Saturday, 4 August 2012

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 2006

The Swedish Final was held at the Globe Theatre in Stockholm on March 18th, hosted by Lena Philipsson who represented Sweden in ESC 2004. The winner was chosen by a combination of televoting (50%) and regional juries (50%). Carola won the televote and Andreas Johnson was the favourite of the regional juries.

Before the final there were 5 semi-finals which were all hosted by Lena Philipsson who represented Sweden in ESC 2004. In the first 4 semi-finals there were two rounds of televoting - the first to select the top 5 and the second to select the top 2 songs to qualify directly for the final and the 3rd and 4th placed songs that went forward to the 5th semi-final. In the 5th semi-final the televoting was in two rounds - the first to select the top 5 and the second to select the two qualifiers for the final.

Carola was chosen to go to Athens for Sweden singing the song Evighet. The song is written and composed by Thomas G:son, Carola Häggkvist, Bobby Ljunggren & Henrik Wikström.

Carola's entry in the contest sparked controversy. From the moment she declared that she would be entering the 2006 contest, there were cries of that she had just won the contest out of fear of her already established fanbase voting her to victory no matter what she sung. Carola was also criticized for her prior statements about homosexuality and for her use of "personal assistants" who pretty much controlled what she said and didn't say when she appeared in public.

The controversy of Carolagate was further inflamed by a series of mysterious events during the Semi Final from which she qualified (Gothenburg) and during the Final in Stockholm itself. Further, during the recap for the voting of the Gothenburg Semi Final, the recap of Carola's performance ran for approximately 30 seconds instead of the traditional 10-12.

During the final, people had major problems televoting for several entrants, the brunt of which were revolved around two entrants: Andreas Johnson and BWO, the two entrants who placed 2nd and 3rd. While there were wide reports of people not being able to vote for these two entrants, nobody complained about complications when voting for Carola. Furthermore, during the recap during for voting, SVT used footage from the Gothenburg Semi Final when showing Carola's entry, which wouldn't have been so suspicious and noticeable had Carola not had a throat infection which resulted in a less stellar performance than in Gothenburg.

Though not part of the controversy, aforementioned throat infection persisted, which lead to Carola being forced to actually alter (lower) her vocals for the last stanza (the one with the wailing, which wasn't wailing anymore) when performing Invincible in Athens.


Semi-Final 1 - Ejendahls Arena, Leksand - 18th February

1. Sing for Me - Andreas Johnson
2. Jag ljuger så bra - Linda Bengtzing
3. The name of love - Magnus Bäcklund
4. Kameleont - Electric Banana Band
5. This Woman - Anna Sahlene
6. Kuddkrig - Pandang
7. Naughty Boy - Hannah Graaf
8. Aiayeh (The Music of the Samba) - Simone Moreno

Semi-Final 2 - Löfbergs Lila, Karlstad - 25th February

1. Lev livet! - Magnus Carlsson
2. Idag och imorgon - Kikki Danielsson
3. En droppe regn - Niclas Wahlgren
4. Mi amore - Velvet
5. Etymon - Sonya
6. Ge mig en kaka till kaffet - Östen med Resten
7. La chica dela copa - Pablo Cepelda
8. Oh Yeah - The elephantz

Semi-Final 3 - Rosenholm Arena, Karlskrona - 4th March

1. Night of Passion - The Poodles
2. Temple of Love - BWO
3. Faller du så faller jag - Patrik Isaksson
4. Golden Star - Elysion
5. Kalla nätter - Jessica Andersson
6. Innan natten är över - Kayo Shekoni
7. When Love's Comin' Back Again - Jessica Folcker
8. Mi amor - Gregor

Semi-Final 4 - Scandinavium, Gothenburg - 11th March

1. Evighet - Carola Häggkvist
2. Älskar du livet - Björn Kjellman
3. Mama Take Me Home - Rednex
4. Silverland - Roger Pontare
5. Jag tar det jag vill ha - Sandra Dahlberg
6. Like Fire Tonight - Günther and the Sunshine Girls
7. Don't Try To Stop Me - Laila Adéle
8. Under Your Spell - Evan

Semi-Final 5 - SVT TV Studios, Stockholm - 12th March - Host: Carin Hjulström-Livh

1. Mama Take Me Home - Rednex
2. The Name of Love - Magnus Bäcklund
3. Faller du så faller jag - Patrik Isaksson
4. Silverland - Roger Pontare
5. Golden Star - Elysion
6. Kameleont - Electric Banana Band
7. Mi amore - Velvet
8. En droppe regn - Niclas Wahlgren

The Final - Globen, Stockholm - March 18th

01. Evighet - Carola Häggkvist, 234 points
02. Temple of Love - BWO, 202 points
03. Sing for Me - Andreas Johnson, 200 points
04. Night of Passion - The Poodles, 98 points
05. The Name of Love - Magnus Bäcklund, 68 points
06. Mama Take Me Home - Rednex, 61 points
07. Jag ljuger så bra - Linda Bengtzing, 56 points
08. Lev livet! - Magnus Carlsson, 19 points
09. Älskar du livet - Björn Kjellman, 6 points
10. I dag & i morgon - Kikki Danielsson, 2 points

She sang Evighet in English in Athens, under the name Invincible, and came fifth in the final, after coming fourth in the semi-final. 


Carola Maria Häggkvist, better known as Carola, is a Swedish singer and occasional songwriter. She has been among Sweden's most popular performers since the early 1980s, and has released albums ranging from pop and disco to hymns and folk music. Her debut album, Främling, sold around one million copies and remains the biggest-selling album in Swedish music history. She has also worked as a songwriter. During her 25-year long career, she has recorded many top-selling albums and singles and is referred to as Sweden's most prominent female singer. Some of her biggest hits include Främling from 1983, Tommy tycker om mig from 1984, Fångad av en stormvind from 1991, All the Reasons to Live from 1992, I Believe in Love from 2001, Genom allt from 2005 and Evighet from 2006.

Carola Häggkvist has represented Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest on three occasions: in 1983, finishing third; in 1991, winning the contest; and in 2006, finishing fifth.

Carola has released records in various languages: Swedish, Dutch, German, English, Norwegian and Japanese.

In an interview in 2002 for the Swedish gay magazine QX, Carola alienated many gay and some heterosexual fans by alleging that she knows homosexual people who have become heterosexual through prayers. She also said that homosexuality would always remain "unnatural" to her.

Four years later, her comment was brought up when she participated in the Swedish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest in March 2006. During a press conference a journalist tried to ask her about her opinions on homosexuality, but she didn't answer.

On March 15, 2006, Rickard Engfors, who is gay and Carola's cooperating partner during the Melodifestivalen and Eurovision Song Contest 2006, said "Carola doesn't hate gays. If she did, I wouldn't work for her. She is a fantastic person."

During an exclusive interview for one of the Eurovision-related websites before the 2006 contest, Carola was also questioned about this, and stated that she "would love for every gay person to feel that she loves them" and that she does not think that "being gay is a sickness". She went on to criticize the tabloids for misinterpreting her original words and making an issue out of it. Later in the interview, she also commented on one of her supporting dancers being gay and his boyfriend being "great".

In 2008, she spoke to the newspaper Aftonbladet and again revisited her opinions about homosexuality, which she insisted have evolved over the past two decades and are very inclusive. She said, "I actually invited gays from QX to my 25 year anniversary, but QX turned it down. What can I do? I love all people. I love the gays. So I am definitely not homophobic in any way. We are here for the music and I have no wacky opinions. And I feel love from many homosexuals too."

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