While some countries have yet to confirm details of their Eurovision 2021 selection process, Sweden is already hard at work. Broadcaster SVT has revealed that the 14 of the 28 competing acts for Melodifestivalen 2021 have already been selected. The 14 songs are the ones chosen by the Melodifestivalen selection jury.
SVT shared the news on its new social media account @mellobackstage. The account was introduced by the official @melodifestivalen account and will apparently follow the progress of Melodifestivalen 2021 from a backstage perspective.
The news was delivered with a black and white photo, showing the Melodifestivalen selection jury sitting in a lecture hall — with socially distant seating. Around 15 people are seen seated, with two more people at the front of the room.
The caption reveals more about what’s going on. Translated into English, it reads:
“There are more than six months left before we have a winner in Mello 21, but the work is already underway. For one week, our jury has listened through all the submitted entries. The work is now complete and the first 14 contributions have been selected. #ingetstopparmello”
The hashtag —#ingetstopparmello — means “nothing stops Mello”. It’s a sign that despite the restrictions that the current Covid-19 pandemic may bring, the show will go on.
And among the gathered group, we think we can see the famed Melodifestivalen and Eurovision choreographer Sacha Jean-Baptiste. The jury usually comprises of people from different areas, who can all bring their own expertise to the selection process.
What does the Melodifestivalen selection jury do?
The Melfest jury is responsible for selecting half of the entries — the songs that came in from the open submissions. This year SVT received 2747 entries. The jury will have whittled these down in a number of stages, before they eventually come up with the 14 acts heading to the semi-finals next year.
We also know that P4 Nästa wildcard winner Julia Alfrida will get a place in the Melodifestivalen semi-finals with a new song. But with 28 acts due to compete in the Mello semis, where will the other 13 acts come from?
The rest come from SVT negotiating directly with record labels. This can include established stars serious about making a bit for Eurovision victory, artists with a new record to promote, or maybe even just a beloved Swedish dansband legend who needs to be coaxed into making an appearance at Melodifestivalen.
Using the two selection methods ensures the contest gets a wide variety of acts, and lets newcomers earn experience alongside the pros.
When will we know more about Melodifestivalen 2021?
SVT has not confirmed when the line-up of acts for Melodifestvialen 2021 will be revealed. However, the announcement is typically made in late November.
The Swedish broadcaster has also not confirmed any details about the dates and venues for Mello ’21. In past years, this announcement has been made sometime from late August to mid-September. However, things could be different this year.
Last month Swedish media claimed that SVT was working on several alternates for Melodifestivalen 2021, including the ditching the usual national tour and instead holding all six shows in a Stockholm studio with a reduced audience. SVT is expected to make a decision about the 2021 format in coming weeks.