KEiiNO Spirit In the Sky Norway Eurovision 2019

We’ve known for a while that Norway‘s broadcaster NRK was planning something special to celebrate the 60th anniversary of national final Melodi Grand Prix. But now details have been confirmed of the MGP 2020 show format.

Norwegian fan blog escNorge met with Melodi Grand Prix boss Stig Karlsen and got the lowdown on MGP 2020.

As previously known, the 2020 contest will involve five semi-finals, each themed on acts from different regions of the Scandi nation: Northern Norway, Central Norway, Western Norway, Eastern Norway and Southern Norway.

While the five semi-final shows will be filmed at a television studio in Oslo, Karlsen says he hopes the regional themes will create engagement with viewers up and down the nation.

Despite earlier speculation that up to 40 acts would compete in Melodi Grand Prix 2020, Karlsen confirms that only 25 acts will be involved, with ten progressing to the grand final.

Just four acts will compete in each semi-final, but we’ll see most perform more than once. The acts will face each other in duels until one winner is decided from each semi. This suggests it may be similar to the format previously used by the Melodifestivalen andra chansen round.

The jury will also pre-select five extra finalists. They won’t have to compete in the semi-finals but will earn a wildcard entry direct to the grand final. One wildcard winner will be revealed in each semi-final and they will perform their song at the semi to ensure each finalist has the same amount of exposure.

The five semi-final winners and five wildcard winners will head to the grand final. There Norway’s act for Eurovision 2020 will be selected.

Quality over quantity

Song submissions closed on 31 July and Karlsen has revealed that Melodi Grand Prix 2020 has received “between 500 and 600” songs this year. This is considerably down from the “more than 1000” received for the 2019 edition — but Karlsen isn’t worried.

He told escNorge that this year the focus is on quality over quantity. The MGP 2020 competition rules required that each song must have at least one Norwegian songwriter involved and each songwriter can submit a maximum of only three songs. It’s been speculated that this was especially done to reduce the number of songwriters from other countries offloading all their rejected songs from other national finals.

And it sounds like the quality plan is paying off. escNorge notes that Karlsen very enthusiastically says that “Some of the songs submitted are insanely good!”

The first weekly semi-final will take place on 11 January 2020, and will run until the grand final on 15 February 2020.

What do you think? Who would you like to see enter Melodi Grand Prix 2020? What sort of song should Norway send to Eurovision? Tell us your ideas below!

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[…] celebrate the 60th anniversary of MGP, NRK has expanded the format. The show will involve five semi-finals, each based around acts from different regions of Norway. 25 […]

Melissa J
Guest

I have greatly missed the multi-week MGP format-it was one of my favorite national finals, even more than Melfest. I look forward to the semis being brought back and hearing some more Norwegian gems!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

hmm this method sounds messy, i’d rather have a melodifestivalen type of process with the public picking two acts from each semi, but it’s good they’re making an effort

Loin dici
Guest

Interestingly, this is the first NMGP grand final to be held in February since 2013. (Well, there’s also NMGP 2016, but since it’s on 27 February, it’s really near March, so I excluded it.)

jeromi
Guest
jeromi

will the each of the five wildcards still be required some association with each region?

Phary
Guest
Phary

I think there’s a mistake here. From what I understood, the jury does NOT pick a finalist from the songs competing in the semi-finals. Instead, there will be 5 songs that are ALREADY qualified for the final before the whole thing begins. Thus, they don’t compete in the semis, but each of them will be presented at a semi-final.
This makes 25 songs, and we will hear 5 songs in each semi, but only 4 of them will be competing for a place in the final with the duel system.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Got it! Thanks for clearing that up.

Micha? P
Guest
Micha? P

5 times 4 equals 20. You’re welcome.

CostaSVE
Guest
CostaSVE

I don’t know what’s up there in Norway. BUT I’M HYPED

Gwendal
Guest

20 or 25 songs? You seem to contradict yourself 🙂

Joe
Guest
Joe

If it’s five acts, four per semi, that’d be twenty overall. They’d have to have five in each semi for it to be 25.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Since they’ll only have 4 in each semi, I think they should keep things simple: the televote picks the winner, a jury picks the wildcard. But maybe they believe the audience wants to see more of the artists performing and less green room interviews.

Africavision
Guest
Africavision

I would really be happy if they send a Sámi act to The Netherlands… There is just something so spiritual, mysterious, and majestic about Sámi music. Oh something like Elin & The Wood’s ‘first step in faith’… Yaas!

Paul
Guest
Paul

I’m so confused!!!!

Rockfan
Guest
Rockfan

Should be more than only four songs in each semi! Why no e.g. 8?

Loin dici
Guest

Considering that this is Norway, it would probably become too wasteful. If as example there are 30 songs, they have to eliminate 4 to give room for 2 from each semi, since they would still keep the usual grand final format.

Isa
Guest
Isa

Only some? ?

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Norway almost always delivers a great song with a lot of enthusiasm. Their NF is always an interesting one to watch and their 6th place this year was completely deserved. I can’t wait for this one!

Adam
Guest
Adam

Interesting idea, I think it’s good that Norway is experimenting with their selection method. However, I’m not so sure about having only four songs per semifinal performing several times, feels a bit sparse and repetitive, like the UK’s You Decide from this year. Also, I think the jury wildcard will be a great cause of ESC-bubble drama/controversy, especially if a fan favourite or the public’s second place (if the broadcaster intends to reveal that) is knocked out. All things considered, I’m sure NRK will put on a specular show as always.

olvrfin
Guest
olvrfin

I hope they send something cool and fresh, I haven’t enjoyed any of the Norwegian entries since 2016.

Loin dici
Guest

Well, ‘Norway’ and ‘quality’ is often, if not always, a match.

NickC
Guest
NickC

I agree. I think they are on a quality streak.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

their 2013-2015 entries are becoming more and more outliers