Abbatars perform at Eurovision after hosts tease performance from Swedish pop supergroup

While many Abba fans were on the edge of their seats waiting to see if the Swedish pop supergroup would reunite on the Eurovision stage, the band’s virtual “Abbatars” performed instead.

Hosts Malin Åkerman and Petra Mede teased a performance from a Swedish super pop group “beginning with an A”, before introducing the popular pop trio Alcazar, who performed their hit “Crying at the Discoteque”. Fans instantly complained that they were duped by the gag, especially since Abba themselves had posted a TikTok just days before teasing a potential Eurovision performance.

The Abbatars were projected onto the stage 50 years after the Lyrca-clad foursome arrived on the stage at Brighton Dome and won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with their winning track “Waterloo” and soared to international pop stardom.

The projection saw group members Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad perform their hit “Waterloo”, which they performed when they won the same competition 50 years ago.

Follow The Independent’s live coverage of the competition here.

The band hasn’t performed live together since 1982, but that didn’t stop the hosts, and Abba themselves, from teasing a potential surprise performance at this year’s competition.

Earlier this week, the group teased a surprise appearance when they shared a five-second-long video on TikTok in the days leading up to the Eurovision final.

The video contained old footage of the group hiding behind an arrangement of shrubbery. They chose to use a popular track that hears Kim Kardashian’s voice say: “Okay guys, we’re back. Did you miss us? Because we missed you.”

Fans felt duped by the host’s ruthless attempts to tease them into thinking at Abba would be reuniting.

One fan remarked that their heart rate had risen dramatically as they were convinced Abba was about to be introduced.

The Abbatars perform ‘Waterloo’ onstage at Eurovison – the song they won the same competition with in 1974 (BBC)
The Abbatars perform ‘Waterloo’ onstage at Eurovison – the song they won the same competition with in 1974 (BBC)

“My heart!” said one viewer, as another added: “No way they made me think ABBA was going to perform.”

Others weren’t convinced by the projected images of the pop group, with one viewer writing: “This ABBA AI is possibly the weirdest, creepiest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Another was more diplomatic and still praised the Abbatar song “Waterloo”.

“Let’s be honest. ‘Waterloo’ blows every one of tonight’s songs out of the water. 50 years on and it sounds as good as ever,” said one fan.

Celebrating their 50th anniversary last month, the group shared a picture of the foursome winning the Eurovision accolade, as they wrote on Instagram: “It’s slightly dizzying and deeply humbling to think that millions of you who saw us for the first time in the Eurovision final 1974 have passed our music on not only to one generation, but to several.

“We see evidence of that every time one of us visits Abba Voyage in London, and it’s because of this we can celebrate the 50th anniversary of that event in the knowledge that our songs still resonate around the world.”

“It’s difficult to comprehend that 50 years have gone by since the four of us waited backstage for the verdicts of all the juries around Europe at the Dome in Brighton.

Abbatars onstage at Eurovision 2024 (BBC)
Abbatars onstage at Eurovision 2024 (BBC)

“So what were out dreams during those suspenseful moments or in the chaos in the aftermath of the victory we had secured with the smallest margin in Eurovision history?

“Four different dreams, no doubt, but whatever they were, however grand, reality has surpassed them, that’s for sure.”

Abba’s music has spawned musicals, theatre productions, immersive experiences, films and themed-club nights around the world, and together, the band have released seven studio albums.