Norwegian broadcaster NRK has confirmed today that Melodi Grand Prix is set to return for a 61st edition in 2021. However, the country’s Eurovision 2020 selected contestant Ulrikke Brandstorp has turned down the chance to compete with a new song at the national final.
NRK also confirmed that Melodi Grand Prix 2021 will keep a similar format as this year. Ten artists will compete in the MGP grand final, with a number of semi-finals also taking place again.
Melodi Grand Prix to support Norwegian music
Following the cancellation of Eurovision 2020, countries with long-standing national finals have been making difficult decisions over whether to keep the shows in place for 2021, or internally select the artists initially chosen this year.
At the present time, it is difficult for most Norwegian artists to sustain themselves as concerts are forbidden as a result of the lockdown surrounding coronavirus precautions. Most artists earn their money from performing in front of an audience and are now left with little to no income.
Like other Nordic countries, Norway has a well-loved national final that helps many artists to continue sharing their music.
With that in mind, NRK decided that Melodi Grand Prix would come to the benefit of the whole Norwegian music industry. In an article, Christina Rezk Resar — acting editor of NRK Underholdning — states the following:
“MGP has always been an important showcase for Norwegian music. And based on the situation the music industry is in, it is more important than ever to fulfil this role and showcase the breadth of Norwegian artists and newly written songs.”
This means that Ulrikke Brandstorp will not be internally selected to represent Norway at Eurovision 2021.
Ulrikke Brandstorp will not compete at Melodi Grand Prix 2021
Following the decision to bring MGP back for 2021, NRK offered Ulrikke an automatic spot in the grand final, like she also had this year. However, the “Attention” singer has said “nei” to participating in the Norwegian music competition next year.
Talking to Norwegian tabloid VG, Ulrikke says she feels that she would need to find the right song, but she knows that will take time:
“No, I don’t want a place in the final, it would be a little wrong. There is so much to start again, and then I need a new song that I really love. I have worked so damn hard for this, I have invested all of the work and money into this. It’s been a tough year – tougher than many might think. Maybe it’s good to do something different, shift your focus.”
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Drømmen min er knust. Jeg hadde så SYKT lyst til å representere Norge i Eurovision. Jeg har full forståelse for at Eurovision 2020 er avlyst på grunn av coronaviruset, men jeg håpet i det lengste at NRK ville gjøre som mange andre land og støtte sin artist ved å sende artisten til Eurovision i 2021 med ny låt. Jeg er derfor naturlig nok veldig skuffet over NRK sin beslutning i dag om å kjøre en ordinær MGP-sesong neste år. Det knuser hjertet mitt ovenfor fansen som har vært helt fantastiske støttespillere og en utvidet familie de siste månedene, at vi ikke får muligheten til å oppleve ESC sammen. Jeg vil at dere skal vite at Christoffer og jeg har kjempet til siste minutt for å prøve å gjøre dette mulig. Dette var drømmen vår ?? NRK har tilbudt meg å være finalist i MGP 2021 nå som det blir et vanlig MGP-år. Per nå har jeg takket nei, men man skal aldri si aldri. Jeg ønsker ikke en finaleplass på bakgrunn av at jeg ikke fikk dratt til Eurovision i år, men fordi jeg evt. hadde hatt en like god låt som «Attention» på bordet akkurat nå. Nå ønsker jeg i utgangspunktet å fokusere på andre spennende prosjekter fremover. Masse kjærlighet til dere alle ?? Foto: @c_ingebrigtsen
She was disappointed in the decision of NRK to not internally select her, but could understand it:
“I had a dream that they would send me next year, but that was not the case. I am very sorry and disappointed with that decision, but that was the way it was.”
NRK confirmed that Ulrikke has accepted the invitation to perform “Attention” and a new song as a guest performer during the final of Melodi Grand Prix 2021.
Will you miss Ulrikke Brandstorp at the next Eurovision? Do you hope to see her represent Norway at Eurovision in the future? Let us know in the comments down below!
Read all our Norway Eurovision news here