The last couple of weeks before the holidays, Swedish broadcaster SVT announced the names for Melodifestivalen 2009. For us Swedes, there are quite a few well known names. Stars like Alcazar, Marie Serneholt, Shirley Clamp and Måns Zelmerlöw are going to participate this year.
But I can’t help but wondering if the artists name is really all that matters? It seems like it becomes more and more important to have ”big” names to represent the country in the Eurovision Song Contest. Just to mention a few, Sakis Rouvas for Greece and Andrew Lloyd Webber as a composer for UK. However, Sweden seems to choose the same approach if you look at which artists that are participating this year. All the semi finals have a few ”big stars” and I’m asking myself a few questions: Is it going to be a battle between the stars? Do the newcomers stand a chance? Is it the song or the artist that is competing?
The last few years, since Sweden introduced the system with semi-finals, we’ve certainly seen that the audience can be capricious about these things. Take Carola for example; in 2006, she won Melodifestivalen and represented Sweden in Eurovision Song Contest. In 2008 she participated in Melodifestivalen again (together with Andreas Johnson) and didn’t even make it through to the final. Why? Are the audience fed up with Carola as an artist? Or did they simply not like the song ”One love”? Other examples are Alcazar, in 2005 they didn’t go through to the final at first. They finished on 4th place in their semi-final and had to compete in ”second chance” to get to the final.
Every year, I tend to think that it is the big stars and the big composers that will end up in the final. And I always get surprised when that isn’t the case. I’m very anxious to see what happens this year. Will it be a battle of the giants? Or will the newcomers sweep us off our feet?