The rules of the popular Melodifestivalen have evolved and changed over the years, but the number of participants has been 32 since the introduction of the semi-finals tour back in 2002. Now the Swedish broadcaster SVT wants to change that.
"We try to review and make something new every year. New this year is that 28 acts will compete - so we will see seven artists in each of the semi-finals. That way we'll create more air in the program with a more lively feeling and giving each song and artist more space", says Christer Björkman, executive producer of Melodifestivalen 2015.
Even the Second Chance round, Andra Chansen, will be different. The songs that come in third and fourth place in the four semi-finals will meet in four duels. The winners of each duel will move on to the final. "With the new shape of Andra Chansen next year we'll have 12 songs instead of 10 competing in the final", says Christer Björkman.
Viewers will have two more favorites to vote for - which we hope they will appreciate
As for the voting they have chosen to go the way of the Eurovision Song Contest: there will be a limit of 20 votes per phone and entry. This means that you can call and send text messages up to 20 times for each song, but that you can vote for as many songs as you want in each program.
A huge number to choose from
Usually, no other country gets over 1000 songs to their national selection. For the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest, 2177 songs have been submitted in Sweden.
As in recent years, a selection panel will appoint half of the entries, this year a total of 14 songs. Then the event producers appoint another 13 songs, and in addition, a song from the winner of this year's Svensktoppen nästa competition, Kalle Johansson (pictured below), who becomes the first artist of Melodifestivalen 2015.
The 2015 tour
Hosted by comedian and presenter Robin Paulsson along with 2014 Melodifestivalen winner- finishing third in the Eurovision Song Contest - Sanna Nielsen, the shows will start on Saturday the 7th of February. The dates have finally been confirmed for the tour of Melodifestivalen 2015 and they are as follows:
1st semi-final: 7th February in Gothenburg (Scandinavium)
2nd semi-final: 14th February in Malmö (Malmö Arena)
3rd semi-final: 21st February in Östersund (Östersund Arena)
4th semi-final: 28th February in Örebro (Conventum Örebro)
Andra Chansen (Second Chance round): 7th March in Helsingborg (Helsingborg Arena)
Final: 14th March in Stockholm's Friends Arena.