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!
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She could’ve won this year. Luckily we can keep on listening to ”Attention” and show our love to to her. <3
I am sorry to read this. Ulrikke’s sincere enthusiasm for the Eurovision experience was very endearing. I would have responded to this news in the same way she has. I wish her all the best. Norway is very lucky to have Ulrikke in their entertainment industry. We love and support you, Ulrikke!
I know many will be dissapointed because you guys want all the artists to come back in 2021 edition, but hey. If we start breaking traditions and rules, forget about what this whole excitement before May is, the ESC won’t survive for long. I think it is the best choice to maintain the current situation where some countries go for a national selection and the others pick artists and/or songs internally. Now, if all 40 countries are going internally, we have lot of gaps next year as selection shows (Melfest, MGP, PIN, Eesti Laul or Festivali i Kenges) would become… Read more »
Such a shame, she was fantastic
We have to look at the decision from a bigger perspective and not just from Ulrikke’s. I think NRK made a reasonable and wise decision.
I don’t understand the hate for countries wanting to keep their national selections. In nordic countries these selections are the only way for some artists to get some publicity
I am so sorry for her, she had one of the best songs this year. But I think she did right, it’s better to come back in a few years, with something even better if that’s possible ’cause Attention was THAT good, I really loved it.
The few National Selections will get all the attenion 😉
It won’t all be positive though
From only Eurofans.
And one of the songwriters of Ulrikke’s song deserves some”attention” too and that is Mørland. He’s been one of the best songwriters since his appearance in ESC 2015 with Monster Like Me. He also produced Ulrikke’s song. I hope they collaborate in the future.
Quite liked her song and her. She‘s very nice and lovely. Sad she‘s not participating in 2021
I am sorry she won’t be participating in 2021 as she is one of the best vocalists this season. I would prefer if she had the reserved place in the finals (or even in the superfinals), but I can understand that she feels a need to take a pause. In any case, I am looking to hear her future songs and hopefully see her one day at the ESC stage. She is, after all, a rightful Norwegian representative of 2020 and will forever be known as such.
Will they keep the same number of shows as this years mgp, or go back to the single final? I really hope they keep the format the same as 2020 🙂
The semifinals will stay put.
Good. Maybe they’ll get some good songs and manage to conduct a fair voting this time.
I wasnt a fan of her song but she is nice person damn Norge …
It’s tricky, since I didn’t know Ulrikke was hoping to just be internally selected and I feel really bad for her there…but I’ll also say that as far as these national final compromises have gone, NRK’s was one of the most reasonable ones I’ve heard so far. Yeah, the fairest option would be to send her again with a new song, but given how big of an event Melodi Grand Prix is every year, a full-on internal selection never really seemed to be in the cards. Giving her a spot in the final strikes me as more reasonable than going… Read more »
This makes me really sad, Norway was my winner for once and I really really loved attention. Hopefully she returns in the future.
NRK is so dumb! I will definitely miss my Ulrikke ?
I respect Ulrikke’s decision. She had a killer song this year and it would be hard to replicate that. It is such a shame but she can be proud about what she has achieved and the “attention” she has garnered.
Did you see what I did there?
I’m sorry, but I don’t get the joke. Maybe I didn’t pay enough attention.
Why do I think it’s okay?
Not being me ’cause of you?
And what do you want me to say?
What do you want me to do?
To get your attention?
‘Cause I just want your attention
ESC isn’t all there is. Yes it is tough for her but is ESC the only thing Ulrikke should focus on?or the other would have been 2020 competitors? It’s funny how you all get angry for them not taking part, as if ESC is the only thing that should matter for them. They have other priorities and focuses and goals for their career, don’t expect them to sit around a year,do nothing and only wait for ESC. Yes it is no doubt though for Ulrikke but she is an artist. She will get over it and have an audience. She… Read more »
omg she just found out. she has the right to fell sad and upset. she won the right to represent Norway and now its being stripped away from her. Im sure she knows esc isint the only thing to be focusing on but she da found out a few hours ago. give her a break
You imagine having your dream almost come true but then have it taken away from you because of one decision you had no control over. And then you’ll have to portray your feelings in an Instagram post. You would be crying for days. Let her be sad and then she’ll think about her career.
Im so sorry about it. Ulrikke seems really affected by the situation (she starts her Instagram post by « my dream is broken » 🙁 ). I hope she will participate again. She says « never say never » though so i guess she’s not done with MGP. So sad that NRK didnt automatically pick her like a lot of other countries, she has such an amazing voice and presence.
I feel sad for her, but it was ultimately her decision. NRK was kind enough to offer her an automatic spot in the final but she declined. Also, their semifinals are back yay lol
if the good sis turned down the final slot (lbr she could’ve won again) and will sing as the interval act anyway, then we shouldn’t be mad at norway’s broadcaster. it’s too bad since i would’ve loved her to sing on the eurovision stage.
Disgrace. I lost my respect for so many broadcasters this year, they have no respect for the artists.
Given the economic recession that will undoubtedly follow this pandemic, most countries will benefit from not hosting a national final next year. We need to think about the ethics of the situation. This is extremely unfair to Ulrikke and everyone who contributed to the creation of the song.
Either that or allow their music industry to suffer, in turn hurting both artists and songwriters alike.
Man… the Eurovision Song Contest, which is waaaay bigger, is cancelled and you want us to believe it’s difficult for the different broadcasters to cancel their national final? It’s sad but not difficult. Plus for some countries, especially Finland, it shows the regard that the broadcaster has for the artist… they could have done the same than what they did in 2018 and 2019 but noooo. Shame.
exactly they wont do it for Axel because they dont believe in him. SHAME. if they sent Ciciolina im almost certain they would have internally select her next year. so sad for axel and all the other artists
I told you guys this already. The Finnish broadcaster never aimed to send Aksel in the first place.
I have too , I hope some of them get UK level results next year.
That so sad the the best female vocalist won’t come back to the contest, and she wait for this opportunity for so dam long
I’m very angry! They don’t respect Ulrikke. She won Melodi Grand Prix, she has the right to follow her dream and represent Norway in Eurovision 2021. I understand that they want to help Norwegian artists with Melodi Grand Prix. But they can also organize a big show with Norwegian artists like San Remo without the challenge of Eurovision.
They respect her enough to still grace the MGP stage and perform a winner’s reprise and promote a new song.
Y’all have to realize Eurovision is not all there is. For a lot of these countries, these shows are bigger than Eurovision itself, so it’d make no sense at all for Sweden to drop Melfest and Norway to drop MGP, as these shows (much like Sanremo) are much more than just a national selection. And if you’re not gonna let the winner of MGP 2021 represent Norway in ESC, then how would that be any different from this year? It’s an unfortunate situation, but it’s out of everyone’s control at this point.
Way to stay classy, NRK.
I feel so sad for her shw waited for eurovision for so long and now she wont be able to represent her country really sad for her… hope the other countries keep their singers..
national selection artist country have a bad situation it’s already happened to Nordics country just waiting till Denmark stating their statement, the broadcast will choose national selection rather than the artist that already selected this year because of they need to have new songs next year which are maybe become good or bad news for some, but seriously at least they already gave some artist opportunity to be participate again a guaranteed spot in the NS
now my only hope the internal selection artist include Roxen and Destiny to participate again next year
wtf this is not OK!. literally all the nordics have already ditched their artists and im just so sad for all of them, espically Ukrikke. I loved her song and nrk is doing her a major injustice!