The formal announcement of who will be competing in Melodifestivalen 2018 will be made next Tuesday but today three more artists were added to the list of rumoured competitors.
The three new names, according to Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, are Rolandz, Mariette Hansson and Liam Cacatian Thomassen.
Rolandz is the dansband fronted by Swedish comedian Robert Gustafsson in character as Roland Järverup. The band has released four successful albums in Sweden and Gustafsson is one of the most popular comedians in the country. According to Aftonbladet, SVT had been hoping to keep the Rolandz participation secret until the press conference on Tuesday 28 November.
Mariette Hansson is a familiar name to Melodifestivalen fans. In 2015 she came third with Don’t Stop Believing and in 2017 reached the fourth place with A Million Years.
Liam Cacatian Thomassen is the most recent winner of the Swedish TV singing competition Idol. His winner’s single, Playing with Fire, reached number 6 in the Swedish singles chart in 2016. Several singers who started their careers in Idol have gone on to win Melodifestivalen including Loreen, Robin Bengtsson, Robin Stjernberg and Måns Zelmerlöw.
Melodifestivalen 2018 will select the Swedish entry for Eurovision 2018 in Lisbon. It kicks off on 3 February 2018 in Karlstad with the Grand Final on 10 March 2018 in Stockholm.
28 artists will compete in total. Aftonbladet expects the following 21 to be on the list revealed on Tuesday:
2. Samir & Viktor
4. Benjamin Ingrosso
5. Felix Sandman
6. Sigrid Bernson
7. Ida Edit
8. John Lundvik
9. Olivia Eliasson
10. Kikki Danielsson
11. Martin Almgren
12. Jonas Gardell
13. Calle Moraeus
15. Renaida Braun
16. Edward Blom
17. Emmi Christensson
20. Liam Cacatian Thomassen
Three others, Alcazar, Jessica Andersson and Emilia Rydberg Mitiku may also be returning to Melodifestivalen but have not made a final decision.
Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest
Sweden debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1958 and has gone on to be one of the contest’s most successful countries. The country has won the contest six times, the most recent being in 2015. Sweden’s first victory came in 1974 when ABBA won the contest in Brighton with “Waterloo”. Since missing out on the final in 2010, Sweden has gone on to finish 3rd twice and has won the contest twice, only in 2013 did the country place outside of the top 10 in the final.