It’s Sweden’s biggest TV show and normally a highlight of Eurovision national selection season. But this year Melodifestivalen has been marred by one crisis after another. 

First it emerged that the song of Semi-Final 1 contestant Kamferdrops had been available online since 2009, then almost a million votes were lost between Semi-Finals 1 and 2, and yesterday three songs from semi-final 3 leaked in full just hours ahead of the live broadcast from Malmö Arena.

Now SVT and Melodifestivalen boss Christer Bjorkman have gone on the offensive.

This morning Bjorkman blamed the damaging leaks on “sabotage from people outside of our country,” and vowed to find those responsible.

“Conscious or unconscious it is a rule violation. SVT and the record labels have agreed to find the source and explain to them that that this is not what you should do.”

Warner Music Sweden – which represents the three artists affected by yesterday’s leaks – took a stronger line.

Spokesperson Camilla Bjering von Zweigbergk said:

“This is copyright infringement and a breach of competition rules. We have contacted the headquarters of organisations that have the power to block songs on platforms like YouTube.”

Melodifestivalen 2018 project manager Anette Helenius restated SVT’s determination to prevent leaks and precautions they’re exploring for the future.

“It’s like we have a discussion about leaks every week now, so we need to review our routines, because this is not sustainable. We want to keep the surprise for viewers so we need to find a solution.”

Helenius continued, “We don’t know what that solution is and need to review our entire process. Partly we need to review how record labels manage the songs in the studio, partly we need to review our management here. We are generous with pre-listeners and releasing some of the songs online, so it would be a pity if we can’t do it in the future.”

The leaks are an unwelcome distraction for SVT as Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet reports this morning that voting figures are down by 1.8 million votes two weeks after the first semi-final.

Over 6.6 million votes were cast during Semi-Final 1, which slipped to 5.8 million in Semi-Final 2 and just 4.8 million last night. The lowest total recorded in the semi-finals of Melodifestivalen 2017 was 4.9 million in Semi-Final 4.

Melodifestivalen 2018 continues next week in Örnsköldsvik.

GET MORE SWEDEN NEWS HERE

Source: Aftonbladet, Expressen (Sven Lindwall)

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CookyMonzta
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CookyMonzta

I have a one-word response to sum all this up…

…RESIGN.

bella
Guest
bella

the lack of voters and viewers are due to the olympics that go on at the same time. same thing happened in 2010 and 2014. also in these winter Olympics, Sweden tend to do very good and since this is every fourth year and melfest every year, more people tend to watch olympics.

idk maybe when the olympics are over soon, the viewers and votes will go up

Denis
Guest
Denis

It’s not like the chosen songs are bad. Most of them would give a decent result. They probably wouldn’t do worse than Robin Bengtsson. Making all this pointless really.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Melfest is disappointing as a whole this year but in the end, they may still end up with Liamoo, Benjamin or Mariette as their winner and honestly, would any of those songs be any worse than “I Can’t Go On” (Presuming that Mariette’s song is actually good)?

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

This has been such a disappointing year for Melfest. This year there seems to be enough good songs to make a decent grand final, but the rest of the songs just come across like cheap filler. And that’s the problem – the filler songs and Lindgren/Freddie’s patchy hosting drag down the show and make the good songs feel worse.

There are enough good songs in the competition to ensure that Sweden has the potential to send a decent act to Lisbon. But getting to the Melfest final is turning out to be a heartbreakingly unenjoyable experience.

Phary
Guest
Phary

If even the mighty Robyn thinks this year’s Melfest isn’t a great show, why do you keep making recap videos after every Deltävling? I know there are a lot of selections at the same time and you can’t watch them all, but at least some of them (A Dal, Vidbir, Supernova, Eesti Laul…) could deserve videos like the ones you made about Destination Eurovision (which were amazing). (This is just a question/suggestion though, I know you guys are doing a lot of work (like reviewing 24 Lithuanian songs), you really consider every national selection on your website, and you make… Read more »

Rhy
Guest
Rhy

Yes, there should have been at least one more main host with David, because, after hosting it last year, this year he’s not that interesting anymore all alone.. He is good, he can sing, dance, entertain, but we’ve seen all of that already. And last year’s hosts were really good and entertaining, there was 3 of them and it worked.. Clara<333. Furthermore, it seems like the whole concept of Melfest is being so forced (4 Semi-finals, weeks long process..) that the songs fall in the shadow of the system itself.. Like it doesn't matter anymore how good songs are, it… Read more »

Denis
Guest
Denis

As pointed out it is the Olympics. That makes a lot of things lose in ratings. In 2014 MF lost Viewers too and it was a decent selection.

Milla
Guest
Milla

A long road to get there.. I agree. Hoping for a total make-over next year. Maybe it’s time.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

I suspected as much weeks beforehand. That’s why, for the first time since I started watching the whole thing in 2015, I have not watched a single SECOND of the show yet. And it look like I’ll be watching MGP during the MF final instead.

WHAT?
Guest
WHAT?

“Melfest isn’t good so far’, so no Swede’s this year *happy*.” We’ll you know what? They’re in it somehow anyway but @wiwibloggs doesn’t seems to have time to remember it atm… Måns Zelmerlöw is NO. 9 on the German Itunes tonight. Tell me when an artist (And I mean an ESC-winner with ANOTHER song than the winning song and NOT a German artist) was on that spot last? Abba, maybe? But since you don’t seem to think it’s worth mentioning, I’ll happily do it for you. Hm.. I also just GOT to mention that MZ is the one that made… Read more »

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

Lol, Mans’ succes doesn’t Change the fact that this year sucks.

whstever
Guest
whstever

Yeah. I agree. This year sucks… so far. But I don’t agree on “lol”. I think they (wiwibloggs and others) should enlighten every succesful act so that everybody can see that it might just be worth the while..

Denis
Guest
Denis

We have this every year. No one founds MF as bad as us Swedes. Every year “it’s the worst ever” . We almost take pride in hating it and compete in who can come up with the worst insults. This is nothing..
That said this year is no different quaity wise than other years. There is always one semi-final with bad entries, one semi-final with only super strong songs and two with mix of both. Usually the first one is the weakest and the last one the best. But Björkman seems to have fun this year forgoing tradition..

Am.casablancas
Guest
Am.casablancas

I don’t have a beef personally with Christer but he comes out with the most outrageous explanations to his failured attempt… really dude? Sabotage? Please explain why you sacrifice quality in favor of variety? To keep the older generations happy? And why do you bring people to your pre-selection that are already well known TV figures when they even acknowledge they bring crap songs? This year of melodifestivalen seems like a bad joke and a big pool of big names throw into, just for the sake of audience, please stop blaming it on everyone but yourself and your brilliant organizers.… Read more »

Ari
Guest
Ari

Well, my number one priority is getting good song material out of Eurovision, so if Mariette really has something up her sleeve, I am all for her. It’s not that I want Sweden to fail, I want the best song and performance to win, regardless of where it’s coming from. However, even I must admit that I would just LOVE to see Björkman’s face on camera when Sweden doesn’t make it to the Eurovision final. But only if their ACT doesn’t deserve it. Btw – and I am saying this without an ounce of sarcasm – out of all the… Read more »

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

If those “Russians” can get Sweden out of the Grand Final this year, I’m all for it. I mean their selection this year is rubbish.

If they got Trump in the White House, this is something easy for them, right? LOL

Ari
Guest
Ari

I don’t think the Trump task was that difficult. After all, he was up against Hilly Vanilli.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

True that, and also I believe Putin hackers have better things to do with the Russian presidential electrónico, than to mess with stupid Melódicos ricamente.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

Elections*

Flynn
Guest
Flynn

Bjorkman is way too arrogant to see it’s the way too-bland songs that’s the problem and that’s saying something given Sweden gives us bland unimaginative pop every single year

I mean they’re still going to do well since they’ll get thanks from other juries for Swedes writing their songs (Side question, why are Swede written songs for other countries better than the actual Swedish entry?)

Honestly hope Sweden don’t qualify, I appreciated seeing countries we don’t normally see at the top last year because of Russia not being there

Phary
Guest
Phary

Doesn’t he realize that foreign hackers have a much better way to waste their time than rigging the Swedish preselection for Eurovision? As much as I love Eurovision it’s just a song contest…
Also, I agree about the fact that keeping the songs secret so long is ridiculous. Their quality seems OK though.

Ugnius
Guest
Ugnius

Well, I don’t get why lots of people hate Melodifestivalen this year… C’mon it’s not that bad ! You can’t hope that we will see 7 possible Eurovision winners in each semi-final. Every year there has been some weaker songs, some stronger songs, this year is no exception, stop criticising Melfest. Last year we also had ‘gems’ like Charlotte Perrelli, Adrijana, Etzia, Allyawan or Sara Varga&Juha Mulari, so it’s absolutely normal for Mello to have some terrific songs. In fact, I can enjoy all songs that has qualified directly or to Andra Chancen (as well as Kamferdrops and Dotter), so… Read more »

Hey
Guest
Hey

It’s very obvious Björkman has planned it so that Mariette will win. Even Melodifestivalen experts said this before Melodifestivalen even started, even the jury who took out the songs. They all had Mariette’s song as a favorite saying it was the best. And Björkman took her as the last entry. He planned this well.

Kris
Guest
Kris

How did this Russia thing come up in the comments??

Also didn’t Christer realize that many didnt vote in this semi because the songs were not upto par! The heart had no sparks at all for 3 songs and only one song lasted for more than a minute.

Just cause of 30 seconds extra of a song you don’t loose 2 million votes!

aaron
Guest
aaron

The songs were leaked on VK, a Russian social media site, and Christer said he blamed people “outside our country are trying to sabotage”

The inference was clear, the Russians are meddling in Melodifestivalen like they allegedly did in the US election :p In Bjorkmans world at least 😀

Kapusta
Guest
Kapusta

Vk is the most democratic site with a lot of pirate material and I cannot remember a year without videos uploaded to vkontakte before their official release. By the way you can find a lot of other melfest leaks in one of vkontakte fan groups. My guess is that a person from MF production team is an active user of Vk 😀 And Bjorkman found out the leak only this year O_o

Kris
Guest
Kris

But Russian delegation head said during French final they will not hack into televote!!

ESC UK
Guest
ESC UK

I get that they’re annoyed because less people are voting, but honestly if the selection of songs was better it would attract more voters.
Also – “We are generous with pre-listeners and releasing some of the songs online” – no, you’re not. Other countries release their full songs days or even weeks ahead of the shows. I understand they’re trying to judge how people react the first time they hear the song, like what happens at Eurovision itself, but they shouldn’t pretend that giving us what they do is generous.

Lewis Britchford
Guest
Lewis Britchford

This years melodifestival is awful. I barely like any of the songs. and to think they said no to alcazar. they are accepting all the spotify sounding songs and the variety. haven’t heard the 2 that qualified last night but i’m sure i’ll like jessica’s song. Next yr i want schlager songs, decent ballads, get me some rock and metal music, some decent swedish folk songs, samir and victor singing a song in english, and lets get back to some catchy melodies, none of this east listening radio friendly rubbish- or at least not the majority of the 28 songs… Read more »

Mar
Guest
Mar

First they came for Hillary, now they’re after Jessica. Darn those meddling Russian kids.

Ari
Guest
Ari

LOL. That comment made my day. First Hillary, then the next best global mega hit “Party Voice” by the nest best Swedish global mega star. Nothing is sacred anymore, indeed.

Jo
Guest
Jo

WikiLeaks is going to release Jessica’s emails soon. THEY COLLUDED!

Blaziker from SG
Guest
Blaziker from SG

One of the bigger issues is not just the song quality so far, but it is mostly the free app voting resulting in certain good entries being left out, because the other acts are better loved by the Swedish public. This would sometimes results in Eurovision-quality songs suffering a similar fate because they simply do not appeal to the general audience. If I could make some suggestions, SVT should either scrap the free app voting or restrict it (abolishing it for the final and Andra Chansen or limit its power to 3 votes with restrictions to voting the same act,… Read more »

Milla
Guest
Milla

I also miss the Melodifestivalen site. I don’t know why they shut it down. And SVT scrapped the Before Eurovision shows last year. Nothing is what it used to be..

Siim
Guest

I have no idea what happened this year. In the last years their were three or four songs which gave the feelings that they could work on a eurovision stage, but after three semi finals there’s none. Yes, Benjamin Ingrosso has an acceptable stage performance but the song is so middle of the road and nothing to remember.

Ari
Guest
Ari

Here’s an unconventional tought: Could it be that voting numbers are down because less people are motivated to vote for bad songs? It’s not much of a mystery to me.

On the leaking issue: Just release your goddamn 28 songs all at once in full before the shows start and all i well.

Ari
Guest
Ari

It’s not like you’ve been hiding to killer song. Or a decent song, for that matter.

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

I was in the arena and Dotter was not so good. I agree the show is the worst ever this year but the songs are like every year. The worse song we have are still the best song for example in Latvia,Portugal,Moldova,Montenegro,Serbia for example so i dont think its fair to say we will fail in the semifinal. We Have Benjamin Ingrosso and Martin Almgren with super songs so i dont think we will fail :).

No Name
Guest
No Name

Sure, Jan

simba
Guest
simba

OMG you still keep telling yourself that?
”The worst Swedish song it’s still better than the best song from..[insert country]..”
Sweden does not deserve to qualify this year.

Arythmia
Guest
Arythmia

The worst thing is that they REALLY believe their songs are that good. Even in the scope of Eurovision with its lower standards of music taste their songs don’t stand out.

Jo
Guest
Jo

The cockiness is strong here.

desfolhada
Guest
desfolhada

Sweden wont fail, the international juries will save ur country anyway like Australia last year. But it’s unfair comparing your NF with others, also Portugal NF didn’t happened yet, the most important for ESC is the selected song…

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

Martin Almgren? Super song? Bye Felicia!

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

i think so and im pretty sure im not the only one 🙂

Arythmia
Guest
Arythmia

Montenegro’s NF was way better. Also some entries in Armenian selection are more quality than songs in MF.

Escfan96
Guest
Escfan96

@Arythmia LOL! ok, this year’s MF is probably the weakest ever, but it’s still much better than Montenegrin or Armenian selections. Both of them have the worst selections this year.

Jake
Guest
Jake

I love Melfest but this year it’s been lackluster. I believe this is the first year that Christer is starting to step away from some decisions as he gets ready to transition out and it shows. The quality has been down this year. Last night was lacking serious star power and it showed when the biggest names made it through to the final — a previous Melfest winner and an Idol winner. Not sure why this semi had 3 Latin artists. It makes no sense in terms of have a diverse semi. Jessica’s song was great but it should’ve been… Read more »

Álex
Guest
Álex

I totally agree with you.

knut
Guest
knut

Booooooo Russia in Lisbon

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

No way!!! I want no booing in Lisbon!!!

Alex M
Guest
Alex M

This year’s MF wasn’t the best national selection. In fact it was pretty weak, comparing to others.

Colin
Guest
Colin

What’s the difference between a 2.30 so called “snippet” and a full song anyway? Much ado about nothing!

Arythmia
Guest
Arythmia

Obviously, 30 seconds

Colin
Guest
Colin

I ran into that one, didn’t I? 🙂

Jon Olalala Sand
Guest
Jon Olalala Sand

Well, you can expect anything from Russia.

??
Guest
??

Worst MF since 2013. Absolutely bad. I am a fan of MF but this year I don’t know what’s going wrong with them. I don’t know why all those newcomers, I don’t know about this low-class songs. The performances of all those dance songs look exactly the same. Nothing spectacular or new. Clothing is all same as well. The presenter and the other guy that is going around the arena are both very anoying and the show in general is boring. All the swedish songs are quite similar to each other. traditional clothes, choreography. The stage even though it’s good… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

I think Christer has stretched himself too thin with helping other countries’ National Selections.

Stephanie
Guest

He gave Madame Monsieur 2 points not only to help his favorite (Lisandro), but because many seem to think that he saw the former as a massive threat for overall victory in Lisbon – even William thought so in the post-NF reaction video.

Milla
Guest
Milla

Yeah and hired the wrong people. Now they need to be fired. For instance the guy who wrote this years manuscript. Bring back Edward!

Milla
Guest
Milla

But Denmark, Norway and Finland don’t need to move their stage to another city every week. Think of that?

Jon Olalala Sand
Guest
Jon Olalala Sand

And the Worst actor award goes tooo…

aaron
Guest
aaron

I just got a paper cut handling some files. As you know paper is white, and white is one of the 3 colours in the Russian flag!!!

Those russians are behind everything!

Arythmia
Guest
Arythmia

LOL

Rory
Guest
Rory

Can the drama-queen Bjorkman realise that this year Melo is a flop purely because the lack of good songs?

And on top of that u can add the terrible hosting script and everything related?

Hope Sweden fails this year. Maybe Christer will wake up finally from his dream.

N.W.
Guest
N.W.

No surprise the votes went down.

First and second semifinal had at least one song each, which could possibly win MelFest.

But the third semifinal? It was a weak one, no song from there is a possible winner.

I believe that Semifinal 4 will see an increased voting figure as there is fanwank Mariette in there.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

The videos with the leaks literally had less than 1,000 views on YouTube. The 2:30 versions were already out. There was no sabotage, lmao.

DragKvinna
Guest
DragKvinna

It is always easier to blame others for the Swedish music crisis.

TAYANNA
Guest
TAYANNA

Sweden deserves to do a Anna Bergendahl this year. This Melfest is just horrible sorry

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Given the (lack of) taste they’ve been serving, they’ll select Bitter Lullaby and stay in the semi.

wendy
Guest
wendy

How the leaks made you lose votes? Most countries have no secrets, and show the songs very early. They don’t lose votes because of that.
Apart from that, about the leaks, I hope Russia did it. Because is fun.
But the flop of Mello is not because of the leaks, is because of bad songs.

Bjorkman
Guest
Bjorkman

Russians hack melodifestivalen voting so that to save Swedes from spending money on a show that promotes law-class music.

West
Guest
West

The leaks are always bad – although they would be more damaging if they happened days or even weeks before the semi-finals.
As for lower viewership – yes, the songs are weaker, but also the ice hockey matches just started in the Olympics. Even if the Melfest was packed with amazing masterpieces – even I would rather watch the ice hockey match supporting my team and Sweden has one of the best ice hockey teams in the world.

Jo
Guest
Jo

Is he blaming the Russians? lol

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

Yes. Exactly my question. Could this be true? Russians saotaging Melodifestivalen?

Jo
Guest
Jo

With all the Olympic anti-doping controversy, I doubt Russians would waste time rigging an unimportant Tv show. But who knows? Maybe just for fun.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Well the songs were leaked on a Russian social media site so it’s possible..

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

I hope it’s true. Russians sabotaging Melfest. LMAO

Mark
Guest
Mark

Can we just kick Russia out of Eurovision already?

Denis
Guest
Denis

Well I wouldn’t be surprised. Russians meddle into everything, why not a national selection?
As for the voting, get rid of the app you will see greater numbers. The app has done nothing for the show. Apart from voting away favourites.

ThePify
Guest
ThePify

Oh wow the xenophobia is real on this one.

Kirill
Guest
Kirill

Well Sergey Lazarev was robbed in Sweden, they were too afraid of Russia possible winning and bought juries votes for generic Dami Im and Jamala’s moaning so I would be in full solidarity with them for this crime.

desfolhada
Guest
desfolhada

Sergey robbed? lmao

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

Sorry, but both Jamala & Dami Im had better songs than Lazarev.

Rayne
Guest
Rayne

How Sergey was robbed??? He won the televoting and got 3rd place overall. I mean, that’s a FANTASTIC result, come on. ._. The song wasn’t even that good, it was all about the staging which was very well thought. But it’s a song contest after all and “1944” and “Sound of Silence” were much better songs.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Sergey’s song wasn’t great and the staging was desperate.

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

What’s the winter been like in Irkutsk, Kirill?

SpirK
Guest
SpirK

No suprise here, apart from Dotter there was no special song to vote for. And since they didn’t like dotter, there were no super songs to vote for. The heart on Martin and Jessica beated for 1.05, which was enough only for Andra Chansen for Mimi and Sigrid in their semifinals.

Sam
Guest
Sam

Viewers and votes always slip in winter Olympic years remember, 2014 and 2010 had lower viewership due to conflicts with Winter Olympics. Although given the time difference there is no crossover between the events but there may be other Winter Olympics programmes on at the same time as melfest. This isn’t a new thing every four years

Denis
Guest
Denis

But the Winter Olympics is on a smaller channel. SVT lost the rights in 2011. MF would still be bigger show

Mark
Guest
Mark

What’s a bigger pull, figure skating or Mendez?

Denis
Guest
Denis

No one watches figure skating here. It’s either curling or skiing. 🙂
So MF would still be a draw

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

I watch figure skating Denis. One of the men had a routine to “Silent Storm”

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

Maybe because this year’s Melfest is geting worse and worse. Have you thought about that? The only remotely good Songs that are still in the running come from Samir & Viktor, Liamoo and maybe Benjamin Ingrosso (and that song isn’t even good, it’s just fine but that seems to be enough). This is going nowhere, I just hope we have good Songs in semi 4. (My favourites are S&V, but they don’t stand a Chance, the juries will kill them)

Mark
Guest
Mark

The votes are slipping because no one likes the music

josh
Guest
josh

This years Melfest quality is low anyway and since Dotter was eliminated (shocking tbh) the only other act im looking forward to is Mariette..

Mark
Guest
Mark

Dotter being eliminated isn’t shocking, she was bad.

Andy
Guest
Andy

I wouldn’t call Dotter bad, but her song was a straight up copy, so I’m glad in didn’t qualify.

Sal
Guest
Sal

Lol I hate Christer Bjorkman so this is kinda funny

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

everyone hates Björkman