Sweden's Eurovision act slams Portuguese winner, defends 'fast food' pop music

Tristram Fane Saunders
Robin Bengtsson, Sweden's entry for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest  - Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Swedish singer Robin Bengtsson, 27, has scolded this year's Eurovision Song Contest winner Salvador Sobral for his controversial acceptance speech.

Bengtsson, who placed fifth in the contest, said Sobral's speech was "below the level of a true winner".

Receiving the award on Saturday for his understated, jazzy love song Amar Pelos Dois, Sobral said: "We live in a world of disposable music; fast food music without any content. I think this could be a victory for music with people who make music that actually means something.

Eurovision winner Salvador Sobral with his trophy Credit: EPA

“Music is not fireworks; music is feeling," the 27-year-old told the audience in Kiev. "So let’s try to change this and bring music back.”

But Bengtsson, who performed his synth-pop song  I Can't Go On while walking on an electric treadmill, has hit back at the crooner's comments, defending "fast food" music.

"Congrats on your victory, I really like your song and the way you sing it, but I think your speech after winning the ESC was below the level of a true winner," Bengtsson wrote on Instagram. "'Fast food' pop music can be the best thing in the world at the right place and time, so can a song beautiful as yours."

Sobral was the first Portuguese entry ever to win the annual contest; Sweden, by contrast, has won six times. Sobral's winning song was written by his sister, singer-songwriter Luísa, who joined him onstage for his encore performance.

Neither the Sobrals nor Bengtsson are strangers to the "fast food" music world; all three singers have previously competed on their national versions of Pop Idol.

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