The Eurovision 2018 Review: Day 40

Sometimes it doesn’t help to be successful. The more you hoover up those points, the slicker you are at it, the more the envy turns to contempt.

So if you’re not at your peak year in, year out, down the vultures will swoop. And that, sadly, seems to be happening with Sweden this year.

Benjamin Ingrosso and his surprisingly engrossing hairy forearms are this year’s focus of our post-Melodifestivalen concerns. Crowned without the usual fireworks and fuss as excitement levels for the Swedish heats took a serious dip this year (it was never appointment telly), this is also the one that’s being unwisely ignored.

Sounding much like the Justin Timberlake your local parish centre can afford for Ladies Night, this isn’t going to win the Eurovision Originality Contest but Czech Republic aside, it’s just about the only touchstone the youth vote has if they’re forced to watch with their babysitter on May 12. While their mum is at Ladies Night.

Dance You Off has genuine commercial playlist potential but that doesn’t stop it being a tad, umm, dull. Largely lifeless, it does get the vital signs once it’s staged, Benjamin looking like the most inappropriately dressed extra in Tron as neon tube lights flicker, change and swoop at his feet, although the effect can also also look like a deckchair built to accommodate an entire rugby team in one go.

It’s not Heroes, Eupohoria or even If I Were Sorry and that, perhaps more than anything, is why Dance You Off is being so under-rated. Imagine this being the UK entry or the Spanish one. The hype surrounding it would be stratospheric with certain fans already scouting for hotel rooms in Madrid, London and Manchester months before the final. It may not have animated stickmen, artificial snow or – thankfully – words appearing behind Benjamin’s shoulder at random but it does have the inescapable slickness that every Swedish entry of the past 20 years turns up to the Contest with in spades.

Gothenburg 2019 is not an impossibility and perhaps we’re all being a bit too smug about this sleeper to realise it until the scoreboard makes its final rotation in the dying hours of May 12. Ignore this one at your peril – but don’t be surprised if it’s a non-qualifier either. That’s what you call dancing off all the bases.

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