Melodifestivalen 2012 is a Swedish song contest that was held between 4 February and 10 March 2012. It selected the fifty-second Swedish entry to be internationally represented in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 (ESC 2012).
As in the editions between 2009–2011, a maximum of eight people were allowed on stage, while only persons of 16 years or over are eligible. However, in accordance with Eurovision rules, only six people were allowed on stage for the Swedish entry at Eurovision. The main singer(s) were required to perform vocals live on stage. However, other backing vocals can be prerecorded, along with the song’s backing track.
On 20 June 2011, SVT announced an open call for Melodifestivalen 2012, with some changes in the rules. The first change is that only one web wildcard will be chosen online to compete in Melodifestivalen 2012. The participants could upload audio files instead of video files online.
The second change is that 16 songs were selected by the preliminary jury, with 15 being chosen by inviting specific composers, and another song from the chosen web wildcard, making a total of 32 songs again. The third change involves former Swedish Eurovision representative Christer Björkman being promoted from event producer to the executive producer of Melodifestivalen 2012. However, all songs were presented by Sveriges Television (SVT) from October to December 2011.
For the web competition, authors could upload their audio file on SVT’s website between 1–20 September 2011. There were separate categories in the upload for established composers and newcomers. A total of 3,485 songs were uploaded: 570 for the web wildcard and 2,915 for the annual contest.
The format of the 2012 Melodifestivalen was similar to the previous ten contests, with four heats, a second chance round, and a grand final. The four heats were held in Växjö (4 February), Gothenburg (11 February), Leksand (18 February) and Malmö (25 February). The second chance round was held in Nyköping on 3 March while the final in Stockholm was held on 10 March. SVT will present the competing songs during October–December 2011.
- In the web wildcard contest, it is only the song and not the artist who competes.
- The entries must be at least two minutes long.
- Foreign songwriters may submit entries to both the web wildcard contest and Melodifestivalen itself, but the songs must have at least one Swedish writer.
32 songs competed in Melodifestivalen 2012. 16 of them were selected from a public call for songs, in which public songwriters and artists could send in songs to SVT, until 20 September 2011. The format for the contest remained the same as in 2011; the same format that was introduced in 2002. The 32 songs were first presented over four heats. A public televote was held to select two songs to progress directly to the final, with the third and fourth placed songs progressing to a Second Chance (Andra Chansen) round. The entries were presented on 9 November 2011. On 21 and 28 November 2011, SVT presented the artists for each song.
As in the 2010 and 2011 contests, SVT held a web wildcard contest. SVT chose to do this for the public to directly choose a song in the competition. However, the difference from 2011 is that only one entry was chosen by the public, instead of two. From 1–20 September 2011, musicians with no previous music contract were able to submit songs to the SVT Melodifestivalen website. The contest was due to begin on 3 October and end on 7 November 2011.
Unlike the two previous years, it was only the song and not the artist (in combination with the song) that would compete. In addition, the requirement of having a video for the song was abolished. Since the winning song will not have an artist attached, it was SVT (in consultation with the winning song’s writers) who decided which artist or group would present the entry in Melodifestivalen.
On 1 September 2011, SVT announced major changes in the web wildcard contest. A major change is that the public can only vote once in a voting round. The major change is that the contest is divided into a mini version of Melodifestivalen. It will become a contest with heats and a grand final.
Of the total 570 submissions of web wildcard entries, SVT will review them, and then select the 32 entries that will compete in the four semi-final heats. The first semi-final was held on 10 October. However, SVT revealed these entries one week earlier, on 3 October. The voting round was held on 10 October between 12:00 and 13:00 CET. The winning entry and one entry that SVT choose will go to the final. The remaining three semi-finals will be held on 17 October, 24 October and 31 October. However, SVT will reveal the semi-final entries one week before each semi-final will begin. On 31 October, a total of eight songs will qualify for the final, which will be held on 7 November. Finals will be determined by telephone voting. It is not decided on the final will be broadcast live on SVT.
On 7 October 2011, SVT announced that four web wildcards were disqualified due to rule violations. All four songs had been published on other websites before the competition began, contrary to SVT’s rules. However, on 14 October 2011, SVT disqualified the replaced song “No Games” by Leslie Tay. “No Games” was disqualified due to the writer having released music through a commercial record companies, in violation of the rules. The songs which have been disqualified are:
- “Set Me Free” – Trison (was not replaced).
- “Mary Doesn’t Care” – My Niece (replaced by “She Is Love” – Fredrik Sjöstedt).
- “Stars Might Shine” – Albin Loán (replaced by “No Games” – Chris Mhina).
- “Fine” – My Niece (replaced by “Kärleken ler” – Ricky och Ronny).
- “No Games” – Chris Mhina (replaced by “Jag kommer ut” – San Francisco).