Sweden’s Melodifestivalen, one of the largest preselection processes for the Eurovision Song Contest, returns this season with another twenty-eight rising stars, chart-topping artists and former participants fighting for the right to represent the country in Tel Aviv next May. Today, two-time finalist Wiktoria, fan favourite Nano, and former winners Arvingarna join the FO&O’s Oscar Enestad as Aftonbladet’s hotly tipped names to be revealed in the 2019 line up next month.
Renowned for leaks about the contest, Aftonbladet release a list of names each year of artists supposedly confirmed to be participating in the contest – most of which usually end up matching those announced in November’s on stage reveal.
Wiktoria first participated in Melodifestivalen 2016 with the song “Save Me”, finishing fourth, followed by “As I Lay Me Down” in 2017, finishing sixth. Debuting in the year of her most recent entry and finishing four places ahead was Nano, also tipped to be returning this year.
Arvingarna, Sweden’s 1993 Eurovision Song Contest entry and winners of Melodifestivalen, are also potential participants in 2019; twenty-six years after their 7th place Eurovision song “Eloise”.
These three names join Aftonbladet’s previous announcement that former FO&O member Oscar Enestad intended to enter the contest as a soloist for the first time, following the group’s split last year. Felix Sandman, another of the band’s three members, finished second last year. In an interview with Eurovoix this April, Felix shared his desire to return to the contest one day.
Speaking to Eurovoix hours after the 2018 final this year, newcomer Olivia Eliasson discussed her wish to participate in the contest once again, potentially returning in 2019 following the release of her debut EP, ‘One’.
The Swedish national selection process for Eurovision will return on Saturday 2nd February 2019 in Gothenburg with the final, as usual, due to take place in Stockholm’s Friends Arena on Saturday 9th March 2019. The full schedule is as follows:
Deltävling 1 – Gothenburg – February 2nd
Deltävling 2 – Malmö – February 9th
Deltävling 3 – Leksand – February 16th
Deltävling 4 – Lidköping – February 23rd
Andra Chansen/Second chance – Nyköping- March 2nd
Final – Stockholm – March 9th
Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö are all regular stops on the annual Melodifestivalen tour. 2019 will be the fourth time that Leksand has hosted one of the shows, the third time for Nyköping and the second for Lidköping.
Another city which is known to have been in contention was Östersund, but the municipality dropped out of the event due to other events scheduled for the city at the same time.
It is expected that the 28 competing artists for the competition will be unveiled in November. The Lovers of Valdaro have already been confirmed as the first act in the contest after they claimed a wildcard entry after winning P4 Nästa 2018, a show to find new musical artists in Sweden.
General submissions for the contest opened at the end of August. Artists wishing to compete in the contest have until 17th September to submit their entries to SVT.
It was recently confirmed that Swedish director, writer and Eurovision commentator, Edward af Sillén will return to Melodifestivalen in 2019 as a consultant. Af Sillén was responsible for the script of Eurovision 2016, hosted in Stockholm. His appointment follows a year in which the contest was criticised and gained its lowest audiences since 2011.
Benjamin Ingrosso represented Sweden at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, Portugal. At the Grand Final, he placed 7th with 274 points. Sweden recorded their worst result in a televote for a decade finishing 23rd with the public and scoring just 21 points.