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ESC Reporter | January 22, 2018

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Scandals pile up at Melodifestivalen as Anna Book is disqualified!

Scandals pile up at Melodifestivalen as Anna Book is disqualified!
Kevin Lee

Another scandal has hit Melodifestivalen just two days ahead of the first live heat on Saturday.

It was revealed during a press conference by SVT just over an hour ago that Anna Book and her song “Himmel för två” (Heaven for two) would be disqualified from the contest.


Too Similar to Song Used in 2014

The tune is said to have had strong similarities to the song “Taking Care of a Broken Heart” sung by Felicia Dunaf for the Moldovan selections in 2014, even sharing the same composers.

The main difference between the two songs were the lyrics, in which Anna‘s version was written by Swedish author Camilla Läckberg. The Swedish author is the only composer of the song not to have been involved with the previous song.



Listen and compare to Anna Book’s version


Anna Feels Terrible

Anna Book, who has previously entered Melodifestivalen on three occasions and is a well-known TV personality in Sweden, had no idea that the melody of the song had been previously used. “Anna feels terrible, it is crazy that this song which has already been used was given to Anna,” her husband Roberto Toledano told Göteborgs Posten (a Gothenburg newspaper).


Why the Song Broke the Rules

The rules of Melodifestivalen state that songs cannot have been published ahead of its first performance. An e-mail was sent out to the media with a statement from show producer Christer Björkman stating: “The rules are crystal clear. If the song has been published before it cannot take part in the contest. This is, of course, deeply unfortunate for everyone involved and I really feel for Anna who is affected hard by this.


Composers Did Not Know Their Song was Used Before

It is not uncommon to find Swedish composers writing songs for other countries’ Eurovision selections, however, the composers admitted that they had no idea that the song they had written was ever used previously.


Will We Hear Anna Sing the Song?

Even though the song has been disqualified and therefore cannot advance, Anna will have the opportunity to sing the song on Saturday if she wishes.


Two Scandals in One Week

This is the second scandal to hit Melodifestivalen this week. A couple of days ago, it was revealed that former Eurovision winner Charlotte Perrelli would be downgraded from host to guest performer for the second heat of the show. This was due to a conflict of interest after Perrelli signed a contract to represent a private mobile company, Comviq, the same time she would be on Swedish public station, SVT, which broadcasts Melodifestivalen.


> Check out our impressions from today’s first Melodifestivalen stage rehearsals in Gothenburg!


Photo: Zara Zeidlitz for ESC Reporter

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