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!