First Listen: Could Sweden be the “Heroes” of Eurovision?

What starts out as "Breaking Bad the Musical" could send Sweden home with another Eurovision victory.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to call Sweden a Eurovision powerhouse. In fifty-four years of participation, the Swedes have racked up six bronze, one silver, and five gold medals (including the 1974 winner, a little-known song called Waterloo). More amazingly: they have medalled three of the past four years, including Loreen’s mumbly and dark winner, Euphoria. Can Sweden bring the 2015 Eurovision title back to Northern Europe?

I have so many thoughts and feelings about this entry. It starts out as Breaking Bad the Musical, complete with a terrible Swedish impression of an American Western/Southwestern accent, then morphs into a more traditional angsty pop/dance number. The custom CGI is really cool, but requires a level of exactitude that is hard to count on during a live performance, and is clearly geared toward the at-home audience. Also, I don’t get why all of the rolly-pollys are wearing dunce caps. Are they supposed to be the demons in his mind? I wish my mind-demons were so cute, friendly, and generally innocuous.

I am completely confused by the performance choices for this entry, and yet I LIKE IT SO RIDICULOUSLY MUCH. The song itself is well-produced and catchy as hell, if not particularly original in sound or concept. Like Loreen and Sanna Nielsen before him, Måns Zelmerlöw has a great voice, easy stage presence, and is incredibly charismatic. (Did I mention he looks great in leather pants?) There aren’t many weaknesses to the song or performance overall, other than the risk of Måns being caught out-of-place during the CGI sections, and the fact that he was clearly struggling to get the laser prop off his hand and into his pocket in the middle section.

Meanwhile, one of this entry’s biggest strengths (other than the fact that Måns looks great in leather pants) is its atmosphere; in that respect I’m finding it similar to a number of recent successful entries (Calm Before the Storm, Only Teardrops, Hold Me, the aforementioned Euphoria). That’s incredibly good company to be in. I may not know exactly where this song has transported me, but I do know that I have already watched it a dozen times, and caught myself humming it while making dinner last night. My guess is “Heroes” will easily transport Sweden back into the top five, and will make Måns a strong contender to win.

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  • He looks great out of leather pants as well. Homeboy likes the gym and selfies…

    Wait, that’s not what I came here to post. I read the pointy hats as a shoutout to Moldova 2011. This entry is a culmination of the last five years of top-tier performances, though they forgot to incorporate the hamster wheel.