Charlotte Perrelli, or Charlotte Nilsson, as she was known in 1999, is one of Sweden's most popular singers. She won Melodifestivalen in 1999 and represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest that year, beating off stiff competition from Iceland and Germany. Post-Eurovision Charlotte continued to have a successful musical career in Sweden and even presented Melodifestivalen twice.
In 2008 Charlotte returned to Melodifestivalen with Hero, winning her ticket to Belgrade and the Eurovision Song Contest. The singer found that the contest had changed in the nine years since she had won in Jerusalem. “There was a big, big difference. When I was in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1999 the competition was just one night. In 2008 when I was in the competition again it was a different kind of competition, the semi-finals, the grand final on the Saturday, so many more countries. Everything felt bigger. I don’t even think it was the same competition”, explained Charlotte.
Charlotte returned to Melodifestivalen again in 2012 with The Girl and this year with Mit Liv (My Life). This year also sees Loreen (Sweden’s winner in 2012), Krista Siegfrids (Finland 2013) and Roger Pontare (Sweden 2000/1994) return to the competition. Why do these artists keep entering? As Charlotte explains, “You have three minutes to perform a new song and you know that almost three million Swedish people are seeing the show. Of course, if you win the competition you have the chance to perform in the Eurovision Song Contest with a lot of countries and a lot of people. Everyone wants to go to Eurovision, it’s the goal for everyone but it’s quite hard to go there”.
Whilst Charlotte didn’t make it through to the next round of Melodifestivalen last weekend, the singer doesn’t rule out another appearance. “Melodifestivalen is a great competition, it is one of the most successful shows you can be in”, she said. Check out Charlotte’s Eurovision memories and her views on Melodifestivalen in the video below.
The second edition of Melodifestivalen 2017 takes place in Malmö tonight at 20:00 CET.