An upswell in televoting during last night’s Melodifestivalen final caused SVT’s phone lines to jam, and may have prevented thousands of people from voting for their favourite. Aftonbladet reports that a large number of Ace Wilder fans contacted them to say they could not vote for the “Busy Doin’ Nothin'” singer, suggesting that her voting line may have born the brunt of SVT’s malfunction.
Maria Ilstedt, Project Manager at SVT, confirmed that SVT had major problems with the televoting system. When Aftonbladet asked what Ace’s fans should have done when their votes wouldn’t go through she simply said: “They should have called a few more times.”
That leaves Ace in an uncomfortable position. Adored by millions and riding a wave of momentum headed into the final, she ended up with 23.8% of the televote, just short of Sanna’s 25.8%. She’s understandably scratching her head and wondering if she lost because of a technical glitch rather than public will.
“I don’t know if you can rely on it,” Ace told Expressen after the show. “I hope it isn’t true. It would be really horrible if it were true. I hope everything went as it was supposed to but who knows?”
That quote—that you can’t rely on it—made the newspaper’s front cover this morning.
Sanna didn’t have an answer. “I don’t what I should say about it,” she said. “It was an exciting final and it’s fantastic.”
No end to the drama
In the wake of #melfestrobotgate there are still a lot of question marks hanging over Melodifestivalen, and the voting debacle won’t help restore faith in the contest. Anton Ewald added to the drama when he lashed out at the juries after the show, saying you have to be close with them in order to do well. That sounds like sour grapes to us.
Host Nour El-Refai had to cope with the voting drama live on air.
Apparently there was a backlog of votes that SVT had to process just moments before the results were meant to be confirmed and verfied. Because the televoting was so close they had to double and triple check the results, which meant Nour and co-host Anders had to improvise on stage.
“They told me in my microphone that we don’t have a result exactly as I was about to say we have one,” Nour said. “I had to fill the time and it felt like an eterninty. TV seconds can be unbearable.”
Especially if you’re the woman who may or may not have come out on the wrong side of a technical issue.
In any event, Ace can still count herself a winner. All of Sweden is talking about her. As we know from our interview with her after the show, she’s staying upbeat.
- Ace Wilder questions Sanna Nielsen’s Victory (Expressen)
- Two measly points! (Noje)
- Ace on SVT’s voting chaos: I would be disappointed (Aftonbladet)
Photo: Olle Kirchmeier / SVT