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  • Writer's pictureLaura Smith

Australia and Sweden's Eurovision Love Story

Like the sight of IKEA meatballs after a long day of walking around looking at flat-pack furniture, Australia loves Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest.

With the Scandinavian nation hosting the latest edition of Eurovision in Malmö this week, we’re taking a deep dive into the love affair between Australia and one of Eurovision’s most successful countries.  

Love at first sight in 2015

Our relationship started strong, with Australia and Sweden exchanging 12 points in the 2015 Eurovision final, where Sweden would eventually emerge victorious.

As a perk of our debut in the contest, Australia had the power to vote in both semi-finals, and we loved Sweden right from the start, giving them our 12 points in the second semi-final as well.

Sweden love for Dami in 2016 not reciprocated

Despite Sweden’s jury and televote both giving Dami Im 12 points in the final the following year, Australia rewarded the Eurovision 2016 hosts by giving them absolutely nothing.

Our ‘douze points’ that year went to Belgium’s Laura Tesoro and her entry ‘What’s The Pressure’, with Australia’s jury and televoters both awarding her top marks. Dami Im featured Swedish singer and Estonia’s 2002 representative Anna Sahlene as a backing vocalist.

A two-way street again in 2017

In 2017, Sweden’s jury and televote for Australia diverged. While the Swedish jury was keen to reward Isaiah Firebrace’s performance of ‘Don’t Come Easy’ with 12 points in the semi-final and 10 points in the final, the Swedish televoters were less enthusiastic, giving him 2 points in the semi-final and ‘nul points’ in the final.

Australia’s jury and televoters were on the same page, awarding Robin Bengtsson’s treadmill-packed ‘I Can’t Go On’ with 8 points each in the semi-final and 6 points each in the final.

The love affair continued in 2018 (well in the semis at least)

In 2018, Australia’s Jessica Mauboy took to the Eurovision stage with her entry ‘We Got Love’, and Australia certainly had love for Sweden!

Australia’s jury gave Benjamin Ingrosso’s ‘Dance You Off’ ‘douze points’ in both the semi-final and the final, and the Swedish jury gave Jess 10 points in the semi-final and 8 points in the final.

The televoters of both nations were kind to each other in the semi-finals, Sweden’s televote gave Australia 7 televote points in the semi-finals, with the Aussie audience giving Sweden 8 points in the semi-final.

But there was no love and no televote points to be found from either nation in the final. That’s right – not one of Benjamin Ingrosso’s iconic 21 televote points came from us – ouch!

Swedish creative director Sacha Jean Baptiste was creative director for Jessica Mauboy and Isaiah Firebrace’s Eurovision entries.

Sour notes in 2019 and 2021

In 2019, the relationship became a little more one-sided. Despite Kate Miller-Heidke soaring to extraordinary heights, the Swedish jury awarded her performance of ‘Zero Gravity’ 6 points, with the Scandinavian nation’s televote giving her 5 points.

But it was not ‘Too Late For Love’ for John Lundvik, who received 12 points from Australia’s jury and 8 points from Australia’s televote in the 2019 Eurovision final.

Overall, the jurors of both nations were kinder to each other’s entries than the televoters were during this period. The low point came in 2021 when Montaigne’s live-on-tape performance received ‘nul points’ from Sweden in the semi-final. Sweden’s entrant Tusse was awarded only 6 points in the semi-final by the Australian jury.

Repairing the rift in 2022 and 2023

In 2022, the Swedish and Australian juries exchanged 12 points in the semi-final and 10 points in the final. Aussie televoters gave Cornelia Jakobs’ ‘Hold Me Closer’ 10 points in the semi-final and 5 points in the final, but the Swedish televoters were not as kind towards Sheldon Riley’s ‘Not The Same’, awarding him just 4 televote points in the semi-final.

‘Not The Same’, directed by Swedish creative director Sacha Jean Baptiste, would receive just two televote points in the final, both coming from Azerbaijan.

The following year, Sweden’s televoters gave Voyager 1 point in the final, in what ended up being a promising sign of a top 10 finish for Australia. Although the Australian juries gave Loreen’s Eurovision-winning entry ‘Tattoo’ 7 points in the final, Aussie televoters loved the song, giving it 10 points.

It's raining love?

In every contest since Australia’s first appearance in 2015, Sweden and Australia have remained reliable Eurovision allies, with at least one of the nations giving the other points each year.

This year, Sweden is the host nation once again, with the ability to vote in semi-final 1, where Australia's Electric Fields will compete for a place in the Eurovision final with their song 'One Milkali (One Blood)'.

Will the Nordic and Antipodean love affair continue in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest?

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