Back in March, Norway‘s broadcaster NRK confirmed that they would once again use their national final Melodi Grand Prix to select their act for Eurovision 20201. Now the show’s project manager has revealed more about what the broadcaster has planned, including its Covid-19 response.
Melodi Grand Prix Project Manager Stig Karlsen spoke to Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet. The announcement followed a similar report from Sweden, where SVT confirmed that Melodifestivalen 2021 had the green light. And now Norway’s broadcaster has also confirmed it will be going ahead with its national final.
Karlsen confirmed that MGP 2021 has the go-ahead. He says the national final will be produced with consideration for coronavirus restrictions, but the NRK will still put on a big show:
“MGP 2021 will be big and hefty! Obviously there will be fewer spectators in the hall, but there will be a people’s festival when potentially more than a million people gather in front of the TV screen. We will offer TV magic, and take innovative measures to create close contact between the stage and the audience.”
He said that while NRK has not been in direct contact with the authorities regarding holding Melodi Grand Prix, they are keeping up to date with the latest Covid requirements for such events. Karlsen explained, “We actively monitor the restrictions and recommendations given by the authorities. We will of course continuously assess what kind of dialogue will be necessary in addition to the public updates that come.”
At the moment, Norway currently prohibits events with an audience of more than 500. On 1 September, the government may increase the number of attendees allowed.
Melodi Grand Prix 2021 will involve six shows
Karlsen also confirmed that Melodi Grand Prix 2021 will again involve six shows, held on Saturdays. However, the exact format was not confirmed. In 2020, the broadcaster used five heats and one grand final. This followed five years of using only a grand final.
The project manager explained that the pandemic wasn’t going to affect the quality of the show. “We will not do anything halfway, even though we are in the middle of a pandemic. It is more important than ever to gather Norway for common experiences and pleasant events.”
Ulrikke returns to Melodi Grand Prix
Dagbladet also confirmed that Ulrikke will return to Melodi Grand Prix 2021… just not as a participant. After winning the 2020 edition of the contest with “Attention”, the singer missed out on Eurovision 2020 after it was cancelled.
However, she will make an appearance at MGP 2021. Ulrikke’s manager Christoffer Gunnestad said, “She will be part of the show and is really looking forward to it, but not as a participant.”
While some broadcasters have opted to internally select their Eurovision 2020 act for 2021, NRK’s acting editor Christina Rezk Resar explained in March why Norway was using their national final and its role in supporting Norway’s music industry:
“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.”
What do you think? Who would you like to see compete at MGP 2021? Are you excited to see Ulrikke perform? Tell us your thoughts below!
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