Two of the hopefuls. Photo: TT
Sweden hosts one of the most most popular national finals for the Eurovision Song Contest - Melodifestivalen.
The event is deeply divisive
, with many Swedes glued to their sofas throughout February and March when the heats take place and others left crying into their beers as they search for other Saturday night viewing solutions.
The first semi-final will take place on the 7th of February in Gothenburg and is set to include two previous winners of the contest: Jessica Andersson
who represented Sweden in 2003 as one half of the duo Fame (they came 5th) and Eric Saade
who came 3rd in Düsseldorf in 2011 with the song Popular.
Jessica Andersson is hoping for a second chance. Photo: TT
Heartthrob Måns Zelmerlöw
, a Swedish singer who has both competed in the contest and hosted the event, will also be taking part.
Other contestants will battle their way through later regional heats in Malmö, Östersund and Örebro.
These include veteran musician Marie Bergman
who won the competition in 1971 and 1972, as part of the group Family Four, and again in 1994 in a duo with Roger Pontare.
X Factor star Kristin Amparo
who scored a big hit with Albin (Din soldat) is also on the list alongside Andreas Weise
who took part in Idol in 2010 and in Let's Dance.
Eric Saade is returning to the contest. Photo: TT
The final of the competition is set to take place at the Friends Arena in Solna, Stockholm in March.
Russia has not officially said whether it will be participating, amid speculation that former USSR countries may end up running their own contest.