By the numbers: Who will qualify from Heat 1 at Melfest?
The Melodifestivalen 2023 journey begins today. The six-week extravaganza kicks off in Gothenburg this evening, and will wind its way around Sweden until the Final in Stockholm, 5 weeks from tonight!
The show format we know and love came to be in 2015, where the ‘Heats’ were capped at seven songs. The show’s producers decide the running order of each Heat several weeks ahead of the live shows, in an effort to make the most entertaining TV show possible.
But is there a (un)conscious bias in how the running order is put together? Let’s look at past results to see what a song’s place in the running order might mean for how it will fair in the end.
Dead Last – 7th place
Just like at Eurovision itself, the second place in the running order is the kiss of death. The audience is treated to a big show opener which often does well, and then gets hit with the doldrums for song 2.
Since 2015, the best result for a song that was in second position was in 2018 when John Lundvik’s “My Turn” came second in the Deltävling. That means that this year, Loulou Lamotte’s “Inga sorger” could be making a quit exit.
Bottom of the barrel – 6th and 5th places
So you didn’t come last, but your Melfest journey is still over. Coming 5th and 6th in a Melodifestivalen heat is only slightly better than dead last. You won’t advance to the Semi Final (formerly Andra Chansen) round, and your song will most likely fade into Melfest History.
Traditionally in Heat 1s, the songs that perform 1st and 5th in the running order wind up in this non-qualification window. Last year, “Bananas” by Malou Prytz opened Heat 1 and finished in 7th place. But it’s not all bad news. In 2020, “Move” by The Mamas opened Heat 1 and won the Heat, and Melfest itself (although we know how that ended)!
Should history repeat itself, Tone Sekelius’ “Rhythm of My Show” and Victor Crone’s “Diamonds” will not progress in 2023.
Andra Chansen – 4th and 3rd places
When a Melfest song is good, but not too good, it gets one more shot to prove it deserves to be seen at Friends Arena in Stockholm. This fifth show used to be called Andra Chansen (Second Chance), but now has the dull title of “Semi Final.” If a song has made it this far, it has a 50% chance of going on to the final.
In the last 8 years, ironically, songs 3 and 4 in the running order tend to finish in 3rd and 4th place respectively. Spot 3 has seen some success at least, with Wiktoria’s “Not with Me” winning Heat 1 in 2019.
If we’re going with the data, 2023’s Semi Final will feature “Haunted” by Rejhan and “Raggen går” by Elov & Beny.
Gå direkt till final – 2nd and 1st places
Grattis! Congratulations! You get the next 5 weeks to relax and rehearse your song as you see fit! You don’t have to travel to the smallest of the Swedish cities on the Melfest tour and sing your song one extra time!
It should come as no surprise to even the casual Melodifestivalen fan, that the song that performs last in each Heat will usually qualify for the final. And the numbers prove it. Since 2015, 6 of the 8 songs that went 7th in the running order, finished 1st or 2nd in Heat 1 and went direkt till final. The 2 years that wasn’t the case, the songs will went to the Semi Final. So basically, close the show, and you’ll get to sing again, at least once more!
Sixth in the running order has also seen great results. Since 2015, two songs have won Heat 1 going sixth, and three more have come in second place.
If we use this metric to predict what will happen tonight, “Länge leve livet” by Eva Rydberg & Ewa Roos and “Where You Are (Sávežan)” by Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Arc North feat. Adam Woods will be our happy winners.
So to sum up, the patterns would give us this final result:
- Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Arc North feat. Adam Woods – “Where You Are (Sávežan)”
- Eva Rydberg & Ewa Roos – “Länge leve livet”
- Rejhan – “Haunted”
- Elov & Beny – “Raggen går”
- Tone Sekelius – “Rhythm of My Show”
- Victor Crone – “Diamonds”
- Loulou Lamotte – “Inga sorger”
Do you agree with the results based on the maths? Let us know below or on our socials @escbubble!
Last year, Cornelia Jakobs performed 6th in Heat 1, which she won on her way to winning Melodifestivalen 2023, and a 4th place finish at Eurovision in Turin!