This is not a late April Fool’s joke. On April 3 the Swedish broadcaster, SVT, announced that they will produce their own version of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 for Swedish viewers as part of their Eurovision Week celebration.
As the world fights coronavirus, and with Eurovision 2020 officially cancelled, the broadcaster is stepping in to bring a bit more joy to the people.
Project manager Anette Helenius says: “Now more than ever, it’s a time when we need something positive to look forward to. Therefore, it is with great pleasure that we can say that we will be able to gather and watch these two shows in May. The format of the shows will look different than what we are used to but we expect to offer a music party that engages and entertains in a true Eurovision spirit.”
Eurovision Week is an initiative by Melodifestivalen producer Christer Björkman and the noted producer and writer Edward af Sillén (who wrote the script for Eurovision 2016 in Stockholm). The concept remains similar to Eurovision: Swedish viewers get to watch all 41 songs from this year and then vote for who they think should win the Eurovision Song Contest 2020.
In the official statement announcing the show, Björkman said: “I am happy that the viewers will get the chance to vote for their favourites this year and I hope and believe that this can bring Swedish people together in a time when nothing else is the same.”
Sweden’s 12 Points: SVT’s Eurovision 2020 shows
Eurovision week starts on Saturday, May 9 with the show Inför ESC. It will be hosted by Björkman along with the comedian David Sundin, who we all know as one of the hosts of this year’s Melodifestivalen. Swedish viewers will watch all 41 songs and from there they have to vote for the songs they want to qualify for the final using the Melodifestivalen app. The 25 songs that get the most votes will qualify for the final. That means no automatic passes for the host country or the members of the Big 5.
The final — Eurovision: Sveriges 12:a — will be held on Thursday, May 14, and the 25 songs that qualified will be presented to Swedish viewers one more time and then the votings starts all over again. The song that gets the most votes from the Swedish viewers will receive Sweden’s 12 points and the win. And for those who don’t live in Sweden don’t you worry. The shows will be streamed live on Svtplay.se just like all Melodifestivalen shows. But you will not be able to vote.
Beyond crowning the winner, SVT will also highlight some of the most talked-about Eurovision memories, especially from Eurovision 2013 and 2016 when Sweden hosted the contest.
On Saturday, May 16, SVT will broadcast the EBU’s alternate show called Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light. The EBU intends for the two-hour-long show to honour the 41 selected songs for Eurovision 2020 in a non-competitive format.
What about The Mamas?
Following the rules of Eurovision itself, the Swedes will not be able to vote for their own song. This will prevent the situation we had during the Spanish broadcaster’s recent Eurovision Online Festival, which saw the home act win in a landslide.
The Mamas will be participating in the final and will perform “Move” live in the TV studio. But they will not compete.
What do you think about the idea? Will you watch the show? Do you think that the EBU should have gone with a similar concept rather than airing Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light? Let us know below!