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It’s not what it was Eurovision slammed by winner and Abba legend Frida

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Anni-Frid Lyngstad, better known as Frida, has revealed she is “not interested” in Eurovision nowadays, as it has “changed so much” over the years. The singer said the singing contest is “no longer what it was”, compared to when her band Abba won the show back in 1974.

Answering if she watches Eurovision on Zoe Ball’s Radio 2 Breakfast Show today, Frida said: “I’m sorry to say no I don’t. I’m not so interested because it has changed so much over the years and it’s not what it was at that time. 

“Now it’s more like a show, it’s very technical and there are some good songs coming out of it, but I cannot say I’m a fan of Eurovision, maybe I shouldn’t say it, but I did it anyway.”

Abba is a Swedish band formed of Frida, Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Faltsog.

The dynamic foursome shot to fame after winning Eurovision with their smash hit Waterloo, which in 2005 was chosen as the best song in the competition’s history as part of the 50th-anniversary celebration of the contest.

Sometimes abbreviated to ESC and often known simply as Eurovision, is an international songwriting competition organised annually by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), featuring participants representing primarily European countries. 

Each participating country submits an original song to be performed on live television and radio, transmitted to national broadcasters via the EBU’s Eurovision and Euroradio networks, with competing countries then casting votes for the other countries’ songs to determine a winner.

Traditionally held in the country which won the preceding year’s event, the contest provides an opportunity to promote the host country and city as a tourist destination. 

The contest has received criticism for its musical and artistic quality, and for a perceived political aspect to the event in recent years.

Competing entries have previously been derided for spanning various ethnic and international styles, and in recent years a tendency towards elaborate stage shows has been highlighted as a distraction. 

Concerns have also been raised regarding political friendships and rivalries between countries potentially influencing the results.

Controversial moments from past editions include participating countries withdrawing at a late stage, censorship of segments of the broadcast by broadcasters, and political events impacting participation. 

As artists and songs ultimately represent a country, the contest has seen several controversial moments where political tensions between competing countries as a result of frozen conflicts, and in some cases open warfare, are reflected in the performances and voting.

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However, despite the ongoing division over Eurovision, Abba has remained successful with the band originally consisting of two married couples: Fältskog and Ulvaeus, and Lyngstad and Andersson. 

With the increase of their popularity, their personal lives suffered, which eventually resulted in the collapse of both marriages. 

The relationship changes were reflected in the group’s music, with later compositions featuring darker and more introspective lyrics.

After ABBA separated in December 1982, Andersson and Ulvaeus continued their success writing music for multiple audiences including stage, musicals and movies, while Fältskog and Lyngstad pursued solo careers.

In 2016, the group reunited and started working on a digital avatar concert tour. Newly recorded songs were announced in 2018. Voyage, their first new album in 40 years, was released on November 5.

Speaking on why she decided to reunite with the band that made her a household name, Frida revealed: “We have never stopped working together because we have had meetings concerning different things over the years.

“We’ve always stayed in touch more or less over the years as well, and when this idea with the Abba digital or the avatars… came out then Benny suggested we maybe have a couple of new songs on that show so that’s how it started. 

“So with anticipation, I went into the studio to meet with the others because it’s always fun to work together with them… a little bit tense maybe, but we also decided on if it doesn’t go well then we don’t have to release it.”

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