SVT have announced the names of the four hosts for Melodifestivalen 2019.
The hosts are Marika Carlsson, Eric Saade, Kodjo Akolor and Sarah Dawn Finer.
Marika Carlsson is a well-known stand-up comedian and TV personality in Sweden. She is best known for the TV4 show Parlamentet a political parody show broadcast since 1999.
Eric Saade has entered Melodifestivalen on three occasions as an artist but this is his first time acting as a host. He won Melodifestivalen in 2011 with the song Popular and went on to finish in third place in Eurovision in Dusseldorf. In 2013, Saade was the green-room host for Eurovision in Malmo.
Kodjo Akolor is a Swedish radio and TV personality and comedian. In 2014, he was voted Best Male Host at the Swedish Radio Awards. He has previously worked for the broadcaster SVT on a Game of Thrones discussion show.
Sarah Dawn Finer is a Swedish singer, songwriter and actress perhaps best known to Eurovision fans as her comedy alter-ego EBU Spokesperson, Linda Woodruff who made appearances at the Swedish hosted Eurovision Song Contests in 2013 and 2016. She has twice participated in Melodifestivalen as a singer and also hosted the competition in 2012. She announced Sweden’s votes in Eurovision 2012 and returned as a co-host for Melodifestivalen 2016. Her entry into Melodifestivalen 2009 was the most played song on Swedish radio that year:
Melodifestivalen, 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
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.
Earlier this month, the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet reported that two-time finalist Wiktoria, fan favourite Nano, and former winners Arvingarna join FO&O’s Oscar Enestad as hotly tipped names to be revealed in next year’s line up this November.
More recently, Aftonbladet also tipped Margaret, Magnus Carlsson and Ann-Louise Hanson as also entering the competition. Margaret finished seventh in the final of Melodifestivalen 2018 with the song “In My Cabana”. Former Alcazar member Magnus Carlsson last participated in the competition in 2015 with “Möt mig i Gamla stan”.
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 suffered its lowest audiences since 2011.
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.