Every year, the six shows of the Swedish Melodifestivalen attracts viewers from all across Europe. The national selections for the Eurovision Song Contest consist the by far most popular TV show in Sweden every year.
The task to host Melodifestivalen is consequently the biggest of it's kind in the country, and when the Swedish broadcaster SVT presented the hosts on Wednesday, a well-attended special press conference was arranged.
As always with Melodifestivalen, Swedish media payed close attention to Wednesday's press conference. Photo: Gustav Dahlander (EBU)
The ones to take on a sold out arena and one third of the country's population in front of the TV screens for six Saturdays in February and March will be Marie Serneholt and Richard Olsson. Pop artist, musical artist, voice actor, model and TV host Serneholt is a former member of the internationally famed ABBA cover group A-Teens. She competed in a semi-final of Melodifestivalen 2009, failing to qualify for the final.
"Since I've been performing in the competition myself, I hope to be able to provide good input from my routine as an artist. As for the host part, I'm extremely happy to have Rickard by my side," Serneholt says to Eurovision.tv.
As an experienced TV host, Rickard Olsson has the opposite challenge to face.
"My weak side is the dance and show performances that the hosts usually perform here, so I feel fairly nervous about that," says Olsson.
But the duo will not be alone. Every week, they will be joined by a secret guest acting as a third host, with a different approach depending on the person's strengths.
The discussions leading up to Melodifestivalen 2011 are in full swing among the public in Sweden, with the hosts presented and the artists gradually being revealed. On the two upcoming Mondays, SVT will reveal the two last groups of artists. Eurovision.tv will be there to take you through the action with a special report on the night of each date.
Melodifestivalen 2011: Here's the full tour
Semi-final 1: Saturday 5 February 2011 in Luleå (Coop Arena)
Semi-final 2: Saturday 12 February 2011 in Göteborg (Scandinavium)
Semi-final 3: Saturday 19 February 2011 in Linköping (Cloetta Center)
Semi-final 4: Saturday 26 February 2011 in Malmö (Malmö Arena)
Second Chance: Saturday 5 March 2011 in Sundsvall (Nordichallen)
Final: Saturday 12 March 2011 in Stockholm (Ericsson Globe Arena)
All the shows start at 20:00 CET.