Sitting back at my desk on a cloudy and windy London day, I�ve had a chance to reflect on my whirlwind trip to Stockholm for one of the biggest and most supported events on the European music calendar. The Eurovision Song Contest? No, but it�s close to it! Melodifestivalen 2005. Sweden�s method of selecting their Eurovision Song Contest entry, and does it work? Hell yes!
There has been uproar at the public�s favourite (and a clear favourite at that!) coming second in the final, but facts are facts. A sell out crowd at one of Europe�s best indoor arenas, all ten finalists climbing the Swedish music charts and Alcazar at Number One with Alcastar , the MF05 compilation CD selling faster than a snowball on a ski-slope, top national and international stars desperate to compete and an astonishing 86% share of the TV viewing audience on prime-time Saturday night. Other TV broadcasters take note, SVT have a winning formula and you can learn a lot.
Yes, I�ve seen the moaning and whinging from some quarters about the outcome, but there was no foul play involved, or at least none that has come to light. On the morning of the final, one Swedish newspaper ran the headline story on how Nanne Gronvall had already won with Shirley Clamp in second place. Well, that neither reflected the juries� decision or that of the public.
Martin Stenmarck was a clear winner with the juries, 16 points clear of Shirley Clamp in second place, and a clear second with the public. Yes, he finished a long way behind the public�s choice in terms of votes, but rules are rules, and they should be adhered to. According to the voting system employed for the contest, Martin Stenmarck was the clear and rightful winner.
If you awarded two sets of scores, one for the total Juries� votes and one for the televotes, that would be a 12 points + 10 points haul. 22 points for Martin Stenmarck�s Las Vegas. Nanne Gronvall came third and first = 20 points (8 + 12). Shirley Clamp would have moved above Alcazar with 14 points (2nd= by jury and 5th in the public vote) to Alcazar�s 12 points from a finish of 4th in each.