The voting system of Sweden’s Melodifestivalen has been somewhat controversial in recent years, with claims that the jury vote has too much power. Now broadcaster SVT has made a small but significant change to ensure the jury vote can’t dominate the results.

Melfest boss Christer Björkman explained the new system to Aftonbladet. He said, “We want to give the people more power over the result”

In the past, 12 songs competed in the grand final of Melfest, but the international juries only gave points to their top seven songs, awarding 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1 point. The public vote, however, applied to all songs.

This meant that while the seventh-ranked song from each jury would receive one point, the eight to 12th-ranked song would all effectively receive nil points, regardless of the quality. A song that might be popular with the televote and less popular with juries could be punished with lower points if it didn’t make it into the jury top seven.

The solution is to expand the range of songs that juries will rank. They will now rank ten of the 12 grand finalists, awarding 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 points. The two least popular songs on each jury’s list will still receive nil points.

As Melodifestivalen points are converted to a percentage, it now means that the total jury percentage will be spread between more acts.

The scoring system revamp follows the controversy at Melodifestivalen 2018. The televote winner was Nano with “Hold On”, closely followed by Wiktoria with “As I Lay Me Down” and Robin Bengtsson with “I Can’t Go On”. However, the international jury effectively decided who the winner was, as their definite favourite Robin B had a high enough score to keep his lead with the close televote results.

However, Björkman insists the new system was not done as a result of 2017. He told Aftonbladet, “It’s not linked to that criticism at all, it’s healthy and should be there. One should respond. But we want to give the people more power over the result.”

Fans have noted that since the introduction of the Melodifestivalen app, which makes it cheaper and easier to vote, the televote results have been very close.

At Melodifestivalen 2017, there was only eight points between the first and fourth favourite songs in the televote. The final eight songs only had eight points between them, with all the points clusters around the 30s.

Melodifestivalen is known for sometimes having controversial differences between juries and televoters.

In 2013, televote winner Yohio with “Heatbreak Hotel” missed out on Eurovision when jury favourite Robin Stjernberg won the overall vote. While the following year, the jury favoured Ace Wilder with “Busy Doin’ Nothin'”, but Swedish televoters’ love for Sanna Nielsen sent her to Copenhagen.

But for Sweden’s two recent Eurovision wins — Loreen’s “Euphoria” and Måns Zelmerlöw’s “Heroes” — both the jury and televote have ranked the songs as their overall favourite. A good omen for Eurovision success!

The new voting system won’t affect the semi-final qualifiers, which are selected by 100% televote. The new system will be seen for the first time at the grand final of Melfest 2018 on 10 March 2018.

What do you think? Will the new voting system good mean a fairer result? How should the Melfest winner be decided? Share your thoughts below!

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[…] 2016-2017 (after the app vote’s introduction). I’ve then taken a bit of a look at the changes set to come in this year to see what effect, if any, they’ll have on changing the effective jury–televote […]

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

I hope this fixs the language diversity problem. Last year’s final consisted of 11 English acts and only 1 Swedish

Jonas
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Jonas

They should abolish the international juries, and bring back the regional juries. That’s the real injustice – I don’t mind when the jury trumps the televote, but when it’s not even Swedish people deciding it totally undermines the idea of “representing” Sweden, in my mind anyway…I would rather fail with a song backed by the public over succeeding with a song chosen by random die-hard Eurofans and Christer’s European TV producer peers doing him a favor.

Ugnius
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Ugnius

That’s an interesting opinion. But I don’t think there are lots of people like you who would prefer failing at Eurovision rather than reaching top-5 every year.

Kris
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Kris

In my mind there are multiple solutions, Sadly I have no means of making them reach Christer!! Maybe you guys can help!! 1) limit total no. of votes allowed on the app ( so no one can send in 60 votes ) like maybe a maximum of 20 votes 2) limit the number of acts you can vote for ( so maybe a maximum of 4 acts can be voted for) 3) Allow 5 votes only for one act, max 4 for the next favourite, then max 3 for next favourite No two acts can be given same number of… Read more »

Ugnius
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Ugnius

I think, the voting system should be as simple as possible. The majority of wiewers wouldn’t understand all these standard deviations etc.

Kris
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Kris

The sixth method is based on simple substraction !! I think all users can understand it.

The result is not much different from complicated calculation using statistics as in 5th method

Blaziker from SG
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Blaziker from SG

While the revamped jury voting may help reduce the chances the winning entry is a non-favourite (especially since the jury may know better music than televoting *cough* Anton Hagman beating Loreen in Second Chance 2017 *cough*), the app voting is the reason why the results do not reflect the proper results.

Either limiting the app vote power or scraping it altogether would be a viable solution for SVT.

LvsD
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LvsD

1 free app vote = 1 free app vote
1 sms/call vote (money) = should be more than just 1 vote couting?!?!

Before the app came the results were less predictable as they are now.

Marcus (Day One)
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Marcus (Day One)

Clearly the app should only give 1/2 free votes.
Melodifestivalen used to have around 2 points to last place and over 130 to the top now the last place get 30 or so and first less than 60.

The televote is just so disproportionate when all the songs get nearly 1 million votes.
If you only have 1 vote or the voting cost money your going to vote for the best song like you do at Eurovision not just vote for everyone.

Mark
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Mark

The Juries have better taste than the Swedish public though…

Funny how Melodifestivalen’s Semi Finals are 100% Televote whereas Destination Eurovision’s Semi Finals are 100% Jury vote. France has given Christer too much power.

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

Don’t care until the app vote goes.
Unless someone votes with their wallet, their vote shouldn’t count.

Mark
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Mark

So, only rich people should be allowed to vote?

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

How much do they charge for a phone call in Sweden!? =O

Jordan
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Jordan

For me best solution each jury members from 1 country rang song in final from 1 to 12 place , best 10 songs from one countries get point from 1 to 8, 10 and 12 points. After juries votes, best song get 12 points , second 11 points to last song wili get 1 points. After televote , best song wili get 12 points, second 11 points, last song on 12 th place 1 points. Combinate votes giva winner of MF 2018.

Mark
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Mark

Boring.

Kris
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Kris

No!! That is a very bad idea!
What it does is completely neglect the volume of support!
Assume an act has 2 million votes and the next best has only 50000 , yet it will account for only 1 point difference!!

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Small typo in the article:
“The scoring system revamp follows the controversy at Melodifestivalen 2018.” – You mean 2017, right?

On the rule changes – actually since the MelFest app has brought the voting results closer together, I think pushing the voters to have more say might blur the stats a bit. But we’ll see in March. 🙂

Sam
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Sam

This doesn’t solve the problem though. Giving out a few more votes in the final I doubt would make much of a difference.

A better solution in my mind would be to scrap app voting in the final, keep it in the other rounds but remove it for the final. This would reintroduce the divisive results seen in the past but keep app voting in some form.

Denis
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Denis

Yes yes, but getting rid of the voting app is an even better idea! The voting worked fine before the app and would work without it again. The voting app diminishes the whole tele-voting aspect and risk to sort of it thin it out. it is a bit ridiculous that every song gets about the same amount of votes with no real difference between them, it makes the voting look amateur.There is no real contest if the difference is only 20 points between last places and first places. If Eurovision can limit voting and only allow up to 20 votes,… Read more »

Msig
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Msig

Robin Bengtson would still have won last year with the Eurovision scale being used, although his winning margin would have been significantly smaller (5-8 points).

Similarly, Robin Stjernberg would also have won in 2013 if the full Eurovision scale had been used then, with a winning margin of 3-11 points.

Ugnius
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Ugnius

Are they going to change the amount of points which are given by televoters ? I mean, by now juries distributed 43×11=473 points and televoters distributed 473 points as well. But now juries will distribute 58×11=638 points, so they should give 638 points to televoters as well…
Oh, and this isn’t solving the biggest Melfest problem – that televoting is not so decisive because all acts get roughly the same amount of points. They should do something about this as well…

Andy
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Andy

They have to tame down the app vote. Before the app vote was introduced, the televote was pretty decisive.

Kris
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Kris

Yeah 638 points to televote will be given.

Zebb
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Zebb

When you can send free vote for all of them therefore diminishing voting impact on each act, whatever then. Their issue been voiced on youtube multiple times already and here as well.

TJ
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TJ

In any case this voting system will be applied to Eurovision itself when Sweden will host the contest the next time…..

Ugnius
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Ugnius

It has been already applied since 1975 😀

Alex
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Alex

I’m not convinced this solves the problem. A few points at the bottom of the jury ranking are unlikely to do anything to counteract the extremely wide shape of the (half) bell curve on the televote ranking. The real solution is probably something to do with scaling both vote distributions so that their standard deviations are the same. That approach isn’t robust to outliers, which is okay because you don’t want to completely eliminate the favoring of one entry by either the jury or televote. However, someone with a better knowledge of statistics than me should speak up. Of course… Read more »

Kris
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Kris

I already included something like what you said in my method suggestions.

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

YAS. That’s how you do it, girls. The public should always be the one to choose their own representative!

L'oiseau
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L'oiseau

This is probably a good idea for Sweden. Nano would have been so much better… (unlike Wiktoria, IMO, though). Also, Robin got 8th place by the televote, which might have triggred this decision…

Alex
Guest
Alex

Robin got 3rd, not 8th, with televote

L'oiseau
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L'oiseau

I was referring to Robin’s score in Eurovision, where he got 8th place with televote in the final.

Jerome
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Jerome

In 2016, Sweden’s televote sent Frans to Eurovision, where he got 9th by that televote. By your reasoning, the decision could’ve been triggered last year.

Jerome
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Jerome

Ignore my comment

Jerome
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Jerome

There are too many televotes been given out nowadays, but that doesn’t add anymore points that entries get from those. For instance, Nano got over 1.6 million votes, but because it’s now easier to vote for several entries (I’m looking at the app), he only got 57 points, which wasn’t enough to take the win. If you’re gonna consider how jury points are too powerful, you need to look at how televotes are becoming flattened out.

thespb01
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thespb01

I think that’s mainly because of the app vote – a gap of 6% between the last and first placers is ridiculous.

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

Yeah, they should limit the number of votes on the app.

Alex
Guest
Alex

I think one possible issue with limiting the number of votes is that it makes vote fraud potentially more influential. It’s not easy to limit the number of accounts registered, and you can probably go undetected if you vote slowly enough with each account. Whereas accounts voting too quickly (and hence being controlled by an automated script rather than a human pressing a button) are probably easy to detect. Latvia did fine with the 1-vote internet voting procedure in 2016, but Sweden had to shut down the app vote in 2015 due to fraud, so they might be wary of… Read more »

Msig
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Msig

Fraud wasn’t the reason why the app vote was shut down in 2015. SVT had simply underestimated how many people would use the app, causing their servers to crash.

Kris
Guest
Kris

Your argument is invalid! Even of they don’t limit a spam bot can continually vote for a single act and others voting for multiple act have less power than this spam bot.

Polyna
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Polyna

Sverige should scrap the international jury vote.

But that would mean they won’t get into the top 10 every year, and that would hurt Børkbørkman’s ego.

thespb01
Guest
thespb01

Yes, they should definitely scrap something which gets them consistently good results – that makes perfect sense. (*slow claps*)

Polyna
Guest
Polyna

Godd results for a price of sending things the Swedish public doesn’t really want. And these things are very generic songs.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Piping hot tea right here. They used to be riskier with their choices before the international juries kicked in. La voix didn’t exactly achieve stellar scores, but it was the public’s choice, and it was very original.

Alex
Guest
Alex

I loved La Voix at Melodifestivalen but it was not a good idea for ESC. That song needs a full choir, not just 5 backup singers. International juries could probably have seen the issue there.

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

It’d be unfair if they were the only country using them, but others do too- and foreign producers and songwriters often make up juries for internally selected acts.

What might be fairer is controlling which countries SVT got to pick- maybe the top 13 of last year (excluding Sweden)- so the juries would be Portuguese, Bulgarian, Moldovan, Belgian, Italian, Romanian, Hungarian, Australian, Norwegian, Dutch, French and Croatian.

Alex
Guest
Alex

This makes no sense whatsoever

Milla
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Milla

Tell that to other countries as well. To scrap international juries that is.. France for instance 😀

Chromium
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Chromium

What’s wrong with Mr. Bjorkman (or Sweden) wanting to get to Top 10 at the ESC every year? It’s a *contest* so of course that’s always the goal. And if the international jury helps them do just that then they shall/will keep it.