Norway hasn’t even held the 2019 edition of their national final Melodi Grand Prix, but already broadcaster NRK is thinking ahead to the following year. Show producer Stig Karlsen has confirmed new entry rules for the 2020 contest, including a much earlier submission period.

Songwriters interested in entering MGP 2020 had better start work on their entries already. The submission period opens on March 2 (the grand final of MGP 2019) and closes on May 17 (Norwegian Constitution Day). Constitution Day has been picked as the closing date as it is a huge annual holiday and thought to be an easy to remember date.

However, next year May 17th will also be the day before the grand final of Eurovision 2019, meaning that songwriters will need to have their submissions in before they know what type of songs were the big favourites of 2019.

The earlier deadline gives the Melodi Grand Prix team more time to shortlist the competing songs and match them with artists.

Thinking locally

Norway has also introduced a rule that requires at least one Norwegian songwriter on the team. Previously the broadcaster had no restriction.

Producer Stig Karlsen explained the decision, saying, “I am all for international cooperation as long as it promotes Norwegian composers and Norwegian music life. The changes mean that we now require that at least one of the songwriters is Norwegian. The international song producers need to get more Norwegian friends. We want to inspire that.”

Quality over quantity

There’s also a restriction on the number of songs that each songwriter may enter. They are now limited to entering only three songs.

Karlsen acknowledged that the changes will likely mean fewer entries will be received next year. But, he says, this is the point. Karlsen explained, “We want a more focused and targeted effort, and less assembly line production. Quality in front of quantity.”

In recent years, there’s been no shortage of quality Norwegian songwriters behind the competing MGP entries. This suggests the rule changes may have been done for the benefit of the show producers. They may wish to stop unsuccessful songwriters from other countries entering songs rejected at other national finals.

Norway’s rule changes follow other countries who have updated their national final rules this year to encourage quality over quantity. Estonia has introduced a €25-€50 entry fee, while Latvia requires professional quality demos.

Overall, this suggests there may be a building issue with broadcasters having to process too many poor quality entries.

Karlsen says that the successful entries for Melodi Grand Prix 2020 will be revealed in January of that year.

In the meantime, Melodi Grand Prix 2019 is due to take place on March 2.

What do you think of the MGP 2020 changes? Will it improve the entries at MGP 2020? Tell us what you think below!

Read more Norway Eurovision news here

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Dual Lipper
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Dual Lipper

I liked Laila Samuels’ – Afterglow, but norskarna hated it what to do? Fire up a sign tonight I need to know which way to go before I lose my mind Is there anyone in charge? I need to feel some mercy now or else there will be blood One way or the other One way or the other One way or the other I wanna be, wanna be where it’s not so dark Where the heat from the afterglow will always keep us alive I wanna be, wanna be where where you’re not so far And as soon as… Read more »

Kris
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Kris

I’m not exactly sure how reducing the time artists have to send in entries would improve the quality of the song submissions?
A rushed submission is bound to be lower quality no?

Victoria
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Victoria

A true Nordic song… Wish they won the Melodifestivalen back then.

Jon Henrik Fjällgren feat. Aninia – En värld full av strider (Eatneme gusnie jeenh dåaroeh)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WWjx54GePE

Trh
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Trh

This is a joke, right?

Colin
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Colin

Interesting changes, Norway. Can’t wait for MGP 2018!
Off topic, but very relevant to the ESC in general – Russia has confirmed their participation, which means only San Marino and Moldova are still silent.

Joe
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Joe

I wouldn’t worry about Moldova but San Marino gets me more nervous by the day.

Joe
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Joe

UPDATE: Another site just said San Marino confirmed! Thank goodness.

Marcelo
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Marcelo

Yes, San Marino just confirmed. Nothing is said about 1in360 though. Right now, only Moldova is missing.

Joe
Guest
Joe

I’d be really surprised if Moldova sat it out, given their recent track record (then again, I thought the same thing about Bulgaria…)

L'oiseau
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L'oiseau

Seems a smart move to me, although quality wise Norway has been in the forefront (except maybe for last yera, imho)

Colin
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Colin

I’d include last year too. Even if there was no outstanding masterpiece, per se, at least five or six songs were way above average and a worthy ESC representative.

Ryi
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Ryi

Excuse me, but the MGP 2018 was pure waste. There was not any other choice…

L’oiseau
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L’oiseau

Hi Colin 🙂 I didn’t see the MGP last year (oops), I was only refering to the actual entries. I guess the Alexander Rybak effect was very strong in last year’s MGP. The thing is that I long so much for the same level as of the magic Norwegian trienial 2013-2014-2015… 🙂 2017 was also great of course. (And I will keep silent about other forgotten Norwegian gems, so not to reveal my age eheheh)

Matt
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Matt

I don’t think this bodes too well for their 2019 lineup. But on the other hand, it only takes one good song to win.

fugu
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fugu

I get what they are trying to do but inevitably there is going to be some entry where the Norwegian ‘contributor’ didn’t actually contribute anything but was listed as a co-writer just to satisfy the requirement. It will probably be an artist and they’ll be left to explain exactly what they contributed. I can hear them now trying to explain how adding in an ad-libbed “Yeah!” was an integral part of the song that just made it all come together or some such nonsense.

dragvision
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dragvision

the first country confirmed for the 2020 year

Brooklyn
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Brooklyn

What if they won!

Joe
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Joe

Holy Moses, 2019 hasn’t even happened yet

Joe
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Joe

I honestly see the steady downturn in entries as a good thing, as it means all the broadcasters are really focused on sending the best possible act (this is also taking into account the UK’s “songwriting-first” emphasis, Spain opening the pool up for songwriters to send songs in, Portugal and Italy doing exactly what they were doing before cuz it works, etc.). A narrower field means a potential for stronger, more unique entries. Eurovision is a privilege that not just any random musician can take. They’ve got to have the right stuff.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

Yes! I want national identity in Eurovision entries. Also, more singles, less fillers!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

I mean, what type of ‘national identity’ do you expect Scandinavian countries to have? It’s Scandinavian producers who shape the sound of pop music worldwide. Most of the global pop hits since the late 90s have been written by Swedes. If basic pop songs is all they can serve it’s because that’s what they’re known for.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

I expect Norway to be represented by Norwegians, performing a song that is at least partly written by Norwegians. Sweden by Swedes and Denmark by Danes. So Scandinavia by Scandinavians, I guess.