ABBA at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013

WaterlooThis year the Eurovision Song Contest was held in Malmö, Sweden. Being held in Sweden of course led to many ABBA references.

During the first semi-final host Petra Mede informed the audience that one of the slogans considered for the contest was “Thank you for the music”.

But it was in the Grand Final that the ABBA references flowed thick and fast.

First, after the opening anthem ‘We Write The Story’, Petra tells us that the new Eurovision anthem was written by Avicii, Björn and Benny, saying “We couldn’t get ABBA, but at least we got A, B, B”, adding that it was “a great gift for you, all you dancing queens in the audience.”

During the final video postcard from “Spokesperson for the You-rope-ian Broadcasting Union” Lynda Woodruff (hilariously portrayed by singer Sarah Dawn Finer), she visits the Royal Castle in Stockholm “where the Royal family lives: Agnetha, Frida, Björn and Benny. But apparently they never come out together anymore. It’s a shame.”

Lynda then visits the Royal Armoury, where she tells us that “tourists can get a unique glimpse of the costumes they used to wear”. Pointing at some antique dresses and coats she says these “I think these were from the ‘Voulez-Vous’ video”, and sings “Vooolay-vooo, aha, aha, aha…”

Still in the Armoury, Lynda points to some suits of armour and claims these were “the costumes they wore when they won with Waterloo back in 1974. I’m surprised more gays… Eurovision fans haven’t found this place yet!”

Before signing off Lynda thanks everyone and asks us to remember “the winner takes it all”, then accidentally knocks a priceless vase off a pedestal. She whispers to someone off-camera “Will Benny Björn have to pay for that?”

During the interval song ‘Swedish Smörgåsbord’, a very funny song sending up Swedish stereotypes sung by host Petra Mede, Mamma Mia!, ‘Waterloo’, ‘Super Trouper’ and ABBA are all name-checked.

In the final film package of the history of the Eurovision Song Contest, Petra is inserted into footage of ABBA’s performance of ‘Waterloo’ in 1974, dressed as Frida.

Finally, at the end of the interval Sarah Dawn Finer sang a stripped-down version of ‘The Winner Takes It All’, which was released as a single on the day of the Grand Final.

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