Sweden’s Melodifestivalen may be the most spectacular of all national finals, but if last year is anything to go by, its popularity is on the wane. The 2014 contest attracted the lowest viewing figures since 1999, with a full 800,000 less couch potatoes tuning in for the Grand Final compared to prior years.

With stats like that it’s hard to just sit around and do nothing, and luckily someone in the SVT management team has lit a firecracker under Christer Bjorkman & co’s collective ass.

Aftonbladet has revealed a couple of key upcoming changes in this season’s national selection contest, sourced from “people with good insight”, aimed at generating more drama and raising viewer numbers.

Firstly, while the number of shows – four semis, the Second Chance, and Final – will stay the same, only seven entries will compete in each Semi instead of the traditional eight. With a number of atrocious numbers in recent years, maybe this ain’t exactly the worst thing.

Second, the competition built on the beauty of classic schlager is rumoured to be embracing modern technology like no other. SVT is said to be introducing a new Melodifestivalen app that will act like a voting button during the Semis. “The button … can be pressed during a performance someone likes and the more one presses it, the more votes it will generate for the entry. So it translates into votes. This app would also replace SMS votes, but that’s not 100% confirmed yet,” an insider revealed.

What do y’all think, though? Is Melodifestivalen in need of a makeover? Can technology and a reduced number of divas on stage save it? Can the sad be undone?

Source & Photocredit: Aftonbladet

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Alex
Guest
Alex

The voting button is quite strange. Is this their way of dealing with the crisis last year of people having computers automatically vote for certain entrants?

If they do that, they’d better not show the results on screen instantaneously like Lithuania does. It’s pretty annoying to see the like-dislike ratio in Lithuania.

Max
Guest
Max

Unfortunately the ratings will fall even more since Ace Wilder didn’t win

Bledar Leka
Guest
Bledar Leka

I know that everyone will probably rage at me for this but I honestly don’t care for Melfest. It’s just the few good songs, then you have Alcazar, then the rest is the boys who will automatically get the teenage girl vote (like Anton Ewald and Danny howeveryouspellhissurname), then you have great songs sung in Swedish that almost always fail in the semi final. In terms of songs that end up representing Sweden, then Sweden is one of my favourite countries in recent years in the contest (for example 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2012), but in terms of… Read more »

Jake
Guest
Jake

the reason last year’s audience declined was because the hosts were unwatchable…the show lacked humor, spontaneity and fun…the fact that there is one schlager song per semi is not driving down audiences…they hardly ever move onto the finals anyway…I like that MF has a variety a songs that appeal to different people…and I like having 32 songs…other national finals are filled with dreary ballads and broken English…SVT knows how to do it well…don’t mess with perfection

Paul
Guest
Paul

Anything that makes it impossible for a schlager songs or copycat ballads to go through will be a huge change

Peter
Guest
Peter

One thing is very strange how one person can choose artist, songs like Mr Bjorkman do in Sweden

Diane
Guest
Diane

Whatever.. Still more concern about the song than the show itself. Hope next year Sweden finds great songs and credible musicians on Melfest.

Chris
Guest

I’m not a fan of the button either. The rest is not really a change to the show.

If they made a radical change, remove the entire Andra Chasen completely. The duals are stupid and are in some cases unfair. Hold the four semi finals and the two songs that received the most votes, but didn’t qualify, become the wild card winners. Alternately, have a professional jury choose two songs, or a mix of both.

Darren
Guest
Darren

It’s a known fact once a country wins Eurovision, national interest in the Esc wains a bit. Producers and broadcasters usually don’t want to win for another few years so therefore would probably not put as much effort into it. Sweden won in 2012 and hosted in 2013, therefore national interest has peaked and declined, and will probably rise again in a year or two, or when Sweden don’t finish in the top 10

William
Guest
William

If they want to increase the number of viewers, they should stop selecting songs specifically composed for Eurovision, I mean, they need music that can be listened in a radio station, just like Icona Pop

Melissa J
Guest

All they really need to do is get better hosts and interval acts then they had last year and they will be fine. 2014’s musical acts were good, but I almost didn’t want to watch it some weeks because of all the terrible inbetween!!

Hollandique
Guest

Don’t do the app. In the UK, it didn’t work on a television show and the whole thing was scuppered.

davve
Guest
davve

MF is the best national final. I dont see any major changes actually.. because its not needed. They still have everything the same.. except that 7 instead of 8 songs will be featured each week basically.

Dar
Guest
Dar

You can’t get a more perfect national selection … What more can they do to make it better …

nano
Guest
nano

@D
Yohio is not that bad now

D
Guest
D

If the voting change is confirmed, this will be a horrible change for the worse. All the 14,15,16 year old girls who can type 15,000 words a second will be able to press that button so fast for horrible acts like Anton Ewald, Yohio, Oscar Zia, etc. and that might just give them higher placings. I don’t mind that now only 7 songs will compete in each semi, but I do hope the button thing is not true.