It’s the Nordic nation that entered the decade a winner and has yo-yoed ever since between sweet success and bitter failure. And after returning to the grand final last year, Norway‘s Eurovision broadcaster NRK is on the hunt for a new hopeful to fly the flag in Lisbon and hopefully replicate Alexander Rybak’s runaway success in winning the competition in 2009.
And if size is any measure, the Norwegians may be on to a good thing, as they’ve received almost 1200 submissions for Melodi Grand Prix 2018, the one night, ten-act extravaganza that will pick Norway’s candidate for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.
Speaking about this year’s crop of candidate songs, MGP chief Stig Karlsen sounded upbeat:
“There are very many talented people engaged in next year’s MGP. It’s going to hurt to pick only ten songs and ten artists to fight to represent Norway in Lisbon!”
Though NRK are picking the acts now, the lineup is normally only revealed during the spring, so Eurofans will have a while to wait until they know who’ll step out onto the stage at Spektrum Arena.
Emboldened by success in Kyiv, the objective now is winning Eurovision 2018. Earlier this year Karlsen outlined his long-term plan for Melodi Grand Prix 2018:
“The best folks are on board to write songs that will take Norway to victory in the world’s biggest music competition. Eurovision is the closest we get to the Olympics in pop music, and now we’re going for the gold medal.”
Norway at Eurovision since 2010
Norway has known highs and bitter, bitter lows at Eurovision in 2010 but there are signs things are on the up for the Nordic nation.
Not so impressively, Didrik Solli-Tangen got a 20th-place finish on home soil in 2010, Stella Mwangi failed to qualify in 2011 and Tooji placed last in 2012. But in the years since, Norway has done much better. They have placed in the top ten in all but 2016, when Agnete went out at her semi-final.
Having soared as high as the top five, as recently as 2013, Norway will no doubt be one to watch in Libson next May. And among those 1200 entries could be the one to give Norway its fourth victory.