Sweden has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 55 times since making its debut in 1958, missing only three contests since then (1964, 1970 and 1976). Since 1959, the Swedish entry has been chosen through an annual televised competition, known since 1967 as Melodifestivalen. Sweden is one of the most successful competing nations at the Eurovision, with a total of six victories in the contest, right behind Ireland who have seven wins. Sweden is also the contest's most successful country of the 21st century, with two wins from eight top five results. In total, Sweden has achieved 22 top five results in the contest.
In 2010, Anna Bergendahl became the first Swedish entrant to fail to make it to the final, finishing 11th in the semifinal, only five points from qualifying (in 2008, Charlotte Perrelli finished 12th in the semifinal but qualified through the back-up jury selection). Since then, the country has been very successful, finishing in the top three in four of the last five contests. Eric Saade finished third in 2011 with "Popular". Loreen then gave Sweden its fifth victory in 2012, with the song "Euphoria". This victory made Sweden one of only two countries, along with the United Kingdom, to have Eurovision victories in four different decades. In 2014, Sanna Nielsen finished third with "Undo". In 2015, Sweden won for the sixth time with Måns Zelmerlöw's "Heroes". Sweden is the only country to have twice scored over 300 points. Also, Sweden has won a semifinal three times (2011, 2012 and 2015); more than any other country.
Sweden has hosted the Eurovision Song Contest five times and is the only country to have hosted the event in five different decades, three times in Stockholm (1975, 2000, and 2016), twice in Malmö (1992 and 2013) and once in Gothenburg (1985).
Melodifestivalen is an annual music competition organised by Swedish public broadcasters Sveriges Television (SVT) and Sveriges Radio (SR). It has chosen the country's representative for the Eurovision Song Contest since 1959. It is Sweden's most popular television shows, and it has been estimated that more than 4 million Swedes watch the show annually.
Almost every Swedish entry for Eurovision has been selected through Melodifestivalen. Only one entry, Sweden's first entry in 1958, was not selected through Melodifestivalen, having been selected internally by the Swedish broadcaster at the time, Swedish Radio Service.
a. ^ In 2008, Sweden qualified through the back-up jury selection.
b. If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. In addition from 2004-2007, the top ten countries who were not members of the big four did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. If, for example, Germany and France placed inside the top ten, the countries who placed 11th and 12th were advanced to the following year's grand final along with the rest of the top ten countries.
Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest
In 2005 to celebrate 50 years of the Eurovision Song Contest, Denmark hosted a special one-off contest on behalf of the EBU to find Europe's favourite Eurovision song of the first 50 years. Tipped as the favourite from the start, ABBA won the contest by a landslide with "Waterloo" coming first in the semi-final with a record 331 points and then going on to win the contest with 329 points in the final. Alongside other Eurovision stars, Carola Häggkvist and Elisabeth Andreassen helped introduce and present small parts of the show.