The dates have already been chosen and the basic plan with six shows has already been revealed. And now Norway’s national broadcaster NRK has given us even more information on national final Melodi Grand Prix 2021.
In an online Q&A with the Norwegian Eurovision fan site ESCNorge, MGP’s project manager Stig Karlsen opened up about plans for the 2021 national final.
Karlsen revealed that next year’s grand final will have 12 finalists, instead of the regular ten. Like last year, half of the finalists will be internally selected and half chosen through the semi-finals.
The number of finalists isn’t the only change from the format of 2020. The semi-finals won’t be based on regions this time — all six shows will take place in the H3 Arena, located in Fornebu just outside of Oslo.
However, the duel format of the semi-finals will be in place. In each semi-final, the acts will face off in two duels, then the winner of each duel will face another vote to win place in the grand final on February 20.
But that’s not the only way for a semi-finalist to get to the grand final. This year there will be a wildcard spot to fight for. In a special show the Sunday after the fifth semi-final, NRK will hold a special wildcard show. There, the 15 remaining acts will compete for one last chance to get to the grand final.
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The audience will determine the Melodi Grand Prix winner
For all semi-finals, the wildcard show and the final, the audience will be the ones who choose Norway’s representative for 2021. An online voting system will be used, and Karlsen has promised that it will work 100% this time.
Earlier this year, NRK received a lot of criticism when the MGP 2020 online voting system failed at the most critical hour, resulting in the top four acts advancing to the duel being chosen by a backup jury. According to Karlsen, NRK’s IT specialists along with some external ones will ensure that the voting system will be absolutely solid.
There will still be a back-up plan, but the only Karlsen would only reveal that it will be a different one from last time. More details will be revealed soon.
Karlsen also promised big variety when it comes to the music genres of Melodi Grand Prix 2021. He explained:
“We are very concerned about diversity so there will be a wide range of genres. There will be some nice surprises and people might have to lend an ear to something new they might not normally listen to.”
The line-up will be a mix of already well-known and beloved artists and new and exciting artists. And Karlsen says that NRK has selected four songs that have the potential to compete for the ultimate prize in Rotterdam coming May.
COVID-19’s impact depends on the situation at the time
NRK has planned for a few different scenarios, due the ongoing pandemic. According to Karlsen, MGP is being planned with everything from a couple of hundred of spectators, all the way down to an empty arena. It will be a different MGP but he promises that they will go all in. He said:
“We see this as the most important MGP ever. The reason for this is because we are in a time where there are very few events that bring many people together, this is one of the few. A lot has been cancelled, but we do not cancel MGP and we see it as super important!”
NRK has also come up with measures regarding biosecurity and made quarantine arrangements. For example, artists may have to change semi-finals if someone has to be quarantined. But as NRK are still working on those plans, more details will come later.
What do you think? Are you excited about next year’s Melodi Grand Prix? Who do you think should compete? Tell us in the comments below.