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Melodifestivalen “Swedish Song Contest” Breakdown! Posted by on Mar 4, 2020 in Culture, Current Events, Grammar, Multimedia, music, Swedish Language, The Swedish blog team, Video, Vocabulary

This weekend wraps up the 60th year of Melodifestivalen. This Swedish song contest is held each year to determine who will represent Sweden against the best songs of other European nations, and well, Australia, and Israel, and a few others. But true Eurovision fans don’t get caught up in those technicalities. Instead, millions of viewers enjoy magical, weird, campy, wild, and moving performances from  and every language nerd’s dream. And because Sweden loves a good show, they pull out all the stops for production of this yearly event. This blog post will provide a introduction to Melodifestivalen in time for you to tune into the final this weekend. 


The hosts and participants in Melodifestivalen 2020.

As you probably already are aware, music is kind of Sweden’s thing, so naturally, they pull out all the stops for the national song contest. It’s quite the lead-up to the finals, almost a bit “much” if you ask me. Here’s why; there are 4 semi-finals, this year held in Linköping, Göteborg, Luleå, and Malmö. 7 entries perform in each semi-final; 2 acts move-on to the final. But for folks who are eliminated, don’t worry, there is always an andra chans. The “second chance round” is where acts that have been knocked out of the competition compete head-to-head to make it back on the main stage. These four acts won their duals in andra chans and will compete in the final…

  • Paul Rey – Talking In My Sleep
  • Mendez & Alvaro Estrella – Vamos Amigos
  • Felix Sandman – Boys With Emotions
  • Anis Don Demina – Vem är som oss

..and will join these 8 songs that qualified directly for the final, the Saturday, March 7 at Friends Arena in Stockholm: 

  • Victor Crone – Troubled Waters
  • The Mamas – Move
  • Mohombi – Winners
  • Hanna Ferm – Brave
  • Dotter – Bulletproof
  • Robin Bengtsson – Take A Chance
  • Mariette – Shout It Out
  • Anna Bergendahl – Kingdom Come

Still with me? Learn some vocabulary and fun facts about Melodifestivalen with the example sentences below. Statistics are provided by SVT:

verb / verbs:

att tävla            to compete
        -> tävlar -> tävlade -> har tävlat
I finalen tävlar 12 akter.
12 acts compete in the final.


att gå vidare    to move on
        ->går -> gick -> har gått
En av artisterna som gick vidare till finalen var Anis Don Demina.
One of the artists who moved on to the final was Anis Don Demina. 

att sjunga     to sing
        -> sjunger -> sjöng -> har sjungit
Felix Sandman sjöng en låt på engelska som heter “Boys with Emotions.”
Felix Sandman sang a song in English called “Boys with Emotions.”

att delta         to participate
        -> deltar -> deltog -> har deltagit
23 artister har deltagit i Melodifestivalen tidigare.
23 artists have competed in Melodifestivalen before. 

att rösta        to vote
        ->röstar -> röstade -> har röstat
Människor röstar grattis med Melodifestivalens app.
People vote for free with Melodifestivalen’s app.

substantiv / nouns

Melodifestivalen, or “Mello” for short, is the Swedish Song Contest
I Melodifestivalens första deltävlingen gick Robin Bengtsson och The Mamas vidare.
In the first semi-final, Robin Bengtsson and The Mamas moved forward.  

en låtskrivare     a songwriter
-> låtskrivaren -> låtskrivare -> låtskrivarna
Melodifestivalen hade 79 låtskrivare totalt i år. 
Melodifestivalen hade 79 songwriters total this year.

en tävling              a competition
        -> tävlingen -> tävlingar -> tävlingarna
Det finns fyra deltävlingar i Melodifestivalen.
There are four semi-final competitions in Melodifestivalen. 

ett bidrag             an entry / contribution
-> bidraget -> bidrag -> bidragen
12 bidrag i årets program har svensk text.
12 entries in this year’s program have text in Swedish.

Andra chansen     “the second chance”
12 akter fick en andra chans och tävlade i Eskilstuna.
12 acts got a second chance and competed in Eskilstuna. 

en artist                 an artist
->artisten -> artister -> artisterna
13 artister debuterar i Melodifestivalen.
13 artists made their debut in Melodifestivalen.

en final                 a final
-> finalen -> finaler -> finalerna 

Den stora finalen är den 7 mars i Stockholm.
The big final is on March 7th in Stockholm. 

en programledare    a tv host
->ledaren -> ledare -> ledarna
Årets programledare är Lina Hedlund, Linnea Henriksson, och David Sundin.
This year’s hosts are Lina Hedlund, Linnea Henriksson, and David Sundin

en tittare         a viewer
-> tittaren -> tittare -> tittarna
Över 2,8 miljoner tittare såg premiären av Melodifestivalen 2020 
Over 2,8 million viewers saw the premier of Melodifestivalen 2020.

en vinnare    a winner
-> vinnaren -> vinnare-> vinnarna
Vem blir vinnare i år?
Who will become the winner this year?

You can listen to all of the Melodifestivalen songs here:

Want in on the action? SVT will be streaming it live this Saturday, March 7, 2020, at 8pm Stockholm time. That’s 1pm CST, 2pm ET, 11am PT in the U.S.  If you happen to be in Minneapolis, stop by and hang with my friends at the American Swedish Institute for a free watch party

Tell me which entry is your favorite in the comments!

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About the Author: Chelsea B

Chelsea is a Swedish language instructor and translator living in Minnesota, U.S. She has a degree in Scandinavian Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College and has experience living and working in Sweden from north to south! In her free time, she enjoys cooking, hiking, listening to music, and practicing slöjd, the Swedish word for handcraft.


  1. Michael Haulică:

    Excellent article! Very useful. Thank you.

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