

        • Mans doesn’t have that demographic to himself. Who will vote for Loïc, the Il Volo lads, Anti Social Media, John Karayiannis and maybe Guy Sebastian?

          It’s fine to bang the drum about a particular song, but it might be wiser not to become so focused on a single song. The top and bottom of the outright market totally switched around last year at rehearsals. Personally, I think at least three of the aforementioned artists could rank higher with mothers and daughters.

          • If we look couple of years back (the jury era):
            2014 – A, NL emerged after rehearsals
            2013 – fav Den won
            2012 – fav Swe won
            2011 – Azer emerged
            2010 – Azer flopped but 2nd fav Ger became 1st and won
            2009 – fav Nor won
            2008 – fav Rus won

            So in 2 years out of last seven someone totally unexpected emerged from the rehearsals to win. So I would count that as an exception and not as a rule.

          • Thanks Boki. That wasn’t the point I was making though. I was just highlighting the other contenders for the mom and daughter vote, while pointing that its way too early to be calling an end to the Contest and heralding Sweden as winners.

          • Yeah, maybe it was a wrong place to reply, you are right of course, there is a long way to go and there is no clear favorite yet since they are rather close at the top.
            My point was a more general one, many people expect last year madness to happen again, I would be delighted to see that but it’s far from given.

  19. I like Måns and the Debs are some of my favourite writers outside Italy.This is far from their best work though.He easily won a very very weak MF.
    However it comes down to price and the make up of the final for me.At 5s the market is pricing that nobody out of the pack will produce fantastic staging and improve in Vienna.If people think that is right then 5s starts to look closer to fair value.However i see a lot of potential in other acts.
    People can laugh, but i actually think the likes of Belarus has the potential to be far superior to Sweden.IF they get the staging right.500s or 4s?.
    Latvia i think has masses of potential IF staged with expressive dance.There are several others.Thats not even considering the other favourites.
    I fully understand people who think Sweden deserve to be favourite.This is a tough year to prize apart at this stage and Måns is easy to like .However i stand by my thoughts that Sweden should be 9s minimum.Laying at 3.96 for me was an easy choice in the context of my book.

    • I’m sorry Durhamborn I thought you were joking about Belarus, especially since you placed Iceland 3rd. I respect that you dare to come up with such a wild predictions and of course everything can happen. I sent the Icelandic delegation e-mail and told them they should come up with a staging in the atmosphere of Frozen. I have no idea if they will consider it or not. I am probably equally bad in judging my nation’s entry as the Brits, it’s always either great or terrible. I almost always lose every bet I put on Iceland back or lay and I have been laying it on the outright so they probably come close to winning.

      • I like a few outsiders SirMills,but they all rely on the staging being superb.Without that they will crash.For me this is the toughest year ever to even nail down the challengers.Its so wide open.Rehearsals are going to be more crucial than ever.Lets hope Gav gets the chat room open and can be feeding us all the info live and everyone can make it to debate everything.Everyones experience will be needed this year i think.

    • The app votes are clearly a big percentage of the numbers this year; even the 7th place entry with the least amount votes, Daniel Gildenlöw with “Pappa”, would have made AC last year. Some of the winners numbers are mind-boggling as well; Mans got 1/3 of the votes cast in his semi.

  20. I think we need to look at the votes percentage in the semi.People seem to be making a massive case on other sites/forums about Måns getting 30% of the televote in his semi of 7.
    Il Volo got 38% of the votes from a contest of 16.
    Måns had the likes of Dinah Nah,JTR and Midnight Boy against him.
    Il Volo had the likes of Malika Ayane,Nina Zilli,Annalisa,Chiara,Nek,.

    Now these are two very different contest’s and id be the first to say MF is designed to throw up songs to do well in ESC,Sanremo is designed to appeal to Italy only.However as they are roughly joint favourites for now i think its worth thinking about.

  21. How much is being made of the staging/song meaning(or at least what Mans claims to be the meaning) in Sweden? If it gains traction pre contest it could prove to be something that the Swedes look to push as a potential vote winner.

  22. Can anyone explain why Sweden’s odds in the outright market have shortened so dramatically the past 24 hours?.

    • Not at all. But other countries have lengthened, so maybe someone with deep pockets setting up their book. I think it’s rather premature to have Sweden such a short market leader.

    • I’ve seen large chunks of money coming in on Betfair in bursts, backing Sweden. The shortening of Sweden has clearly driven the market (lengthening the other entries), rather than the other way around. It looks like there’s one or a couple of big players, but I guess it could also be bookies balancing after having gotten a lot of action on Sweden.

      I’ve laid off some of my Sweden green in the range 2.5-3.0, as I like Gav feel odds are getting slightly short. Not far too short by any means, though, but enough for me to want to balance it out a bit.

  23. He/she put in a few K at 2.62/2.64,i matched quite a bit of it but didnt want all/ too much or it would push my book out of comfort zone,other layers took the rest pretty quickly.They also layed Estonia,Finland and Norway at the same time and backed Iceland,Belarus.
    I put in quite a bit to back Slovenia at higher odds hoping they were looking to lay that, but wasnt touched.About time Finland got out to 50s+ as well.Iv got a lot tied up in lays and need to release it.

  24. She with a beard? 🙂

    Btw why is Iceland so low?
    Comparing to many other 3-figure ones I’m puzzled…

  25. Well, I’m focusing on the mid-to-back end of the market for now. I have fairly inexpensively managed to back my way into a totally green book, save for the current top 6 countries and San Marino. 26/40 countries have performed their song live to an extent that it is available on Youtube, and while this next point is more subjective, current evidence suggests that about 16 of these 26 have performed their song relatively close to their final product for Vienna. That means there are about 24(!!) countries that could potentially surprise us when we get to rehearsals.

    I can understand why Sweden is favourite for now, but if the market has any sensibility, its price should be reflecting an open-mindedness and willingness to change. But it won’t, not until during the grand final. That’s how long it took for Aram MP3 to truly slip away, at least.

  26. I’ve been laying off some of my Sweden green at current prices too – given that I cant envisage many circumstances in which it goes into rehearsals week odds on with the uncertainties over running order and the staging of its competitors then there’s very little further shortening it can do. The only scenario would be if it storms European charts, but there is little/no evidence of that at the moment.

    • Are you not taking into account the fact that Sweden are likely to storm the OGAE polls and that casual British punters may well back a SWEDISH favourite fairly heavily as the contest is creeping closer? Personally I think they will go a bit shorter.

      • You might be right Tim, I just think that the potential upside is limited. As you say yourself it might go a bit shorter but its unlikely to be particularly significant given that we are already at implied odds of near 40%+ – to me that factors in a lot of the potential Swedish dominance of pre-show OGAE polls. Will still be keeping them well onside until rehearsals.

  27. I caught this interesting little tidbit a week or so ago.
    http://esckaz.com/2015/swe.htm#en_20150324_3

    Bjorkman being very coy here. You can interpret what he’s saying either way, based on whether or not you think Sweden will win. Personally, I still have my fingers crossed he’s going to use all of his expertise to do the subtlest hatchet job on Heroes, and the market’s favouritism of Sweden this year will be to blame for it.

    I just can’t see the logic in Sweden winning again so soon from SVT’s standpoint, and if they did, it may even bring Jon Ola Sand and the contest’s fairness into question again. “Scandinavia is the new Eastern Europe”, so to speak. (He’s Norwegian, he’s been in charge for 5 years and ESC has been hosted in Scandinavia for 3 of them. Just sayin’.)

    Of course a country can deny the chance to host, but I think in this day and age it would look bad for that broadcaster if they did. Especially one as capable and wealthy as SVT. Ireland was able to pull it off several times in the 90s, but, I’d guess, in an era when ESC was enormously cheaper to stage. Surely it wouldn’t have cost 13 million back then? Also, we’ve gathered that the EBU are attempting to stop certain countries from winning, and I’d guess that’s because if they didn’t even invite the winning country to host, it would look very bad for them. JESC is another story, it’s not even half as prestigious. In the modern Eurovision, the winner hosts, unless in an exceptional case such as a micronation victory.

    • Totally agree there Ben, I highly doubt SVT is in a position to host again so soon after Malmo.

      I think Sweden’s starting slot in the final will be very telling too, as I can envisage a scenario similar to Armenia’s from last year whereby the producers seemingly tried to kill Aram MP3 off with the semi opening slot, only to then obliterate any winning chances he had by giving him the 7 slot for the final. Although, the Swedish delegation didn’t indulge in any trickery as such to deflate Sanna’s winning chances last year, despite her being a pre-show favorite, so in any case Mans could in the same fashion be let of the leash, (i.e Retaining Melfest visuals, effective backing vocalists, Camerawork etc) and they’ll just see what the outcome is.

      Interesting to note the exemption of Italy in Bjorkman’s predicted Top 5, does he really not rate their chances that highly, or does he perhaps want to defer attention away from them in Sweden?.

      • There’s nothing suspicious about ignoring Italy for me. They’re just not a contender, full stop. Too many essenziale (see what I did there?) criteria not being met.

        • I can see the argument for Italy not winning,but id argue they are massive contenders.They won the strongest/most contemporary Sanremo in 20 years.Keith Mills is a very good judge of Italian Music and he also considered it the strongest Sanremo for 20 years.(13 was strong but less contemporary)
          They slaughtered the televote against a list of massive stars in Italy who all brought their A game.5.5s seems a pretty generous price.The reason Christer doesnt mention Italy is because he hasnt forgiven them for giving Loreen 0 points in Baku the only country to give her nothing and also 0 for Sanna last year.Italian juries consider Swedish songs the devils work.Christer knows very well Italy are massive challengers,he just doesnt want to say so.He also will want to finish ahead of them if at all possible.I doubt RAI will take any pushing around though this year.

  28. I don’t see any arguments for Italy not being in contention. Only when we get to Vienna and have a running order will we truly understand how well they’ll do. At the moment, I don’t see them outside of the top 4.

    • Absolutely Gav. My contenders for victory as of now in no particular order are Russia, Italy, Sweden, Lithuania and Azerbaijan, but I’ll expect a big shake up in my list at least after rehearsals.

      • Im waiting for rehearsals more than ever this year but as of now this is my very rough top 10 in order based on what we have seen and potential.It will change a lot during rehearsals as the likes of Latvia could even fail to qualify if the staging is wrong.So very very rough indeed at this stage.

        Italy/Albania/Belarus top 3 in any order,then,Estonia,Norway,Latvia,Slovenia,,Russia,Sweden,Australia.

  29. Sweden has run into claims of plagiarism; not for the music, but for the projected cartoon character.

    SVT have been forced to alter the character in order to comply with the copyright infringement.

  30. SVT have announced Måns will be joined by five backing singers on stage.Looks like they need the full amount to try to pull of the vocal affects.The choir part will prove very difficult.
    It will be interesting to see if they try to hide them as they did with Sanna, or if they are obvious.

  31. Live video in Finland.Interesting as its without the staging.Also interesting for the crowd.Finlands 12s going to Estonia this year?

  32. This lacks the same charm for me. As an image, it’s not as simple and the lines are not as clean.

    • Totally agree, it’s overly fussy but I don’t suppose the impact will be greatly reduced, heres hoping tho!

    • lol it looks like they got the guy who wrote the lyrics to draw the picture!

      • “In an attempt to figure out how the new figure will be standing behind Måns, ESCToday team recreated a sample image” (based on a sketch from Mans).

        • I want my old avatar back 🙁

        • Understand that, but the general concept isn’t as catchy as the original format.

          This site supports Gravatar. You can upload your own avatar there and it will appear on all WordPress supported sites as long as you use the same email/password combo. In fact, I request everyone that uses this site customises their avatar.

    • I predicted this would happen. They have used this opportunity to conduct subtle self sabotage, because Bjorkman has no need or desire to win and obligate SVT again so soon. Just as I also figured, by trading the umbrella for the balloon, they don’t need rain. They have directly visually weakened the very part of the song (the first, quieter chorus) that makes its claim for the win in two ways.

      There’s an overarching mandate and narrative for Australia to win. Sweden doesn’t have that, they have a visual gimmick, which they have now spoiled, and, I will argue, on purpose!

      • Gav, do me a little favour in Vienna would you please? Thank Bjorkman for my birthday present! 😛

      • Mans is promoting the song and going everywhere (which Swedish entries normally are not doing), he’s even going to perform on X-factor Adria on 17th of May – and you want to argue if SVT wants to win or not…

      • No offense, but even hinting that Björkman might deliberately ruin the entry just shows not knowing him at all. Which of course is understandable as most of his interviews/statements are in Swedish. But I assure you: of all Eurovision-related persons I’ve heard or seen, he’s very clearly one of the most competitive.

        In general, I think the punting community’s discussions are far too focused on secret agendas and/or narratives, and too little on the actual performances (in comparison). There is a huge difference between this and e.g. X-factor.

        • Yes and no imo.

          I see no evidence of a self-destruct from the Swedish team, and can’t envisage such happening. They probably wanted Mans to draw it so it would be associated with him and not the originator.

          However about hidden narratives there is not a huge difference between the EBU and XF.

          • Agree with all of this. Sweden want to win and having given us the Eurovision-lite concept in 2013, there is absolutely no reason they would seek to sabotage what is a commercially viable song.

          • I see it like this:

            X-Factor has twenty-some shows to develop narratives. In fact, it’s the lifeblood of the show – without character development/framing there’s nothing to make the viewers come back week after week. For this purpose, the producers have a number of tools at their disposal: they select songs, arrangement, choreography/staging, produce VTs, decide running order, decide sing-off results – their power is simply next to absolute. If they feel it benefits the show/franchise, they have no qualms about committing full-on character assassination.

            Contrast this to Eurovision. For most viewers, it’s a one-night event, with little or no previous information. The need and room for stories is extremely limited. Producer power encompasses running order, postcards, short announcements and possibly press conference directing (I have next to no knowledge about how they play out), but little else.

            I fail to see how this is not an enormous difference in impact of performance vs narrative.

          • Call me superstitious if you like Squall but I think it’s just there in the subtlety of the direction and flow of the evening. Narrative is implicit, not explicit. Things don’t have to be set up slowly over time. It happens in BGT. Auditionee gets pimp slot with touching sob story and stunning talent, and is then casually thrown under the bus in slot 1 or 2 in the semi final. That’s what happened to that blonde opera(?) girl the other year who basically died and then woke up again. She got pimped in the auditions, was a pre-semi favourite to qualify, and then got casually brushed off because for one reason or another, producers decided they didn’t want her and knew how to make her genuine performance seem underwhelming compared to some little ten year old pouting her lips and strutting around to Beyonce’s Halo. Narrative can reach a viewer without any previous exposure.

            Eurovision songs come at people one after another like an audiovisual onslaught, and in my experience, people just know their winner when they see it. This means that later is not necessarily better. I actually fear Guy being put on last in slot 27. I think it will benefit him to perform before Mans. I think once people have latched on, it takes a fair bit to convince them otherwise.

            That’s how Conchita was able to beat the Linnets from slot 11. Conversely, Loreen can still beat the Babushki performing later, but in terms of pure points haul, both were relative landslide winners compared to Zeljko that year. I’m not trying to flog a controversial, general “earlier is better” theory here. It’s not a pure running order thing, so to speak, it’s just a case of who’s better in the audience’s mind.

            If a song doesn’t stick out as a potential winner, people just won’t pay attention, so you can’t necessarily hold that Guy is weakened because there are, say, 6 songs between him and Mans and Guy will be compared to each one of those six, and by the time Mans is on, everyone’s forgotten Guy. What’s more likely to happen is that people will compare one that got their attention before to the next one that is getting their attention, and the gap of songs in between, no matter how great, essentially becomes nonexistent.

  33. I know you understand but some people could think this was a finished product screenshot.

  34. This drawing actually reminds me of a mixture of the old man and the little boy scout from the movie Up.

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