“I sincerely apologise if I offended any artists and fans, I did it all with good fun and humour,” he said in a post on his official Twitter page. “I have so much respect for my fellow artists and I never wanted to upset anyone.”
The video – which was made in conjunction with Eurovision site Wiwibloggs – has since been removed, but in it Ingrosso was played the songs and music videos submitted by all his European rivals. The footage saw him react positively to many of the contestants, but the 20-year-old poked fun at several, most notably FYR Macedonia act Eye Cue to whom he said: “It sounded like she farted. Wait look at that drummer, he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Oh no, they brought him from the streets.”
The footage also shows Ingrosso with an eye-popping expression during several acts, and removing his headphones while listening to Hungary’s AWS, saying: “I can’t listen to rock music that much. My ears can’t”.
“Sometimes things get taken the wrong way when presented only through camera,” he said in his subsequent post. “To all the entries, we are all great musicians who are in this competition to get together through the music.
“I’m looking forward to meeting you all in Lisbon and to show you my true reactions with love in real life. And once again sorry for offending anyone”.
Ingrosso does heap praise on plenty of the Eurovision acts, including Azerbaijan (“this is a classic pop melody”), Germany (“I think this is one of the best ballads this year”) and Cyprus (“such a nice hook, she’s so cool”).
But he has attracted ire from some fans on social media, with reddit user odajoana saying his labelling of San Marino as “low budget” was “really rude”.
Others took to Twitter to share their disappointment in his comments:
Benjamin Ingrosso can have his own opinion of each song, he doesn't have to say he likes the songs if he really doesn't. But he should always show respect. And that he hasn't. Eurovision is abt uniting countries. Respecting eachother. Apparently he doesn't. #Eurovision
Just seen a clip of Benjamin Ingrosso from Sweden being very disrespectful to the Macedonian entry @EyeCueOfficial on @wiwibloggs – I'm not surprised they removed the full video. For the record FYR Macedonia have a better song than Sweden this year.