Eurovision 2016 may be going smoothly, but there is definitely some behind-the-scenes tension at the headquarters of SVT. Today SVT announced that it would replace Wiktoria, the runner-up from Melodifestivalen 2016, wih Lisa Ajax, another Melfest 2016 contestant.
Wiktoria’s disqualification comes following her appearance on the Swedish television program Inför ESC, hosted by Christer Björkman. She, along with Helena Paparizou, Oscar Zia and Panetoz member Njol Badije, ranked this year’s Eurovision entries each week, offering their candid appraisals of all the songs.
Anette Helenius, project manager for the Swedish Eurovision broadcast, explained it this way:
“There is no doubt that the opinion of some members of that particular jury panel could have been affected by another jury member’s opinion. That is why we decided to replace Wiktoria with Lisa Ajax.”
The “My Heart Wants Me Dead” hitmaker joins an expert panel of judges for the Swedish jury, which also includes Anton Ewald, one of Melodifestivalen’s most recognisable artists.
Helenius and Björkman handpicked the jurors themselves.
Although Wiktoria’s participation in the Eurovision preview show does not violate the EBU’s rules, Helenius wants to avoid any and all speculation about the Swedish jury being overly influenced beforehand.