The Executive Producer of Melodifestivalen, Annette Helenius, has stated that Melodifestivalen will be revamped with a changed format for the Eurovision season after Rotterdam 2021. Speaking to one of Sweden’s largest newspapers, Dagens Nyheter, Helenius said that Sweden’s public broadcaster is looking for new, innovative ways to improve the National Final and heighten suspense throughout the traditional 6-week process that decides Sweden’s Eurovision Entrant. No details have been publicly revealed. However, Helenius did say that some solutions had already been decided and the overall plan is currently in the development process.
It has been a while since broadcaster SVT has made significant changes to the Melodifestivalen system. In 2013, the final moved from Stockholm’s Eriksson Globe to the much larger Friends Arena on the other side of the capital city, often considered Sweden’s national arena. In 2015, the number of finalists went up from 10 to 12 after changes to the Andra Chansen, or Second Chance final qualification show. However, the last incredibly important change took place in 2002 with the introduction of the semi finals and Andra Chansen itself. As it ha been such a long time since any massive changes to the National Final, it is therefore hard to predict how serious of a format change 2022 will become.
(Above) The Mamas pose joyfully with the iconic Crowned Melodifestivalen trophy after their victory by just one point in the Final in March 2020.
Another aspect of the wider Melodifestivalen format that may be in doubt for 2022 is the future of the entry competition for recently discovered artists known as P4 Nästa. This competition has run on SVT’s radio since 2012 and has focused on finding undiscovered talent and emerging artists in Sweden’s incredibly rich music scene. Since its debut, one artist from the competition has been chosen to join the following year’s list of participants for Melodifestivalen.
However, with a reportedly low national interest in P4 Nästa, along with the fact that after 9 seasons, the winner of the show has never made it past their Melodifestivalen semi-final, it has been rumoured that P4 Nästa’s special status with the larger National Final is in question.
What do you think about Melodifestivalen, P4 Nästa and Sweden’s recent entries? Let us know in the comments!