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YLE unable to pay for Linnea and Joy Deb to travel to Lisbon with Saara Aalto

YLE "cannot afford" to take any more delegation members

This evening, Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet broke the news that revealed that Finnish broadcaster YLE were refusing to pay for Monsters songwriters Linnea Deb and Joy Deb to travel to Lisbon with the Finnish delegation. Both YLE and the Debs have responded to the situation.


“We can’t pay for anyone else”

YLE has refused to pay for either the air travel or hotel accommodation in Lisbon for Swedish Eurovision-winning songwriters Linnea and Joy Deb, most famous for writing Heroes for Måns Zelmerlöw. Responding to the revelation, YLE television producer Anssi Autio made the following statements (translated from Swedish):

“We pay for so many already and it’s not entirely up to us to decide who to include in the delegation. I want to emphasise that we would very much have liked to have them. Songwriters should absolutely be there more than managers and PR agents who are still necessary. But this is also a collaboration with the record company and Saara’s team. Thus, we must take them into account when we decide who should be included in the delegation.

“We will probably not work with YLE again”

Linnea Deb, also part of the songwriting teams for Robin Stjernberg’s You and Ace Wilder’s Busy Doin’ Nothin, made the following comments:

It is really sad. Imagine a film festival without the director or screenwriter in place. It was important to us in Finland, but now they have catapulted us out. I feel it is so sad that authors have zero weight in a competition based on just our work. It is skewed. We probably will not work with YLE again.

Two weeks to go

Finland will take part in the first semi-final at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. X Factor UK runner-up Saara Aalto was internally selected by the broadcaster. Saara will perform Monsters after the Finnish public and an international jury overwhelming voted in favour of the Debs’ track at UMK 2018.


What do you think of Aftonbladet’s revelations? Let us know in the comments below!

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3 Comments

    1. It’s a big myth that artists like Saara Aalto make a ton of cash. She’s not rich. I just read another similar comment that assumed she’s a “millionaire”. That’s just ludicrous. Just because you gain fame doesn’t mean you become rich. All media outlets want in a story, and of course an artist can potentially gain on the fact that people know about them, but there’s no big cash flow to the artist or the songwriters.

      Eyes should be turned on the record company involved in this matter. They asked the Debs to write the song. They’re the ones calling the shots on who gets to go to Lisbon. They ignored the songwriters, probably because Finnish record companies lack the experience in these practical Eurovision matters.

      The thing is, the artists that have represented Finland in the era of UMK have all written the songs themselves, so there’s been no need to send songwriters separately. In Sweden almost all participating songs Melodifestivalen have separate songwriters

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