The latest 8 participants in Melodifestivalen have been officially announced by SVT today. And on top of some great artist names to get us excited, the songwriter list is even more impressive…..

Dilba: ’Try Again’ (Niklas Pettersson, Linda Sonnvik)
Sara Lumholdt: ‘Enemy’ (Niclas Lundin, Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad)
Sanna Nielsen: ‘I’m In Love’ (Bobby Ljunggren, Thomas G: son, Irini Michas, Peter Bostrom)
Danny: ‘In The Club’ (Figge Boström Peter Boström, Danny Saucedo)
Simon Forsberg: ‘Time To Breathe’ (Fredrik Kempe)
Melody Club: ‘The Hunter’ (Kristofer Östergren, Eric Stenemo, Jon Axelsson, Niklas Stenemo)
Loreen: ‘My Heart Is Refusing Me’ (Moh Denebi, Bjorn Djupström, Loreen)
Rasmus Viberg: ‘Social Butterfly’ (Amir Aly, Henrik Wikström)

Let’s start with Dilba (pictured below). Fairly huge in Sweden, she’s won grammy awards there before for her largely singer-songwriter-soul sound. She’s been quiet for a couple of years (although her hit ‘Easy’ is heard on Swedish tv most days as it was placed in a big advert), but she’s launching a comeback next year. And Melodifestivalen is her first stop. The songwriting duo of Niklas Petersson and Linda Sonnvik is a very welcome addition to the competition. Between them, they’ve worked on music for Velvet, Agnes, Caracola, Daisy, Afro-Dite, and together, they’ve been responsible for the recent tunes from Belle!

Sara Lumholdt (pictured above) is Sara from A*Teens of course. She’s tampered with solo music before, but not on any big scale – until now! The fact that her song ‘Enemy’ has been co-written by Anton from Le Kid, means that it should automatically be a huge pop number that we’re going to like a lot. And how lovely will it be to see Sara back on stage?!

Sanna Nielsen is back! It’ll be her fifth time in the contest and we’re delighted to see who she’s teamed up with – Bobby Ljungren, Peter Boström, and of course Thomas G:Son and Irini Michas. And the last time those last two worked together, we got Soraya’s ‘Le Noche Es Para Mi’. We can’t imagine Sanna doing a big schlager dance number at this stage in her career, but we’re certainly hoping. Either way though, with those songwriters involved, it can only be great.

Danny debuts as a solo artist after competing once before with EMD. And he’s competing with a song composed by the same guys who did so much of his first two albums. And it’s called ‘In The Club’. Need we say more?! Amazing!

Simon Forsberg is the winner of Mr Gay Sweden 2010, and the song is a sole Fredrik Kempe composition. Need we say more?! Amazing!

Melody Club have been quite massive in certain circles, consistently over the last decade. Not just in Sweden either, they’ve got a bit of a following in other territories around the world. Plus, they opened for Kylie Minogue on her Fever tour. The inclusion of their name on this list will probably cause the biggest fuss in the Swedish press. And we’re very intrigued to see what they pull out of the bag for their three minutes on the Melodifestivalen stage. We’re expecting a big pop number. With a huge stage spectacle.

Loreen is an Idol graduate. She finished 4th in 2004, but has been strangely quite since then. One of the composers, Bjorn Djupström, has also composed music for Eric Saade, Sarah Dawn Finer, and Anna Bergendahl.

And finally, Rasmus Viberg is the contestant we know least about. But the two songwriters behind his song are two of the composers that we’re most interested in! Henrik Wikström has been involved in so many Melodifestivalen classics, and has most recently been working very closely with Alexander Bard on Gravitonas. Amir Aly has composed ‘Killing Me Tenderly’ by Anna Sahlene and Maria Haukaas Storeng, ‘Crazy In Love’ by Jill Johnson, ‘Just A Minute’ by Rongedal, and ‘Visst Finns Mirakel’ by Suzzie Tapper.

Hooray! We know it’s only a few names, but seriously – Melodifestivalen 2011 is shaping up to be potentially quite incredible.

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