Sweden’s Second Chance round — known for a series of duels that eventually lead some acts to the Melodifestivalen final — is being axed. Aftonbladet has confirmed that the Andra Chansen round will be replaced by another heat — Semi-Final 5.
The overall number of competing acts — 28 — will remain the same. During the first four semi-finals, two acts will advance direct to the final as normal, while two other acts will advance to the fifth semi-final. The eight acts in Semi-Final 5 will then be divided into two groups. The two songs that receive the most votes in each group will advance to the grand final of Melodifestivalen 2022.
The Swedish newspaper reports that the “duel” format of Andra Chansen, which has been around since 2004, is widely disliked by artists and the record labels behind them.
Melodifestivalen 2022: Andra Chansen will be replaced by Semi-Final 5
Asked by Aftonbladet about the situation, Anette Brattström confirmed that Andra Chansen is getting the chop.
“That’s right. Every year we like to review the format and make as exciting an experience as possible for our viewers and followers in the app. We thought that the Second Chance round and the format with duels needed to be reviewed. An escalation before a final is a semi-final so it was quite a given that that was what we were going to do.”
“The purpose of the Second Chance from the beginning was that the artist would have the opportunity to redo their performance from the competition if you felt that there was something to do differently.”
“But today almost everything is rehearsed to perfection, so no major changes are made. Almost no one wants to make changes so the idea of Second Chance fails.”
On social media, a lot of folks have been asking what the point of this is. After all, is it really such a huge shake-up if artists are (1) still getting a second chance and (2) still being eliminated in groups? It almost seems like the two-person duel has simply become a four-person duel.
You could argue that getting rid of the duels eliminates the sting of losing to one singular artist. At the same time, it may eliminate the strategy of “voting against” someone instead of four them. @ge_aldrig_upp wrote this on Twitter:
I wholeheartedly enjoy this change. Duels tended to favor the "vote against" factor (e.g. Anton Hagman vs Loreen, 2017) and often ended up being super predictable, which kinda undermined their purpose. This should make for a more exciting 2nd chance show.
— Davide Maistrello (@ge_aldrig_upp) October 17, 2021
Writing in our Insta comments, a user named dangerbae suggested it’ll make for less interference from producers. They wrote: “It’s andra chansen without the heavy-handed deck stacking from production by setting up the duels. We do, in fact, love to see it.”
The andra chansen system involved pairing acts to compete in duels. The pairs were never taken from the same semi-final and were sometimes matched as acts of the same genre.
Some viewers were critical of the andra chansen duels, as some of the pairings took place between two of the strongest acts, meaning that one act would have to be eliminated regardless.
In the andra chansen round of Melodifestivalen 2017, Eurovision champion Loreen duelled against teen favourite Anton Hagman. Both artists had their different supportive fanbases. Hagman narrowly won the duel, meaning Loreen did not make it to the Melodifestivalen grand final. Under the new system, both acts could end up in the Melfest grand final.
Melodifestivalen 2022 dates
- Semi-Final 1: Malmö – Malmö Arena (February 5)
- Semi-Final 2: Gothenburg – Scandinavium (Feburary 12)
- Semi-Final 3: Linköping – Saab Arena (February 19)
- Semi-Final 4: Lidköping – Sparbanken Arena (February 26)
- Semi-Final 5: Örnsköldsvik – Hägglunds Arena (March 5)
- Final: Stockholm – Friends Arena (March 12)
What do you think? Is ditching the andra chansen round a good idea? Is the new format fairer on contestants? Tell us your thoughts below!