Molly Sandén emerged from smoke and fought a wind machine. Ace Wilder worked urban swagger and a series of oversized boxes. And Wiktoria stood in place while a projection machine worked on her. But in the end Frans sidestepped all of them with a pure and simple performance to win Melodifestivalen 2016 with his pared-back number “If I Were Sorry”.

His simple, stirring performance is the ultimate anti-Melfest entry. It takes all of Måns Zelmerlöw’s technical innovation and files it away somewhere very dark, opting instead for a pure and simple performance that involves a free-moving Frans wearing casual clothes and standing mostly in place. His fragile voice carries emotion well and the close ups of his lips caught his quivers.

The performance may divide Eurovision fans outside of Sweden, but not so much at home. He won the televote easily. However, Frans failed to win with the international jury, coming second to Oscar Zia by just one point.

From the moment he went direkt till final from semi-final four in Gävle, the 17-year-old has been the bookies’ favourite to win it all, pushing past Molly, who the bookies had originally pinned as the winner back in November.  At that time they had Frans listed as the 21st most likely to win with odds of 50/1. Oops.

Ahead of the final, Frans divided our international jury, but many on our team were full of praise for Frans and his song. As one juror wrote:

Chit-chatty, charming and quietly powerful, this bucks all the rules of Melfest, which leans toward the over-the-top and technical. Its simplicity and his slight awkwardness makes this endearing and his voice works well with the casual nature of the song. I don’t think it would win Eurovision — it’s perhaps too at-ease for Eurovision viewers. But that’s unlikely to stop the hype and goodwill he’s enjoying here in Sweden. Now go Wiktoria!

Melodifestivalen 2016: Final Results

  1. Frans – “If I Were Sorry” (156 points)
  2. Oscar Zia – “Human” (132 points)
  3. Ace Wilder – “Don’t Worry” (118 points)
  4. Wiktoria – “Save Me” (114 points)
  5. Robin Bengtsson – “Constellation Prize” (83 points)
  6. Molly Sandén – “Youniverse” (76 points)
  7. Lisa Ajax – “My Heart Wants Me Dead” (56 points)
  8. Panetoz – “Håll om mig hårt” (53 points)
  9. SaRaha – “Kizunguzungu” (47 points)
  10. Boris René – “Put Your Love on Me” (41 points)
  11. David Lindgren – “We Are Your Tomorrow” (39 points)
  12. Samir & Viktor – “Bada nakna” (31 points)

International Jury Results

The international juries kept it tight at the top, with Oscar Zia topping their table with 89 points. Frans was an extremely close second on 88, with Ace Wilder finishing third with 83. After that the table opens up somewhat with Wiktoria raking in 69 points and Robin Bengtsson 40. Studs Samir & Viktor earned a total of zero points for their number “Bada Nakna.” Clearly the juries appreciate songs more than shirtless, gym-honed bodies.

Melodifestivalen 2016 jury results

International jury top scores

Bosnia and Herzegovina

12 Frans
10 Oscar Zia
8 Ace Wilder

Cyprus

12 Frans
10 Oscar Zia
8 Robin Bengtsson

Belarus

12 Oscar Zia
10 Wiktoria
8 Ace Wilder

The Netherlands

12 Ace Wilder
10 Frans
8 Robin Bengtsson

Estonia

12 Frans
10 Molly Sandén
8 Ace Wilder

Israel

12 Wiktoria
10 Oscar Zia
8 Frans

Italy

12 Ace Wilder
10 Frans
8 Oscar Zia

Slovenia

12 Ace Wilder
10 Oscar Zia
8 Wiktoria

France

12 Frans
10 Robin
8 Wiktoria

Norway

12 Wiktoria
10 Oscar Zia
8 Molly Sandén

Australia

12 Ace Wilder
10 Human
8 Wiktoria

Televote Result

  1. Frans – 68 points
  2. Wiktoria – 45 points
  3. Oscar Zia – 43 points
  4. Robin Bengtsson – 43 points
  5. Panetoz – 39 points
  6. Molly Sandén – 37 points
  7. SaRaha – 36 points
  8. Ace Wilder – 35 points
  9. Boris René – 35 points
  10. Lisa Ajax – 33 points
  11. Samir & Viktor – 31 points
  12. David Lindgren – 28 points

Melodifestivalen 2016: Our first reaction

Watch all of our Melodifestivalen 2016 interviews

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JDR
Guest
JDR

I think if SVT treats the staging for this like The Common Linnets in 2014 then there’s a chance for Sweden to win. I just don’t see that happening. Sweden has already slipped in the odds. Now 2nd to Russia.

ct_greece
Guest
ct_greece

Ok, so here are my reviews of the songs that were unveiled during the weekend: Sweden: This was by far one of the weakest Melodifestivalens in recent years, evidenced by the fact that Frans won with 13% of the vote, with 11 other songs gathering between 6% and 9% and the juries being equally split. I am all for Frans’ simplicity and directness but he loses extra points for the obvious plagiarism. I think the EBU should start enforcing some rules and putting its house in order, but fat chance of doing that as far the swedes are concerned. So… Read more »

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

D’OHHH! I forgot one:

9.200 Boris René: “Put Your Love On Me” (9th)
I figured that, if the fortunes of MF were to really turn to mush in the perfect storm, the most respectable of the zero-chance-of-winning contenders would have stolen the show. And Boris did put on a decent show that might have had a better chance at winning other contests where some real clunkers scored upsets. Other than that, he was in over his head on this night.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@sufle: Ace can’t afford to try 7 times before winning MF. Sanna was very young when she first entered; Ace is now 34.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

It is now 2:00 A.M., E.S.T., Monday, March 14, and having sequestered myself from anything that might reveal the results before I watched the recorded broadcast (although I was very much prepared for Frans possibly winning this thing), here is how I scored each performance as I watched them, using 8 criteria: 9.413 Molly Sandén: “Youniverse” (6th) Did using the Loreen playbook hurt her? She was the only one whose performance I thought worthy of getting a 9.5 on multiple (4) criteria, and I gave only 8 of them. 9.375 Wiktoria: “Save Me” (4th) Her vocals got higher points from… Read more »

V_AUS
Guest
V_AUS

This song is a dud! Sweden, you’ll be sorry.

davve
Guest
davve

The song is awesome!! It will most likely win in Stockholm!

MF
Guest
MF

First time I watched melfest…Much ado about nothing! 12 average songs. I’m not happy or unhappy that Frans won. I did not have any favorite…I don’t see though Frans winning in Stockholm. It can be 1-10 place in the best case. Sort of Hungary 2013…

Sweden 2017
Guest
Sweden 2017

I want to see your shocking faces when Frans scores very high.
The song stands out and has something all the other songs is missing.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Should be mentioned though the reason he only got 14& was the app. SVT has acknowledged tel-voting took a serious tumble when the app was introduced. It is free to use and vote, so of course people used that. They said they will re-evaluate to next year.

sonic0201
Guest
sonic0201

Sweden, Sweden…. Last year it was Lovers on the Sun, now it is Catch & Release.
I didn’t really care about it last year, because actually I liked Heroes from Mans Zelmerlöw. But doing it two years in a row, it slowly makes them look like frauds. You can tell me about every song sounding similar, etc etc. But with these two songs, the similarities are so obvious.
At least Frans represents a bit different style than most of the ESC entries this year…… Another good thing is it will probably not win in Stockholm. I just can’t see it.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

if you compare previous years when the mobile app is not used, the result is quite different.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

the reason why the Frans received only 14 percent of the vote was probably due to mobileapp voting. Becuse viewers could vote free 5 times each song with the mobileapp, and many voted probably on many songs which made the votes were spread out on many songs.

Aleksi
Guest
Aleksi

Official Vevo video has 11k likes and 1k dislikes but in ESC Youtube channel 2k likes and 3k dislikes…

MTD
Guest
MTD

@Loo – so what if he is 17 years old? This is a cruel world, and especially the show-biz. He can’t go hiding into his mamma’s house in order to escape the negativity or the critics. If so, that would be the end of his career.

You made me laugh.

Loo
Guest
Loo

All I can say is that cynisism is dangerous for our society and 80 % of the comments on wiwibloggs and other Eurovisionsites and Youtube etc. is nothing but cynical and full of bitterness. First and foremost Frans is still a CHILD who doesn’t deserve all this hate.

For once Sweden sends something really different. Frans is climbing the charts in Europe right now. No other song is doing that. He will do WELL in May. Mark my words.

I surrender. Over and out.

Racal
Guest
Racal

@Héctor: Yes, Spain is trying to mimic Heroes (just like many other countries) with that soulless dance/electro tune, and by trying to hook people with ridiculous meaningless lyrics that they repeat over and over again (a 4 year old could write and sing “Running Running Running blabla La La La La Hello Hello blablabla Say yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah!”). Problem is that the original will always be better than the copy, and the end result is a dated unoriginal song. It’s nothing new though, it’s a very common tactic in Eurovision to try to copy the winner of… Read more »

Denis
Guest
Denis

Question: How many of the ESC viewers on the night are actual hard-core fans? A majority aren’t fans, they just watch it. You think these people are aware of who fans wanted as winners? Most only hear the song once, and that’s when it’s performed at the finale. The instant impact is important. Maybe the average viewer find something in Frans you all don’t? I’m an average Melodfestival viewer, not fan of it in the way I am a fan of Eurovision. The impact I had watching Frans first time was enough for me to convince he should win.

Jairo
Guest
Jairo

Here is my top 42 so far!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGJrDeaULtg

europa
Guest
europa

any chance of wiwibloggs cutting down on the endless melfest posts now, so that we can hear more about the other 42 acts. i thought this blog did more analysis, not just swedish PR.

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

It was quite obvious, but I was seriously surprised that he “only” got around 14% of the televote.
I don’t buy the jury votes though. I just can’t imagine that this song would score this high when there’s so many better songs… (The other shock for me was Samir&Viktor coming DEAD LAST overall, I never would’ve predicted that lol.)

Laburnum
Guest
Laburnum

And you know what gets me? Is that the French guy said, “We think you could win again with this!” Obviously I know Sweden could win again, but I annoys me how a song hated by so many Eurovision fans, with FAR more dislikes on the video is somehow loved by the juries. Go on Sweden and pull an Austria 2015 😉

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Loo :- “Sweden is the best country in Eurovision history; we know how to do this!!”

Just to clarify something, history means going back to 1956. The best in history :-

UK :- 5 wins, 15 seconds, 3 thirds. Top 3’s 23, Top 5’s 29, Top 10’s 41, Top 15’s 45. This will never be beaten.

Ireland :- 7 wins, 4 seconds, 1 third.

Sweden :- 6 wins, 1 second, 6 thirds.

Perhaps the Sweden is the best in recent history. (What was that about doing your research? Hehe!!)

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

We all read the same public indicators, but what was supposed to happen did not happen last night, from the song that came 1st to the song that came last. Frans dominated every platform going, I mean every one, yet even though that dominance reflected in the audience vote and the SVT and Aftonbaldet’s polls as well, this was not reflected in the actual televote. Did some Swedes decide they did not want to have a winner like Frans after all or did the app cause unexpected issues/results? I’m pretty sure Bjorkman would want to know why? The net effect… Read more »

Denis
Guest
Denis

Also, it’s not like Oscar Zia won the jury vote with a landslide. He won with a single points lead, one point. And he didn’t even win until the last country voted.
So don’t pretend his jury win was a earth-shattering event. He barely and narrowly beat Frans

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

@ally
Yeah, and what do those viral charts say? As I’ve pointed out, other tracks are on there that I don’t expect people from those countries have actually heard.

That is not to say that Frans couldn’t have a hit on his hands, of course not. His song is probably the most easily accessible one for a large audience of any of the entries so far. I just find it a bit too obviously plagiarized, that’s why I hope it won’t win Eurovision.

jacob
Guest
jacob

tbh i find him very unappealing and a bit arrogant 🙁 don’t like his song at all

Ally
Guest
Ally

@dutchie

I know? I said the Viral charts from the beginning. He’s charting on the Spotify Viral charts in various countries around the world. Can’t you read?

Denis
Guest
Denis

For everyone saying we always send songs we love, that’s not true. We send songs we know have a good chance, not necessarily the ones we love. We are calculating. Last year everybody loved Hasse Anderson, we sent Måns cause he had a better chance. In 2014 everybody loved Ace, we sent Sanna. This would be the first time we send a song we truly love, and that is the risk. And I never said he won by a landslide, Milla. That stands for you. But the fact remains, Frans is still very much beloved by many people. And we… Read more »

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

@ally
Frans isn’t charting around the world… the Spotify viral chart doesn’t count actual plays, it counts shares on Facebook, buzz on social media, that sort of thing. The only country where Frans is actually charting on Spotify is Sweden.

For instance, in France our Dutch entry is charted above Frans in that very same viral chart. But I don’t expect any Frenchman to have actually heard it.

Lawrence Gibb
Guest
Lawrence Gibb

Curious little ditty from the land of Waterloo, Euphoria and Heroes, not a winner and likely to get lost among “bigger” songs.

Ally
Guest
Ally

@Dutchie

It’s not like Frans is charting on Spotify and Itunes around the world just because ”Swedish people are living there.” You didn’t see Malena Ernman, Robin Stjernberg or even Eric Saade and Sanna Nielsen charting like this around the world after the Melfest final.

I really wish Frans the best in Eurovision. If I Were Sorry is like a breath of fresh air among all the overproduced songs.

T
Guest
T

Dutchie, well I don’t think there’s a lot of Swedes living in Taiwan and Uruguay, that’s for sure 🙂

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

@T
Of course it has hit potential, Catch & Release is a major hit already 😉

The viral chart doesn’t count actual plays. I think Melfest is broadcasted in those countries you mentioned, and a lot of Swedes live there, so how Frans stacks up against his competition is a bit difficult to predict.

QueenWiktoria
Guest
QueenWiktoria

Catch and release makes this song sound like poop that being said its not as bad as everyone is saying it will definitely be in the top ten as its Sweden and is already a big bit their juries overate songs that become bits in their country that’s why Lena did so well in 2010 she was a hit in her country. The juries need to learn that mindset winners being number 1 in inevitable just like xfactor winners being number one. It’s all due to hype and the mass of the show

T
Guest
T

So I checked Itunes and If I Were Sorry is 10 in Norway, 60 in Finland, 93 in Denmark and of course 1 in Sweden. It also climbing the viral spotify charts around the world.

These are strong indicators that this song has everything it takes to be a European/WW smash.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Worst song in the Contest. Sweden is going to follow Austria, host with Zero points.

Alex L.
Guest
Alex L.

@Loo I’m sorry I respect your comments, you seem to know how to point out a thing, but this time you are not being impartial just because you love Frans so much! You said that over 40% of the swedes will vote for him. Even if there were 12 milion votes, you can say that he won by a landslide! Wiktoria, Oscar, Robin actually got o lot of votes more than 1 million. The same amount of people voted except that the app worked this year and they had the opportunity to cast the votes another 5 times. The situation… Read more »

Marc
Guest
Marc

Up to win*

Marc
Guest
Marc

Haters are making a lot of noise but there’s many people who loves Frans so much (In Sweden and outside). Sweden is once again up to with the whole thing so you can keep hating. Frans is crushing everyone on Swedish charts and got platinum in just two weeks, that is a huge achievement and it’s for some reason. Mans needed that performance to win and Frans only need a really good song and his charm and charisma to win. BTW he is still climbing on viral spotify in many countries including mine. I’m so happy to support Sweden finally… Read more »

mathESC
Guest
mathESC

Sorry, I don’t like so much this song. I was falling in love with Oscar Zia and his song. To my mind, this song can’t make a top 15. Now I’m waiting for French official version which come out today.

Huh
Guest
Huh

And Oscar Zia and Wiktoria’s songs are promising and not that fast to assume that they are following the structures and melodies of other popular songs.

Huh
Guest
Huh

I don’t think lots of people hated Loreen back then. What’s my concern right now is that I hate the Swedish’s habit of sending songs with familiar structures and melodies. Not totally copied but let’s just say familiar ones. So it’s no longer about the singers themselves anymore. It’s just so they can appear as trendy and today’s hits, and to feel safe in Melfest and to the money of listeners. Those in charge of marketing them are familiar and successful of this and know how to give a bait to those listeners addicted to overly-generic mainstream music, and there… Read more »

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

I hate it!!!!! Wiktoria was a waayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy better choice. This is plagiarism from that one song, catching&Releasing. I can’t stand this.

Dan Marino
Guest
Dan Marino

At the end of the day he lost the jury by a point so that means Europe are gonna like it. Just look at where this is my life came when the jury hated it and it didn’t even qualify and yes he won the televote but not as much as I thought he would but he still won. The song is number one in Sweden it’s gone platinum there already. I’m beginning to really like this song and I wouldn’t be surprised if he won in Stockholm tbh

Loo
Guest
Loo

@Milla Well, it came in over 12 million votes (!!!) so 14 % is a LOT of votes in numbers BUT as you could vote five times for each song, the wealth was spread a lot more than expected. Without the app the result would have been a lot diefferent. Varför är du upprörd över att Sverige vågar göra något annorlunda för en gångs skull? Lägg av bara!!! I surrender on wiwibloggs from now on. I have never seen such bitternes on the same place at the same time before. I’m tired of defending Sweden every year. Just look at… Read more »

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

The song has all the potential to be an international hit, the performer isn’t the best singer but he is charismatic and obviously a teen idol. And apparently the international juries like it as well, although it’s musically not very interesting.

I still think it’s a little too heavily inspired on Catch & Release, but if no one sues them I say: clever thinking. If it wins Eurovision (which it very well might) I think it would be fun if next year every country enters a slightly rewritten version of a current hit 😉

Milla
Guest
Milla

Denis, Loo, Davve.. Frans won with 14% of the televote. 14%! And 1 point behind Oscar with the juries. Do you find it to be a convincing win? No. Denis, the swedish people ALWAYS vote for what we love. But this year there were too many good songs in the final so he didn’t win with a landslide. 86% of the televoters voted for somebody else. There are certainly not happy faces in Sweden either. It’s only the hyped fans of Frans that think this is sooo good and that we will win again. And the believe they get Frans… Read more »

Bouke
Guest

Hate it. The last two years Sweden sent songs which are copied. They are not creative anymore (some producers)

Bård
Guest
Bård

Well done, Sweden! This is top 5 for me and the first time in many years that I like your entry.