Before Melodifestivalen kick’s off in Gothenburg this weekend amid controversy, we have already seen one song disqualified and a co-presenter sacked. However, let’s forget about this year’s contest temporarily and look back at ten moments that have made Melodifestivalen the contest it is!
1: Seventh Time Lucky
For many Swedish artists, they see Melodifestivalen as good exposure – both nationally and internationally. This is why we see them come back time and time again. Sanna Nielsen, famous for “Empty Room” in 2008, finally won the contest with “Undo” on her seventh attempt in 2014 – managing 3rd overall at the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen that year. Do you remember the nail biting voting where she beat Ace Wilder by 2 points – phew!
2: Stockholm Finales
Since our good friend Christer Björkman took over Melodifestivalen back in 2002, this year’s final will be the fifteenth consecutive to be held in Stockholm. Between 2002 and 2012, the Melodifestivalen final was held in the Globen, this year’s venue of the Eurovision Song Contest (as well as ESC 2000) in May. Since 2013, the final has been held at the much larger Friend’s Arena.
3: Lynda Woodruff – the EBU Swedish Representative
Lynda Woodruff, the character portrayed by Sarah Dawn Finer was first introduced in 2012 and was part of Melodifestivalen for two year’s, as well as the Eurovision Song Contest – also been held in Malmö in 2013. Lynda was quite frankly a fan favourite and also gave the points on behalf of Sweden during the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, 2012.
For many non-obsessive fans, ABBA only took part in 1974 – how wrong could they be? Oh no, the famous four participated in Melodifestivalen the year before with “Ring, Ring” taking 3rd place. They returned a year later to the National Final with “Waterloo” and not only represented their country at the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton in 1974, but they went on to win.
5: International Relations
Yes, with neighbouring Oslo hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in 2010, a special interval act was brought in for the 2010 final of Melodifestivalen. The greats of Swedish and Norwegian Eurovision Song Contest acts came together for what can only be described as a Scandinavian extravaganza!
6: Entry Come Interval Act
In 2011, Danny Saucedo took to the Melodifestivalen stage as a soloist for the first time and finished runner up with “In Da Club”, a position he found himself in yet again the following year. Danny co-presented the contest with Gina Dirawi in 2013 and put a Bollywood spin on “In Da Club” with his co-host as part of an interval.
7: Sean Banan
Sean Banan can only be described as character. He finished in 6th with “Copacabanana”, gaining 10 points from the UK Jury, however a year before in 2012, he could only make the Andra Chansen round of the contest.
8: That Glitterball Entrance
Now Alcazar have always known how to make an entrance and 2014 was no exception. Alcazar have participated several times before in Melodifestivalen, but made an entry better to Alyona, representing Belarus at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013 – the Glitterball opened with ease! After that entry, “Blame It On The Disco”, simply became a Schlager classic.
9: The Swedish Sugababes
In the UK, the Sugababes are renowned for changing line ups. Within in a year though, Dolly Style has had five different members! Dolly Style were a hit last year with “Hello Hi” and are due to be an even bigger hit this year with “Rollercoaster”.
10: It’s All About Måns
Måns Zelmerlöw has entered as an artist in 2007 (Cara Mia), 2009 (Hope & Glory) and 2015 (Heroes) as an artist, but also as a host in 2010. Måns will combine these roles once again when he takes to the stage for the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, 2016!
So there you have my Top 10 moments from Melodifestivalen and I hope they get you in the mood to hear those words ‘Melodi Nummer Ett’.
Author: Richard Taylor
Source: Eurovision Ireland