Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Cohesiveness of Package
Robin Bengtsson won his heat by the lowest margin and number of votes of any of the 'direkt' qualifiers.
Melodifestivalen 2017 is over and Robin Bengtsson won the jury vote but just fell short of Nano on the televote.
It’s the first time we haven’t called the winner here, but after last night’s jury rehearsal, it became apparent Wiktoria, Mariette and a few others might struggle with the international juries. Therefore, Robin, Fjällgren and Nano were the safest options, with Robin being the safe pair of hands.
The Melfest voting stats are now out and the key statistic is that Robin Bengtsson won his heat by the lowest margin and number of votes of any of the ‘direkt’ qualifiers. Combine that with fact that he only finished 3rd behind both Nano and Wiktoria in the final and it’s rather evident there might be a problem for Robin in Kyiv.
Robin’s margin on the televote was -1.3% behind winner Nano and won as a result of international jury support. The last time the winning song didn’t top the Melfest televote was in 2013 when Robin Stjernberg trailed Yohio by 5.3% (this was during the pre-app period). Robin finished 14th at Eurovision. Then one has to go all the way back to 2008 when Charlotte Perrelli won Melfest despite finishing second to Sanna Nielsen on the televote. Charlotte finished 18th at Eurovision.
This shouldn’t automatically spell doom for Robin, as this year’s Eurovision is lacking in standout songs and packages. However, it’s difficult to spin a positive story from the information above. There’s a distinctive stage show, but in my view it feels cold, aloof and arrogant. Then there’s the song, which lacks the sort of crescendo moment one looks for when highlighting potential Eurovision contenders.
My own thoughts upon hearing Robin’s song for the first time was to rule him out of contention. In fact, no one I talk to on a regular basis regarded him as a serious contender until a day or so before the final, and even then it was because market leader, Wiktoria, was suffering from a cold. Even Tobias Larsson and Tobbe Ek were rather muted in praise for Robin’s song and neither highlighted him as a potential winner. So do we really have a Eurovision contender here?
If Robin were to be given a late slot in the final, his chances of a top-5 finish would increase. If he gets a first half draw, yet failed to win semi-final 1, then Robin might be asked to open the show or end up buried around slots 5-10. Sweden’s Christer Björkman is Eurovision producer again this year and I suspect he might be under extra pressure not to be accused of favouring Sweden in the running order.
At the moment, this year’s lineup lacks variety. Nevertheless, there are songs with strong diaspora and regional support that could surprise at rehearsals and potentially have far more to offer than Robin’s rather standard radio-friendly song. The market reactions are a good guide so far, as when Robin won, the market shot out to 20/1, and when the songs were released for Melfest heat 4, the market drifted to around 14/1 having come to the conclusion that Sweden didn’t have a contender.
My own view so far is that Sweden should finish 4th-8th.
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