With just over two weeks to go until Sweden starts its mammoth selection process, Christer Bjorkman has announced another change to the Melodifestivalen format today. It concerns the songs that reach the Andra Chansen round and a change that has been made to SVT’s previously strict policy on songs being made available to the public after their heats.
Whereas before, qualifiers to the final and the second chance round would be barred from release or airplay until the end of the final heat, now the Andra Chansen qualifiers will be released digitally straight after their heats, and will also be played on the radio. The direct finalists will still be embargoed as they have been in previous years, until all 28 competing songs have been heard.
According to show producer Christer Bjorkman, this rule change will create “a more exciting competition” and will “create better conditions for the songs to become classics that will stick in people’s minds.”
This change will no doubt draw criticism for giving the 3rd and 4th placed songs more exposure than the direct qualifiers, but Christer Bjorkman argues that this is a positive change:
The eight songs that are in the final are the viewers’ absolute favourites, so they have already been talked about. Once they are released, everything is focused on them; this has always been the case and it will not be changed by this. The change means that we have more exposure to more songs. How this will affect the results, we don’t know, but it creates exciting opportunities.
This change is the latest in a series of tweaks to the format this year, including reducing the number of competing songs from 32 to 28, and changing the Andra Chansen format to allow for more finalists. Let us know whether you think these changes will improve the competition by commenting below, or on the escXtra Facebook or Twitter.