Swedes break semi-final televoting record

Never before so many votes were casted during a semi-final of Melodifestivalen, the highly popular Swedish television format to find the nation's Eurovision Song Contest representative. The Västerås semi-final record crushed the 2006 record of 653,991 votes, during the Gothenburg semi-final, by a land slide.  

The televoting profit of the event - a rough EUR 172,000 - goes to SVT's charity fund Radiohjälpen, mf2008.se reported.

Last weekend's semi-final featured another highly remarkable event; former Eurovision Song Contest winner Carola, who represented Sweden three times (in 1983, 1991 and 2006), did not manage to directly qualify for the final of Melodifestivalen, regardless her enormous popularity and high expectations of press and fans. Carola Häggkvist and her colleague Andreas Johnson will now have to take part in a second-chance heat, where they might be rewarded with a last-minute ticket to the national final in Stockholm. Sweden holds their breath... 

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