Christer Björkman says Melfest 2018 line-up is filled with hits…as Alcazar reveals SVT rejected them36
Since he became supervisor of Melodifestivalen in 2002, Sweden has secured nine Top 5 finishes and two wins.
And on Tuesday Christer Björkman suggested that a third victory could be in the pipeline when he spoke to wiwiblogger Kevin at the Melodifestivalen 2018 Artists Reveal press conference.
“I’m very happy,” he says of this year’s line-up. “It’s playful, it makes me happy, it makes me laugh even. There are so many expressions, different types of genres — it’s a variety of everything and we have some extraordinary hits actually.”
Could there be a Eurovision winner in the mix?
“Yes,” he says contemplatively. “We might have one. But you never know.”
Much has been made of the fact that Margaret — a singer from Poland — has made it into this year’s selection over local talent. He isn’t bothered by the chatter and thinks she has more than earned her place.
“She has established herself as a popular artist in Sweden,” he says. “She’s had one, almost two, radio hits. She’s just an interesting character. I like her way of performing. I think she’s really cool and she has a really good hit.”
Margaret’s participation does not mean that the floodgates are now open for any artist from abroad.
“You really need to make that groundwork that she has done,” he says of the Polish star, who went viral on Spotify with her song “Cool Me Down”.
“It’s the same thing with [fellow Melfest 2018 singer and Norwegian DJ] Kampferdrops. You need to be established and have an audience here. It’s not enough to just have been in the Eurovision because that’s sort of connected only to that show. You really need a broader base to get anywhere in Melodifestivalen. You have to establish yourself in the radio market here and then I can look at it.”
Christer, who competed at Eurovision in 1992, suggested that too many radio-friendly songs can become a bit monotonous.
“It becomes kind of flat,” he says. “Last year when I watched the first selection show I was like, ‘This is good. But is it fun?’ All of a sudden we talked about that and said, ‘Let’s have some more kinds of songs. Different types of songs — not only mainstream radio pop.'”
“It gets quite boring. We’ve given at least two [spots] in each show [to songs] that are different and have totally different expression. Could be very serious or joyful, playful even.”
“When I look at these I’m like giggling. I want to see this. It’s going to be fun.”
SVT says no to Alcazar
Anticipation was high that Alcazar — the legendary disco trio who have competed five times before — would make a comeback.
But on Tuesday it became clear that they wouldn’t, even if they really wanted to.
Responding to a comment on his Instagram account, lead singer Andreas Lundstedt confirmed that the group did submit a song, but that SVT passed on it.
“Despite having the best dance song they chose to say no (found out a few days ago),” he wrote. “They may have been scared when they heard the song and realized that we actually had a big chance of winning this time.”
The song was written by Linnea and Joy Deb — the authors of Eurovision 2015 winning song “Heroes”.
Andreas went on to say that SVT “have other plans for who will be next year’s winner.”
Are you hoping that Sweden can notch up another win at Eurovision? Are you sad that Alcazar won’t be there? Let us know in the comments box below.