It’s one week since the schlager hit the fan and Melodifestivalen 2016 was rocked with the news that one of its entries was a Moldovan reject from two years ago. Quicker than you could utter “Fångad av en stormvind”, Anna Book and her unwitting cover of Felicia Dunaf’s “Taking Care of a Broken Heart”, “Himmel för två”, were disqualified. But Anna needn’t beat herself up too much. Not only has the controversy provided her with her biggest hit in years, it also means she joins a very exclusive club of Melfest disqualifications. At the height of the drama, SVT published a list of all the songs that have been kicked out since 2002 — plenty of familiar faces feature.
Nanne Grönvall & Nick Börgen “Ett Vackert Pär” (2002)
Nanne Grönvall is a Melodifestivalen and Eurovision legend. She’s competed in the Swedish selection seven times, winning it in 1996 as part of One More Time. They finished third at Eurovision. In 2001 she broadened her musical horizons and gave the UK selection a go. But a year later she was back home, ready to perform “Ett Vackert Pär” with Nick Börgen “Ett Vackert Pär”. However, the song was disqualified as it had already been played on the radio. Thankfully, this didn’t hold Nanne back, and she returned to Melfest in 2005 and 2007.
Carola “När löven faller” (2003)
Carola Häggkvist is perhaps the most successful Melodifestivalen contestant of all time, winning the competition on three of her five attempts. Her good fortune continued at Eurovision, where she came third, first and fifth. But Melfest rules bend for no one, not even Carola. In 2002, she submitted “När löven faller”. Her vocals were used on the demo, but after submission she decided that someone else should perform it. The rules didn’t permit this so the song was disqualified. Nevertheless, Carola included the track on her next album. The single went on to top the Swedish charts, selling over 300,000 copies.
Carola wasn’t the only one to be disqualified in 2003. “You Got Me” by Anders Borgius was removed from the competion as the song was already online, while Nathalie Family was disqualified for failing to meet the age requirements.
Agnes Carlsson “More Than A Girl”(2007)
In 2005 Agnes became the first female winner of Swedish Idol. Two years later she was due to sing “More Than A Girl” in Melfest. But the loose-lipped singer let the name of the song slip before the embargo, resulting in her disqualification. There was no lasting damage, as she returned with “Love Love Love” in 2009. The same year she enjoyed a worldwide hit with “Release Me”, and in 2013 she performed as part of the interval act during the second Eurovision semi-final.
“Everyone Can Be A Star” by Michael Clauss, Thomas Thörnholm and Sebastian Fronda was also disqualified in 2007, as Fronda didn’t want to compete as an artist. Måns Zelmerlöw’s “Cara Mia” was one of the reserve entries drafted in.
In 2010 “Never Heard of Him” was excluded as it was already published online, while “Åt helvete för sent” was taken out due to a disagreement between the songwriters and SVT. In 2011, Anders Fernette was forced to sing “Run” after it emerged that his intended entry “Don’t Stop” was already on the internet. Finally, in 2012, all five web wildcards were disqualified for breaching regulations, while “Porslin” was dropped because a suitable singer couldn’t be found.