Christer Bjorkman Loreen Melodifestivalen 2021

He was the boss of Sweden’s Eurovision selection show for 20 years. And during that time, Melodifestivalen spawned two song contest winners and many top ten finishes. However, appearing on a recent two-part episode of the Eurovision Legends podcast, Christer Björkman has revealed that he has one big regret from his time in charge — putting Loreen up against Anton Hagman in Melfest 2017.

Christer Björkman shares the worst decision of his career

Dedicated followers of Melodifestivalen will recall the hype around Loreen in 2017. This was the singer’s big comeback to the competition following her Eurovision victory five years previously. “Euphoria” became one of the biggest hits to ever emerge from the song contest, so the expectations for “Statements” were through the roof.

Nonetheless, Loreen failed to make it out of her qualifying Melfest heat and instead had to go through the andra chansen qualifying round. Most expected that this would be a mere stepping stone on her way to the final. However, in a shock twist, she lost out to the complete newcomer Anton Hagman.

Now, Björkman has revealed that his decision to pair the two together was the worst decision of his career. He tells the Eurovision Legends podcast: “I would say that that was to put Loreen in a duel with Anton Hagman. I had another choice. I could have put her against the glam band [Dismissed], which would have been a much better choice… for Loreen, I should say. And that’s obviously at that point what I wanted to protect”.

When asked if this would have resulted in a different outcome, Christer replies: “I never really care about the result in a way. Because it has to be the result that people want. However, when it comes to the stages before the final, then you want the best for the final, for the show, for the programme and for the possibility of outcomes. So, to not have Loreen in the final, that is just not a good thing for the total. The outcome in the end, no, I don’t believe that would have changed. But I would have loved to see the points from the international jury for her”.

“And the same thing goes for [Andreas Johnson & Carola Häggkvist in 2008]. I would have loved to have that queen contest in the end, between Charlotte and Carola. I would have loved just the media buzz around that. But do I think the outcome would have been different? Probably not, but I think she would have ruled the international jury. I really do”.

Find the full Eurovision Legends podcast online, on Spotify and on Facebook.

What do you think of Christer assessment? Was he wrong to put Loreen up against Anton? Let us know below.

Follow all of our Sweden Eurovision 2021 news.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
48 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Raussen
Raussen
1 month ago

Loreen was bad, weird and cheesy song and bland performance with too much elements that didn’t work, Dismissed easily won that battle and they should be been in the finals

vangelis vt
vangelis vt
2 months ago

Statements was a terrible song and performance, cold, detached and soulless. It would have tanked no matter what. It made no sense and tried to establish no meaningful connection with the audience. It’s just that eurofans are especially protective of Loreen and they want to pretend otherwise.

Bjorkman’s fault, since he admits in the interview that he likes to control everything, was accepting whatever Loreen was bringing in order for her to return.

Maya G
Maya G
2 months ago

The man has a god complex. He thinks he should manipulate everything to the best of his ability to achieve the desired outcome. It’s like leaving things to the luck of the draw and having a clean competition weren’t even an option.

Julian
Julian
2 months ago

This was their greatest mistake. I think sweden could possibly have won that year if so, or at least finish top 5 if she won melfest..

Denis
Denis
2 months ago

I feel like Björkman, like the press, assumed Loreen would get through no matter what and be favourite to win so he gave her what seemed like the most easiest competition. However he forgot that Swedes vote for what they like at the moment and that her staging was messy and complicated.

Colin
Colin
2 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Loreen would’ve been in contention to win, for sure. Probably would’ve been in top 6, especially helped by the international jury. Would she have won? I don’t know. Nobody can know for sure. Maybe she would’ve. Maybe Robin would’ve won anyway. We can only speculate. But I’m almost positive that her name would’ve been tossed around as a possible winner.

Jonny
Jonny
2 months ago

She would have had most likely no chance to win Melo. There was a reason she became 3rd in her semi.

Stian F
Stian F
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonny

Not true. How did Robin Stjernberg manage to win MF 2013 then?

Also Felix Sandman came 2nd after having to come through andra sjansen in 2018.

Anything is possisble…

Héctor
Héctor
2 months ago

I loved Dismissed (my fav back then in fact) and, of course, that duel would’ve been better because of Loreen and the music style, both more alternative. Hangman was pure teen pop.

Alex
Alex
2 months ago

It was really a shame that a song that was so derivative of Shawn Mendes’ “Stitches” beat Loreen’s super unique (and of course well sung) song, all because the kids spammed the vote button for Anton. SVT would of course fix the system later with the age bracketing, but man was that one of the most ridiculous results I’ve seen in a Eurovision national selection. Robin’s win was also an eyebrow-raising outcome, because the vote distribution was so flat for the televote (again due to vote spamming) and unfortunately because Wiktoria was apparently sick during the jury performance so she… Read more »

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex

How about Norway does the age bracketing thing as well. #thunderandgloria

Raussen
Raussen
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex

Lol, nothing unique in loreens cheesy song

Dave
Dave
2 months ago

For how Andra Chansen works and the reasons that worked to her eventual loss, Loreen would probably have lost against anyone. A 1v1 duel doesn’t prove who’s the best, but who got the least haters.

Dave
Dave
2 months ago
Reply to  Dave

This while I got no doubts the Wiwi comment board will take the free invitation to some gratuitous Sweden- and Christer-bashing.

MTD
MTD
2 months ago

So, in a way, Christer admits that he had the final say of who’s where and who wins. Surprise. Not.

TOO BAD that that spilled over on the real ESC. Because he had a say over there, as well.

Christer, NEVER AGAIN.

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
2 months ago

I don’t know whether Statements would have won Melfest or even Eurovision (especially against Amar Pelos Dois, the highest scoring yet…)
But I’m still bitter over Loreen not winning Melfest… And even losing at AC…
She was brilliant, her song was so good, the performance was so eerie and stunning and her voice… My God, her voice…
Loreen is probably one of the best singers this world has to offer…
I don’t even know if she’s doing well now… Is her career successful? I barely hear of her nowadays

Grey
Grey
2 months ago
Reply to  Roy Moreno

I agree, Statements was one of the best entries ever in Melodifestivalen and criminally underrated by Swedes. But it was too dark and alternative for the competition. I also think some people believed the performance was political and voted for Anton as a sort of protest.

Franck
Franck
2 months ago

The way he talks about Dismissed and Anton Hagman… This man is truely disrespectfull.

Sebas Rojo
Sebas Rojo
2 months ago
Reply to  Franck

You have to do what’s best for the ratings and for the audience, and with all due respect, neither of this two songs had what Loreen had to offer tbh

Bombalurina
Bombalurina
2 months ago

Can somebody please explain me why ”Statements” didn’t win Melodifestivalen 2017 ? I mean , what’s the reason

Hello hi
Hello hi
2 months ago
Reply to  Bombalurina

The staging and performance was poor.

Kristian
Kristian
2 months ago
Reply to  Bombalurina

The song was in a spoken tone and not sing along at all , that’s why the viewers didn’t connect as much with it

Grey
Grey
2 months ago
Reply to  Bombalurina

Not commercial enough, too dark and alternative and artistic for the mainstream audience. Me and my family loved it though and voted like mad for her 🙂 But it was not enough 🙁

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
1 month ago
Reply to  Grey

Pretty much. The audience was expecting another “Euphoria”, and she traded in the typical EDM for alternative. Her whole album ‘Ride’ demonstrated her attempt to reinvent herself. They were not ready for that; and that is why she quite probably would have lost in ANY head-to-head Andra Chansen matchup.

Had she squeezed into the final, she would have siphoned a lot of jury points from Robin Bengtsson and possibly either won or given the win to Nano.

Last edited 1 month ago by CookyMonzta
Apollo
Apollo
2 months ago

Loreen would’ve won Melfest if she made it past Andra Chansen and the Swedish public had another week to listen to the song and take in the message. I hated Statements the first time I heard it, but after listening to the lyrics and digesting the staging I realised it was a masterpiece.

Statements would’ve also dominated the scoreboard at Eurovision. Swedes are a nation obsessed with commercialised pop music and Europe would’ve appreciated Statements SO much more. This was a wasted opportunity for Sweden to claim another win.

Ashton
Ashton
2 months ago
Reply to  Apollo

idk why you’re being downvoted when you are speaking the truth

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
1 month ago
Reply to  Apollo

Aye. The very SECOND she was relegated to Andra Chansen, I knew she was in BIG trouble no matter who Björkman paired her with. A rising upstart, against a recent Eurovision champion, provided the perfect disaster scenario. And again, the public wasn’t ready to let her step away from EDM.

Agent 007
Agent 007
2 months ago

She was my favorite that year and I didn´t care who she was.

Hello hi
Hello hi
2 months ago

She wouldn’t have won melfest in the end anyhow . I love the song , studio version. Live was a mess and stage presentation useless .

Joe
Joe
2 months ago

So he’s basically just admitted what we all knew anyway? That he tries to manipulate the draw for his favourites? We all knew! Now I love Loreen, I have done since her first time in Melfest, but, in my opinion, Statements was her weakest entry, not to say it was a bad song, it’s a great song and I liked that it was completely different than what we’d heard from her already, but to me, I’d have rather had Nano, Wiktoria or Ace Wilder win over what actually did that year purely because their songs appealed to me more. I… Read more »

Alex
Alex
2 months ago

statements was a difficult song but it would have been great for Eurovision (and especially in such a weak year like 2017). Loreen is a powerful singer and people still remember her.

I appreciate that Christer has admitted his mistake. As he said, Loreen wouldn’t have won in the final but at least she would have made it and international juries would have appreciated her like they did with Helena in 2014.

Cool
Cool
2 months ago

I’m sorry, but what is it with some Swedes and having the excuse about always wanting or bringing “what people want” when it’s obviously not the case? It’s like that journalist who wants to stir up controversies like bringing up the drug issue towards Maneskin in their victory press conference.

Ashton
Ashton
2 months ago

statements genuinely should have won. but I fully expect Denis to be down in the comments saying how I can’t go on was the perfect choice because Sweden can do no wrong

Ashton
Ashton
2 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

I’M SCREAMING LMAO I scrolled down a little bit and I was immediately proved right

Denis
Denis
2 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

Didn’t say Can’t go On was the perfect choice..
But neither was Statements.

Ashton
Ashton
2 months ago
Reply to  Denis

ok denis

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago

This sounds so effed up.

Alex
Alex
2 months ago

Sorry but Statements should’ve won the contest. I mean “I can’t go on” is a nice song but Statements and the staging was beyond amazing. I am truly surprised it didn’t get 1st in the semifinal and that it didn’t win overall. I think this shows that the producers really do influence everything during the contest. He says he doesn’t think that the results would’ve been different, yet I am almost 100% sure Loreen would’ve been top 2-3 in the international voting

Denis
Denis
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex

Surprised it didn’t won semifinal? Clearly you are not Swedish.Then you would know why she din’t even reach the final for number of reasons. 1: She already won MF and ESC. We don’t vote for former winners, no matter what. We want fresh, not someone who thinks old merits is reason enough to get through 2: We didn’t get the performance. If you don’t get it, why vote for it? 3: The hype over a song who wasn’t that good. From the press it was all like oh “this is something new, fresh. It wasn’t. No I don’t believe she… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Denis
Paul
Paul
2 months ago
Reply to  Denis

“We don’t vote for former winners, no matter what” Carola and Charlotte Perrelli both won ESC came back to Melodifestivalen and won again… at least get your facts right

Denis
Denis
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul

That was also in 2008, which was a different contest. Facts: since re-branding Mello in 2011 no former winner has won..

Ashton
Ashton
2 months ago
Reply to  Denis

translation: ‘what I say is right, and even when what I say is easily refuted I have an explanation because I have to be right all the time since Sweden is amazing’

Denis
Denis
2 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

Ok Ashton!

Ashton
Ashton
2 months ago
Reply to  Denis

lmao you tried it, but do something original next time

Alex
Alex
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Swedes voted for Sanna in 2008. Juries for Charlotte.
Carola yes.
Anyway, I’m not Swede but from what I’ve seen these years they vote what for they really like in that particular moment. A name alone is never enough.

Sot
Sot
2 months ago

Andra Chansen must go. ‘Statements’ was a banger but my heart will never forget the Eva&Ewa slaughter. Just imagine how iconic it would have been to have them in the contest! Generally, my mind says Clara but my heart says Eva&Ewa…

Branko86
Branko86
2 months ago

“I never really care about the result in a way.” – Says the man who decided running order on personal interests and only with huge favorism.

Erik
Erik
2 months ago

I agree. And I do not understand what is good about the duels at all. Everyone should meet everyone. I hope they change that now that he’s done