The first semi-final of Melodifestivalen 2017 took place in Goteborg on Saturday night with seven artists competing for a place in the Friends Arena final. The Scandinavium played host to four returning artists; Boris Rene, Dinah Nah, Charlotte Perrelli and Ace Wilder – and three new artists; Adrijana, De Vet Du och Nano.
Four artists qualified through to the final and second chance round on the back of 5.7 million votes cast during the show – the most Melodifestivalen history for the first show of a new season. This year, viewers could once again vote by telephone, SMS or via the official SVT Melodifestivalen App (Sweden Only). Last year during semi-final one, 4,383,107 votes were cast – however this was for only six songs rather than the full seven following Anna Book’s disqualification. During semi-final two, 4,647,934 votes were cast, and during the final, a total of 12,643,477 were cast. Each vote generates limited revenue – donated to SVT charitable fund, Radiohjalpen. Last year’s final brought in over 2.2 million SEK.
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Despite the jump in votes cast, viewing figures for the first heat of Melodifestivalen 2017 have actually fallen by 55,000 viewers compared to the contest’s first show in 2016. Despite this small decline of roughly 1%, the show remains the most watched television broadcast of the week in Sweden as the station’s flagship show, beating its closest competitor by over 350,000 viewers. Compared to the show which was broadcast in the same timeslot the week previous, Melodifestivalen brought an additional 1.634 million viewers to SVT1.
Viewing figures for the equivalent show in previous years:
2017 – 3,224,000 viewers
2016 – 3,279,000 viewers
2015 – 3,383,000 viewers
2014 – 3,364,000 viewers
2013 – 3,564,000 viewers
Qualifying directly to the final on Saturday night were Nano, a newcomer to the show, with ‘Hold On’, and Ace Wilder with ‘Wild Child’. For the first time, Ace Wilder chose to enter with a song penned by Melodifestivalen’s resident writers, Thomas G:Son and Peter Boström, rather than her usual choice of Joy and Linnea Deb. Despite it being the first time the award-winning duo have written a song for Ace, it definitely isn’t her first time in the contest – qualifying directly to the final for the third year running.
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Next week’s semi-final in Malmö consists of mostly debuting artists with the likes of Benjamin Ingrosso participating for the first time. Idol winner Lisa Ajax returns to the contest in 2017 with a song written by Joy and Linnea Deb. Mariette, behind “Don’t Stop Believing”, returns with a G:son penned track, “A Million Years”. Ola Salo writes “Align”, to be performed by the debuting group – ‘Dimissed’. Finally, two-time winner of the contest Roger Pontare takes G:son’s “Himmel och hav”.
A Million Years
Writers: Thomas G:son, Johanna Jansson, Peter Boström, Mariette Hansson, Jenny Hansson
Artist: Benjamin Ingrosso
Writers: Benjamin Ingrosso, Louis Schoorl, Matt Pardon, MAG
Writers: Ola Salo, Peter Kvint
Himmel och hav
Artist: Roger Pontare
Writers: Thomas G:son, Alexzandra Wickman
I Don’t Give A
Artist: Lisa Ajax
Writers: Ola Svensson, Linnea Deb, Joy Deb, Anton Hård af Segerstad
Writers: Johnny Sanchez, Hanif Sabzevari, Simon Gribbe, Erica Haylett
Vart haru varit
Writers: Masse Salazar, Samuel Nazari