SVT, the Swedish national broadcaster, has announced changes in the voting system for Melodifestivalen 2019.
The changes reflect the history of Melodifestivalen. In the past, jury groups split by age decided the winner. This system is returning. However this time, the public will split according to their age
The public voting results will now be split into eight different groups. Votes done through the app will be placed into one of seven different age categories. Votes cast by phone will be put into an eighth group. Phone voters can still make a donation to Radiohjälpen by calling the more expensive number. SMS voting has been scrapped due to the low numbers of texts received over the past few editions.
Each of the eight groups will award points according to their favourite songs. In the semi-finals, each group can award 43 points, based on the scale 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1. In the final, each group can award 58 points, based on the scale 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1. The eight international juries (reduced from eleven) will also allocate points on the same scale. In the Andra Chansen round, each group will award a point to their favourite song in each duel. The song with the most points moves on to the final. In case of a tie, the song that received the highest number of total votes will advance.
Another change will be the heart in the corner of the television screen that appears during each song. The speed that the heart beats at will represent how many votes are currently being cast for that song. The heart will also change colour to reflect the group in which it is most popular. The eight groups and their corresponding colours are:
• Green: 3–9 years
• Turquoise: 10–15 years
• Blue: 16–29 years
• Purple: 30–44 years
• Pink: 45–59 years
• Red: 60–74 years
• Orange: 75+
• No colour : Phone
Had this new voting system been introduced a little earlier, Måns Zelmerlöw would have won in 2009 with “Hope & Glory”. However, Benjamin Ingrosso would have still won in 2018.
Melodifestivalen will return on Saturday February 2 in Gothenburg with the final, as usual, due to take place in Stockholm’s Friends Arena on Saturday March 9 2019. The full schedule is as follows:
- Semi-Final 1 – Gothenburg – February 2
- Semi-Final 2 – Malmö – February 9
- Semi-Final 3 – Leksand – February 16
- Semi-Final 4 – Lidköping – February 23
- Andra Chansen/Second Chance – Nyköping- March 2
- Final – Stockholm – March 9
The lineup features many returning artists, including three former Melodifestivalen winners; Anna Bergendahl (2010), Martin Stenmarck (2005) and Arvingarna (1993). Two other former winners, Robin Stjernberg (2013) and Nanne Grönvall (1996, as part of One More Time) are also returning as songwriters for Omar and Arvingarna respectively.
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.