By Emma Dooney
ABBA has called on the UK to change their Eurovision tactics ASAP, unless they want to face another embarrassing defeat at next year's show.
The Swedish pop band has criticized the UK for its blasé attitude towards Eurovision in recent years, blaming the country's losing streak on their failure to take the glitzy songwriting competition seriously. The blunt comments were made shortly before the highly-anticipated release of ABBA's ninth studio album, Voyage.
Speaking to the BBC from their cozy recording studio in Stockholm, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus opened up about how they became Sweden's first winner of Eurovision back in 1974 with their hit song, Waterloo—before doling out some words of showbiz advice for their British neighbors.
"We had to take it seriously," said Björn. "I think there's a difference in attitude, because, for us, it was the only way out."
When asked for his thoughts on the UK's poor performance in Eurovision over the past couple of decades, he suggested that the nation should adopt a more professional approach to it. "I think the attitude has been to laugh at the Eurovision, which is laughable in a way," he said.
Benny also urged the UK to invest in skilled lyricists, emphasizing that "better songs" are the key to breaking their 24-year losing streak. Last year, the country placed dead last, with English musician James Newman scoring zero points after his performance of his song, Embers.
In October, it was announced that the team behind music superstars Dua Lipa and Lana del Ray would select the UK's act for Eurovision 2022. The bold move was welcomed by Benny and Björn, who called the recruitment of industry moguls "good" and "promising", respectively.
However, it's still no guarantee of success.
"Picking an act is one thing. Writing a song is different," Benny said. "You need both a great song and a good act."
The talented duo—who were unfortunately interviewed without ABBA's iconic female members, Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad —went on to discuss the possibility of helping the UK rebuild their Eurovision reputation.
"A UK entry? Oh, I don't know," said Benny, when asked if the band would open to providing material for the country.
"No," Björn jumped in, before reconsidering. "It would depend on the artist."
"But what's the risk?" challenged Benny. "You can't be worse than last."
"No, but it would need to be a really good act to write for," he replied.
With the 66th Eurovision Song Contest scheduled to take place in Turin, Italy in May 2022, Benny and Björn would have just a few months to churn out a killer UK song entry. We believe in you, boys.
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