Melodifestivalen has been one of the most successful TV-formats in the Nordic country of Sweden the past years, gaining extremely high ratings. To keep its popularity and make it even more exciting, the Swedish broadcaster SVT has introduced a change in the format.
Namely, one of the 32 finalists will be chosen directly to qualify for the selection, the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reports. For this, SVT will start accepting recordings of songs on their website, out of which the viewers can choose one to participate in Melodifestivalen. It's designed to bring some non-established artists/writers to the contest, according to Thomas Hall, the Project Manager for Melodifestivalen at SVT.
There are some specific rules for that, though. For starters, no political propaganda can't be posted; the writer cannot be connected to any record company but the song can be sung by an established artist if it reaches Melodifestivalen.
This stage of the selection will last approximately 30 days, Hall said.
SVT has already called for song submissions. Only Swedish citizens or person who's a permanent resident of Sweden on the 22nd of September can send in an entry. There's no restriction in the language but ten songs in Swedish will have a priority among the 32 chosen ones. Separate versions in different languages can be sent in this year as separate entries.
The chosen songs will be announced by SVT in October. Out of the 32 lucky ones, four places are reserved for invited writers or artists.
Like the previous year, there will be again four heats, a second chance round - to be held in Örnsköldsvik, Sandviken, Gothenburg, Malmö, Örebro - and a final in Stockholm. In the final, two winners from every heat and one song to be selected by an international jury, will participate. Again, a combination of twelve juries and a televote will decide who will represent Sweden at the 55th Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo.
Sweden finished 21st in the Final of the Eurovision Song Contest this year in Moscow, Russia. The tough job was taken by Malena Ernman with her La Voix.