Melodifestivalen 2018 received a great deal of criticism, both on national level and abroad, for both the content and the songs, and the viewership took a dive: below 3 million viewers for 4 of the 6 shows, an amount that hadn’t been seen since 2011.
For 2019, broadcaster SVT has asked Edward af Sillén to join them again, taken him in as a consultant to turn the tide!
Anette Helenius, project leader for Melodifestivalen, confirms these rumours and says:
I’m taking in Edward as a consultant to write certain numbers and sketches because I think he’s an incredibly skilled creator, because he has a lot history with Melodifestivalen and because he, fortunately, was in the position to take on the job now.
Edward will be a consultant inside the creative group with Christer Björkman and Henric von Zweigberk (red.: floor manager, f.ex.: Eurovision 2018) as leading figures.
Edward is a person you always think of when planning Melodifestivalen. Now it could happen.
About that experience: Edward af Sillén is only 35 years old but has extensive experience when it comes to creating and directing in both the TV- and the Musical world.
Having directed shows in all of Sweden’s biggest theaters, galas like the QX Gay Gala and working with stars like Liza Minnelli and Carola Häggkvist, he also has a passionate relationship with Melodifestivalen and the Eurovision Song Contest.
He has been heavily involved (ranging from directing to writing the script) in the Melodifestivalen editions of 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2016. He wrote the script and directed the recent Eurovision Song Contests in Sweden (2013 & 2016) and has been a commentator for Sweden in every Eurovision Song Contest since 2009, except for the abovementioned ones he was directly involved in.
Edward himself says:
I love working with Christer and Hence (red.: Henrik von Zweigberk), so it’s gonna be really cool to help and to try and steer the content in the right direction.
We mentioned Eurovision 2016, where Edward worked closely with hosts Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw, resulting in, amongst other things, the beloved interval act: Love Love Peace Peace!
Who knows, maybe Edward can drive Melodifestivalen in a different direction?
We will see the result next February!