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!