9 mars 2021 Tweet
This year Melodifestivalen brings a present to all fans outside of Sweden. For the very first time an English live commented version of the Final will be broadcasted on SVT Play – available for viewers and fans all over the world.
A lot of people around the world loves Melodifestivalen. For the fifth Saturday in a row, #melfest trended top ten across Europe.
Live commentators during the Swedish final are Bella Qvist, Sweden, and Olivia Le Poidevin, Great Britain. Bella works at Sveriges Radio, the Swedish public service radio, but has lived in the UK for ten years working as a freelance journalist contributing to media outlets such as the Guardian, as well as frequently appearing as Eurovision expert and guest panellist at the BBC. Bella has a long relationship with both Eurovision and Melodifestivalen. Olivia works as a journalist at the BBC and her life-long love for the Eurovision Song Contest has led her to report on the contest for the BBC World Service and ESC United in Copenhagen, Vienna, and Stockholm.
- It feels good to be able to reach out with Melodifestivalen to fans outside of Sweden, a body of viewers that year after year show their love for the program which has never been returned. With their dedication and their love for the show Olivia and Bella will guide our English-speaking viewers through the night in a fantastic way, says Anette Brattström project manager of Melodifestivalen 2021.
Great friends as well as Eurovision geeks Bella Qvist and Olivia Le Poidevin met on Twitter through their shared love of Eurovision and their interest in LGBTQ+ culture. After years of online friendship they finally met in person in the backstage press area for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2016 in Stockholm. They have since then taken every opportunity to dance to Euphoria, Fuego and Love Love Peace Peace, and they even travelled to Lisbon together for the 2018 contest.
This year’s Melodifestivalen brings Bella and Olivia back in spirit to where it all started for them; to Stockholm, to Måns and the spirit of Eurovision.
– I’ve always been in awe of the quality of the acts that Sweden sends from Melodifestivalen to Eurovision. And it’s so exciting that now, this year, the world can watch to see who will represent Sweden this year. I can’t wait to help you dance through your night at Melfest, says Olivia Le Poidevin.
– I am so happy to be part of this exciting new venture welcoming the many, old and new, non-Swedish-speaking viewers to the wonderful world of Melodifestivalen. I know so many people tune in to Melodifestivalen from around the world every week, and I can’t wait to guide you all through the wonders of Melfest. We see you, we love you, and we welcome you aboard the Mello train, says Bella Qvist.
More about Olivia Le Poidevin
For broadcaster and senior BBC journalist, Olivia Le Poidevin, Eurovision is a family affair. Not only did her parents get married to the Eurovision theme tune, but Olivia even wrote her university history dissertation on the Eurovision Song Contest. From the day she could toe tap, Olivia has been besotted with the contest. She has fond memories of frenzied phone calls during the Eurovision interval acts, comparing voting scores with her family jury in France, Switzerland and the UK. Her love for sequins, smoke machines, and Balkan ballads has led her to report on the contest for the BBC World Service and ESC United in Copenhagen, Vienna, and Stockholm. Of course, her Eurovision reporting experience wouldn’t be complete without her interview with pop royalty, Bjorn from ABBA! Olivia is still pursuing her dream to one day be the UK’s official commentator at the Eurovision Song Contest. And, given that her mum was born in Stockholm, where she also met her Eurovision sister, Bella Qvist, it makes total sense that she will commentate the grand final of Melodifestivalen.
More about Bella Qvist
Eurovision super fan and Sveriges Radio journalist Bella Qvist has been hooked on Melodifestivalen ever since Charlotte Nilsson took her to Eurovision heaven in 1999, and she’s been flying high on the wings of Eurolove ever since. A big fan of epic songs, be it pop or metal, Bella still hasn’t recovered from Loreen’s historic win in 2012 and that first note of Euphoria gives her goosebumps to this day. Bella, who is based in Stockholm, has spent 18 years living in the UK and Germany and has a long record of reporting on Eurovision for various British media outlets including the Guardian, BBC and DIVA Magazine. Bella’s biggest dream is to one day be the official commentator at the Eurovision Song Contest, and she usually spends every Melodifestivalen Saturday glued to the show whilst sofa dancing and chatting along with friends online. This Saturday, she’ll be living that dream whilst chatting with the rest of the world.
Note: It´s not possible to vote outside of Sweden.
Link to the live transmission: https://www.svtplay.se/video/30416620