Exclusive: Christer Björkman on MF07

by Benny Royston 61 views

Speaking moments after the announcement of the 28 songs for Melodifestivalen 2007, competition producer, Christer Björkman, spoke exclusively to esctoday.com about the selections, his thoughts on the songs and the next stage of preparation for the competition.

Christer Björkman is a veteran of Melodifestivalen. Since winning the competition in 1992 to represent Swedenon home ground with the song I morgon är en annan dag, (where he finished 22nd), Christer Björkman has gone on to manage the Swedish national competition and is now Competition Producer.Immediately after the press conferenceannouncing the 28 songs selected by jury to compete in Melodifestivalen 2007, Christer spoke exclusively to esctoday.com:

Christer, what do you think of the songs selected this time?
"It's a very dynamic group of songs, this yearwe have lots of different temperamants, lots of great classic ballads too."

Lots of fans are asking about Anna Book, Branston City Slackers, Magnus Carlsson, can you comment on whether they will be back?
"Lets wait a couple of days, we'd be very happy to see them back, but you'll have to wait a little longer. There are songs suitable for at least some of those performers. When I know the songs better, I'll contact the artists most suitable for the songs."

We've also heard rumours about Helena Paparizou, are you in discussions with her about MF07?
"I have continuous discussion with her every year. She has said that she's in favour of doing it. We just don't know when or what year. That's a question more for a wildcard. We need to concentrate on the 28 now. And then what's missing to complete the competition. I'll start looking at the wildcards in a couple of weeks."

How hard was it to select the songs, we heard that 48 were left yesterday.
"We started with 1400 from the 3,234 that were entered. we reduced it day by day by about 100, and then to 48 yesterday. We then had a closed voting system from the 48 to select the final 28 songs. It was really a matter of killing your darlings. People were really sad when their particular favourites fell at the last hurdle, but with only 48 songs left, it has to happen.

You have to have a closed written voting system, or literally, fights would break out and enemies would be created. People chose their 4 favourites and 2 runners up. It comes down to individual taste at the end. Until then, it's an open discussion forum, people speak for or against the songs."

Now that theselection, what will you be doing?
"I will be producing all 32 songs for the show once the full 32 songs are selected. I'll be working on the feeling and sentiments of the songs and creating 32 unique numbers to create a great competition and a great show.

I'll definitely have the weekend off. We have a meeting with all the composers on Thursday, and if I can stand up, I'll have a break on Friday. I've got a cold, I'm exhausted, but I'm very happy. It's fantastic, the jury have done a really good job and I'm looking forward to working with these songs."

Do you have any favourites?
"First of all, they are all at demo stage, the production is not there yet. You can't tell if a song is really going to come across. So now, I don't have a favourite."

Do you think any of the songs can go on to win Eurovision?
"Yeahhh, there are definitely potential winners of the Eurovision, yes."

What will it take to win ESC?
"You never know, do you? You can think you have the best song, but if 5 other countries turn up with the same song, you're dead. It comes down to luck really. You have to go with the flow, let the people decide and see where you are?"

Will the final of Melodifestivalen 2007 use the same 50% Jury / 50% televotes system as in recent years?
"Yes"

escotoday.com would like to thank Christer Björkman for taking the time to talk to us today and wish him well with the huge task ahead.

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