Sweden: More power to viewers following voting changes in Melodifestivalen

by Jessica Weaver 1,255 views

Power to the people! SVT, the Swedish national broadcaster, has confirmed changes to future voting procedure within the Swedish national selection for Eurovision, with more power being given to the viewing public.

Controversy arose amongst the public following last year’s Melodifestivalen selection; with Robin Bengtsson becoming the eventual winner of the competition following a combined public and jury vote, the I can’t go on-singer was ranked third within the public vote, with the viewers hoping to see Nano representing the nation in Kyiv.

This caused mass discussion amongst the Melodifestivalen and Eurovision communities, considering that Bengtsson was in fact the jury favourite – receiving 20 more points than Nano in the final jury vote – who went on to represent Sweden at Eurovision 2017.

Voting changes in Melodifestivalen

With ongoing conversations including how much of a say the jury has in the final of Melodifestivalen, the team behind the Swedish national selection have decided to change the voting procedure for future editions of the competition.

Speaking to Aftonbladet regarding the upcoming changes, Melfest producer Christer Björkman confirmed that the “changes were not linked to past criticism at all”, but rather that the “changes are healthy and should be there”.

What are the changes?

Back in 1999, Swedish broadcaster SVT introduced the 7-point system for the jury vote; the jury were each asked to give points to a total of 7 participants, the scale being 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 points. This was introduced due to practicalities at the time following time constraints of the broadcast.

From 2018, the jury points will be spread amongst more competitors, meaning that the points will be spread more equally among a wider range of artists.

The jury will now vote in Eurovision style on a 10-point system, jury groups will now be asked to pass on points to a total of 10 acts, the scoring scale being 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12.

With this new system, it means that there will be a more equal split between and public and jury vote, making for a fairer voting system in future editions of the Swedish selection.

Changes will mean that the jury will now receive a total of 638 points combined, meaning that the public votes will also increase to the same amount.

Melodifestivalen 2018 will kick off next month in the search for the country’s next representative at the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest, set to take place in the host city of Lisbon.

Melodifestivalen 2018 schedule

  • 03/02: Semi-final 1 – Karlstad, Löfbergs Arena
  • 10/02: Semi-final 2 – Gothenburg, Scandinavium
  • 17/02: Semi-final 3 – Malmö, Malmö Arena
  • 24/02: Semi-final 4 – Örnsköldsvik, Fjällräven Center
  • 03/03: Andra chansen (Second chance) – Kristianstad, Kristianstad Arena
  • 10/03: Final – Stockholm, Friends Arena