SVT Announces Mega-Host Lineup for Melodifestivalen 2016

Today, after much speculation and tightly-wound anticipation, SVT finally announced who would be hosting Melodifestivalen 2016. Though reports had surfaced some time ago that Gina Dirawi would be the host of the show, this only proved to be partially true.

Gina Dirawi

Though Gina Dirawi will indeed be present as host for all six weeks of Melodifestivalen 2016, she will have at least one co-host present with her for each of the shows. After hosting in both 2012 and 2013 to rave reviews, Gina will be joined in Göteborg for semi-final 1 by Petra Mede, who has previously single-handedly hosted the contest in 2009, the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013, as well as co-hosted the Eurovision Greatest Hits concert with Graham Norton in London earlier this year.

Petra Mede

Dirawi will host semi-final 2 in Malmö alongside Charlotte Perrelli, who has made appearances as a Melodifestivalen co-host in 2003 for one semi-final and again in 2004 for the entire contest's duration. Perrelli is more famously known for her Melodifestivalen victories in 1999 ("Tusen och en natt"/"Take Me to Your Heaven") and 2008 ("Hero"), the former of which resulted in a Eurovision victory, as well as an infamous return to the contest in 2012 ("The Girl") that saw her crash out in a mere 5th-place semi-final finish. But perhaps this return to the Melodifestivalen stage can be a cleansing of sorts.

Charlotte Perrelli

Semi-final 3 will take place in Norrköping, hosted by Dirawi and Henrik Schyffert, whose only experience with Melodifestivalen appears to be an interval bit back in 2005. Comedian, actor, and musician are among some of the titles listed for Schyffert but as Melodifestivalen has evolved quite a bit in the last decade, we will simply have to wait and see what he brings to his co-host position.

Henrik Schyffert

The Queen is back! Semi-final 4 in Gävle will see the triumphant return of Sarah Dawn Finer, whom fans have been clamouring for at every opportunity. As Dirawi and Finer have previously co-hosted together in 2012 and were immaculate from start to finish, there is little doubt that this semi will be the one to watch. We won't include any patronising 'what-ifs' about whether or not Sarah Dawn Finer's beloved character Lyndra Woodruff will be back. If it's not broken, it won't get fixed. There is no conceivable way she will be left out of the show.

Sarah Dawn Finer

This year's Andra Chansen (Second Chance) round will take place in Halmstad, where Dirawi will have not one but two co-hosts. (Musical) theatre veteran Peter Jöback, who previously competed in Melodifestivalen 2010 ("Hollow"), and Ola Salo, lead singer of glam-rock band The Ark who won Melodifestivalen 2007 ("The Worrying Kind") will both act as co-hosts.

Peter Jöback
Ola Salo

Finally, and perhaps most surprising of all, we reach the Melodifestivalen finale. A massive show in an equally massive venue, Friends Arena, will have Dirawi and even-younger talent William Spetz running the show. It's rather fitting that Dirawi should be the one to usher Spetz on board, as both have found their starts by blogging and posting videos on YouTube. Spetz is relatively unknown to international viewers, unless they're particularly avid consumers of Swedish media content. But the fact that Spetz has received the most daunting show of all makes us think that he has a great deal to offer. Spetz may very well be the perfect person to usher in a new age of Melodifestivalen. He has great potential to offer representation to a more diverse audience that has been sorely underrepresented throughout the show's run.

William Spetz


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