Sweden Cornelia Jakobs Hold Me Closer Eurovision 2022 rehearsal
Photo: EBU / NATHAN REINDS

It’s all go in Sweden. Producers of Melodifestivalen 2023 have revealed that they received a total of 2,824 song submissions for the show. That’s up by 294 songs compared to the 2022 edition, for which producers received 2,530 entries.

Karin Gunnarsson, Melfest head honcho, says: “Absolutely incredible! Wow. I’m so proud to get to work with Melodifestivalen and to see that interest in the competition is growing.”

“Now the work begins with listening, thinning the submissions and preparing for the next step in the selection process to develop a wonderful, hot and entertaining field. We are really excited to take hold of all the contributions.”

 

As ever, 28 acts will ultimately compete in the six-week musical extravaganza. Their names won’t be revealed until later in the autumn.

Fourteen of these acts will be selected through the public submission process. The remaining 14 will be invited by the broadcaster, who works its deep connections within the Swedish music industry to help attract top talent. 

Last year’s “tour” through Sweden was cancelled because of the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. But this year the traveling show will be back in full force, giving fans a chance to see the acts live and in person.

  • Semi-Final 1: February 4 – Gothenburg
  • Semi-Final 2: February 11 – Linköping
  • Semi-Final 3: February 18 – Lidköping
  • Semi-Final 4: February 25 – Malmö
  • Semi-Final 5: March 4 – Örnsköldsvik
  • Final: March 11 – Stockholm

Last month we asked you guys which artists you’d like to see compete.

Among the responses were Clara Klingenström, Dotter, John Henrik, Oscar Zia, Eric Saade, Wiktoria, Cazzi Opeia, Salem Al Fakir and Andreas Bagge.

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Mark
Mark
2 months ago

Loreen coming back? If so, ESC in Sweden 2024 is quite possible 🙂

Erik
Erik
2 months ago
Reply to  Mark

That depends if the song is good enough

Laura
Laura
2 months ago
Reply to  Mark

Loreen entered in 2017 and didn’t get through so it makes no difference.

Thallo
Thallo
2 months ago

Sweden needs to send something totally crazy and unique to break the habit of sending generic English songs that sound like they’re from the American Song Contest.

I’d personally love to see something overly camp and gay from Sweden, we’ve never had that from them since The Worrying Kind in 2007.

David
David
2 months ago
Reply to  Thallo

No thanks! I am gay, but I completely disliked the fact the last year was like a gay competition, with so many gay acts, the performance of most of them was a total cringe

Thallo
Thallo
2 months ago
Reply to  David

By gay acts this year, do you mean Michael Ben David? If so, we all know that was a mess, so there’s no need to reference him when speaking about camp acts.

I want a polished camp act from Sweden. Think Isaac Sene’s ‘Kuuma Jäbä’ (UMK 2022). That was overly gay, yet polished and not cringe.

Colin
Colin
2 months ago
Reply to  Thallo

You gave an excellent example of how to make an amazing ”gay anthem” (Kuuma Jäbä), and how not to (I.M). The former is in my top 25 songs of this NF season. The latter is my last place among selected entries. The key difference is in likability. One feels seductive and mysterious. The other sounds self-indulgent and narcissistic.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Colin

IM is not a gay song. At least not to me. The performer being gay is not enough. I want lyrics. Do you know Mika’s “Good Guys” or “All She Wants” or “No Place In Heaven”? Something more like those would be very nice.

Colin
Colin
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Leaning into gay stereotypes more than actually being gay. You are right about that. The stereotypes + the lack of likability is why I dislike it. It perpetuates the image of a narcissistic ”fabulous” male queen who admires his own reflection. If they did it with a doze of humor or irony, I wouldn’t mind. This was straight-up supposed to be empowering (I guess), and it missed the mark.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  David

There was very little gay about the 2022 contest, or any other contest. There is always, always much more hetero. Nobody ever seems to mind that, though.

Denis
Denis
2 months ago
Reply to  Thallo

Please no! We do not need more camp, there is already enough of it in ESC.
Besides Sweden already sent camp entries in the naughties. Every single entry from Sweden back then was high camp..

tom
tom
2 months ago

Victor Leksell!!!

Karl
Karl
2 months ago

Who cares? The will song a generic pop song in English in the end. We all know that.

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
2 months ago
Reply to  Karl

You’re right, but there’s people in here who like to pretend it’s not that way.

Eugenia
Eugenia
2 months ago
Reply to  Karl

I’m not expecting Sweden to change a strategy, but they may come up with a great track *within* their usual department.

L'oiseau
L'oiseau
2 months ago
Reply to  Karl

That was not the case in 2021, at least who won (the rest was quite forgettable, indeed).

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
2 months ago

All of this just for the same acts and authors with the usual kind of plastic pop songs to be the whole line-up…

Erik
Erik
2 months ago
Reply to  Benito Camelo

It was 15 newcomers this year. And its not just only pop songs

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
2 months ago
Reply to  Erik

This year was rather the exception than the rule. I don’t expect Sweden taking that path for next year, though I wish I’m wrong on this one.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
2 months ago
Reply to  Benito Camelo

Just wait and see.

kelly edd
kelly edd
2 months ago

THE SILENCE OF THE ESC COMMUNITY REGARDING AZERBAIJAN NEED TO STOP !!! U PLAYED MORAL POLICE ON RUSSIA … WHERE ARE THE CALLS FOR A BAN OF THIS INHUMANE DICTATORSHIP

Andy
Andy
2 months ago
Reply to  kelly edd

Stop spamming everywhere this article isn’t about Armenia and the comment section is not the EBU mailbox

kelly edd
kelly edd
2 months ago

AZE::RBAIJAN HAS TO BE BANNED RIGHT NOW FROM EVER PARTICIPATING IN A EUROVISION EVENT !!!!!! U SCREAM FOR INJUSTICE FOR ONE DICTATOR U HAVE TO DO IT FOR EVERY OTHER ONE TOO!!!! UNLESS U ARE HYPOCRITES!!!

kelly edd
kelly edd
2 months ago

CALL FOR AZE.RB.AI.JANS BANN !!!! THAT COUNTRY SHOULD BE TREATED JUST LIKE RUSSIA!!!!! ANYTHING ELSE IS IMMORAL

Btzbtz
Btzbtz
2 months ago

Is that why Malta increased the number of entries in their national final ? To capitalise on all the additional melfest rejects ? Lol jk

Colin
Colin
2 months ago

Sweden is “The Disney” of the Eurovision world. I mean that with all the advantages, and all the disadvantages it carries. Sweden always assures a good show, and a professional level of production not every participant guarantees each time by default. Sweden has never been in my bottom 5. Not even during the “dark times” of the early-mid 2000s. Just like Disney will never produce a film like Tentacolino, Sweden will never select a song like Celebrate. It has to be acknowledged! On the other hand, there is a reason why many notice how songs of different tempos, genres, and… Read more »

Vivian
Vivian
2 months ago
Reply to  Colin

This is exactly why I want Sweden to fail to qualify again soon. It’s not out of spite, but purely so that they’ll gain awareness that sending the same fabricated material doesn’t mean endless success. In fact, it will force them into an upkeep they can’t maintain, no matter how ‘prominent’ Swedish pop producers may be.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
2 months ago
Reply to  Vivian

Sweden would seriously have to screw up in order to get their second non qualification but I doubt that will happen as long as their songs are very favored by the juries.

L'oiseau
L'oiseau
2 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Interesting choice of examples… 🙂

Erik
Erik
2 months ago

I hope for Madeleine Hilleard. She won Swedens Got Talent 2018, she learn to sing opera in just 5 months by watching it on YouTube. Thats amazing

Jack
Jack
2 months ago

Cant wait for Alvaro Estrella’s song, who doesnt want to hear again spanglish lyrics like ” Suave baby come to me fuego fuego you and me”

Colin
Colin
2 months ago
Reply to  Jack

Leaked lyrics from Alvaro Estrella’s Melfest 2023 song:

“Mi amor”

“My mamacita, my señorita,
I love your eyes,
Your ojos bello
Oh, mi amor, mi amor,
mi biggest, grande amor,
I want to give you besos,
Oh mi amor!”

Una
Una
2 months ago
Reply to  Colin

What a fun idea!!

“Ra-pi-di-to …
sólo dura tres minutos
¡Ay ay ay!”

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago
Reply to  Colin

I’d love to listen to something like:

Ay amor eres mi locura,
(crazy crazy crazy)
Pero yo respeto a mi cultura.
(ura ura ura)
En la playa de Marbella
La encontré a ella.
(ella ella ella).
Se ven tan diferente
(Not the same, not the same)
Pa’ que no las confunda en mi mente.
A las dos las llamo mi amor
Asi evitar todo dolor.
(Oh oh oh)
(Oh oh oh oh).

Polegend Godnova
2 months ago

those numbers are huge, but at the same time, you never see people who can actually chart without needing tv promo applying for melodifestivalen. i wish the show would appeal to people the swedish public cares about year round as well. hopefully we’re going in that direction.

Denis
Denis
2 months ago

Why would people who already top charts need Melodifestivalen? They already have established careers. What would Mello mean to them?

Polegend Godnova
2 months ago
Reply to  Denis

international exposure? also it’s the same thing with sanremo here in italy. until a few years ago only people with no career without huge exposure entered, now it’s become more prestigious to enter even for massive stars who would get a hit regardless.

Emilio
Emilio
2 months ago

That is not inaccurate: Sanremo has always attracted singers who were already well-known. During the “dark age” of early 2010s, people were wondering “who are these singers?”, because they did not fit with the concept of the contest. And yet, they were still famous. In the past couple of years, Sanremo has attracted more famous people because, as Fedez said, during the pandemic it was the only available stage to perform. And you only need one huge singer to participate to create a chain event and attract more. International exposure has nothing to do with it. By us Swedes, Melodifestival… Read more »

Emilio
Emilio
2 months ago
Reply to  Emilio

*That is inaccurate

Una
Una
2 months ago

I think the numbers are inflated because of interest in Melodifestivalen, the quality of songs or lack thereof notwithstanding. Also, who knows how many songs are submitted year to year.

In any case, there are only 2-3 very strong “packages” in the show.

Erik
Erik
2 months ago

I hope for Smash Into Pieces, Nathalie Brydolf, Isak Danielson, Shanta Liora, Ulf Nilsson, Linda Varg, Jubël, Nordman, Erik Mjönes, Rednex, Agnes, Victoria Silvstedt, Quickdrop and Maja Ivarsson

Erik
Erik
2 months ago
Reply to  Erik

Did I say something wrong? Don’t understand the 3 dislikes

Dawid
Dawid
2 months ago
Reply to  Erik

not enough past ESC singers i guess xd

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
2 months ago
Reply to  Erik

Well, they’re not there anymore so you’re in the clear.

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
2 months ago
Reply to  Erik

I’d love it if Victor Leksell, Miriam Bryant, Tove Lo, Zara Larsson (though she’s the one who’s most of a stretch), Bolaget and A36 took part of Mello some day too! 🙂

Joey
Joey
2 months ago

Watch them choosing the most basic ones…

Hrvatska
Hrvatska
2 months ago

the question is whether quantity translates into quality and maybe I will finally live to see a song in Swedish, I hope that Clara Klingenstrom will come back, with a good song in Swedish and the most important question is whether the elections in the country will affect changes in Swedish public television

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
2 months ago
Reply to  Hrvatska

If it would affect new Swedish public boradcasting policy it will take a good few years before that’s implemented into regulation. Also with melodifestivalen having such a big standing almost cultural tradition in Sweden, I don’t see it going away anytime soon even if svt would become more news/ education focused shifting away from entertainment.

Denis
Denis
2 months ago
Reply to  Hrvatska

Why would politics affect anything? The content can’t be affected because THat would make it political. Only the guidelines to public broadcasting would be affected.
Politicians can’t decide which programs SVT will have. It is not Hungary, or Serbia. Even so, that is not even a main issue.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Denis… it’s bigger than Melodifestivalen. These people hate public service broadcasting, they want it to go away and will do everything they can to make that happen.

Denis
Denis
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Currently no party has said they want to abolish public service so it’s not an issue. Even if they wanted to the right of a free media is enshrined in the constitution so there is nothing to abolish. Unless they will do something that goes against the will of the population.
All that can be changed is the current guidelines and even there it is difficult because two of the main supporting parties do no want any changes

PuppetOnAString
2 months ago
Reply to  Hrvatska

Isn’t that exactly the reason why they review all those songs?

Emilio
Emilio
2 months ago

Somehow we manage to have so much diversity within our entries at Melodifestivalen, and yet they all sound similar. I think this is a problem related to music producers (who are pretty high level in Sweden, but homogenous) rather than the singers.

Samira
Samira
2 months ago

It’s not too late for Sweden to start being original for once. Eh, wishful thinking

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
2 months ago
Reply to  Samira

How do you suggest them to be original?

Esc addict
Esc addict
2 months ago

The originality for Sweden would be to send a song in swedish in Eurovision for example, it would be original like for all the countries that are not used to that.

Erik
Erik
2 months ago
Reply to  Samira

Have you forgot that Sweden came 4th place this year?

Polegend Godnova
2 months ago
Reply to  Erik

maroon 5 also top the charts all the time, that doesn’t mean their music hasn’t been uninspired garbage for the past decade

Vivian
Vivian
2 months ago
Reply to  Erik

They also reached the top 5 with I Can’t Go On. For Sweden that argument is literally worth nothing

Denis
Denis
2 months ago
Reply to  Samira

You all act as if ESC is a beacon of originality and Sweden is the only one not being original.
Was any of this year’s ESC entries original? And no, ethnic elements does not make anything original

DonutLover
DonutLover
2 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Konstrakta was original tbf

Denis
Denis
2 months ago
Reply to  DonutLover

One act! Woow, How many of the other 40 something?
ESC is stll very much fast-food to use a worn-out old saying..

Erik
Erik
2 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Det märks att du är svensk? Låt folk tycka vad dom vill

Denis
Denis
2 months ago
Reply to  Erik

Vadå? Beter man sig som om alla andra är unika men ej Sverige får man fakta serverad

PuppetOnAString
2 months ago
Reply to  Denis

People are just jealous of Swedens succes with their dominant music genre. They all act like the slightest ethnic element makes your songs automatically better lol

Jofty
Jofty
2 months ago

Well if Voices was the best they could come up with in 2021 not sure I would want to hear the 1,000s of rejects, some of which of course represented other countries.

Denis
Denis
2 months ago
Reply to  Jofty

Why bring up 2021? Its been over a long time ago.

Jofty
Jofty
2 months ago
Reply to  Denis

You didn’t do so well so “forget the past”? Perhaps you will pleasantly surprise me in 2023.

Denis
Denis
2 months ago
Reply to  Jofty

Yes but that was 2021. It is 2022 now, with 2023 coming up. Seems you are living in the past..

Nobody Important
Nobody Important
2 months ago

And how many of them sound exactly the same?

PuppetOnAString
2 months ago

We can make that argument for literally every country that get a lot of submissions but nice try

Esc addict
Esc addict
2 months ago

What is shocking here it’s the huge difference between Sweden and the others, I mean 2824 for Sweden and 10 for Greece….. quantity doesn’t mean systematically quality ok but it’s still a big big difference here.

Yeah
Yeah
2 months ago
Reply to  Esc addict

Out of these 2,8k songs some have been around for years, for example this year’s song “My Way” by Tone Sekelius had been thrown into the selection process for years only it to be picked up at some point. Then there are songs from amateurs that are clearly out, due to the song quality being awful. Every year there are plenty of songs by certain songwriters, so you can just expect a lot of songs that have been made by same people, or did you really think that people such as Anderz Wrethov had been part of 4 songs competing… Read more »

Colin
Colin
2 months ago
Reply to  Yeah

Should there be a maximum number of songs by the same author (3-4)? Reasons are both to ensure new authors to be heard, and for the songs to be more diverse (even if talented authors are capable of making very different songs, the chances of repetition are bigger).

Reasons against would be ensuring the best songs get picked, even if they share an author, and the potential rise in ghost-writing and uncredited touch-ups if this is ever enforced.

Cocooo
Cocooo
2 months ago
Reply to  Colin

There were discussions last year about creating such a rule to restrict composers from sending multiple entries for the sake of it, during the same time when the producers wanted to force every entry to have a female songwriter as well, but it never really materialised.

Yeah
Yeah
2 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Perhaps no, but my point is that there are around “2,5k entries” every year, and since 2015 only 28 songs have competed each year, so it’s very unlikely that out of all these numbers the same writers/producers get theirs selected.

Yeah
Yeah
2 months ago
Reply to  Yeah

Melodifestivalen entries received each year: 2015 -> 2,177 entries 2016 -> 2,450 entries 2017 -> 2,478 entries 2018 -> 2,771 entries 2019 -> 2,295 entries 2020 -> 2,545 entries 2021 -> 2,747 entries 2022 -> 2,530 entries 2023 -> 2,824 entries From 15-22 SVT received 19,993 submissions. Out of these only 224 did get to compete, and out of those songs these songwriters were included in several entries (entries for year: 2015/2016/2017 etc): Anderz Wrethov: 2/3/2/2/4/2/4/4 Thomas G:son: 4/1/4/4/5/4/2/3 Sharon Vaughn: 2/1/0/0/0/0/0/0 Palle Hammarlund: 1/0/0/1/1/3/2/2 Fredrik Kempe: 3/1/0/2/1/0/2/0 David Kreuger: 2/1/1/1/1/1/2/0 Joy Deb: 1/4/2/1/3/1/4/2 Linnea Deb: 1/4/2/2/4/0/4/1 Anton Hård af… Read more »

Esc addict
Esc addict
2 months ago
Reply to  Yeah

Maybe each producers should focus on one great song instead of several average entries, but if they sells a lot like that then …
But I still think that a great song, a real hit sold at 1 million of copies for example is more lucrative than 4 or 5 average songs sold at 100 000 copies each.

vincey
vincey
2 months ago
Reply to  Esc addict

I think it’s fair for songwriters to submit in as many songs as they like, but ultimately, the contest producers can only choose a maximum of 2 that will make it onto Melodifestivalen. Like for example, G:son can submit 10 songs to the process but only a maximum of 2 can be chosen to compete.

Many songwriters collaborate with other songwriters, so a rule like this forces the songs chosen to be on the show to be diverse

Yeah
Yeah
2 months ago
Reply to  Esc addict

One thing to remember is, that even if some country would get 200+ entries compared to the 2,5k Sweden gets, it’s not a bad sign but more of a positive one, that there isn’t that many filler tracks sent from years like 2006.