Only Ireland have claimed more Eurovision titles than Sweden, which has produced the winner on six occasions, including three times in the last twenty years; in 1999, 2012 and 2015. And you have to go back to 2013 to find the last occasion on which Sweden finished outside the top six; a run of consistent success that no other nation has been able to match.
So naturally, any Swedish entrant is likely to be taken very seriously by Eurovision punters, and that is certainly the case with John Lundvik’s Too Late For Love.
Born in the UK, Lundvik is a well-known songwriter and performer in Sweden, and can be relied upon to deliver a solid performance. And crucially, his song has already proven to be a hit. It reached number one in the Swedish charts in March, and easily won the Swedish song contest Melodifestivalen in the same month. In fact, at the time of his victory, the odds on a Lundvik Eurovision win dropped dramatically with most bookmakers. They have been lengthening steadily since, and punters seem to prefer the Russian and Netherlands entries at the moment, but, hovering at the 9/1 mark, the Swedish entry is regarded as a serious contender.
And with good reason. In winning Melodifestivalen, Lundvik attracted unanimous top marks from the international judges, and it’s worth noting that neither the eventual 2012 nor 2015 Eurovision winners managed to get a clean sweep of top marks for their Melodifestivalen performances,
The song was also showcased at the London Eurovision Festival, and Lundvik and his backing singers made a strong impression with a soulful rendition that stood out from most of the other performers on the bill. The song itself is solid, without being spectacular, but the combination of a skilled and reliable performer, who is able to deliver the level of charisma and sincerity necessary to sell this kind of tune, and the experience of the Swedish delegation means that Sweden once again have to be taken very seriously by Eurovision fans and punters.