Sweden takes Melodifestivalen very seriously, spending a lot of time, money and effort into producing the magnificent national selection for Eurovision. It’s no wonder that acts return year after year. But being successful one year doesn’t guarantee future triumphs. Here are 10 acts who found things didn’t go so smoothly the second time around.
1. Ellen Benediktson
Melfest fans were shocked in semi-final three this year when fan favourite Ellen Benediktson failed to reach not only the final but also the Andra Chansen round. She made the finals last year and reached a respectable seventh place with the coma-inducing “Songbird”. Ellen’s offering this year, “Insomnia”, reached fifth place in the semi-final and many argue that her new pop diva style just doesn’t suit her. Better luck next time, Ellen.
2. After Dark
Popular drag act After Dark debuted in 2004 and reached the final, coming in a fantastic third place with “La Dolce Vita”, a song with elements of schlager that really appealed to hardcore MF fans. In 2007 they returned with “(Åh) När Ni Tar Saken I Egna Händer”, a song similar in style to 2004’s entry but – according to some – this one had a slightly rude undertone. It bowed out of the semis in fifth place and they haven’t returned since.
3. Anton Ewald
Anton Ewald is like the Marmite of Melfest – you either love his voice or hate it. Once just a professional dancer for the likes of Danny Saucedo, he then caught the bug and entered the contest with a song entitled “Begging”, which came fourth in the final after qualifying through Andra Chansen. In 2014 he returned, and although he reached the final with “Natural” he came tenth – last – and has been quiet since, except for the endless selfies he takes in bed.
The contest was conquered by folk-pop girl group Timoteij in 2010 with “Kom”. It was a fresh sound with lots of string instruments and drums whilst remaining in the Swedish language and it really got a lot of support, qualifying direkt til Globen. They came fifth and released a string of hits soon after, until 2012, when they entered again with “Stormande Hav”. But this Swedish sea shanty didn’t make the final, losing out to Top Cats in Andra Chansen.
Everybody loved YOHIO first time around when he entered with “Heartbreak Hotel” in 2013. His anime-inspired look worked wonders for him and his catchy song transported him to the final with ease, where he came runner-up to Robin “Second Chance” Stjernberg. Then he pushed his luck and entered the year after with “To The End” and reached the final again. He was the bookies’ favourite for a while but that wasn’t enough for him to win. In fact, he came sixth.
6. The Moniker
Le Kid entered in 2011 with “Oh My God”, but so did The Moniker so let’s talk about him instead. His song can be considered a mixture of pop and randomness and was performed with a strange yet wonderful LED video in the background. He got to Andra Chansen, and after winning a ticket alongside Sara Varga he came third in the Globen, which seems to be a common theme. In 2012 he tried again when he wanted to be Chris Isaak but it didn’t work for him and he came last in his semi.
7. Amy Diamond
Thank you, Amy Diamond, for your delightful song in 2008. Although it was considered to be the cheesiest thing since a big chunk of Edam wedged in a shoe it made the final and came eighth. Making the final is a big deal, so obviously she wanted to do the same in 2009 with “It’s My Life”. She got passed from pillar to post with the semi-finals, Andra Chansen and then the European Jury considering giving her a place in the final, but alas, they didn’t. And for that Amy didn’t thank them.
8. Martin Stenmarck
Martin Stenmarck debuted at Melodifestivalen in 2005 and ended up winning with his song “Las Vegas”. But on stage in Kyiv, he didn’t repeat that success, placing a miserable 19th. Sweden basically disowned him right up until 2014 when he returned to MF with the Swedish pop/rock anthem “Nar Anglarna Gar Hem” which reached Andra Chansen, but lost out at the last minute to Linus Svenning.
9. David Lindgren
David Lindgren is one of those acts that sounds the part but doesn’t look it. He looks like a geography teacher, especially with that waistcoat and tie. He participated in 2012 with “Shout It Out”, a cast-off that Danny Saucedo didn’t want (not really surprised, he found something ‘amazing’). David went to the final and came fourth, which is pretty good for a debutante who wasn’t well known before the contest. In 2013 he came back and milked his newfound fame for all it was worth with “Skyline”. It got to the final, yes, but it didn’t set the scoreboard alight and came eighth.
10. Christer Bjorkman
Last but not least we have Christer Bjorkman, King of Melodifestivalen and future EBU Supervisor (if he has his way). He won the Swedish festival in 1992 and was the home entrant for his country after Carola won the year before. His song “I morgon är en annan dag” came 22nd in Malmö. He returned to defend his crown in the 1993 edition of Melodifestivalen with “Valkommen till livet” but his song wasn’t placed in the top five, unfortunately for him. Not that he’s bothered, he’s the puppet master pulling all of the Melodifestivalen strings nowadays, and he’s doing a fantastisk job.
These are just some of the acts that didn’t do themselves justice for a second time. Who else would you include?