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Sweden: Robin Bengtsson – I Can’t Go On

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'…
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Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
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Goin' On

Robin Bengtsson won his heat by the lowest margin and number of votes of any of the 'direkt' qualifiers.

User Rating: 3.46 ( 69 votes)

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.

Is it another win for Sweden, or are they just aiming for another top-5.

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ESCtips Owner   I’m a qualified designer and dedicate a lot of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.


  1. Sweden or Italy?

  2. “Bengtsson won both the jury and televote”

    Not televote. Its Nano won.

  3. I have no idea how anyone can work out how to act that quickly in a situation like that and come out smelling of roses.

  4. That was just laughable: 30,31,32,32,34,34,36,37,49, 50, 51,57 with public. We all knew it would be close but that’s ridiculous.
    I expect them to change something with the app because that can’t go on (see what I did there?).
    Won a whopping £1.16 with that result, but only lost money on one bet, the Ingrosso v Marriette so not complaining.

    As for Robin’s chances, I think he’ll be somewhere just out the top 10 in the final. It’s too cocky and arrogant to generate massive support and it overshadows an ok song very well performed. 11- 14 my guess. Never a winner and I give little chance of top 5.

  5. I had what felt like a sleepless night last night, as I knew I had to adjust my book to make Robin green. At some point yesterday he was a £3.8k red!!! Thankfully it was the right choice, as I could certainly envisage him being the clear winner of the jury vote and therefore the winner overall.

    They really need to do something about the app vote in the final, don’t they?

    • I agree 100% and we’d already flagged this up after last year’s result. The app-vote creates a nullifying effect, and it likely explains why Nano isn’t going to Kyiv as well. Having 27 points separate 1st-12th with 400+ on offer is beyond comical.

  6. Well that’s a surprise. It felt like last year’s ESC having to scramble out of the red like that after the jury scores. I can’t help but think they had better options, but as predicted the juries have such a strong influence in the app voting era that it was became inevitable Robin would do it. Top 5? Possibly, but no winner.

  7. Yes, he is cocky but he is not annoyingly cocky ( like Donny Montell for example ).
    Robin certainly can gather a strong televote, especially in a weak year dominated by ballads.

    Sweden’s not winning again, but top 5 for sure.

  8. Is anyone able to calculate if Nano was actually robbed? Would he have pulled ahead of Robin if the old phone voting system was in place?

  9. I and friends I watched Melfest with liked Robin the most tonight. I think his arrogance is sexy and a lot of people will like him on the big stage. Top 10 for sure.
    I mean… what are other options? This is the ultimate 3 stars year. Lots of OK songs, but nothing that stands out. He does. All 5 of them.

  10. 5.7% separating 1st and last of the 12 runners – reflecting both the issues with the televote process and that no song truly stood out this year.

    I think Robin will do reasonably well in Kiev – the presentation is visually memorable, and ESC is looking fairly ballad and female heavy. They also tidied up a lot of elements from the semi (more smiling and camera interaction tonight, although he still doesn’t look comfortable.)

    Agree with the general thoughts – good chances for top 5 given the opposition this year, but don’t see it as a winner.

  11. Wow that was close. I find the winner a bit bland so top 10 for Sweden but not necessarily top 4.

    I stayed back from this melfest (still blew £30) and I’m glad

  12. This year’s Eurovision was crying out for a good uptempo pop song with a strong hook, sung in English and slickly performed. I Can’t Go On meets all these criteria but can it pull off the Melfest/Eurovision double?

    I await Gav’s analysis of the Melodifestivalen voting with interest. I didn’t watch the voting (I was at that stage tuning into Iceland – amateurish by comparison). But I will say that the performance of I Can’t Go On is somewhat cold and clinical and, as Gavin has mentioned before, in performing the song Robin’s himself comes over as a bit arrogant. Compare that to the warmth exuding from Francesco.

    At the moment I have got Sweden down as a potential top 5, and if Occidentali’s Karma doesn’t win, I Can’t Go On, in my book, is only one of two viable alternatives – the other being Australia.

  13. Poor Wictoria. Her chances were already ruined by the international juries. She only came 8th (6th in overall). That’s just ridiculous. They should definitely change the system, the juries have to much power in this app voting era. Btw, 5 votes doesn’t make sense at all. Just look at the televote result

  14. Well I enjoyed that personal fav wins and with it a nice green. Was surprised Wiktoria’s jury score was so bad I wasn’t expecting it to win it, but to be that low must have had a horror show last night. The tele vote is also becoming a joke.

  15. Happy to come out with a decent green,but huge problems for SVT going forward with the app,and the make up of the juries.They were so pink leaning it was laughable really.The app also makes the televote pretty worthless.I cant see them keeping it going forward without changes.
    On a good note Sweden coming in on the outright was a good time to turn my ESC book fully green by selling them off while leaving Italy very healthy.Sweden looks like a 20+s shot not 9s on a book without an EW.Just sit back and wait for rehearsals now to see if someone comes out to challenge Italy.

  16. Catriona colville

    Happily surprised by the result. Wiktoria couldn’t even win the televote and Robin is clearly Sweden’s best bet for a win. It’s the total package. Catchy song, great staging, good looks and confidence without arrogance. Still not sure it can beat Italy, but with the quality this year, top 5 very likely.

  17. Well done to you who hunted down Robin after the jury rehearsals. I myself was on the other side and spent the last 24h turning a breakeven on him into deep red. Oh well, time to refocus to Kiew!

  18. Fantastic entry from Sweden this year.
    I don’t understand the part with the handbag and the old lady with the wig, but the moment with the flags is great and what a fantastic live vocal!
    This is not a radio-friendly song, but a piece of art.
    I tip my hat to Sweden for sending something so avant-garde, original and unique to ESC and not going for some generic popsong about horny young men or such.

    • The part with the handbag relates to a woman who hitted a Neo-Nazi with her handbag, 1985. So it’s a statement againt nazism/neo-nazism. The Swedish winning entry was very popular for all countries (jurys) except … the UK. The italian entry is childish for the East European countries – not so many votes from East for that.

  19. Hate to say I told you so (as a Swedish rock band famously sang)…

    It’s an easy top 10 but nothing more. SVT really need to look at how the app voting works for next year, 20-odd points between first and last is a pisstake :/

  20. This is bad. Really didnt get the jury here… Think outside the top 10 is possible.

    Replacing the fucking for freakin is lame too.

    • Catriona colville

      You not liking it doesn’t mean it don’t do well. It has all the tools for top 5. Win is much harder…will need to see if the contenders can match Sweden’s slick staging.

      As for the f word, what else was he supposed to do? He had to replace it with something.

      • In 2011 I positively detested Jedward and was very much in the “I hate it therefore it will flop” mentality. Ever since that burn I’ve learned the hard way that songs I can’t stand can do well.

  21. very interesting that FO&O rejected “I can’t go on” How embarrassing!

  22. I dont understand why Italy is still that low in the Market. Sweden has a fantastic Staging/Show and with the more friendly smile from Robin in the Final, they will be a big Player for the Titel.

  23. Voting figures are out: http://www.svtstatic.se/image-cms/svtse/1489455862/melodifestivalen/article12814816.svt/BINARY/Alla%20röstningssiffror%20Melodifestivalen%202017.pdf

    Semi winners were Nano, Mariette, Robin and Wiktoria. Loreen missed out on Direkt by 40k votes. Only 6k in it in the Lisa/Axel duel. Roger missed out on a AC place by 2k votes.

  24. I have flashbacks to BLUE, (UK 2011) watching this…

    I also find it aloof and cold and expect Sweden to be around the same position as last year….

  25. The song contains pre-recorded vocals. You can hear it in the chorus. How Sweden is going to solve this problem? There are 5 people on stage so they can have only one back vocal. Is that going to be enough? Another option is to let the dancers sing. But can they sing?

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