Ulrikke Brandstorp was due to represent Norway at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam with her song “Attention”. It’s a heart-wrenching ballad about a woman who feels neglected and unappreciated, but who is desperate for her lover to make himself emotionally available again after closing himself off.
Norwegian broadcaster NRK staged the 58th edition of Melodi Grand Prix in style, celebrating the 60th anniversary of Norway’s first participation in the Eurovision Song Contest with an expanded format. Through four tight and musically diverse semi-finals, and with five pre-qualified finalists (Ulrikke being one) the field was whittled down to ten finalists, four gold finalists, and then a final gold duel.
Ulrikke won that final face-off against Kristin Husøy with 50.72% of the televote in the gold duel (winning by just under 6,000 votes – or 1.44% — out of almost 400,000 votes cast).
And now we’ve compiled 10 facts you need to know about Ulrikke. Let’s do this!
Norway at Eurovision 2020: Facts about Ulrikke
1. She’s from Sarpsborg
Born in 1995, Ulrikke grew up in the city of Sarpsborg. Her home district of Skjeberg is steeped in history and has lots of medieval buildings. Aside from Ulrikke, the city is home to many other music acts, especially rock and metal bands. However, the two best-known residents would have to be Oscar Torp (former Prime Minister of Norway) and explorer Roald Amundsen, the first person to reach the South Pole.
2. She started out on stage
As a youngster, Ulrikke was a regular on stage when she starred in local productions of shows like Pippi Longstocking and Journey to the Christmas Star. More recently, she’s had roles in nationwide touring shows including The Show Must Go On II and The Thrill of Michael Jackson. Her biggest theatre part to date must surely be that of Liesl in a 2019 run of The Sound of Music in Oslo’s famous Folketeateret (People’s Theatre). She slays “16 Going on 17” in Norwegian!
3. She entered Idol
From Maria Haukaas Storeng and Alexander Rybak to Margaret Berger and Alexandra Rotan, Norway has a long history of sending Idol alumni to Eurovision. And that’s also where Ulrikke had her first brush with TV fame. She entered the long-running talent show in 2013. Unfortunately, she didn’t make the top ten. The judging panel included Tone Damli. She would go on to compete in the 2020 edition of Melodi Grand Prix which was, of course, won by Ulrikke.
4. She did The Voice too
Two years after Idol, Ulrikke returned to TV for another attempt at talent show glory. Here she did significantly better. She easily cleared the early audition and battle rounds, reaching the live shows. And she came very close to making it all the way. Alas, she was eliminated one week before the final.
5. She tried out for Eurovision before
Fans in the know will remember that Ulrikke previously participated in Melodi Grand Prix in 2017 with “Places”. The song and performance presented a completely different feel compared to “Attention”, with Ulrikke going for a sexier teen girl pop vibe, complete with blond hair. Unfortunately, she missed out on the chance to represent Norway at Eurovision 2017 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Nonetheless, she finished in a very respectable fourth place.
6. She mastered many musical genres on Stjernekamp
Stjernekamp is a popular talent show franchise in the Nordic regions with series broadcast in Sweden, Finland and Norway. The premise is straightforward. The contestants are all established artists and each week they take on hits in different musical genres. Ulrikke entered the 2018 season of the Norwegian version. She tackled a myriad of music types, including hardrock, soul and EDM. She made it all the way to the final, where she came second.
7. She has a podcast
Ulrikke has her own podcast on Spotify. Entitled Casa The Kaos (House of Chaos), Ulrikke and her co-host Christoffer (a social-media influencer – who also happens to be her manager), discuss a variety of topics, including pop culture. Unfortunately for her non-Norwegian speaking fans, the podcast episodes seem to only be available in her native tongue. They’ve recorded 20 episodes, as of April 2020.
8. She sang “Shallow” with a boyband star
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow” was inescapable for much of 2018 and 2019. Many artists released their own interpretations of the hit song. Among them was Ulrikke and Ben Adams — the lead singer from the successful 1990s boyband A1. While they released a studio cut of their cover, it was their live performance at Allsang på Grensen which proved most popular. And with well over half a million views, it is among the ten most popular performances on the show’s official YouTube channel.
9. Her song was written by a team with strong credentials
Ulrikke co-wrote “Attention” with well known fellow Norwegian singer-songwriters Christian Ingebrigtsen (another member of A1) and Kjetil Mørland (better known as simply Mørland). Ingebrigtsen has co-written six Melodi Grand Prix entries, while Mørland has been a part of MGP four times – as a singer in 2015 and 2019, and as a composer in 2018 and 2020. He won in 2015 with “A Monster Like Me”.
10. She has released several singles
As of April 2020, Ulrikke has released eight singles. Among the number is her two Melodi Grand Prix entries and her Lady Gaga cover. But there’s plenty more to choose from. Her most-streamed song after those three is “Careless”. Other tracks include “Cry”, “Play With” and “Sick Of Love”.
Eurovision 2021 update
Ulrikke will not sing for Norway at Eurovision 2021. NRK has decided to continue with its annual Melodi Grand Prix selection show. The “Attention” singer was offered a wildcard spot in the final, but she declined. “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.”
What do you think of Ulrikke? Are you disappointed that she won’t return in 2021? Let us know in the comments.