Norway: Melodi Grand Prix 2017 grand final set for 11 March

They’re the Scandinavian nation who ended their three-year run of top-ten finishes with an unexpected non-qualification in Stockholm. But Norway’s plans for Kyiv are continuing, with confirmation that its national final Melodi Grand Prix will be held on Saturday 11 March 2017.

While broadcaster NRK has not formally confirmed the date, a listing for Melodi Grand Prix has appeared on Ticketmaster’s website. It lists 11 March as the date of the MGP final, with the show due to be held at Oslo Spektrum arena.

It will be a very busy Saturday for fans of Nordic national finals. The grand finals of Sweden’s Melodifestivalen and Iceland’s Söngvakeppnin will also be held on the same evening.

Last month, MGP boss Stig Karlsen revealed that 1035 entries had been received for the competition. From that, a shortlist of 100 songs will be selected. These will go through various screening processes, before the MGP team select the 10 finalists of Melodi Grand Prix 2017.

Melodi Grand Prix 2017 will also reintroduce international juries. Jury members from 10 to 12 countries will help select the act, offering an international perspective.

Melodi Grand Prix has only used an international jury twice before — in 1985 and 1995 — and both times Norway went on to win Eurovision. Earlier we reported that Norway had looked to Sweden’s recent successes after replacing its regional juries with international juries at Melodifestivalen.

Norway last won Eurovision in 2009 with Alexander Rybak’s “Fairytale”. They have since placed in the top ten three times but placed last in the final in 2012. Norway has also failed to qualify for the grand final twice, most recently in Stockholm with Agnete’s “Icebreaker”.

Meanwhile, Rybak and his violin of victory will make an appearance at the UK’s national final Eurovision: You Decide on 27 January.

Which national final will you be watching on 11 March? Should broadcasters try to avoid date clashes? Share your thoughts below!