It knocked Loreen out of Andra Chansen this year and claimed Molly Pettersson Hammar before her time in 2015. And now fans are saying that the Melodifestivalen App is giving too much power to international juries in deciding who represents Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest each year. 

Melodifestivalen 2016-2017

This year there were just 27 points between first and last place in the televoting (compared to a 95-point spread among the juries). The year before there were only 23 points (compared to an 89-point spread among the juries). In both years the winner’s jury score has been enough to put them safely ahead of their runner-up, regardless of the televoting result.

This year Robin Bengtsson could have afforded to place outside the top 3 and would still have beaten runner-up Nano. With a 20-point lead, courtesy of international jury voting, “I Can’t Go On” placed behind both Nano and Wiktoria with the public, and still walked away with the trophy. At the 2017 final, especially, it appears that an underwhelming vocal from Wiktoria at the Friday night dress rehearsal, when international juries vote, may have cost her victory.

Over the past two years, the massive increase in voting from the app has narrowed the televoting results, shrinking the gap between first and last places, handing the international juries the deciding power on who wins out.

But what about Melodifestivalen 2015?

True, the app was in use, and infamously knocked Molly Pettersson Hammar and her absolute banger “I’ll Be Fine” out of the first semi-final. But at the final, the app crashed and all the votes were discounted. Måns Zelmerlöw and “Heroes” built up a record lead with the international juries over nearest rival Mariette.

Where Frans and Robin narrowly overcame the competition with a 14.4% and 10.6% share of televoting, Måns smashed Jon Henrik Fjällgren. “Heroes” took 35% of all televotes and finished 162 votes ahead of last placed JTR. That topped the record Loreen set in 2012 when “Euphoria” won 32.7% of all votes cast.

Juries have decided things before, why are they different now?

It’s true Robin Stjernberg beat Yohio with the backing of the international juries in 2013 and that Charlotte Perrelli overcame Sanna Nielsen thanks to Swedish jury votes in 2008. But the difference between then and now, is that app voting is levelling the playing field. During the semi-finals, before most people have heard the songs, people react on gut instinct. This weeds out weaker songs and ensures the best songs make the final.

By the time the Melfest stage is up in Friends Arena and the hosts are introducing the final, however, people have already made up their minds and can use the app to “spam” vote for their favourites. That means, as we’ve seen this year and last year, that the bulk of acts get clustered together by app voting.

That means if the juries favour a particular act, as they have the past two years, that act doesn’t need to win the televote to win the whole competition and can in theory afford to come outside the top five.

Is there a solution?

The app vote has definitely made Melodifestivalen more exciting. You can instantly tell which acts are popular and vote in an easier way than before. And, crucially, it’s engaged people, something that selections in countries like the United Kingdom consistently fail to do.

Perhaps the solution might be to have app-voting for every round, other than the final and in that way get back to the high drama of televoting, like Sanna Nielsen beating Ace Wilder by just two points in 2014.

What do you think? Do the international juries have too much power? Should the app vote be scrapped? Do you like the app vote and think it makes it more exciting? Let us know in the comments below and on our app!

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Debbie
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MS
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MS

There is a problem. SVT want many votes to show there sponsors. But on the otherhand people feel that there are no point to televote becoause of the massive votes from the app. And the people in sweden that only se final may not even down load the app. I think that in second chance and the final there should be an other selotion. In the final I would like to see a ranking system or a pot of votes. and that you are not able to vote until all the songs are played. But that would have to be… Read more »

Jonas
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Jonas

Abolish the app completely.

Go back to ten.

Bring back regional juries.

CookyMonzta
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CookyMonzta

@Marky: Aye. I agree that they should go back to 10 in the final. Twelve will just make it more likely that the vote distribution will spread out way too thin, and the margin between first and last will continue to be as slim as this year’s, unless there is a song that a clear majority of people like.

Rafael Vivas
Guest
Rafael Vivas

People, this is a post about Sweden and the MF voting system. Stop spamming with things about other countries.

chromium
Guest
chromium

The easiest solution, without scrapping the app vote, would probably be limiting the number of (free) app votes. Limit it to just 2 in the semi-final (the two you’d want to go direkt), and 1 in the final (the one you want to see in Eurovision). After those free app votes, you need to pay to get more votes.

BTW, the international juries are not bad. They’re there because Sweden is super serious about winning Eurovision. 😀

Charli Cheer Up
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Charli Cheer Up

Something doesn’t add up well with last year’s result. Like everyone expected Frans to not get high points from international juries because they don’t know his ‘story’ but he still ended up placing 2nd in the jury votes. I feel like these ‘juries’ are partially influenced by the producers so that they can make decisions that might cause outrage towards the Swedish public such as not choosing the strong favorite (Frans’ televotes were massive compared to other acts last year). This year however is different because the margin of televotes between the Top 3 were smaller so juries were able… Read more »

Jake
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Jake

Christer was smart to add the international juries because it put all entries on equal footing since foreign juries are not familiar with most artists and their back stories or how famous they are in Sweden or local press influence….so they are judging just the song, the voice and the performance–just like in Eurovision…the app basically allows to vote too often and usually helps younger performers whose fans are teenage girls who are more likely to use the app…it spreads the votes too evenly and you don’t see big spreads also audience votes are based on percentage of total votes… Read more »

Donna Vey
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Donna Vey

It seems we all agree the app needs to go, or at least be limited to the SFs.

Blaziker from SG
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Blaziker from SG

I felt the app voting is the biggest problem in the voting mainly because with the app voting, more popular acts, regardless of song quality, are voted more than acts with a better song and performance. As a result, the results are sometimes not reflective of the true standard of the acts. (I’m looking at you, Anton Hagman, FO&O and Owe Thornqvist) I agree that the app voting should be scrapped, but only for the grand final since it’s the more important show. Here are my suggestions: 1. Limit the app voting from 5 to 2 votes, and the users… Read more »

Samo Lee
Guest

Thank you wiwibloggs writing this article and sharing my sentiments exactly!!! Btw I believe the app must go or there needs to be major overhaul of the voting system. Maybe they can do it like Eesti Laul or the Polish National Selection – but then it still would not be as exciting for the those towards the bottom after the first round of points comes through.

Thiefo
Guest

Simple solution: limit the number of votes that can be cast via the app, the problem is that people is able to vote for all songs equally, that’s why they get scattered, people vote for all the songs. If you only had, let’s say 5 votes and you had to decide to which songs you should give them to, then people would focus their voting.

Marky
Guest
Marky

I think there are just too many entries, 8 – 10 should be enough.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Definitely needs to go or revised so that you can only vote once and for a winner.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Yes, the app needs to go, for the statistical reasoning mentioned here. Either that or they need to make a better voting system for the app.

Marc
Guest
Marc

Robyn, but the App makes impossble to focus the vote. They vote for everybody intead of picking a favourite.
We don’t know if there was clear favourite for Swedish people. Frans was so popular and he only managed to get 68 points :S

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

The problem isn’t that the juries have too much power – they have exactly the same power they’ve had since 2011. The problem is that the public can’t focus their power. The televote is too easily scattered.

This year the problem was there was no big stand-out act – no Måns or Frans – that got a clear majority of the public vote. The televote was scattered, so it’s probably for the best that the jury was there to provide a “tiebreak” of sorts.

Zafir
Guest
Zafir

T

Interesting that Malena 2009 flop so hard from semi to final, in semi she was on 4 th place and in final only 21 place.
And Charlotte perrelli one year before in 2008 went thanks to juries in final , if we had rules before 2008 Sweden would stay in semi that year.

Marc
Guest
Marc

@T Yes.. Mello voting was a mess in 2008-2010. But I didn’t follow melodifestivalen those years tbh. In 2009 there wasn’t international jury, but the voting was really close and rare. Sweden made the wrong choice yes.. specially when Snalla Snalla lost for 0’2% which is ridiculous. In 2010, I think Swedes fell in love with Anna because they wanted to send something simple for once I guess, but what they really loved was Manboy. That was the mistake imo. But “Keep on walking” was so so good and it would have been a great entry as well. A messy… Read more »

Pheonix
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Pheonix

NF National juries really ruin the outcome of too many selections, especially when it’s usually major landslide public choices which are overturned, leading to hopeless choices, which we’ve seen too many times this year. International juries are by far the best solution for a split vote, giving you the best possible indicator of the favourable choice for Eurovision. I always saw Wiktoria’s song and performance having major ESC flop potential and the International jury votes reflected that, just as they did in picking the act with the greatest potential in the MF line up this year in Robin. So well… Read more »

T
Guest
T

@Marc Yes, you’re right. Saade, Loreen, Sanna, Måns and Frans all won the televoting in MF. But you (and all the Swedish media) fail to mention 2009 and 2010. In 2009 the one international jury MF had gave 12 points to Sarah Dawn Finer and ranked Malena Ernman 7th out of eleven acts. In 2010 the 6 international juries ranked Anna Bergendahl 7th out of ten acts. These are pretty good examples of when the international juries obviously were right and the viewers were not. The televoting winners won and represented Sweden. Anna Bergendahl is the only entry to fail… Read more »

Lolek
Guest
Lolek

Not a huge fan of the app voting – especially if you can just keep spamming for the person you want to win. Imo televote and juries are a fine enough combination. But of course thats for Sweden to decide, not me 😉

Kris
Guest
Kris

Possible solutions:1) No app vote in final
2)Limit on no. of finalists you can use app vote on (maximum of three different finalists can be voted for by app)
3) limit on total no. of app votes to use (max 5 in the final)
4) reducing the value of App vote ( 1 app vote= 1/10th of a paid-vote)
5) Making app vote contribute to only 50% of televote points ( so 483 jury 241 app and 242 televote)
6) allowing only 1 free app vote

App needs to be there to engage the audience but its power should be reduced.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@Marcus (Day one): Maybe they ought to consider returning to the 2011 procedure, or maybe a combination of that and the 2012-17 procedure: (1) The winner of the first round of voting goes straight to the final, and the last 2 go home. Then the first-round votes are completely erased. (2) The public then gets the same amount of time to vote for the remaining 4. The winner of the second round of voting goes to the final, and the next 2 go to Andra Chansen. The last one goes home. I have no problem with the international juries. They… Read more »

Ste
Guest
Ste

The app needs to go.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

HEY!! Did I miss something, or is it true that Salvador Sobral will not be seen anywhere or tour before the ESC (that is, IF he makes it to the stage in Kyiv)?

This is not good, and heart troubles are not the way anyone should wish to see anybody possibly withdrawing from this contest. Once more, to not be seen anywhere, even at a speaking engagement, between now and early-May, could cripple Portugal’s potential to build and expand their fan-base and score more points, especially given that they have never finished in the top 5.

Justin K.
Guest
Justin K.

I would think the other option would be that the app votes count less than the actual televote—something Poddy already mentioned. Or if the infrastructure exists, the ability to separate app votes to create an extra jury member (and only awarding 12-10-8-etc) for all app votes, and base the public vote percentages solely on the televote. I couldn’t stop watching the 2014 results cause that was nail-biting until the end! If that’s what we have the current Eurovision voting procedures for (and granted people can vote free through the app in some countries), why not put a premium on people… Read more »

Marcus (Day one)
Guest
Marcus (Day one)

In the semis isn’t the first round app and televotes and the second round televote only?
Loreen smashed the televotes in the second round but due to the ridiculous app votes she was relegated to andra chanson.

Maybe limit the app to 1 free vote and the rest you have to pay for.
It used to be that last place in the semi at melodifestivalen got like 8000 voted where now they get around 100,000.

It’s stupid.
At least stop the app vote in the grand final.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Mathematically I’m afraid the differences are over my head. I don’t actually understand the difference between pre-app and post-app. Sorry 🙁
Whatever the problem is, hopefully they can sort it out.

MarkusK
Guest
MarkusK

I think, an additional problem is that there are now 12 entries in the final instead of 10 before. That, together with the high quality of the entries gives a lot of votes for each entry and makes the difference smaller.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Maybe Sweden should consider having two rounds of finals like Estonia, Norway and Iceland do. In the first round, combine the votes of jury and televote and then go with top 4 in superfinals, which would be 100% televote.

*IF* the app must remain, cut down it’s options from 5 to 2.

Marc
Guest
Marc

App and Juries don’t work together. Someone who wins the televote and is second with juries should win the contest.

Saade, Loreen, Sanna, Mans and Frans, all they won the TELEVOTE in Sweden. Only Robin didn’t and we know his result (and it was a weak year for Eurovision)

BTW last year Frans got 68 and David Lingren 28.. that’s 40 points.. not 23 XD

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

Sweden is always a classic case of paradox of choice – They usually have quite a few great songs to choose from so they end up choosing a weaker option overall. Once in a while they make the right choice and they actually win (queue Loreen/Mans).

LjupcoMKD
Guest
LjupcoMKD

@T

In 2009 Malena Ernman did rather bad with juries with them ranking her 8th out of 11 finalists, but televote saved her. And if today’s system was used back then, Mans Zelmerlow would’ve won.

Paul D.
Guest
Paul D.

@Aaron

It’s very rare for me to argue with someone, here or anywhere. So congratulations to you for making it happen!

#Televotes
Guest
#Televotes

I think the voting is good, but app-votes need to go.

T
Guest
T

I think the system should stay as it is now. I don’t mind the juries choosing the winner because the Swedish people proved in the late 00’s that they couldn’t vote for the right acts (for Eurovision). We all had better options in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 than the ones we sent, and that’s why SVT ditched the Swedish juries and started with the international ones.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

@Toinousse Really couldn’t care less about Portugal to be honest, it’s a non starter lmao @kylie , fairs, but this article isn’t about him, and to be honest he’ll get better-he isn’t that much competition anyway LOOOOL

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

@Polegend Gagarina @Paul D. not very polite of you is it? I continuously see you arguing with somebody new on this blog frequently. Portugal’s song is horrendous, I cannot wait until May, when he won’t qualify ;)) Will be a treat! He looks like he’s having some form of seizure on stage, it makes me uncomfortable, he will daily miserably! “You should learn some manners. Some eurovision fans disgust me by their behavior towards some singers like Salvador or Julia”, okay I wasn’t being rude about Julia, why is she being made the “Eurovision face of disabled people”, because she… Read more »

Kylie
Guest
Kylie

@Toinousse someones LIFE is more important then some nf voting system..

Toinousse
Guest
Toinousse

It’s not an article about Portugal but Sweden, stop spamming!

Isi
Guest
Isi

Maybe Robin wasn’t completely swedens Choice, but the International juries show, which act will get a a lot of votes from the international juries at eurovision itself.

Ron
Guest
Ron

Completely unrelated – but a teaser for the Armenia song is out and it sounds soo interesting. This is gonna be Lovewave 2.0 fingers crossed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJO45Z_RChQ

Mark Beckenbreur
Guest
Mark Beckenbreur

Artsvik just released a teaser of her Fly with me song.

Pablo Nava
Member

“The app vote has definitely made Melodifestivalen more exciting. You can instantly tell which acts are popular and vote in an easier way than before.” Beg to differ… it’s exactly because of that why it’s not good? It makes everything predictable (literally all my eurofriends knew of the Anton-gate way before Loreen performed), and so it makes everything boring. There’s also the chance of acts whose demopgraphic include the heaviest app users (Lisa, Anton) to have an advantage over others from the get go, making everything predictable. It was avoided in 2015 (with its severe casualties, Molly) and 2016 (due… Read more »

William Lee Adams
Admin

The app needs to go. And immediately. I much preferred the voting segments like in 2014. THAT was exciting.

Sally
Guest
Sally

PS Aaron — if you’re so annoyed with everyone’s opinions and don’t like the news, then why don’t you go somewhere else? You’re a total troll. I hope the admins of this site block you.

Marco
Guest
Marco

After I semi in Portugal , we read on some forum and sites that Salvador will go to hospital before final to operate stomach hernia and because that he wear tha outfit in semi , and no one wrote in that time, about his health problem with heart. After final and jump on betting odds to favorite 4 for win, we read first time that he have heart problem.

Sally
Guest
Sally

@aaron — and swedish media have written about the topic for YEARS. no one owns a monopoly on a topic.