Book and Nilsson to song contest final

Sweden voted for tradition in the first round of the country's heats for the Eurovision Song Contest, sending schlager veterans Anna Book and Tommy Nilsson to the final of Melodifestivalen in Stockholm.

Book, who first shot to fame in Melodifestivalen in 1986, sealed her comeback on Saturday at the Kinnarp Arena in Jönköping. Her song, Samba Sambero, was ultra-traditional Melodifestivalen schlager.

Also going straight to the national final will be Tommy Nilsson, who first won the contest in 1989. He also opted for tradition, with the ballad ‘Jag tror på Människan’ (I believe in humanity).

Two other acts – Uno & Irma and Elin Lanto –won enough votes from the viewing public go into a run-off competition. The winners of that competition will get another chance to win over viewers in Nyköping on 3rd March.

There was disappointment, however, for Andersson & Gibson, Addis Black Widow, Sofia Berntson and veteran Melodifestivalen competitor Andreas Lundstedt. They were all eliminated from the competition.

The Melodifestivalen final will be held on 10th March at the Globen arena in the capital. The winner of that will represent Sweden at Eurovision on 10th May in Helsinki.