Melodifestivalen is the Swedish preliminary decision to Euro Vision Song Contest. It was the most-watched entertainment show for SVT in Sweden.
The Swedish preliminary decision to Euro Vision Song Contest has been held since 1959. The year before, nor was the participant of the SKAP, the "Association of Swedish composers of popular music " determined. Since its first appearance in 1958 Sweden did not take part in the three Euro Vision Song Contest, so that there was no preliminary decision. This was done to save in 1964 because of a participant strikes in 1970 in protest against the EBU and 1976 in protest against the commercial nature of the mission and money.
Since 2002, the participants will be selected first for national preliminary in four preliminary rounds. These are usually the winner and the second in the preliminaries. Then there's a fifth round. The third and fourth placed teams from the first four preliminary rounds get in Andra Chansen a second chance and can order (8 2 = 10) sing the last two finalist positions. 2007, the mode of the last preliminary round was again slightly altered. Furthermore, there are four previously preliminary rounds, each with eight titles. Like ski jumping occur in Andra Chansen following two songs against each other, so that at the end of the preliminary round four songs are left. Viewers have now once again the choice. Again, two songs will compete against each other. The two winners move on to the finals. The system of preliminary decisions was pulled back in the 1980s considered but it was feared that viewers would lose interest in the competition. The opposite was the case after the introduction of the preliminary rounds: The spectator interest grew steadily.
All Swedes are called in each year shortly after the end of the annual festival, submit songs for the preliminary round of next year. Who can participate ultimately will be decided by a jury, which is occupied by a wide variety of representative / inside of the Swedish population. This also receive training for their work. In addition to the submitted songs but also in every year "Joker" determines who can participate independently of this submission procedure. The Ark, who won the Melodifestivalen 2007, for example, came as the Joker in the preliminary round.
Until 1998, a jury selected the winner, this was divided representative either by place of residence or age. However, the Swedish audience participate by televoting since 1999. During the preliminary rounds will be decided exclusively by televoting, the vote in the final, which takes place each year in Stockholm Ericsson Globe, not quite so simple. The allocation of points is calculated each half, the jury decides and by the Swedish audience.
In the Swedish press and Melodifestivalen fans will be strong also observed if a winner can combine both calibrations up. The jury is not without controversy and so it always makes for discussions, especially in the popular press, when the caller decide differently than the jury and has possibly someone won only by the fact that the methods were used in combination by televoting and jury instead of an exclusive televoting.
The programs at the same time on Swedish television and radio broadcast are especially since the introduction of the preliminary rounds not only there is a ratings success. Also the DVD with all final rounds and many extras as well as the CD for shipment are enjoying high popularity every year, as is the often promptly published sound recordings of various participating artists as well as collections of favorite and / or winners of recent years.
The event has helped many participants to break through, such as Carola Häggkvist. ABBA with Waterloo won the competition in 1974 and later the Euro Vision Song Contest, then started an international career. Even in recent times, it helped some artists like Måns Zelmerlöw, Agnes Carlsson and Eric Saade.