Is a pattern emerging within the Melodifestivalen running order?

by Jessica Weaver 1,591 views

We now know the official running order for the upcoming Swedish national selection for Eurovision 2018! But with the order now known, is it possible to see a potential pattern emerging throughout the years of the competition? We’ve had a look at the recent statistics of the competition to get more of an insight into the Melfest running order.

Melodifestivalen 2018 is almost in sight! One of the longest-running national selections for Eurovision and, arguably, the most anticipated selection of the year is set to kick off next month.

Ahead of its start in the coming weeks, SVT yesterday unveiled the semi-final running order for each of the 4 shows, in which a total of 28 acts will be bidding for the right to represent Sweden at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest

With the running order now out, has a reoccurring pattern been emerging over the past few years in regards to where each artist is chosen to perform in the show?

Look back at the stats

With the introduction of the shorter semi-final shows first being introduced in 2015, which saw the semi-final stage being reduced from 32 to 28 competitors, it’s interesting to look back at the previous stats of Melodifestivalen to see if there is a pattern within the chosen running order by SVT.

Is it possible to get an idea of which artists are more likely to advance in the competition by looking at previous editions?

Starting with semi-final 1

If we look to the semi-final 1 shows, we can see that every artist that has performed in the final 2 positions on the night has managed to qualify to the Melfest final, implying that it’s looking positive for both Kamferdrops and Benjamin Ingrosso.

Past semi-final 1 finalists include Jessica Andersson, Eric Saade, Robin Bengtsson, Ace Wilder (2016 & 2017) and Nano.

Meanwhile, every semi-final 1 artist performing in position number 4 has managed to advance to the Andra Chansen stage of the competition. Therefore the likelihood of Edward Blom, at the very least, qualifying to the Andra Chansen stage of Melfest 2018 looks highly likely.

Two times out of 3, an Andra Chansen place has also been awarded to the artist opening the competition.

Semi-final 2 stats

Moving on the semi-final 2, it’s looking pretty good for Liamoo as every artist who has performed in 7th position has managed to earn their place in the final, namely looking back to Mariette, Wiktoria and Benjamin Ingrosso from previous years.

Position number 1 is also a good spot for semi-final 2, seeing artists proceeding to the final 2/3 times.

Andra Chansen stats are a little less easy to gather from the second semi-final, however position number 3 is a placing that seems to be the most positive of all for second chance participants, with 2/3 acts either finishing in third or fourth position.

Position fem for semi-final 3

Melodi nummer 5 is a great place to perform in in semi-final 3, seeing every artists since 2015 qualifying to the final of Melfest. Will Kalle Moraeus & Orsa Spelmän continue this tradition in 2018?

Previous success stories from being position number 5 in Melodifestivalen include Isa, Lisa Ajax and Owe Thörnqvist.

Number 7 has also seen 2/3 artists becoming a selection finalist, with 2/3 artists performing in between in 6th managing to gain a spot in Andra Chansen.

Last but least predictably…

The least predictable semi-final seems to be the final of the 4, with no clear pattern emerging from previous editions of the national selection.

Having said that, the closing position in the last semi-final – number 7 – has always guaranteed a place in either the final or the Andra Chansen stage of the competition, as has been the case since 2015. Which could it be for Mariette this year?

The same also applies for position number 5, however number 7 has seen 2/3 finalist, whilst number 5 has seen 2/3 second chance participants.

The most successful semi-final 4 participant in recent years is the last Swedish Eurovision winner to date, Måns Zelmerlöw, who gained mass success with his entry Heroes.

Further position theories

Performing in second position within any of the 4 semi-finals general looks like bad news in Melodifestivalen, with no artist having made it directly to the final of the competition since the introduction of 28 participants back in 2015.

Back in 2016, Dolly Style performed in position number 2 in the fourth semi-final with their entry Rollercoaster and managed to qualify to Andra Chansen. However, the trio failed to advance any further in the selection.

2018 will see John Lundvik, Ida Redig, Barbi Escobar and Elias Abbas performing as the second act of each semi-final night. Could any of them break the apparent number 2 curse?

Position number 3 and 4 is generally not seen as a positive place to perform in, considering that only 2 artists since 2015 have qualified directly to the final in those positions: JTR in 2015 and Wiktoria in 2016.

An interesting note is that both of the above artists performed in semi-final 4 of the Melodifestivalen event, adding further backing to the theory of the fourth event being the least predictable of the 4.

What about the other representatives?

With Sweden’s last winning entry coming from the final semi-final of Melodifestivalen, let’s look back at the recent years of the country’s selection to get an idea of which show the previous representatives have originally competed in.

  • 2017: Semi-final 3 (Robin Bengtsson, I can’t go on)
  • 2016: Semi-final 4 (Frans, If I were sorry)
  • 2015: Semi-final 4 (Måns Zelmerlöw, Heroes)
  • 2014: Semi-final 2 (Sanna Nielsen, Undo)
  • 2013: Semi-final 4 (Robin Stjernberg, You)
  • 2012: Semi-final 1 (Loreen, Euphoria)
  • 2011: Semi-final 3 (Eric Saade, Popular)
  • 2010: Semi-final 4 (Anna Bergendahl, This is my life)
  • 2009: Semi-final 4 (Malena Ernman, La voix)
  • 2008: Semi-final 4 (Charlotte Perrelli, Hero)

From the last 10 editions of Melodifestivalen, 6 of the competition winners and eventual Swedish Eurovision representatives have come from the fourth semi-final. Semi-final 3 has seen 2 eventual participants, whilst both semi-final 1 and 2 have only seen 1 winner.

Will the stats continue into this year’s national selection? Or will be see some surprise changes in the 2018 final line-up? We will find out over the coming weeks…