Photo: EBU/Sarah Louse Bennett

The wolf got its banana in Turin. Now it’s time for Norway to find another recipe for Eurovision success. Their national selection Melodi Grand Prix 2023 returns in January with another selection of songs – and some big changes.

As Grand Prix Podkasten found out, MGP will feature a new method of selecting the finalists. There will be the same number of songs as in 2022, but unlike last year there, when there were four semi-finals, there will only be three semi finals this time. That means that 21 songs need to be split among three shows. It’s not yet known if, as in recent years, some songs will bypass the semis and automatically appear in the final.

The podcast also learned that the team behind MGP is still thinking about a different type of voting system for next year. There are talks about re-introducing an international jury vote again. For recent editions Norway didn’t use any jury system, instead using an online vote that caused some major drama back in 2020.

The most interesting comment, however, comes from Norway’s Head of Delegation Stig Karlsen. He sounds very optimistic for next year’s edition: “There are four songs in the selection that can win Eurovision.”

This is definitely building hype…and with three months before the start of MGP 2023. The first semi-final will probably take place on 14 January, which means we’ll know who will represent Norway in Liverpool in February. It is also expected that the show will feature a larger audience inside NRK’s TV studios next year. Arian Engebø and Stian Thorbjørnsen will host.

The submission period ended on 18 September, so the broadcaster already has the songs for their selection in hand. Meanwhile, a songwriting camp taking place in Larvik, Norway ended today. Fans have been speculating that some of the selected entries have been undergoing a revamp or at least a little revision there. Of course, this songwriting camp could also produce songs for other countries at Eurovision. The fact that Norway’s 2017 representative JOWST took part in the camp, and that Gjon’s Tears and Mørland were seen there, suggest strongly that it has something to do with Eurovision.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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In Turin, Subwoolfer represented the Nordic nation without ever revealing who they really are. Not only the wolves but also TIX got their Eurovision ticket by the Norwegian audience alone, since there way no jury vote. Both acts qualified to the Eurovision final, Subwoolfer even made it to Eurovision Top 10. So it would be an interesting choice if Norway would go back to an international jury vote next year.

What do you think about Stig Karlsen’s comments that the Eurovision winner may come from MGP 2023? Who do you want to see representing Norway in Liverpool? Let us know in the comments below.

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MALTESER
MALTESER
3 months ago

Well then I guess KEiiNO are back.

Darren
Darren
3 months ago

Just hope they t do not send another novelty act like they did the last two years.

Norway at Eurovision has been such a climb down for me personally these last two years. A country I used to adore at Eurovision.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
3 months ago
Reply to  Darren

As I said in an earlier,, don’t count your chickens before they hatch. We’ll see if Norway has the good to back up the claim that they got a few Potential winners. It would be very embarrassing if it turns out Norway has a weak selection.

I get your point about Norway’s sending novelty songs, but if they bring back the jury, that might stop it from happening. Again we’ll see if they’ll commit to that or remain using Tele vote.

Denis
Denis
3 months ago
Reply to  Darren

Stop acting like those songs were just novelty songs and that is why they won. They were fun songs who happened to be the best and the most memorable ones

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
3 months ago
Reply to  Denis

“fun” as in cringe

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
3 months ago
Reply to  Benito Camelo

What’s Eurovision without cringe? It’s a staple.

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
3 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

You got a fair point lol

namaste
namaste
3 months ago

I would trust them if Eurovision was not political. The quality over the last few years has only been going up, with several songs per year worth the Eurovision stage. Heck, this year they had the winner material.
Maybe if they repaint their flag with blue and yellow… Good luck, Norway! https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/14.0.0/svg/1f1fa-1f1e6.svg

Anna
Anna
3 months ago
Reply to  namaste

Yes!!!

Jake
Jake
3 months ago

Wow!! 4 Eurovision winners and they didn’t even hear the other 36 entries from other countries. I will say—Christer always said this about Melfest. No person who is hyping his own National selection goes out there and says “you know what, we got a couple songs that are alright, we’ll see it all goes”

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
3 months ago

I also wonder how many songs are going to qualified to the final from each semifinal of seven. I think it might be four in my opinion but we’ll see.

Peter
Peter
3 months ago

I see Wouter Hardy on the instagram pic, he has produced Arcade and Tout L’univers…so hmmm

Jo.
Jo.
3 months ago

potential winners for esc 2002 standards

Im so fab
Im so fab
3 months ago

I have heard the songs and I must say it’s true. One of them is written by Lady Gaga herself! It’s gonna be Shallow 2, get ready for a big winner!

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
3 months ago
Reply to  Im so fab

Jeez, seriously!? How did you get to listen to them or to find out one of them was written by Lady Gaga herself? 😮

Leafar
Leafar
3 months ago

yeah well france said that in 2020 when we sent Mon Aliée and I don’t think it really was gonna happen so i’d be careful honestly

Nicomro
Nicomro
3 months ago
Reply to  Leafar

But the dutch also said it in 2019 , as well as North macedonia saying they had their Anouk and both statements were true in the future

Henno
Henno
3 months ago

Subwoolfer was a garbage tune, as was the gimmick. Thoughts are my own and it’s OK if you disagree.

Anna
Anna
3 months ago
Reply to  Henno

I really do disagree, so great song & gimmick.
Norway should had been hosting 2023?

SassySally
SassySally
3 months ago
Reply to  Henno

Subwoolfer “Give That Wolf a Banana” reminds me of Serhat’s “Na Na Na” in the sense that both were subpar in so many aspects but when you put all pieces together you somehow managed to get lighthearted, silly fun instead of what should have been an epic failure.

Where both succeeded was having an an undeniable melodic hook that was easy to learn and fun to sing.

Jamie
Jamie
3 months ago

If a country says they will win – they won’t.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
3 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

Have you heard the expression “don’t count your chickens before they hatch?” Norway Could very well have some choices that Could do really well for them at Eurovision, if not win, but you never really know. There could be something very strong like a potential winner, only for a “weaker” song to win this selection. This has happened countless of times. We can’t really judge until the songs are out, but Norway can have very strong songs And the reduction could come true, but it would be really embarrassing if the songs actually turn out to be pretty weak. Let’s… Read more »

Stian F
Stian F
3 months ago

I am sure he is correct. In a studio recording that is… There are always some great songs in Norway that could potentially win Eurovision, but it all depends on staging and vocal performance on the night, and what the Eurovision audience is in mode for that exact year… So its impossible to know exactly what the years winner will be so many months ahead. Even a week before the contest it is not even clear… It only gets clear wich are in with a chance when rehearsals starts and the entire package is being disclosed. A eurovision winner must… Read more »

Colin
Colin
3 months ago

So they did this year. And they picked one of them. Didn’t win, but entered top 10. So far, this is wishful thinking, but I applaud the ambition. MGP as a whole was great in their last two editions, so I have high expectations.

Iván el Conquistador
Iván el Conquistador
3 months ago

I’ll believe them when I hear the songs.

Common Sense
Common Sense
3 months ago

I also heard from credible sources that also in San Marino, Malta and Slovenia there are st least 10 acts they can win LOL

apollinischesprinzip
apollinischesprinzip
3 months ago
Reply to  Common Sense

HAHAHAHAH

NickC
NickC
3 months ago

I know I will receive a lot of hate again for saying this, but an international jury is a great idea. Maybe the best idea ever. MGP always excites me with an array of excellent songs, and then the public chooses a winner that belongs to 2 decades ago in its execution with a childish gimmick. I am still mourning for all the lost masterpieces like Who we are, I cant Escape, Someone, Monument, Death of Us, Heart of Glass, Pray for Me…. Also..the system itself is a bit confusing we know that the winner will come from pre qualified… Read more »

Stian F
Stian F
3 months ago
Reply to  NickC

Well maybe you dont understand it, but us Norwegians do… As, if we don’t have any prequalifiers then people will vote for the humble hobbit instead of the quality song, also more established names wont take part if they are to loose in a semi to some noname, who is going to flop at Eurovision anyways – as it was in the old days. And a competition with some established d names is more interesting than a contest with just newcomers… At least we have singers with some music catalogue taking part, unlike how it was in the 90s and… Read more »

apollinischesprinzip
apollinischesprinzip
3 months ago
Reply to  NickC

so true. we need them back.

Leif
Leif
3 months ago
Reply to  NickC

I still love and listen to “I Can’t Escape”. But I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

Anders Martinius Tangen

Just to be fair. Eurovision Norway has nothing to do about this. They have only listened to me and Ronny Bergersens podkast “Grand Prix Podkasten” which has nothing to do with Eurovision Norway. Here is link to the actual episode: https://open.spotify.com/episode/0OGU3AM81boQbguuXREcy5?si=d75d6c01b1fa4c67 I am also a writer for the website escNorge.no, for your information 🙂

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
3 months ago

We’ll see if his proclamation is true or not once the songs are out, but I think enough time has passed for a potential fourth victory for Norway since it will be 14 years since their last win.

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

Fairytale came fourteen years after Nocturne. Now the same amount of time has passed again. I hate time.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

There was a ten year gap between Let det swinge and nocturne.

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

Life wouldn’t be much fun if we all only concentrated on things that matter.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
3 months ago

I mean, in most years, Norway should have an act that could potentially win Eurovision, and as their national final is considered one of the stronger ones, multiple acts are also possible. To be a potential Eurovision winner, you just need to have a song with a level of appeal that makes victory possible. I’d say that last year, Norway’s top three were all what you’d call “Potential Eurovision Winners” at the early stage of selection, they had *something* about them. Going for four this year may seem optimistic but I’m not going to entirely dismiss his take. If this… Read more »

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
3 months ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

Norway had a couple songs that could have done well or even won the contest in the last two MGPs (Monument and Death of Us), but they got passed over for songs that the televoters preferred. Maybe having a jury again could guarantee an potentially winning entry to actually represent Norway than just rely on the televote.

Tina
Tina
3 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

Death of us didn’t stand a chance I think. Wich is definetely one reason why we picked the right winner in the end.. The vocal performence of Elsie was proof of that unfortunately..

Zisk
Zisk
3 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

Monument would have done well but not won with France/Switzerland’s jury strength and Italy’s commanding televote, and Death of Us was really just not at all charismatic live. Not to take away from the fact they were better than what won those years, but people set the bar way too low for what ‘winners’ really are and not just songs that would do pretty well. Norway could definitely use a jury but I think it would perhaps move them from a top 10 to a top 5 country more.

Zisk
Zisk
3 months ago
Reply to  Zisk

*I should clarify I meant to say better than what won MGP, if it wasn’t clear, not Eurovision itself

Rino
Rino
3 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

Monument would have kicked ass in Esc

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
3 months ago

I recall them saying Norway had a potential winner among their entries last year. They ended up creating all of the hype just for Norwegians to choose a novelty act lmao

tom
tom
3 months ago

Ulrikke needs to be back and some of other artists of 2020 – At this point Sandro, Little Big, Val and Diodato will never come back but i still hope for others. One Part of The Mamas is already back 😀

tom
tom
3 months ago
Reply to  tom

Forgot about Elisa and Ben Dolic 🙁

Sam fromkin
Sam fromkin
3 months ago
Reply to  tom

Isn’t Diodato rumored for Sanremo?

tom
tom
3 months ago
Reply to  Sam fromkin

No idea 🙁 would be great

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
3 months ago
Reply to  tom

It would be great if some of the 2020 ours who did return for 2021 got a second chance. I’m still waiting for Alicja To return for Poland.

Esc addict
Esc addict
3 months ago

If it doesn’t come from the Norwegian Hod, it comes each years from the swedish or italian journalists who preview the Melfest and San Remo songs, so nothing new, a way like another to try to create hype I guess.

Alo
Alo
3 months ago

He says every year that there is a potential winner lmao

Pandaman
Pandaman
3 months ago

Isn’t every contestant in every national selection technically a potential Eurovision winner?

Denis
Denis
3 months ago
Reply to  Pandaman

No. At least not in Nordic countries where it is not only national selection. Some are there just to promote. Some are there to restart a career. Some are there just to have fun..

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Yes. Pandaman is right, whatever the reasons for being there, anybody could win. Otherwise it’s not a contest, just a con.

Tina
Tina
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

In Norway and Sweden it’s not really like that. Every national selection is different.

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Tina

It is like that in Norway and Sweden. Every song can win. Yes, the producers probably have their favourites, but still… every song can win. There could always be a surprise. I know not everybody enters to win, but they don’t have control over the votes.

Denis
Denis
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Maybe if it was only a national selection then yes. But not in Norway and Sweden. Not everybody can win and not everybody wants to win. And the audience knows that..

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Everybody can win, of course they can. There’s nothing in the rules to stop them. Songs can do better than expected, like Robin 2013 or Hasse 2016 or Clara 2021.

Denis
Denis
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

But it is obvious not everyone can win. Lillasyster this year. Or Lisa Miskovsky. No one would say they could win. And it was clear they would not win either..

Alech
Alech
3 months ago

Tone Damli

Midnight Gold
Midnight Gold
3 months ago

They can’t accept the fact their meme act weren’t even the highest ranking Norwegians this year so they come out with this nonsense.

Polegend Godnova
3 months ago

they say it every single year

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago

I’m sure I remember him saying the same thing last year. It sounds good, but makes me wonder why I should bother listening to the other seventeen.

Žilvinas
Žilvinas
3 months ago

MGP delivers every year, and that statement from the HoD is big, I’d say. Looking forward to it!

Erik
Erik
3 months ago

It must be ULRIKKE this time. She has said herself that she wants to compete next year.

finnished
finnished
3 months ago

Isn’t that what they say every year in Norway and Sweden

tom
tom
3 months ago
Reply to  finnished

But they are right – sometimes they dont choose right act tho … or sometimes they dont find the right one and the right time