Sweden's selection process for the Eurovision Song Contest, Melodifestivalen, will undergo some exciting changes for 2007. An extra week has been added, with the 'second chance' round being a live performance round rather than a video replay of the semi final performances, and with a new voting system.
In the biggest changes to Melodifestivalen since 2002, SVT are hoping to make MF2007 even more exciting.
"We want to make Melodifestivalen 2007 an exciting event. More fun to the people!".Martin Österdahl,the new project manager of Melodifestivalen, concludes. "Swedish as well as fans of Melodifestivalen abroad will surely have something great to look forward to!".
Melodifestivalen will expand by one week next year, as the "Second Chance" round becomes an event in its own right. Instead of a Sunday show from a tv studio, it takes it's place on prime time Saturday night with a full arena. The new Melodifestivalen is a six week long great party for musiclovers, taking place at six different towns around Sweden.
"The missing link in the Swedish selection system is gone" says Martin Österdahl told our partners at Gylleneskor. Since Melodifestivalen introduced the new concept with four semifinals back in 2002 – the Second chance round has been a rather dull part of the concept. "Eight losers" – those that placed 3rd or 4th in their respectively heats got a new chance to qualify for the big final. But the artists never had a chance to do their entries again as their performances were recorded from the previous semifinals.
"The artists never liked the situation since they felt they had already lost anyway. They never had a chance to improve or to change their performances. But now, the opportunity exists, it's a real second chance! The artists can improve their performances and change things and concepts that were less successful the first time. So, the second chance round will become like a whole new exciting competition. As it is taking place in a big arena we will be giving even more people in Sweden the opportunity to watch Melodifestivalen live next year!" Martin Österdahl said.
A new system will be used for the voting for the second chance round. Inspired from the world of sports it can be compared to knock-out cup competitions in football or tennis. The eight second chance entries are set against each other in four pairs. People will be able to televote on their favourites in each pair. The winners in these four meetings proceed to a second round in which the four remaining songs are divided in two pairs – the two winners in the last meetings gets a ticket to the final of Melodifestivalen.
The dates and host cities for Melodifestivalen 2007 will be announced later.