I Just Can’t with Sweden’s “I Can’t Go On”

The Swedish Pop Music Industrial Complex has struck again with “I Can’t Go On” by Robin Bengtsson. Yay?

I try not to hold grudges, but for some reason music competitions make that goal more difficult.1 In last year’s Melodifestivalen competition, Robin Bengtsson performed a song called “Constellation Prize.” There was nothing about stars, astronomy, or even astrology in the track: it should have been called “Consolation Prize” and therefore is unforgivable.2

Anyway, Bengtsson returned to this year’s MelFest with “I Can’t Go On” and a performance including using a good chunk of the backstage area and treadmills. Take a listen:

Not to get into a whole thesis about pop music and rape culture, but this song has a squick factor that makes me not comfortable. It doesn’t help that this sounds like a milder version of “Blurred Lines” and that this Robin gives off a strong Robin Thicke vibe. The Swedish public may also be aware of something not being right about this song, as it was only the third favorite out of the twelve entries in the Melfest final. Thanks juries?

I’m starting to get concerned with what Sweden is spitting out for its Eurovision entries. Seeing last year’s Melfest winner Frans — whose song “If I Were Sorry” I found just as problematic — hand over the trophy to Bengtsson was not a good feeling. Of course, Sweden’s Gonna Sweden and this song is considered one of the favorites to win at this point. Blerg.

  1. Nicole Scherzinger knows what she did.  
  2. I’m only half joking. Words have meanings.  
About the Author
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv