As different countries respond to the sad news that Eurovision 2020 has been cancelled, Sweden‘s Eurovision boss Christer Björkman has commented on the situation and revealed Sweden’s plans for 2021. It’s bad news for The Mamas, who will not be given a free pass to the next edition of the song contest.

Christer Björkman is the contest producer of Melodifestivalen and was set to be Sweden’s Head of Delegation at Eurovision 2020. Speaking to broadcaster SVT, Björkman expressed his sadness at the contest being cancelled. He said, “It is very sad for all the artists who now do not get the chance to compete, and of course I especially feel for The Mamas who must not stand on the Eurovision stage. It’s also very unfortunate that a 64-year-old tradition is now broken.”

But Björkman also understood the reasons behind the cancellation of Eurovision 2020. He told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, that “Given the circumstances, it is perfectly logical and correct.”

But Björkman still wondered if an alternative show could have been worked out. He suggested, “You could have used a studio with a maximum of ten people in Stockholm and been linked to Rotterdam. We could have competed, either via a small stage in our studio or everyone had made a music video. It had been feasible, and I think it would have been an alternative to continue uniting Europe, especially at a time like this.”

However, the experienced Eurovision and Melodifestivalen producer also reflected on the reality of using such a concept. He observed, “Everything is associated with costs and practicalities and logistics, so it might be a really stupid idea. Still, I think it would have been doable. This time we don’t know.”

The news also essentially confirms that The Mamas will not be given a free pass to compete in the next edition of Eurovision without first having to be selected for then go on to win the next edition of Melodifestivalen.

While Estonia has guaranteed 2020 winner Uku Suviste a place in the next Eesti Laul semi-final, Sweden has not confirmed anything about its plans for the next edition of Melodifestivalen.

Melodifestivalen 2021 will be the last show helmed by Björkman, following the 2017 announcement of his plans to step down after the 2021 edition of Sweden’s national final.

The Mamas respond

Melodifestivalen 2020 winners The Mamas have responded to the news of the Eurovision 2020 cancellation. The vocal trio expressed their sadness at missing out on Eurovision, but accepted that “the problem is bigger than the fact that we can’t go to Rotterdam.”

View this post on Instagram

We of course respect the decision that has now been made. During the current emergency crisis situation that we are all in, the problem is bigger than the fact that we can’t go to Rotterdam. Of course, we are incredibly sorry on a personal level that we and our song are now not allowed to compete in the world's largest music competition after winning the Swedish competition. We’ve so looked forward to being able to represent Sweden with Move. We hope that people continue to listen to our song with the message that we can move mountains together, something that feels extra relevant today when everyone has to take responsibility and do the right thing. If we help each other in this difficult time, maybe something good can come from it in the end. Our thoughts go out to the organizer of ESC, who has worked hard in the head-wind. Take care of each other! – The Mamas

A post shared by The Mamas – SE (@themamas.se) on

“We of course respect the decision that has now been made. During the current emergency crisis situation that we are all in, the problem is bigger than the fact that we can’t go to Rotterdam.

“Of course, we are incredibly sorry on a personal level that we and our song are now not allowed to compete in the world’s largest music competition after winning the Swedish competition. We’ve so looked forward to being able to represent Sweden with Move. We hope that people continue to listen to our song with the message that we can move mountains together, something that feels extra relevant today when everyone has to take responsibility and do the right thing. If we help each other in this difficult time, maybe something good can come from it in the end.

“Our thoughts go out to the organizer of ESC, who has worked hard in the head-wind. Take care of each other! – The Mamas”

For detailed information about the coronavirus/COVID-19 and how to stay healthy, please visit the World Health Organisation web site.

Read more Sweden Eurovision news here

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Josh R
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Josh R

I respect the EBU decision not to permit the 2020 songs in the 2021 contest. But, I think ALL countries should offer their 2020 artists the ability to represent them in 2021. Sweden and SVT, sadly I’m afraid, are using this opportunity to erase a good act simply because it looked like the bookies lost faith with this year’s pick.

Ben ESC
Guest
Ben ESC

I think SVT and Sweden are trying to maintain the reputation of melodifestivalen and all it entails. The winner of the contest deserves to go to eurovision, 2021 should not change that. Obviously it is unfortunate for the Mamas, but they should be given a free entry into melfest 2021 instead of being swedens automatic representative. Maybe it would be a nice touch if during the final of eurovision 2021 all the artists that werent able to come back to eurovision are able to perform their song or at least receive some sort of recognition!

John
Guest
John

I get that Christer Björkman wants his last controlling Mello moment before the show/format is finally allowed to go on to bigger and better things but at the very least The Mamas should be given an open invitation to return to compete or to host in 2021.

Jake
Guest
Jake

That’s what he wants, to cancel everything because he knows very well that The Mamas would flop (flop for swedish standards, <10th place). Please, don't let him succeed, it's getting really annoying everything about Sweden at Eurovision. Other countries really should withdraw.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Dont get why you all go on about Mamas representing Sweden next year. MF isn’t a fan service, it’s purpose is to find a representative for ESC. It wouldn’t be fair to say no to the 2021 winner. And no, agree in beforehand you wont go to ESC deflates the purpose of it being a selection show. Then it would be six weeks of shows leading to a winner that would win what exactly? Not many would agree to take part if they get no gain from winning it. Yes its shame Mamas wont go but they are professionals and… Read more »

Charli Cheer Up
Guest
Charli Cheer Up

They already got to represent Sweden with John last year anyways

shijie
Guest
shijie

They were back up singers and they deserved to stand on their own on the stage without a man

Bebethequeen
Guest
Bebethequeen

Traditions are there to break. Do a melfest without tv winner going to ESC. the mama’s need to go or no one else.

Jai
Guest
Jai

I completely agree with you!

Denis
Guest
Denis

Then where is the prestige of winning if its pointless? MF isn’t a fan service..

Jai
Guest
Jai

Its literally a TV show. If it doesn’t entertain people then why should it exist? Things aren’t normal right now- Sweden can have a modified MF ONCE, its not that big of a deal

Hiiii
Guest
Hiiii

Besides the technical difficulties and eurovision broadcasted from a small studio would be quite boring & unfair to the dutch who waited 44 years to host it and already put a lot of effort in it to make a good show…. so im glad that didnt happen

Malo
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Malo

It would be extremely unfair to The Netherlands. They won the right to host fair and square, and they’ve done a great job so far.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Melfest is so traditional that isn’t something that can be cancelled, but would it be that big of a problem to have a edition where the winner doesn’t go to Eurovision? Winning Melfest is important already. Also, it could be an edition where people would vote without thinking too hard about what would work in ESC. Maybe a veteran could finally win. Maybe a song in Swedish. I said about Estonia, I’ll say about Sweden: I think it’s a very insensitive move, especially when announced so fast. I hope at least he Mamas have the chance to defend their title.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr Vanilla Bean

It’s even more insensitive to tell the 2021 winner ‘sorry, you can’t go to Eyurovision 2021’. No! Melodifestivalen may be big, but it still serves the purpose of selecting Sweden’s Eurovision contestant. And also no, an act designated to place 6th or 7th in its semi final (we all know those exist, even though I like some I know beforehand they will fail) will not suddenly win.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

In this hypothetical situation, how it would be insensitive to the 2021’s winner if all Melfest contestants would obviously know right away that Eurovision is not part of the prize? By the way, before making any decision, I would try to ask around in the musical industry about how would they feel about this exception. I wouldn’t be surprised if some artists showed some solidarity to the Mamas.

The other part of your reply is another discussion, it’s more about how Melfest works than anything else.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr Vanilla Bean

We’d probably get an even weaker line-up if there’s nothing to gain from placing first. I’m glad Christer is with me on this one, so we already know your suggestion won’t happen (unless they select them again). And the music industry probably wants a real competition, too.
The other part – indeed. And since we both know how it works, I’m surprised you think a veteran act could ever win. 😉

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Christer is rarely with me on any subject, I’m still surprised that he gave 12 points to Seemone in Destination Eurovision’s semi! 😀 I don’t know if The Mamas want to do it again, but if they do, I believe they’ll end up participating. And this may lead to another problem concerning national finals in the next season: the audience may vote to do “justice” to the “cancelled” acts, no matter how good their entries are. I was having this discussion with Tibor on another post: no matter how we deal with it, the cancellment will generate unpleasant/weird/debatable situations.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr Vanilla Bean

Agreed. To be honest, I’m already sensing another victory for Uku regardless of the probably better competition. But I suppose that already happened this year. 😉

Badwoolfgirl
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Badwoolfgirl

Hopefully, if Uku participates in the national final again, he better come with a better song than “What Love Is”.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

If Uku won with that bland song, I imagine how easy it may be for him to do it again if he has a good one and the sympathy vote by his side.

Jessy
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Jessy

Just let Eurovision go remotely. Without audience or Jury’s. people’s vote only that matters. Everyone on their own country stage. Anything is better than just cancelling it. In this hard time we need things like Eurovision.

Malo
Guest
Malo

If you think cancelling Eurovision is unfair to the fans, imagine how unfair it would be for The Netherlands to lose the chance to host a proper contest after winning the right to do so. Especially after investing so much on preparations already.

Jai
Guest
Jai

If he feels bad for The Mamas then he should have them represent Sweden next year. This situation is not fair to them. I’m going to be mad with every country that throws their current representatives aside

Jonas
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Jonas

I would have liked a remote contest too. I’d like to hear more about why they ruled that out. Perhaps it was too risky. What if one or more of the performers came down with Covid-19? They’d have to pull out. We still don’t know what the situation will be like in May, maybe the pandemic will be at its height and it will be seen as insensitive to continue or the broadcasters will want the airtime for emergency coverage.

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

If the mamas were the favorite to win, his words would be much more harsh. He would do everything to score a 7th victory for Sweden, but he doesnt care this year.

jack
Guest
jack

A studio in each country with maximum 6 people as the eurovision stage and a led backdrop doesnt cost much. It costs actually 1/10 of the price that the countries would pay for pyro/props/accomodation/insurance/airplane tickets/promotional material. Its a shame that they didnt even tried that.

Malo
Guest
Malo

It would be a shame for The Netherlands to lose the chance to host a proper contest.
And what would be the point of that contest? No entertainment value regarding the performances, so I guess you guys only care about the voting part.

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

I think a remote contest would have been doable too. It would have been better than nothing and could have been something to celebrate.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr Vanilla Bean

He’s right here. *Something* would have been doable, had the EBU wanted to. On the other hand, I do agree with those who see the fact that MF was hosted with a full arena in a critical light now.

Escdestroyer
Guest
Escdestroyer

People are left with NOTHING????

1. Artists who spend money on songs, production, videos… (some of them wouldn’t do it if not the ESC)
2. Broadcasters who spend money for fees, national finals, promotion….
3. Fans who spend money for tickets, merchandise etc…
4. City of Rotterdam and The Netherlands…. for production…

and what? NOTHING? EBU left all those people with… nothing?

Lukas
Guest
Lukas

While deciding to not have a show in May was a wise decision, the plans of cancelling the contest altogether was mainly money driven. They wouldn’t have an online contest, because they’d have to refund all the people who had bought tickets and the city of Rotterdam wouldn’t benefit anymore. I think a remote contest would have been the best choice, because it would still unite Europe and give the artists a chance to shine. Instead we’ll probably get a set of dated songs, artists we have known for over a year and a show that is just overly boring… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

a remote contest would have been better than canceling it altogether. why doesn’t he use his power and try to make it happen? the eurovision community would owe to him forever.

jack
Guest
jack

actually eurovision community would forgive him for everything cause he would actually do something to unite a continent which leaves in fear and terror.

stommie
Guest
stommie

Maybe Björkman should have made a similar decision for the MF final, all the artists performing from a small studio. But it was more important to have an audience of 30.000 the same night the Danish national final was held in an empty arena.

Gabriel
Guest
Gabriel

Good! Mamas can leave and never come back. No one cares about them 🙂

Jay
Guest
Jay

Very distasteful! Have some respect

Gabriel
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Gabriel

Have some respect for my opinion

Ashton Schier
Guest
Ashton Schier

there will be no respect for your opinion when you verbally attack artists. you are vile.

Gabriel
Guest
Gabriel

It is hypocritical to tell someone to show respect when they themselves dont show respect

Malo
Guest
Malo

Ok so you don’t show respect to the Mamas, but we must respect you?

Gabriel
Guest
Gabriel

No, are you stupid? You dont have to respect me – but if you dont, you have no right to tell me to show respect

Malo
Guest
Malo

It’s not really an opinion. You state it like a fact. Plus don’t try to disguise a hateful comment as an opinion.

Gabriel
Guest
Gabriel

Where do you see the hate?

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

Are you teeling me Sweden is not even going to give The Mamas a spot in Melodifestivalen 2021? Dubious behaviour.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Why should they? Thats not how MF works. You can’t just expect you can take part. It’s like that time Anna Book got disqualified and everybody thought she would get s spot for next year

Malo
Guest
Malo

Being this hopefully once in a lifetime global pandemic and crisis, it is unfair to compare this situation to much less serious ones. So yeah, the Mamas should at least get a spot in next year’s MelFest final.

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

Sorry but I feel more for the people who are dying in the hospitals from the coronavirus now. It’s all on the EBU who could have postponed ESC and had the time to schedule a remote contest in Autumn.

Grafton
Guest
Grafton

« You could have used a studio with a maximum of ten people in Stockholm and been linked to Rotterdam. We could have competed, either via a small stage in our studio or everyone had made a music video. It had been feasible, and I think it would have been an alternative to continue uniting Europe, especially at a time like this. » THIS. Even if it creates unfairness (there could have been rules to avoid that?) it would have been SO much better than a cancellation.

PuppetOnAString
Guest

The studio idea is literally the worst idea they could have done. No way it will be a fair contest. Besides, Doesnt the Dutch organisation deserve a actual hosting? Yes, the right choice has been made

Denis
Guest
Denis

It’s not completely fair now though? Some countries put more effort and money in their staging than others

Bastian
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Bastian

They could set up rules and guidelines so that every performer had the same setting. Keeping it simple, focusing on the song itself.

Dawid
Guest
Dawid

Keeping it simple = ballad wins

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

But a ballad won last year when things definitely weren’t kept simple.

Grafton
Guest
Grafton

@Bastian exactly. They could have required the same basic settings for each country

Fatima
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Fatima

Exactly what I’ve been thinking Bastian. There would be time for each of the 41 to come up with something which could be approved and burned on to a hard drive in time for May 14.

Denis
Guest
Denis

The ultimate goal of MF is to find a ESC representative so it wouldn’t be fair for the 2021 winner to say he or she wont go since that probably is the reason they took part in the first place.

Dawid
Guest
Dawid

But they would that know BEFORE mf even started. How is it not fair? If you don’t like the rules, wait for 2022

Denis
Guest
Denis

What are you not getting. The goal of MF is to find a representative for ESC. They arent changing the rules because ESC 2020 was cancelled in the last minute. Mamas can represent if they choose to take part and if people vote for them to win. Otherwise they wont be getting benefits.

Jai
Guest
Jai

I think they could do a special edition of Melfest with past winners competing instead . The winner wouldn’t go to ESC but it would be something special to make up for that

Sal
Guest
Sal

If another act had won Melfest this year and Bjorkman felt they could have won Eurovision 2020 his attitude would be entirely different right now and we all know it

Anna
Guest
Anna

Yes if it had more winning chance, indeed, that is typical Swedish behavior

Bastian
Guest
Bastian

You are probably right… and we also have the incident with suspicions regarding set-up voting and the odds. The cancellation is a good way to cover this up I guess

Anna
Guest
Anna

The thing is that The Mamas competed and won Melodifestivalen (MF is its own competition more or less an not just a NF) so giving them a free pass next year would be unfair for the new contestants since MF already have taken place 2020. THe fact that they did not get a chance to compete in ESC is out of MF control 🙁 Sweden just have to see this as a situation where we did not qualify as in 2010 (but then we at least competed but still)

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

I’ve said all along it should be held in TV companies around Europe etc. And we could still vote. EBU not considering options x

Sal
Guest
Sal

They considered this option, they said so.

LinusESCfan
Guest
LinusESCfan

Its sad. But cancel melfest and give the Mamas the win? I dont think so. Give them a slot in s semi if they want

Africavision
Guest
Africavision

I don’t know about you guys, but this Eurovision being cancelled thing hasn’t yet sunk in for me, or I am just living in denial. I don’t know… I just feel (or rather hoping) that in a few days/weeks time, we will get a message that Eurovision 2020 is back on track, and happening at “x” city, in “y” month, with “z” temporary changes to the contest, to accommodate the current situation. To have a 2 year period between contests just gives me a sinking feeling. This is just such a gut-wrenching and anti-climatic end to the Eurovision season! WHY… Read more »

Malo
Guest
Malo

Blame the virus. And idk study past Eurovisions, go back to the 70s and 80s, they were fun.

Somebody
Guest
Somebody

Mamas should be given wildcard to perform directly in Melfest final as the 13th act.

Milla
Guest
Milla

They would win alot of sympathy votes I think. Not fair to the others.

stommie
Guest
stommie

If he feels for the Mama’s, Sweden could decide to send them to Eurovision next year. They can still organise MF, after all how often have we heard that MF is a Swedish show in it’s own right and it still would be held if Eurovision didn’t exist.

Jalisse
Guest
Jalisse

This is a super difficult situation. It’s sad that The Mammas can’t go to Eurovision, but if they are assigned as Swedish entry for next year, what will happen with Melodifestivalen 2021 and its winner? There’s no easy solution for this.

I still think EBU should reconsider their decision and attemp a new contest in September. I’m sure the Swedish will be happy to come to the rescue and organise a contest in a short notice period.

Malo
Guest
Malo

Tell everyone beforehand that they would not go to Eurovision if they win. If nobody enters, then do a special MelFest, like a celebration, like Eurovision 50 in 2005.

dxi
Guest
dxi

If you feel for The Mamas, why not help them? :’) And of course Sweden wouldn’t mind a remote contest, your Melfest stage is good enough to organise an entire Eurovision on there. So selfish, ugh.

Mariia
Guest
Mariia

I hated their song but this is unfair. They should be able to represent Sweden

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

This was already done last year. It’s not that unfair.

Alex
Guest
Alex

This just shows how a-hole Sweden’s delegates can be when the contest is cancelled and they show their treatment of The Mamas.

Erik
Guest
Erik

Yep. And I assume you speak about how our delegation handles it and not the entire country

Alex
Guest
Alex

Edited it to be more clear. Sorry!

That doggie in the window
Guest
That doggie in the window

Mamas should represent Sweden next year. They won fair and square. Otherwise, Sweden is cancelled

Tom
Guest
Tom

Sweden is not #Bulletproof

Gabe
Guest
Gabe

Say what you want about him, but he would have made esc work this year.

Vincent
Guest
Vincent

No we don’t know that. He only wondered whether it could have worked.

The EBU-employees probably did consider Plan B, but it apparently did not work out logistically.
It’s easy to say afterwards that plan B was perfectly doable, when you are not the one in charge, knowing all schedules and wishes of the 41 broadcasters. I assume he didn’t have all that info.

Lily
Guest
Lily

Totally, money is the most important for him, as well as insensitive and narrow-minded attitude!

LinusESCfan
Guest
LinusESCfan

Stupid opinion. You just want to cancel melfest

Cameron
Guest
Cameron

If he “especially feels for The Mamas” then why not just give them a free pass and then do Melodifestivalen 2021 but without no Eurovision prize, like Sanremo 2014 and A Dal 2020

Erik
Guest
Erik

Because Björkman has a lot of opinions and never answers to critique. Instead of saying he doesn’t want the mamas to represent us, he hides it behind being sorry for them. He has made several dubious decisions, for example eliminating some acts or songs from the competition because they state they will be part of melodifestivalen, saying the title of their song etc. Here he says it’s how the rules work. On other ocations he says stuff like, “we don’t consider this a proper rule break” or “we understand this was not made deliberately” etc. even when they did the… Read more »

LinusESCfan
Guest
LinusESCfan

Do his job then. Mr complain

Jason
Guest
Jason

Then it would be not fair to the winner of melfest 2021 its a two sided coin … what if the winner of melfest 2021 was better … or would you just cancel the event altogether… its a cruel fate you either accept it or you dont … fairly simple

Erik
Guest
Erik

Melfest is the second most watched broadcast on Swedish television EVERY YEAR! Second to the yearly dinsney broadcast on Christmast eve.
People will watch melfest no matter if the winner will go to esc or not. They could instead focus more on diverse music, music that people actually enjoy etc.
It’s unfair for someone that has been promised to compete in esc. If they let the 2021 edition of melfest be about other stuff than esc, then no one would be treated bad

Sal
Guest
Sal

Exactly, most Melfest acts don’t even enter with the intention of doing Eurovision. Look at all the returnees they get every year. Same with San Remo, these competitions can function just as successfully without being Eurovision preselections (and SR did so for decades).

Lokh
Guest
Lokh

If they come to MF 2021, they will be given victory…

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

And what’s the point of a song contest if people will vote for a song just for sympathy ?