He’s the Swedish television producer known for turning Melodifestivalen into the most talked-about Eurovision selection show. And now that Christer Björkman is a member of the international jury in Albania’s Festivali i Këngës 58, we just had to ask him to dish on what’s just gone down in Tirana.

The Borås-born beauty had very kind words about FiK 58, which has this year attracted some of the country’s biggest stars and composers.

“I know that there are always very good voices in this festival, because you always bring a fantastic singer to Eurovision,” he says.

“Everything has been great. The music is fabulous, I have to say. It’s really, really interesting, it’s very versatile, it’s very different, and I think the mix that we actually chose for the final is going to make a really good show.”

The orchestra works “most of the time,” he says. But — echoing the sentiments of so many Eurovision fans — he also notes that it doesn’t really work for “a typical pop song”.

The qualifiers were announced shortly before we did this interview. And Christer said that a handful of them have the possibility to really shine at Eurovision. “I have two really standout favourites and let’s see what grows on me till Sunday.”

Everything is still up for grabs. “You react to songs differently depending on the temperature and the tempo of a song. A lot of uptempo songs are really direct and you react to them quickly, whereas a ballad takes time and grows on you.”

When will the American Song Contest happen?

On May 15 Christer held a press conference in Tel Aviv’s Lighthouse Hotel to reveal that he was working to bring a Eurovision-inspired format to the United States. He’s been doing so alongside Anders Lenhoff and Ola Melzig. At that time it was not clear how the format will work, or even if American Song Contest will be the name of the show.

Speaking to us in Tirana, Christer suggested things have come a long way. “We’ve been going back and forth since early September,” he says. “We’ve created an adjusted version for the American market.”

At the moment he’s debating which agents and production companies to work with before making his formal pitch to the “platforms we might collaborate with.”

He says he’ll know by early summer of 2020 whether the show will actually happen.

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ALEX
ALEX
6 months ago

As long as they choose Elvana, and not another boring ballad. That’s all I can really ask for. Judges, please pick a song that will do well in ESC. Albania never had a win before.

Loin dici
Loin dici
6 months ago

Seems we have to burn this thread immediately.

Mr Vanilla Bean is breathing in Ajër

Just watched Sara’s performance. She and the backing vocals nailed it. Wonderful job. Also, I think the stage is really pretty. Very Eurovision appropriate. Also watched Arilena. She looks drop dead gorgeous. Sure, purple Bojken Lagerfeld is also interesting but Arilena is so pretty and her voice is so seductive that I almost forget my disappointment in her song.

Just my opinion
Just my opinion
6 months ago

Would be interesting to know who would have won FIK over the years with only televoting. Elvana this year most probably

Nicky91
Nicky91
6 months ago

no, and if it was albanian jury only Kanita would’ve qualified and not elvana

Alba
Alba
6 months ago
Reply to  Nicky91

@Nicky91 You are pathetic… I don’t know if you’re trolling or just plain dumb. In the previous posts you said stuff like “Elvana slayed” and “I got goosebumps”, and now you are acting like she’s your worst enemy… Get a life, please!

MyName
MyName
6 months ago
Reply to  Alba

why so harsh?

Erste Reihe beim ESC
Erste Reihe beim ESC
6 months ago

The “American Song Contest” will happen like the “Eurovision Asia Song Contest” ………………..never!

Just my opinion
Just my opinion
6 months ago

Hopefully it will. But Those contests should not copy ESC. Different music, culture And tradition. It is silly why they stressed that Asia HAD to adopt «european values». No need for us all to be similar. Esc has bad / stereotypical sides too…

Rasmus
Rasmus
6 months ago

If Christer was albanian, Serbian, italian or Swiss you would all love him to death. Its the swede thing that bothers you all because we take it serious and have succees. You all hate countries who love ESC like Sweden do and even more when they have good result or are asked to be jury members.. Albania asked him and he does a great job. I like people who have a passion for their work. I want 0% swede hate in 2020! Thats what i want for christmas. So f….ing tired of it ! Merry christmas

Mr Vanilla Bean
6 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus

I don’t celebrate Xmas but I want my Swedish boyfriend to be here with me for New Year’s Eve. If you can stop him from flying home to Gothenburg for two weeks, I’ll praise Lord Christer all year long in 2020. If not, I’m afraid I’ll have to remain an honest observer. 🙂

Rasmus
Rasmus
6 months ago

A swede haha. Thats cool. sorry i cant help you with that. Hes not the lord. Hes a guy that love ESC. Some people love swimming, some like Painting. So he should continue wiht his passion.

Mr Vanilla Bean
6 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus

You should really host the next Swedish Eurovision in Gothenburg, though, where I can stay for free. Christer should at least do me that favor. 😉

Rasmus
Rasmus
6 months ago

I dont think its our time to win for a while. Sure if we have a banger. But i dont feel its Swedens turn for some time. We won in 2015 and i wanted Italy that year. 2020 i have a feeling the balcan countrys are strong.

hihihihhihi
hihihihhihi
6 months ago

Anybody is subjective for love. Cynical people are the most hypocrites.

Most cynics are really crushed romantics: they’ve been hurt, they’re sensitive, and their cynicism is a shell that’s protecting this tiny, dear part in them that’s still alive.

Jeff Bridges

Rasmus
Rasmus
6 months ago
Reply to  hihihihhihi

Never hate your haters, respect them. Because they are the ones who think that you`re better then them.

Jo.
Jo.
6 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus

There are more than 10M people in Sweden, Borkman is just one of them. He doesn’t represent the whole country. Also, I don’t hate him, I just think he’s annoying. Many people have the same feeling for Markus Riva, who’s Latvian, or Mihai (Romanian), and Aly Ryan (who has all the available citizenships ), so…

Rasmus
Rasmus
6 months ago
Reply to  Jo.

So? Do you stop doing things you like to do? If Markus, Mihai, Aly likes to compete they should. If Albania ask christter if he wants to be a jury member like they did he should say yes. Its their passion. Then you should stop with passiions in life to. right?

Jo.
Jo.
6 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus

go ahead and do whatever you want…
that doesn’t mean others have to like it tho. We weren’t born to please everybody anyway, and we’ll never be able to do so.

Rasmus
Rasmus
6 months ago
Reply to  Jo.

then stop with your passions then to. If you want them to stop. Then stop doing yours to. But i now you never will. You only want to complain on other people being happy.

James
James
6 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus

And yet you despise your own fellow Swede for trying to make a difference.

Quite the hypocrisy there.

MyName
MyName
6 months ago

I hope Albania will break the OTT diva ballad tradition…..Would be so happy if Valon wins. He stands a fair chance

Jo.
Jo.
6 months ago

like always, he’s basically everywhere… ESC is becoming his personal playlist.

MyName
MyName
6 months ago
Reply to  Jo.

Yes…he is. And a lot of fans are really bored with him. Too much influence!!

Rasmus
Rasmus
6 months ago
Reply to  MyName

You are all just jealous beacuse he has your dreamjob and you have nothing. I have no problem with anything. He is fair, he likes ESC so no problem for me. And ALBANIA asked HIM! Get that into your heads. THEY ASKED HIM!

MyName
MyName
6 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus

Not jealous 🙂 But I think the best ones to decide what’s the best music of the country are the actual inhabitants

Rasmus
Rasmus
6 months ago
Reply to  MyName

They have had albanian jury always and they almost always picked the wrong winner and if a good song wins now Albania should stick with this. Why should Christer vote for the 10 worst songs i dont get. He have never dont it before. He was our HOD to because he is good what he does and then Albania asked him now to.

Tajikistan
Tajikistan
6 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus

I mean I just graduated university and am about to move and start my dream job in Scotland so stop putting everyone else down because you’re bored

Rasmus
Rasmus
6 months ago
Reply to  Tajikistan

So? what does that have to do with Christer haha? I dont care about your job. I care about people complaining on his.

Tajikistan
Tajikistan
6 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus

You said we’re jealous because he has his dream job but I have mine and I guess many of us do, that’s why you spend your time trying to argue

Rasmus
Rasmus
6 months ago
Reply to  Tajikistan

i didnt say that and you know it to

Tajikistan
Tajikistan
6 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus

“ You are all just jealous beacuse he has your dreamjob and you have nothing.”

– Rasmus, 13 hours ago

Nicky91
Nicky91
6 months ago

2 standouts, well that are Arilena, Kamela for sure

Elvana stands no chance with her death slot running order draw, a no hoper sandwiched between greats like Arilena/Alberie/Kamela

anonymouse
anonymouse
6 months ago
Reply to  Nicky91

There hasn’t been a running order announced yet, stop with the lies

Malo
Malo
6 months ago
Reply to  Nicky91

The running order has ZERO influence in FiK. There is no televote, and the jury members have heard the songs already. They know who they’re gonna vote for. Save this comment for Eurovision.

Talentina Monetta
Talentina Monetta
6 months ago

“The Borås-born beauty” LMAO

MyName
MyName
6 months ago

Yeah, I rather say that about women. But from Wiwi, we know what to expect….*sigh*

Just my opinion
Just my opinion
6 months ago
Reply to  MyName

Indeed

Tajikistan
Tajikistan
6 months ago
Reply to  MyName

So are lgbt people not allowed to express their views?

MyName
MyName
6 months ago
Reply to  Tajikistan

What a typical reaction….! Of course they are. But Wiwi treats ESC as if it was a gay thing. Which is not right.

I miss a more straight perspective on ESC from fansites sometimes. We are many straight fans. No sexual orientation is more “right” or more “claimed to” ESC…..

It was better before, when it was not such a topic all the time. When people didn’t connect ESC with sexual orientation.

Not that I have problems with gays. I have many gay friends. And many of them agree with me…..take note!

Tajikistan
Tajikistan
6 months ago
Reply to  MyName

Oh no! The heterosexuals are being marginalised!!!1!1!111

You should move to Lithuania, here you can have a straight perspective on everything and hets have rights

For the record I’m straight, but growing up in a homophobic country you get a good laugh out of people pretending straight people are somehow marginalised

MyName
MyName
6 months ago
Reply to  Tajikistan

Some good clarification there! You are straight, so I suppose you are able to understand my point 🙂 (just like many gays in all fairness also will / should do) I don’t want to be very personal here, as this is anonymous. So I don’t want to tell where I am from 🙂 What I CAN tell is that “my” country – thankfully! – is very liberal when it comes to things surronding the LBGT-topic. Which also can have a downside. When I tell people I love ESC, I actually get the question “are you gay?” sometimes. Silly stereotypes, created… Read more »

Tajikistan
Tajikistan
6 months ago
Reply to  MyName

You’re the one who chose to make it about sexuality, you’re choosing to make it an issue. All that happened was William complimenting Christer. I’m guessing you’re western European, or at least from a western country. What I notice in when I’m here in Scotland is that people wish they were oppressed, and try to make an issue out of stuff. In Lithuania, we don’t make stuff an issue.

Moral of the story, stop trying to get offended and finding stuff to get offended over. Let people live without complaints.

Just my opinion
Just my opinion
6 months ago
Reply to  MyName

Indeed – should not be hard to understand that point. As long as people want to do so

Mr Vanilla Bean
6 months ago

I can feel it. Christer, the ‘Borås-born beauty’, is rooting for ‘Malaseen’ with all his heart. 😛

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
6 months ago

i can see him sabotaging the other countries on purpose in order to erase competition for sweden. i’ll never understand why delegation ppl are hired to be part of foreign juries, they ain’t gonna do your country’s interests bruh

MyName
MyName
6 months ago

One can say a lot of things about CB….but I don’t think so. I don’t think he is so unfair. At least, he is professional

Mr Vanilla Bean
6 months ago

Albanian jurors can sabotage their country on their own, indeed, as previous editions have shown. With the FiK system it really doesn’t matter who does it, the NF is as far away from democracy as the country itself. That’s what kind of fascinates me about FiK and its history, it’s in many ways a symbol of the country itself. Generally, I find other delegation staff deciding a foreign countries’ winner incredibly awful. I don’t want the Icelandic dude there, either.

Rasmus
Rasmus
6 months ago

jesus. If he was a maltese, Slovenian or a romanian you would never say this. So swede rasist all the time. Stop that.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
6 months ago

‘murica song contest ain’t gonna happen, i think a latin america song contest would gain more interest

sarabanda
sarabanda
6 months ago

I like Christer Bjorkman. He understands the 2000’s and Eastern Europe. He must be very cool as a friend and knows how to have fun, while others are complaining about “the slavic circus”.

Colin
Colin
6 months ago

He announced HIS taste and he’s only one of five jurors. And even though the ballad is probably Arilena, it could as well be Olta, Tiri, Robert, Alberie or Sara. And also he said that he is torn between two songs; one uptempo (likely Elvana or Era) and one ballad.

Nicky91
Nicky91
6 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Elvana is a no hoper, why would juries take something that basic into consideration for the win when there are 11 better songs in this final

Kenan
Kenan
6 months ago
Reply to  Nicky91

Please shut the hell up and go troll somewhere else please. You think you are so cool but you are just dumb.

Joe
Joe
6 months ago

Hate to admit it, but the dude really does have a good sense of what does and doesn’t work at Eurovision.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe

And if it doesn’t work, he’ll push to get the rules changed so that it does. 😉

James
James
6 months ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

Was he ever a part of the Steering group? I would assume that in the years he’s been a producer of the show, any fundamental changes he wishes to implement doesn’t pass by the higher-ups.

Jo.
Jo.
6 months ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

yep

Rasmus
Rasmus
6 months ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

jealousy suits you very well:) Its nice that you show that around christmas time to:). If he was albanian you would love him to death. Its the swede thing that bothers you and you know that to and thats the thing thats the most stupid thing.