Some Melodifestivalen 2015 songs to be released early
Next month, Melodifestivalen returns with a slightly changed format for 2015: Seven songs in each semi-final, a bigger final, and voting changes.
But the biggest change has to do with the second chance show, or “Andra Chansen.”
Four duels and four tickets to the final
While the first and second placed songs of each semi-final will move directly to the final, the third and fourth placed songs will get a second shot through the second chance show, held between the fourth semi-final and the final. This particular show has seen many rules changes in the past, and this year is no different.
The eight songs will be placed in duels against each other, resulting in four duels in the show, with the winners of each getting a ticket to the final. This means that four songs will move on to the final, compared to just two in the past. SVT will decide who will meet each other in the duels, but it is guaranteed that a third place song will battle a fourth place song in each duel.
Second chance songs get earlier release
The above was revealed back in September, but this week, information regarding when the songs are released to the public was made official. In previous years, SVT would not release the participating songs for radio airplay, streaming, and download until the fourth semi-final was over and all songs had been performed. This was to prevent the songs performed in the first semi-final gaining an advantage over the songs performed in the fourth.
But it has now been revealed that the songs placing third and fourth, and thus moving on to the second chance show, will be released to the public directly after their respective semi-finals are over. This gives them an early-release advantage over the songs qualified for the final, as they are still not released until the fourth semi-final has aired.
According to the head of Melodifestivalen, Christer Björkman, the changes to the second chance show have been made to improve the conditions for these particular songs. “We want to make the second chance round a better and more exciting show and create better conditions for the songs to become classics and live longer in the viewers’ consciousness,” he said to svt.se.
Rule change draws criticism
But the rule change regarding an immediate release of the second chance songs has drawn criticism in the Swedish media, and from the music industry. It is pointed out that especially the songs from the first and second semi-finals will gain a great advantage by being released weeks earlier than the other songs. Music critic for Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, Markus Larsson, believes that it will only invite never-ending debates of advantages and disadvantages in the contest.
Christer Björkman defends the change by stating that “the eight songs in the final are already the viewers’ absolute favorites. When they are released, all focus is on them, it has always been that way and it will not be changed by this. The change creates more exposure for more songs. How that affects the result of the final we don’t know but it creates interesting conditions.”
While the second chance show consists of third and fourth placed songs, it is not a dead end. Though Loreen failed to qualify for the final from it in 2011, her song “My Heart Is Refusing Me” became a massive hit in Sweden. In 2013, Robin Stjernberg qualified from the second chance show and ultimately won the final with his song “You.”
Melodifestivalen 2015 starts February 7 and will be hosted by Sanna Nielsen and Robin Paulsson. The final will be held on March 14, live from the Friends Arena in Stockholm, and will feature last year’s Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst.