ABBA Bjorn: ‘Waterloo’ Still Good Enough To Win Eurovision

With a more modern production and without platform shoes, ABBA could have been a strong contender at the Eurovision Song Contest even now, former band member Bjoern Ulvaeus says.

Photo: AP Photo/file
With close associates celebrating their victory in the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton, England.

The Swedish disco quartet won the 1974 competition with “Waterloo,” and is one of the few bands that enjoyed long-lasting success after the event.

On the eve of this year’s contest in Stockholm, Ulvaeus said Friday that “Waterloo” has qualities to it that could have made it a winner even 42 years later, with some adjustments to the stage performance.

“There certainly wouldn’t be any platform shoes. And I doubt there would be a star-shaped guitar,” he said.

“If we entered this year and were as young as we were then, and someone has done a really good staging, and a good TV production, yes, I think we would stand a chance to win.”

The Eurovision Song Contest, now in its 61st edition, will be held Saturday in Stockholm’s Globe arena.

Ulvaeus says he’s a bigger fan of the glitzy competition now than he was in the ABBA days.

“I think it perhaps has more relevance than people think,” he said, noting that it will be watched by nearly 200 million viewers in Europe and beyond.

Photo: APTN via AP
Seen In this frame taken from Associated Press Television News.

“That’s about the only time, I think, that people sort of feel, over Europe, feel some kind of connection,” Ulvaeus said. “And in this day and age of religious fanaticism and ultra-nationalism and what have you, and Europe threatening to fall apart again … this event has something to say. It’s about openness, tolerance and inclusiveness.”