New rules for Melodifestivalen 2011

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This week, SVT announced some new rules for next year’s Melodifestivalen.

The most drastic one of all, was to almost halve the deciding power of the jury that selects the songs. Previously, they’ve been able to choose 28 of the 32 songs that would compete in Melodifestivalen in any given year. The remaining 4 would be wildcards chosen by SVT (wildcards usually being a more popular and successful act who would be be given more freedom to choose their song). For 2011 though, the jury will only be able to choose 15 songs. And SVT will be choosing 15 songs too!

What does this mean? Well at a guess we’d say that SVT’s clout will mean a higher calibre of song and a higher class of artist too. In the last three years alone, the SVT wildcard choice has been responsible for songs by Salem Al Fakir, Darin, Peter Joback, Marie Serneholt, EMD, Malena Ernman, Andreas Johnson & Carola, and Amy Diamond!

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Another new rule is that for the first time ever, non Swedish songwriters are allowed to submit songs. However, they must have at least one Swede as a co-writer. We can imagine that Swedish songwriters will now be besieged by other writers from all around Europe, begging for them to accept a co-writing credit!

Last year’s introduction of the Webjoker selection gave us one of our favourite songs of the year’s contest ‘Come And Get Me Now’ by Highlights & MiSt. The Webjoker selection means that Swedish people can submit songs via an online voting process, from which one winning song gets a place in Melodifestivalen. However, it is worth noting that the winning song by MiSt was vastly different (and vastly inferior at that) to the finished version we got thanks to the SVT pushed intervention of dansband Highlights. In the end though, the song could only finish 7th in its heat. But this hasn’t deterred SVT from trying again. Instead, they’re doubling the Webjoker round, and now two songs will be selected from it instead of one!

The final new rule worth noting is the one which allows one live instrument to be played on stage. Previously, all music must be from a pre-recorded backing track with live vocals. But now, one instrument will be allowed to be played live over said backing track too. This new rule does seem a bit pointless, given that it’s only one instrument. It’s not really going to help a band much. However, it does advantage single artist performers like Salem Al Fakir, and the inevitable one or two imitations of Belgium’s Tom Dice that we’re gonna get next year!

And that’s more or less it!

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