The first semi-final of Melodi Grand Prix 2020 will take place this Saturday, 11 January — but already we know half the acts who will be competing in the contest’s grand final. Broadcaster NRK today revealed the five jury-selected pre-qualifiers along with the first four semi-finalists. Among them is Norway’s Eurovision 2010 star Didrik Solli-Tangen.

The five acts were selected by an internal jury — the usual method for MGP. Each of the pre-qualified acts will perform their competing song at one of the five semi-finals, to ensure that Norwegian viewers are exposed to all the competing songs prior to the grand final on 15 February.

As well as the five pre-qualified acts, NRK also confirmed the four artists who will be competing in the first semi-final this Saturday, 11 January.

Melodi Grand Prix 2020 – Pre-Qualified Acts

Didrik & Emil – “Out of Air”

Didrik Solli-Tangen represented Norway on home territory in 2010 with “My Heart Is Yours”. The song placed 20th in the grand final. This time will be joined by his younger brother Emil. Didrik and Emil will present their song in the second semi-final on January 18.

Ulrikke Brandstorp – “Attention”

Ulrikke made it to the MGP super final in 2017 with her song “Places”. There she placed fourth. Last year Ulrikke made it to the grand final of the celebrity singing show Stjernekamp. Ulrikke will present her song in the fourth semi-final on 1 February.

Akuvi – “Som du er”

Akuvi is a singer-songwriter with Norwegian-Ghanaian heritage. Akuvi comes from a musical family. Her sister Anna-Lisa Kumoji competed at MGP 2019 with “Holla”, which placed fourth in the superfinal. Akuvi will present her song in the third semi-final on 25 January.

Sondrey – “Take My Time”

Sondrey is an R&B singer and a championship 100- and 200-metre sprinter. Last year he competed in Stjernekamp where he placed third. Sondrey will present his song at the first semi-final this Saturday, 11 January.

Tone Damli – “Hurts Sometimes”

Tone competed in MGP 2009 where she placed second with “Butterflies” — beaten by Alexander Rybak’s iconic “Fairytale”. She has also competed in Sweden’s Melodifestivalen. In 2013 she performed “Hello Goodbye” in duet with Erik Segerstedt. The song made it to the andra chansen round. Tone will present her song in the fifth semi-final on 8 February.

Melodi Grand Prix 2020 – Semi-Final One Acts (Southern Norway)

These four acts will compete in the first semi-final, this Saturday 11 January. They represent the southern Norway region. One act will progress to the grand final.

Kim Rysstad – “Rainbow”

Kim previously competed in MGP 2012 with “Så vidunderleg”. Last year he competed in Stjernekamp and placed second in the grand final.

Raylee – “Wild”

Raylee is another alum of Stjernekamp, having participated in the 2014 edition. She previously competed in MGP in 2015 with the song “Louder”.

Geirmund – “Come Alive”

Geirmund got his break on The Voice Norway in 2013, where he made it to the live shows.

Lisa Børud – “Talking About Us”

Lisa comes from a musical family and released her first solo album at the age of five. In 2017, Lisa competed on the celebrity singing show Stjernekamp. In 2018, she was one of Alexander Rybak’s dancers on stage for “That’s How You Write a Song”.

Melodi Grand Prix 2020 – the show format

The pre-qualified acts will compete alongside five other finalists who will be decided in the upcoming semi-finals. This year, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Melodi Grand Prix, the national final has been expanded to include six semi-finals.

Just four acts will compete in each semi. The contestants will face each other in duels until one winner is decided from each semi. This suggests the format may be similar to that previously used by the Melodifestivalen andra chansen round.

The five semi-finals will be themed with acts from different regions of Norway: Southern Norway, Eastern Norway, Western Norway, Central Norway and Northern Norway. NRK will announce the competing artists on the Monday before each semi-final.

Melodi Grand Prix 2020 will use online voting

NRK has also confirmed a change to the voting system. The public’s vote will be determined by online voting, rather than traditional SMS phone text votes.

Voting is available to registered users of NRK.no, however, it is not known whether the vote will be open to users outside of Norway. Users will have three votes and there is no charge for voting.

Melodi Grand Prix boss Stig Karlsen explained the change was due to the semi-final format. “In the semi-final duels, we rely on quick solutions and SMS is slower than online. And SMS is a service that young people use to a lesser extent.”

Karlsen says he encourages viewers to register in advance of the show to ensure there are no delays on the night.

The first weekly semi-final of Melodi Grand Prix 2020 takes place this Saturday, 11 January at 19:55 CET. The ten finalists will compete at the grand final on 15 February, where the overall winner will represent Norway at Eurovision 2020.

What do you think of the five pre-qualified acts? Is there an MGP winner among them? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more Norway Eurovision 2020 news here

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Apple
Apple
9 months ago

Y’all need to not be blinded by catchy radio pop and accept that Rainbow is a much more interesting song than Wild, even if it is a theowback

Brexit Queen young & sweet only 17
Brexit Queen young & sweet only 17
9 months ago

God save Norway

Isobel
Isobel
9 months ago

WILD IS FREAKING AMAZING!!! OMG I love it… And Laurel also wrote She Got Me which was the banger last year and Anders wrote Fuego which was the banger the year before… I think WILD is the next Despafuego and I like it…wild…I like it like it wild!!!

Colin
Colin
9 months ago

My top 4 so far:
1. Come Alive – I really like this one. It has that ”epic” Nordic vibe.
2. Rainbow – Pleasant, but a bit old-fashioned and just okay.
3. Wild – I think it’s kinda messy, but I can see a good staging.
4. Talking About Us – Very basic radio pop. Not for me.

Based on a potential for mass appeal, it will probably be between Come Alive and Wild.

Rasmus
Rasmus
9 months ago
Reply to  Colin

I like Rainbow:) Im positive 2020 but i still dont get how “fans” can say the albanian selection was original and always complain on modern selections like Iceland, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden. Albania had ONE modern song and it came 2nd. Im a fan who live in reality so i guess thats why i dont get a long with some here.

Colin
Colin
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus

I think Rainbow is okay. I don’t mind an old-fashioned ballad, but I don’t really see this one sticking out just yet. Also, this is my *current* top 4, it can still change to Saturday.

IDK what the consensus is, but I think Albania also had some just ok old-fashioned ballads. Not everything there was gold either.

yodenman
yodenman
9 months ago

Really looking forward to seeing and hearing Tone Damli. I have followed her career for a few years now and she has produced some excellent music. Best of luck…. Come on you beauty.

Brexit Queen young & sweet only 17
Brexit Queen young & sweet only 17
9 months ago
Reply to  yodenman

I like her

Mary Jane Poland
Mary Jane Poland
9 months ago

My top 4 so far:
1.Wild
2.Rainbow
3.Talking about us
4.Come alive

Gert
Gert
9 months ago

Didriks song ‘My heart is yours’ from 2010 is still one of my favorite songs of all times and I play it regularly. I would love for him to come back to Eurovision, with his brother!

Sabrina
Sabrina
9 months ago

I must say I’m disappointed with the songs of the first semifinal. But MGP is normally a very entertaining and well staged show, many entries last year got better when performed live. I hope that will be the case.

Emma
Emma
9 months ago

Raylee with Wild is the only good song from SF1 imo

Emma
Emma
9 months ago
Reply to  Emma

Exactly!

pasi
pasi
9 months ago

1. Raylee – Wild 10
2. Geirmund – Come Alive 8
3. Lisa Borud – Talking About Us 7
4. Kim Rysstad – Rainbow 5

I would be happy with Raylee or Geirmund. I think the second one would be more interesting.

Erasmus
Erasmus
9 months ago

1. Geirmund – “Come Alive”
2. Raylee – “Wild”
gap
3. Lisa Børud – “Talking About Us”
bigger gap
4. Kim Rysstad – “Rainbow”

Mr Vanilla Bean
9 months ago

About the plethora of Barker songs: to be fair, it is the broadcaster who picks the songs. So I blame the broadcaster. I fear it will be broadcasterS. Plural.

Denis
Denis
9 months ago

Why are some pre-qualified and others not? You either let all compete to qualify or have a final with all songs. Strange..
I mean it makes sense for ESC, but really? You don’t see SVT giving favours to some artists, no they all must qualify

Joe
Joe
9 months ago

To be honest, Tone is probaly the biggest star & will probaly have the biggest Chance to win just because of her name & I am super excited for her. I am also excited to hear Ulrikke & Sondrey. From the semi final i think it will depand on who is upon eachother, but Raylee & Lisa Børud is probaly the most famous one. And they are also my favorites from this heat!

I think this is an amazing start though for our country. I think we are very keen on taking the victory home this year!!

Brexit Queen young & sweet only 17
Brexit Queen young & sweet only 17
9 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Kvifor likar du ikkje Tone?

TeaCacao
TeaCacao
9 months ago

So excited for Ulrikke! ”Places” is still on my daily playlist.

Tom
Tom
9 months ago

Geirmund should qualify I love the song

Mr Vanilla Bean
9 months ago

I’m disappointed so far, not gonna lie. Surely Norway is capable of better stuff than the Barker factory, no? Plenty of hope left, maybe they decided to release the fillers first.

Mr Vanilla Bean
9 months ago

Hmm I’m not keen on some being automatically qualified, while others have to fight for a spot in the final. That doesn’t seem fair. What’s the point of it, anyway?

Jonas
Jonas
9 months ago

Hm, a bit like life in general. I never had you down as a SJW. #Woke

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
9 months ago

LOVED Ulrikke’s song last time. These are some good names!

Norwegian esc lover
Norwegian esc lover
9 months ago

I’m so hyped about Didrik and Emil and Ulrikke! Even though Didrik was not my personal winner of mpg 2010, I really like him and Emil as human beings, and their vocals are amazing! As for Ulrikke she’s such a complete artist, and I love the songwriters behind “Attention”. Overall, a great start for MGP 2020, and I can’t wait to see the rest of the artists and hear all the songs!:)

ESCNils
ESCNils
9 months ago

Raylee must be the qualifier of the first semi by a landslide, but I’m not saying the other songs are bad, I like Geirmund and Lisa too. Everything will depend on the performance.

Catriona Colville
Catriona Colville
9 months ago
Reply to  ESCNils

Raylee’s song is generic Europop trash.

Rafi
Rafi
9 months ago

Tone Damli ftw!

Loin dici
Loin dici
9 months ago

Two Laurell Barker songs in one semifinal makes me wonder whether if we’ll have more in the other four semifinals.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
9 months ago
Reply to  Loin dici

Well, you usually need five of her songs before you end up with one that’s half-decent…so hopefully!

Joe
Joe
9 months ago
Reply to  Loin dici

We’re only getting started. Last year, by my count, she had candidates in Sweden and Denmark as well and (as we all know) succeeded for Switzerland, Germany, and the UK. She had a hand in both a song in the top five and the bottom two, so let’s just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. She can be very talented at her best.

Jonas
Jonas
9 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Her songs are all co-written with different people, so who knows where the actual talent lies?

Campbell Grace
Campbell Grace
9 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I think she’s a hit and miss. She’s helped with some decent pop songs e.g. Luca Hanni and Renaida from Melfest, but then… some not good songs.

Mr Vanilla Bean
9 months ago
Reply to  Joe

She succeeded, her songs not so much. 😉 Except for the Swiss one, obvi.

zheng
zheng
9 months ago

I can’t wait to hear Tone’s song, btw in first semi final I like Raylee’s and Kim’s song!

Hyunwoo
Hyunwoo
9 months ago
Reply to  zheng

Really?

Hyunwoo
Hyunwoo
9 months ago
Reply to  zheng

I love Raylee and Kim Rysstad too