Loreen, the beloved singer who secured a win for Sweden in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest with “Euphoria”, has become the first woman in the history of the competition to win the event twice. But in amongst all the celebrations, some viewers are wondering if the result from Saturday’s grand final in Liverpool was “rigged”.
While Loreen’s “Tattoo” went to the top of the leaderboard with 583 points and won the jury vote, Finland’s entry – “Cha Cha Cha” by Käärija – wasn’t too far behind with 526 points and got the highest score from the public.
The national juries swinging the victory in Loreen’s favour has already sparked criticism against the jury system, with fans calling on organisers to “abolish” it and arguing it “brings the contest itself into disrepute”.
However, a wilder reaction comes in the form of a conspiracy theory which concerns international pop sensation and former Eurovision contestants ABBA, who won the event all the way back in 1974 with the iconic track “Waterloo”.
Given Loreen’s victory this year means the contest will be hosted in Sweden in 2024, which also happens to be the 50th anniversary of their win, some fans are wondering if the country’s success in Liverpool is more than just a coincidence:
\u201cLoreen winning for Sweden so Sweden host Eurovision for ABBA's 50th anniversary\n\n#Eurovision2023 #Eurovision\u201d— Sardaran Carol Ahmed (@Sardaran Carol Ahmed) 1684019336
\u201cLook I'm not saying it's rigged but... Sweden winning the year before the anniversary of ABBA's win seems entirely too convenient to me #Eurovision\u201d— cynthia \ud83d\udd4a \u0b9a\u0bbf\u0ba8\u0bcd\u0ba4\u0bbf\u0baf\u0bbe (@cynthia \ud83d\udd4a \u0b9a\u0bbf\u0ba8\u0bcd\u0ba4\u0bbf\u0baf\u0bbe) 1684019718
\u201cNo way they rigged the entire thing so Sweden can host it on the 50 year anniv of ABBA's win bro. I'm SALTY #Eurovision\u201d— Mitch (@Mitch) 1684016494
\u201cthey wanted sweden to win so ABBA perform their 50th eurovision anniversary in sweden next year\u201d— cat (@cat) 1684019060
\u201cSweden winning ahead of ABBA's 50th anniversary? #Eurovision\u201d— Matthew (@Matthew) 1684019268
\u201cthis whole ABBA anniversary and Sweden winning seems a bit too coincidental to me idk #eurovision\u201d— Flo | Olli Matela\u2019s gf (confirmed) (@Flo | Olli Matela\u2019s gf (confirmed)) 1684020103
\u201cJury vote so rigged. Nearly 37 countries deciding that Loreen should\u2019ve won so next year it goes to Sweden on the 50th anniversary of ABBA. Total fix. Finland robbed #Eurovision\u201d— Huw Williams (@Huw Williams) 1684019286
\u201cSweden won the 2023 Eurovision because the professional juries wanted the 2024 to be in Sweden for the ABBA 50th anniversary. Whole thing was fixed.\u201d— Michael Scanlan is on MAB (@Michael Scanlan is on MAB) 1684055269
\u201cNo normal person had Sweden in 1st.\nIt\u2019s the 50th anniversary of Abba winning with Waterloo next year.\nSo the fix is in to have #Eurovision in Sweden. 2024 \n In the hope of an Abba Reunion?\n#Eurovision2023\u201d— Allison Pearson (@Allison Pearson) 1684018112
And if that wasn’t enough, others believe the opening to “Tattoo” sounds a lot like the melody from another ABBA hit, “The Winner Takes It All”:
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\u201cLoreen\u2019s Tattoo\u2026 so similar to Pont Aeri\u2019s Flying Free and ABBA\u2019s The Winner takes it all\n\n#EurovisionRTVE #Eurovision #EurovisionRTVE \n\nhttps://t.co/a1lQWwAeqa\u201d— SritaEriza (@SritaEriza) 1684018999
\u201cI'm a Loreen fan just like any other Eurovision fan, but this song sounds like a sampling of ABBA's Winner Takes It All. It literally has the same melody for the first 2 sentences.\u201d— Ariane Ophir, PhD \u05d0\u05e8\u05d9\u05d0\u05df \u0627\u0631\u064a\u0627\u0646 \ud83d\udfe3 (@Ariane Ophir, PhD \u05d0\u05e8\u05d9\u05d0\u05df \u0627\u0631\u064a\u0627\u0646 \ud83d\udfe3) 1683978463
\u201cSweden just recycling The Winner takes it all \ud83d\ude05 It\u2019s literally the same melody \ud83d\ude05 #Eurovision #Eurovision2023\u201d— Kier Kemp (@Kier Kemp) 1684008134
\u201cTattoo is a mix of:\n1. Flying Free\n2. The Winner Takes it All\n3. Easy on Me\n4. I\u2019ll Never Love Again\n\nWinner of another Eurovision contest. Robbery.\u201d— Sergio (@Sergio) 1684019955
\u201cIs it me or has this Sweden song lifted bits from The Winner Takes it All?? #Eurovision\u201d— Adrian Harris (@Adrian Harris) 1684008003
\u201cThe first two lines of the Swedish song sound like they are lifted from \u2018The winner takes it all\u2019 #Eurovision\u201d— Jane Weaver (@Jane Weaver) 1684019578
\u201cI've just catched up with #Eurovision now and seriously how did Sweden win??? That song is so boring and bad and I'm pretty sure some parts of it are a literal copy of The Winner Takes It All by Abba and maybe some other Abba songs \ud83d\udc80\u201d— Violet.\ud83c\udf4d (@Violet.\ud83c\udf4d) 1684022795
\u201cSweden\u2019s song was just a copy of \u2018The Winner Takes It All\u2019 so\u2026 it really can\u2019t win! #EUROVISION\u201d— Lou The Pikachu \u26a1\ufe0f (@Lou The Pikachu \u26a1\ufe0f) 1684016105
Ahead of the results being announced, ABBA member Björn Ulvaeus appeared with a video message reflecting on the supergroup’s success post-Eurovision, wishing all 26 contestants luck.
“Who knows where this journey will take you,” he said.
Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the first time the result of a Eurovision Song Contest has been met with controversy, as Italian winners Måneskin found themselves embroiled in a false and disproven drugs scandal after lead singer Damiano David was filmed leaning towards the table in front of him.
David referenced the situation at Eurovision a year later, advising contestants after their performance to “have fun and don’t get close to the table”.
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