Sweden first entered the Eurovision Song Contest in 1958 but it would take them until 1974 to win the competition when ABBA famously took the trophy with the song Waterloo, which became a global hit and an all-time Eurovision classic. Whilst Sweden has finished last on two occasions, in 1963 and 1977, over the past decade the country has come to dominate the contest.
In 2002 Swedish national broadcaster SVT revamped the format of the national selection, Melodifestivalen, which saw the introduction of semi-finals held in different cities around Sweden and the inclusion of 32 songs in total, all battling for the right to represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest. Melodifestivalen is now the most watched programme of the year in Sweden and generates hits for the participants regardless of whether they reach the final or not. The show also attracts a large number of international visitors who travel to Stockholm specifically for the final.
Since the Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals were introduced in 2004, Sweden has only once failed to qualify for the Grand Final. In 2010 Anna Bergendahl finished 11th in the semi-final and narrowly missed out on a place in the Grand Final with her song This Is My Life. Since then Sweden has only once been out of the top five, in 2013, when the contest was hosted in the Swedish city of Malmö.
Check out Sweden's ten most successful songs in the Eurovision Song Contest:
Could Ireland be about to lose its winning record? If the recent success of Sweden is anything to go by, this is looking more and more likely. Let the battle commence!