Song Title: “I Can’t Go On”
Artist: Robin Bengtsson
First Semi-Final: Position 1
Last year’s entry: “If I Were Sorry” – Frans (5th Place)
Sweden’s been having a powerhouse few years at the Eurovision Song Contest. After winning in 2012 and 2015 1, they took what I thought was a standard “thanks for letting us host but we have no intention of winning two years in a row” song (Frans’ “If I Were Sorry”) and got it all the way to 5th place with the combined vote. Sweden is a powerhouse of pop songwriting and production, so it’s no surprise their entries always feel polished and ready for mass consumption. Will Robin Bengtsson continue their pattern of winning the contest every few years?
I’m not getting as much of a Robin Thicke vibe from this as Ryan did 2, but I do miss the original f-bomb in the hook of the song. I know there are Eurovision standards, but neutering this down to “freakin'” feels like when “Forget You” was a big summer hit – it’s a little awkward, and any punch this had is completely diffused. That said, the 80s vibe of the song feels right on trend with what’s going on in pop, and even though it’s a little cheesy overall, I see that as a good thing – Eurovision should be a little cheesy.
It definitely seems like the ESC planning committee has some faith in this song – it’s kicking off the first semi-final. This definitely seems like a smart move to me – assuming Sweden wants to stage this with a backstage walk-on like the video above, this plus the OK Go-aping treadmill acrobatics are a fantastic way to kick off the show. This feels like a very memorable, dynamic performance, so that plus the reception this song’s getting from Youtube viewers should make this an easy qualifier to the Eurovision finals.