Moldovan singer Felicia Dunaf has reacted to Anna Book‘s disqualification from Melodifestivalen 2016, saying that she was shocked to hear about it and that she felt sorry for what happened. Felicia was the original performer of “Taking Care of a Broken Heart”, the English-language version of Anna’s disqualified entry Melfest “Himmel för två”.
In an interview with Moldovan entertainment portal Kankan.md, Felicia said that she sent two songs for the Moldovan selection O melodie pentru Europa in 2014: “The Way I Do”, which went on to make the final, and the Swedish-penned “Taking Care of a Broken Heart”, which was rejected. Nonetheless, as per TRM rules, both songs were published on the TRM website and on YouTube. The rejected song was also published on Felicia Dunaf’s personal YouTube account.
Felicia went on to say that she was shocked to find out about the Mello-drama unfolding in Sweden and that she was sorry for what happened.
I haven’t spoken with Anna Book yet. I’m guessing the songwriters gave her the song as well, although as we know this goes against the rules. All I know is that the singer is well known in her country and that there is a big scandal now because of this incident. I just found out [on Thursday] and I was quite shocked. A lot of journalists from Sweden have reached out to me about it. I am sorry about what happened.
Sven-Inge Sjöberg, Lennart Wastesson, Larry Forsberg and Aidan O’Connor are the songwriters who sent the song to Felicia two years ago, but it turns out that they did not know that TRM would publish all the entries, even the rejected ones, on the national broadcaster’s website. Consequently, when Anna Book’s song “Himmel för två” — with new Swedish lyrics by crime novelist Camilla Läckberg — surfaced during rehearsals and Eurofans heard it, the song had to be disqualified for having been published earlier, despite having different lyrics.
Show must go on
Felicia Dunaf is currently in the middle of promoting and rehearsing her performance of “You And Me” at the Moldovan semi-finals, which are due to start on 23 February.
Chart success for Anna
Meanwhile, Anna Book is enjoying an outpouring of public support in Sweden. She received a standing ovation at the Melfest dress rehearsal, and her song “Himmel för två” is currently number one on the Swedish iTunes chart. She is also going to perform tonight at the first heat of Melodifestivalen 2016, albeit out of the contest following the song’s disqualification. We expect a lot of cheers from the crowd for Ms Book!