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!

Read all our Norway Eurovision news here

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Jay
Jay
3 months ago

Over the past 4 years Norway has greatly disappointed so hope for something good in 2021

Colin
Colin
3 months ago

I am really looking forward to MGP 2021!
With fewer national finals, I will certainly enjoy the ones we got. Norway and Sweden (and Estonia, if we are talking finals only) know how to do an entertaining show. I am mostly looking forward to hearing the songs.
I feel like Ulrikke might be the host throughout and sing Attention in the finals. It’s such a sweet song. With some minor changes on my list, it went a few spots up.

ESC8
ESC8
3 months ago

It is so sad that we won’t get a song like this on the Eurovision stage. It’s one of my favourite songs this year and I believe that it could have won the jury voting, however I’m not sure about winning the whole thing overall, but even in that case it wouldn’t be a shock to me and it would be one of my favourite winners actually. I hope that they will chose Ulrikke as their spokesperson in 2021, and so it’ll be her that will announce the 12 points from Norway (or rather the norwegian jury, to be exact)

maladroite
maladroite
2 months ago
Reply to  ESC8

I feel like whoever didn’t get to represent their country in 2020 giving out the points in 2021 would be nice (though some artist’s might not care too much) I bet we’ll see some countries do it!

Hyunwoo
Hyunwoo
3 months ago

No idea. Hope Ulrikke appear in NF 2021. But Maybe Jørgen Adriansen should do it in Norwegian again, like for 2019 NF.

Kosey
Kosey
3 months ago

One thing they have to sort out this year is the voting. Last year’s final was rather shambolic, which was unfortunate as for me up until that point I think they had one of the best national selection processes.

Ethan1994
Ethan1994
3 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

I hope that NRK will get with the times and change their voting website to an app instead, especially if they are going the emoji feature again next year. To have it all done on a website was a mistake for several reasons; the first being that it is way too easy to create multiple accounts on that website. The second being that you don’t even need to be in Norway to create an account and vote (which I personally think is silly). And the third being the fact that having it on a website made the emoji feature easy… Read more »

percy
percy
3 months ago

If they send ANYTHING like Attention or Spirit in The Sky, I’ll be chuffed.

Una
Una
3 months ago

Yay for Ulrikke! She’s a great sport. Just lovely. It’s hearwarming to see that she is much loved by the fandom. I would love to see Kristin back because she and her song were my faves from MGP 2020. I even listened to her song today. And Ulrikkes, to be fair. Nice to see that NRK are preparing a few shows for next year. I actually look forward to national selections and I hope that broadcasters with internal selections will do some shows or at least publish more songs from their artists – like Romania and San Marino did in… Read more »

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
3 months ago

Is the tour going to take place? In case that the melodifestivalen tour gets cancelled that at least we will have tour in mgp (I won’t care if there are going to be audience restrictions), and I’m looking forward to see ulrikke there as well (I’m still gutted that her eurovision dream got broken)

Cocooo
Cocooo
3 months ago

I am pretty sure there won’t be any tours, given that they haven’t had a Norway-tour since 2013. This year MGP held the final in Trondheim but the semifinals were broadcast from a studio in Oslo.

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
3 months ago
Reply to  Cocooo

Actually they were hosted in an arena in fornebu but that wasn’t a tour so yeah, my false

Azuro
Azuro
3 months ago

Feel sorry for Ulrike she won’t be participating. I thought they could’ve given her a pass to the Final (perhaps the only direct pass to the Final) as a compromise

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
3 months ago
Reply to  Azuro

Actually she has gotten a pass to the final but she has rejected it

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
3 months ago

Come on, Mørland. Even though I was not impressed with ‘Attention’ (and yet it was still the very best Norway had to offer this year), I still believe in him. My 2015 winner and 2019 NF favorite. More Mørland, please.

Last edited 3 months ago by Mr Vanilla Bean
Una
Una
3 months ago

He is very talented and versatile as a composer but he won MGP twice in six years and participated last year too. Do you think he should compete again in 2021? I can understand that the broadcaster will select the songs but to be fair I would like to see other Norwegian composers in MGP (not Rybak either as another two times winner).

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
3 months ago
Reply to  Una

Well, given how dire the song material was, yes, he should. Frankly, he should write more than one song. I mean, there were plenty of other composers and they still needed to fill the competition with rubbish like ‘I am gay’.

Last edited 3 months ago by Mr Vanilla Bean
Una
Una
3 months ago

I have some other possible criteria in mind for the selection of “I am gay” but heck, it made top 4 with that horrendous “jury vote”. Maybe just maybe they needed weaker songs that also appealed to a certain demographics. Like the classic schlager in Swedish in Melodifestivalen kind of thing. No national competition can have 10-12 super solid entries not that it wouldn’t necessarily be possible but it would make it harder to choose one. IMO anyway.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
3 months ago
Reply to  Una

Well, there wasn’t really a lot of ‘danger’ of them providing 10 to 12 great songs. It felt more like the songwriters were running ‘out of air’. 😉

Last edited 3 months ago by Mr Vanilla Bean
Una
Una
3 months ago

I don’t know. I have the *feeling* that broadcasters *in general* are more calculated than the public thinks. They want to provide diversity to their audience – different ages and different taste in music. Some known composers, some less known composers. Some songs are considered winners from the start, others are middle of the table, others fillers. This is just my opinion based on observation of different national selections. No song is selected to participate randomly but it must fit in the whole show somehow.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
3 months ago
Reply to  Una

Oh definitely. Why else would you reject ‘A moment like this’, for example? Out of all the crap G:sson had in Melodifestivalen, they rejected this great song. I still listen to it. As for Norway 2020, I maintain my opinion: very low musical quality. Very diverse low musical quality, but that doesn’t make it better for me. If you reject potential winners for those, you obviously don’t want to win. So I suspect that in this case, they didn’t receive potential winners. But I certainly think your *feelings* are quite accurate, in general. So much calculation in this world.

Moonstar
Moonstar
3 months ago
Reply to  Una

Why not Mørland again? Surely he won because of the song and not his name… The other composers just need to be more competitive and creative in my humble opinion… 😉

Last edited 3 months ago by Moonstar
Una
Una
3 months ago
Reply to  Moonstar

He’s got a lot of talent for sure. I admitted that already. *In general*: I am just not a fan of the concept of same names in Eurovision. I am all for fresh composers and for broadcasters to select new names. There must be something to encourage local artists. Pairing a huge artist with a huge composer already is a recipe for the win at least in a national selection. The song with the same composer with different songs year by year in the big competition is bound to get points based on the name. Other composers may loose hope… Read more »

maladroite
maladroite
2 months ago

Morland in 2019 was brilliant

party
party
3 months ago

I really really hope that they will use the exact format as 2020, as it was by far my favourite MGP ever in terms of the final.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
3 months ago

I am a little sad as Norway’s NF last year wasn’t as strong as in previous years in terms of overall quality. I was hoping they’d get it down to ten songs in a really competitive final again. Oh well, I’m sure they’ll still have some good ones but let’s not kid ourselves, there were some TERRIBLE ones last year. 😉

Cocooo
Cocooo
3 months ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

“Mr.Hello… where do you go??” 😀

fasttortoise
fasttortoise
2 months ago
Reply to  Cocooo

Excuse me, don’t insult Queen Jenny Jensen like that… ??

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago

I’m ofc sad that Ulrikke will not be participating (but we knew that she wasn’t already), but I am very excited for a big national final from Norway. While MGP 2020 was….interesting in quality, it gave us the amazing songs of Pang, Attention, Som Du Er, Come Alive, and Pray For Me, all of which would have given Norway at least a top 15, if not top 10, so I am excited in the regard that we will probably get songs of similar calibre. Also, in a year with most likely fewer than usual national finals, I’ll take as many… Read more »