It’s the hit Swedish TV show that has selected the Nordic nation’s Eurovision act in one form or another since 1958. 

But last year Melodifestivalen proved more miss than hit.

Eventual winner Benjamin Ingrosso only received 21 points in televoting at Eurovision and the Mello TV shows themselves had the worst ratings in seven years.

Now Swedish Eurovision Broadcaster SVT think they’ve found their fix: veteran Eurovision commentator and comedian Edward af Sillén.

Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet reports af Sillén has been drafted in as a consultant “to save” next year’s shows.

In an SMS to the tabloid, af Sillén says, “It’s going to be a laugh trying to help and take the content in the right direction.”

Edward af Sillén will work alongisde existing Melodifestivalen creative team Christer Bjorkman and Henric von Zweigbergk. Bjorkman acts as a producer, while Zweigbergk serves as floor manager.

Why hire Edward af Sillén for Melodifestivalen 2019?

SVT has a long relationship with Edward af Sillén, including work on five editions of Melodifestivalen since 2009.

He’s also commentated on Eurovision for Sweden eight times.

Eurofans know him best for his work on the Eurovision 2016 interval spoof “Love, Love, Peace, Peace,” performed by Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw.

Why is SVT taking action?

SVT acknowledge the decision is driven by the reception to last year’s competition.

Ratings dropped below three million, with the content and script receiving particular criticism.

At the time SVT boss Peter Nyrén said the broadcaster had received “signals” that the show had “not been appreciated all the time”.

Now SVT project manager Anette Hellenius says turning to af Sillén is the natural solution:

“I have brought Edward on as a consultant to write some numbers and sketches because I think he is an incredibly skilled creator, he has a long experience of the Melody Festival and because he luckily was free to take on the task now. Edward is a person you always think about when planning Mello.”

Fans will have to wait to see how the new material shapes up until the spring when the show premieres on SVT.

Get more Sweden Eurovision news here

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Trh
Guest
Trh

Oh my God!!! I thought the MF was the greatest show on earth!!! How can they itend to change something that has been so marvelous and delightful?… Where are the defenders of the Swedish true national spirit claiming that it MF is above everything else?

voix
Guest
voix

sweden as long as they have the international juries they will never send something innovatine and daring.Only pop songs which seem to die,21 points maybe indicate that….. Samir and victor would had a better chance… SEND SOMETHING SVERIGE WHICH IS NOT SO “GENERICWITHFANCYSTAGINGANDAHANDSOMESINGER”. Be creative.

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

well, even swedes got bored of how mello is. The host also was boring af

Álex
Guest
Álex

Melodifestivalen is my favourite show, but in 2018 the quality of the songs decreased a lot. The songs are too generic and only look for the Spotify success. They think that’s the future, but it’s the death of this contest. All the rest of the show is cool, but the problem is the songs. Too predictable also. The good songs have the first and last spot in the running order. Second spot and P4 nästa act do pretty bad. Schlager is disappearing and their few songs are weaker that in the early 2010’s. Females need better songs. The winner in… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

I mean, if you take a bunch of ultra generic songs that sound like they were made in 2008 the public won’t be perched for the show. Melodifestivalen has become Mediocrityfestivalen lately.

Audrey Garside
Guest
Audrey Garside

Ratings were poorer due to low quality songs and extremely predictable results. Young male acts make it through the semis by default and almost all the women are sent home as soon as possible. BORING.

Denis
Guest
Denis

The males has had better songs. The women not so much. Only Mariette and Ace had something. The rest, like Lisa Ajax and those were decent but didn’t stand out. They just take the current trend where as the men put thier own spin to it. If we can have a woman that has a unique sound and makes something own we can have a winner

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Clearly, the people simply don’t find the songs as great as in the past…
It’s so boring to watch Sweden sending the same genre over and over again…
Although they’re doing it pretty well (yet very overrated), Dance You Off did not deserve the top 10 at all, nor the 2nd place in the jury vote!
Loreen would have been a better option for 2017, or Jon Henrik and Aninia, Nano was amazing as well
Felix Sandman should have won 2018, just for the diversity
In my opinion, his song was perfect as well
So if Sweden want more viewers, get better songs!

Kris
Guest
Kris

I love Sweden, one of my fav Eurovision country, Benji was good and cute but i want more creative and intresting entry from such talanted and amazing Swedish artists.

Trh
Guest
Trh

Assuming that there is such talent…

brunowskii
Guest
brunowskii

Bring Petra Mede back and it will be a success

marcus (Day One)
Guest
marcus (Day One)

The problem Sweden had this year was choosing exclusively ‘Spotify’ songs and having almost exclusively young/new acts.

Variety is the spice of life

James
Guest
James

But will he still be involved for the BBC’s own national selection as well?

As for Melfest itself, I can’t comment on the show’s content as Swedes might be more peculiar as to what went wrong with last season.

However, given the broadcaster’s extreme vetting process of fielding quality songs out of thousands of submissions and matchng them with the best available acts, I don’t think not much will be done on the showrunner’s part to enact any changes on that aspect of the show.

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

Well, last Melfest was quite crappy in their selection of songs. And that was probably why the people in and out Sweden didn’t care about it.
In my opinion, they need more variety, not just the average mainstream pop or instead of hit Ireland’s record of victories I can see actually matching their Non-Qualification streak.

Shan
Guest
Shan

I am tired af reading it as Edward af Sillen…

Denis
Guest
Denis

Great news! Now if they only could find better hosts than the tedious David Lindgren and annoying Fab Freddie. Cause they lacked a lot…

Kim
Guest
Kim

David was ok but Fab Freddie was awful

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I can’t speak swedish, so I don’t know about the script. Since the show itself is so big in the country, it’s normal and healthy to look for different directions in that area from time to time. But it seems clear to me that this year’s Melfest’s song selection was very uninspired. A lot of overproduced tracks, few charismatic young performers and the only diversity we had in terms of content was the presence of some veterans. So better sketches may help on the ratings, but aren’t the only problem to address.

Trh
Guest
Trh

I agree. And yet, everyone that dared to critized it, was doomed in this comment section.

Joe
Guest
Joe

I thought Dance You Off was kind of a snore even before the show, so I’m hoping they’ll pick something a bit more lively next time around. Maybe send a woman, or a group? I dunno, I think white dudes have had their moment for Sweden.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

I knew Dance You Off totally failed when during the Eurovision recap it sounded one-note and weak between Moldova’s bop and Hungary’s rock anthem.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

I have an insane idea to “save” the show. How about, i know this sounds crazy, but… how about selecting a couple of good songs? Like, make some good music. I know I am so naive, but isn’t that what song festivals are about?

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

At this point I’m pretty sure Sweden actually thinks their Eurovision songs are good.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

haha well everyone is entitled to their opinion.