Photo by Christoffer Gunnestad

She won the right to sing for Norway at Eurovision 2020 — but then Covid spoiled the party. But now Ulrikke is back and trying her luck at Melodi Grand Prix 2023. She’ll compete in Semi-Final 1 on Saturday, January 14 with the song “Honestly.” 

And the title most definitely fits. As she revealed in an emotional vlog earlier on Sunday, the song is a response to the difficult weeks and months that followed Melodi Grand Prix 2020. During lockdown, and following the cancellation of Eurovision 2020, Ulrikke was living with her manager and best friend Christoffer Gunnestad. His father passed away from cancer and she didn’t know how to help him.

“I really wanted to be there for him, but didn’t know how to best comfort and take care of him,” she says. The song captures that discomfort and uncertainty, but also showcases her devotion to saving the relationship and each other.

Honestly! Ulrikke releases full version of MGP 2023 song

“I knew after everything that happened in 2020 that I had to come back at some point. I got to have a smell at Eurovision, but not a taste – and I want a huge bite! However, I didn’t want to come back until I had a song I believed in as much as ‘Attention’. Also, I had to be mentally ready, ‘cause 2020 was a lot.”

“First it was the whole chaos surrounding the voting system in MGP, then we got hit with Covid and quarantines, and then Eurovision got cancelled. At this time I was living with Christoffer, my best friend and manager. My partner in crime in MGP. And what very few knew was that Christoffer’s dad had cancer throughout the entirety of MGP, and was going through chemo. And the day after Eurovision got cancelled, he sadly passed away.”

“Me and Christoffer handle sorrow very differently, so at that time we really had no clue how to communicate and be there for each other. At one point I moved out to get some space, and realized we were drifting further and further away from each other. We were about to lose each other completely, both as friends, but also as coworkers. So “Honestly” is a song written to Christoffer, about our friendship. And how once you realize how important one person is to you, you have to fight and do what you can to save that relationship. I really wanted to be there for him, but didn’t know how to best comfort and take care of him. I am sure lots of people are able to put themselves in the same situation, and I’m pretty sure most of us has felt the pain of losing someone close, or almost losing someone.

“I am very proud of being from Norway”

There was no doubt in 2020 that Ulrikke loved the fan community, and the fan community loved her. She interacted with fans across all her social media plattforms, and was also set to perform at most of the pre-parties around Europe.

“Writing ‘Honestly’ has been a long and difficult process. Both because it is such a personal and important song, but also because I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself. Its not an easy task coming back to MGP after winning it in 2020. But hey, I’m finally here, and I am so darn proud of our song.”

“I can’t wait for people to finally hear it, and to see and read everyones reactions. The fan community is truly one of the best things about Eurovision, and ‘Attention’ received such great feedback in 2020, so I really hope we are doing everyone proud with ‘Honestly’ as well.”

“For me there is truly no bigger honor when it comes to music than to represent my country in Eurovision Song Contest. I mean, it is basically the Olympics for musicians, how cool is that?! And I am very proud of being from Norway, so I wanted to include some Norwegian lyrics in the song, both because it makes so much sense in the lyrics and with the story, but also because it is something people all over easily can sing along to. I mean, I dream of a sold out arena in Liverpool where everyone is singing along to my song.”

What do you think of “Honestly”? Do you think it could win Melodi Grand Prix in Norway? How will it do at Eurovision? Let us know down below!

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Amar pelos dois
Amar pelos dois
22 days ago

Alessandra and Rasmus are my favorites so far.

Yeah yeah fire
Yeah yeah fire
23 days ago

Lets go wiwi with favoritism towards countries and artists, cause that’s journalism. Why can’t you cover everyone equally and do your biased commentary on youtube? This is not what a eurovision newsite should be and who knows how many songs you hyped up that failed.

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
22 days ago
Reply to  Yeah yeah fire

They should do an article talking about them XD

Jofty
Jofty
23 days ago

She probably had an impossible task following Attention. I don’t think it’s a gimme that she will win. And if she does, I hope there won’t be a Selma style outcome (2005 following 1999).

Anoni
Anoni
23 days ago

Wow, I can’t believe you made a whole article about Ulrikke’s song but didn’t even MENTION that the other songs from this semi-final are out too… I usually hesitate with accusations but the clear favoritism is really showing and it leaves a bad taste in the mouth, sorry. Regarding the song itself – it really doesn’t stand out in any way. Just because she almost represented Norway back in 2020 doesn’t mean anything she comes out with is immediately good. The case is such here, I would call this song average at most. It’s just too basic and has no… Read more »

MarS
MarS
23 days ago
Reply to  Anoni

And they even posted several posts about her song on Twitter and Instagram.

Nina
Nina
23 days ago
Reply to  Anoni

She’s a former national final winner who was supposed to represent Norway for Eurovision. Of course this is newsworthy, it’s not favouritism.

Maya G
Maya G
23 days ago

Formulaic and overproduced.
She’ll probably put on a good show, but surely Norway can find something more interesting than this

Sally
Sally
16 days ago
Reply to  Maya G

Severely overproduced. More than once the production overpowers her voice. You don’t have to do that when you have an artist that can actually sing naturally. This production makes it look like she can’t.

Danny K
Danny K
23 days ago

Why does this song sound like a straight up copy of the Greatest Showman soundtrack

Héctor
Héctor
23 days ago

I mean, it’s an okish song that surely will be elevated live but I’ve also heard it a trillion times. Specially from the nordic countries. I have yet to listen to the other songs but I won’t pick it up blindly.

Jamie
Jamie
23 days ago

Heard this before…

Saya
Saya
23 days ago

Sorry after listen to Alessandra – Queen of the king. This song is my 2nd for this Semi Final.

Amar pelos dois
Amar pelos dois
23 days ago

Sorry. I don´t like Ulrikke…. My favourites in this round are Alessandra and Rasmus.

aksel kankaanranta's husban
aksel kankaanranta's husban
23 days ago

Everyone’s so critic with songs like these then they go to their playlists and instead of listening to Björk or Arctic Monkeys they play Serhat’s Na na na…
Enough with the ‘it’s nothing new’ comments. Some of y’all probably eat pasta with ketchup every single day.

Baby
Baby
23 days ago

Eh idk. Im kinda tired of these nordic countries sending the same english pop songs. Like can yall send something a little more unique?

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
23 days ago

I’m feeling the same way too, it doesn’t say much and I wouldn’t have got its message hadn’t there been a backstory :/

MarS
MarS
23 days ago

Not only Ulrikke releases her song, but the whole semifinal 1…

Dawid
Dawid
23 days ago
Reply to  MarS

Wiwibloggs playing favourites? No way xd

potaxio
potaxio
23 days ago
Reply to  Dawid

They even do so with the countries that take part, Finland has been building up its NF since October and none of that has been covered here xd

MarS
MarS
23 days ago
Reply to  potaxio

The fact they still didn’t say a word about other contestants of MGP Semifinal 1… Disrespectful.

Tom
Tom
23 days ago
Reply to  potaxio

Finnish wiwiblogers has left the chat probably 🙁 Maybe u can be on the Wiwiblogers and u can write about Finland 🙂

MarS
MarS
23 days ago
Reply to  Dawid

They have their queen of ESC 2023 XD (don’t get me wrong, I like Ulrikke, but I’m tired of their favoritism)

finnished
finnished
23 days ago

Not very innovative tbh

Johan
Johan
23 days ago

Ulrikke has a vary sharp voice, and I have always been iffy on how I actually feel about it. The song itself feels scattered, made for impact on stage and not so much for a studio listen. I hope it comes alive on stage and wish Ulrikke luck.

Thanos
Thanos
24 days ago

It has some elements I like and it certainly is a powerful song just like Attention. It’s not reinventing the wheel but it would make for a great winner. Looking forward to the live performance.

duxx
duxx
24 days ago

I dont know what to think about this song.
Anyway, I wish her to success

StianF
StianF
24 days ago

No substance? Well – I guess you are one of those that prefer songs like Slo-Mo then…

Tom
Tom
24 days ago
Reply to  StianF

i actually fully agree, it lacks substance and honesty – yes I understand there is the whole story around this but this songs feels random and I cannot connect to it at all. Let’s not say that it’s great while it’s very average.

Baby
Baby
23 days ago
Reply to  StianF

No lie Slomo had more substance than this. This song feels like its trying extremely hard to be this huge thing. Slomo was always just a fun song trying to be a fun song

Extinguir
Extinguir
24 days ago

It has potential to do very well if chosen for Eurovision. I mean, to me it seems the song has been crafted very specifically for going big in Liverpool. I would not compare this with Attention. Anyway, I prefer a lot the norwegian parts of Honestly, I wish it had more lines in the original language

Dane
Dane
24 days ago

Im actually really confused about it. I mean I like it. The climax is really good, but something is just messy. I cant explain.

West
West
24 days ago

On one hand the song is really good and so far I like it more then Attention, but on the other hand it just screams “written for Eurovision” and I know sooner or later I would grow bored of it.

Ritoli
Ritoli
24 days ago

By the way, the song sounds like a million other songs.. very basic! It also reminds me a lot of the song “Love Me Like You Do”. But.. I wish her goodluck!

Polegend Godnova
24 days ago

this is such a downgrade from attention. an extremely clichéd song with very outdated production.

Ritoli
Ritoli
24 days ago

I’m so confused, it’s like the parts of the song don’t connect.. If the song wins, she has to revamp the song. Right now it’s very messy.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
24 days ago

Are all the songs from the first semifinal out yet?

West
West
24 days ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

Yes, they are – on Spotify.

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
24 days ago

Ikr, Norway has so much talent that idk why Stig thought it was a good idea to do what he did xd

Moonstar
Moonstar
24 days ago
Reply to  Benito Camelo

Well, the truth is that NMGP had quite a few people singing off key last year…

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
23 days ago
Reply to  Moonstar

Good point, but still it’s not like they’re short of talent. Maybe it’s just the people they choose to perform xd

WERGELAND
WERGELAND
24 days ago

Song … meh … some nice bits, but ultimately quite average. Nothing I would vote for. Background stories … do they make much difference? It’s becoming part of the Eurovison cliches – they all try to see personal stories in one way or another. Love the show, though – what is left of the “live” element!

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
24 days ago

I think the song would’ve been better wholly in Norwegian, but the song’s great nevertheless! I’m already sold to her –so to speak, so I’ll have a bit of a hard time keeping my mind open to the rest

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
24 days ago

For me, Honestly is on par with Attention, but the Norwegian lines make me think that the song would’ve been a bit better completely in Norwegian instead of English with those Norwegian lines.
Anyways, it’s clear Ulrikke is a contender for this year’s NMGP and it’d be nice if she won and got the chance to go to ESC this time 🙂

Tom
Tom
24 days ago

This is very underwhelming in my view. Like we have heard this all before thousand times. But hey let’s see what the staging will bring, we know Ulrikke can sing but the song is not very 2023…

WERGELAND
WERGELAND
24 days ago
Reply to  Tom

Agree. Underwhelming!

Btzbtz
Btzbtz
24 days ago

There is something about her that makes me want her to go to Eurovision Thankfully she has a good song too!

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
24 days ago

I personally prefer Attention from 2020 but nonetheless Honestly is still a very well-made song and I hope it wins Melodi Grand Prix, especially given the fact that Ulrikke was denied her chance to be on the Eurovision stage in 2020. I also imagine a lot of people watching Melodi Grand Prix will be aware of her backstory involving the cancellation of the contest and that should work in her favor.

WERGELAND
WERGELAND
24 days ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

Ulrikke did get a chance – she was invited to participate in MGP the year after the cancellation – and declined!

Nina
Nina
24 days ago

I have no idea how I feel about the song; whether I love it or just like it. Feels like more than one song packed into one, and gives me major Husavik (my hometown) vibes.

Jake
Jake
24 days ago

For me it’s better than the initial snippet indicated. I do think it’s trying to be lots of different songs in one which leaves me slightly confused. I’m hoping a solid staging and her ability to connect with lyrics sells it for me like she did with Attention. Is this an emotional quiet ballad? A power anthem? And ethnic ballad? And I do hear too much probably of “this is my fight song”….

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
24 days ago
Reply to  Jake

I had the same vibe too, but it’s probably bc of the tempo

Esc addict
Esc addict
24 days ago

I like Ulrikke as a person and as an artist and I still think Attention could have done very well in Eurovision, Honestly is a nice song too, more classical than Attention imo maybe it will grow on me in live, for the moment it’s enjoyable for sure, it’s quality for sure, she is talented for sure but it didn’t grab me enough so I will wait for the live, in any case I wish her good luck. Enjoy the love and the compliments from the eurofans now, it’s largely deserved imo but don’t take it for granted unfortunately because… Read more »

Rijad
Rijad
24 days ago

This is my favorite song of the season so far! Ulrikke delivered like I thought she would! Live this song will sound even better, and I think that she could go to Eurovision finally! Rooting for her with all my heart!!

Yankee
Yankee
24 days ago

If this goes to Eurovision this by far beats the others in Eurovision 2023 already for me.

Thallo
Thallo
24 days ago

Ulrikke is undeniably lovable. Attention was one of my favourites from 2020 and I hoped and prayed that Honestly would be just as good, but it isn’t (on first listen).

Nevertheless, Honestly is a great song. A little basic, but I think the Norwegian lines make up for that. I think the song would be much more impactful if it was entirely in Norwegian though.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
24 days ago

I’m so happy for Ulrikke, and I hope she gets to go to the ESC one day. 🙂
Winning MGP twice is going to be tough, but it has been done before. So, there is precedent. Go for it.

Esc addict
Esc addict
24 days ago

Let the traditional Eurofans comedia dell’arte begin!

WERGELAND
WERGELAND
24 days ago
Reply to  Esc addict

Love your comment!!!

Zanoni
Zanoni
24 days ago

It’s better than it came off in the snippet, it still not quite a slam dunk for me. But it’s hard not to root for her.

Stian F
Stian F
24 days ago

Absolutely beautiful song. So anthemic and so symphonic, and what a build it is! Love the inclusion of “til evig tid” which means forever in Norwegian. It is very different from Attention though…which i loved so so much. I do believe Ulrikke has a very very good chance of winning MGP and to become a jury favorite in ESC 2023, if it is to happen – i am so happy for her and this song now???

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
24 days ago
Reply to  Stian F

But there is no jury in the semi finals, so that’s the first hurdle to pass to get the final with juries.

Stian F
Stian F
24 days ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

There is no way that this song wouldnt come top10 in a semi with only 16 songs….

Jonas
Jonas
24 days ago

Also, for such a personal song, it’s probably worth mentioning the five other songwriters. Including Christoffer… a happy ending?

Teddie
Teddie
24 days ago

Hm, this has almost the same bridge that’s in Imerika’s “I can’t escape”..

Jonas
Jonas
24 days ago
Reply to  Teddie

They do share one songwriter. Half of Subwoolfer, Keith or Jim, I’m not sure which. True story.

Norwegian ESC fan
Norwegian ESC fan
24 days ago

I heard the song before reading the backstory and loved it! It reminds me a bit of Husavik from the Eurovision movie, if that makes sense? I LOVE the inclusion of the Norwegian and how grand and clear the song is. Ulrikke is not only a wonderful person (I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her during one of the semi finals at MGP 2020, and she was equally as kind and energetic behind the camera as she is on camera!<3), but she’s also an incredible artist. So if anything this will only elevate live with her vocals and stage presence.… Read more »

Roro31
Roro31
24 days ago

OMG BEAUTIFUL SONG BY ULRIKKE !!!!!

Umami Tsunami & Alessandra Mele are very good also !!! It’s crazy !!!

The Voice of Reason
The Voice of Reason
24 days ago

Man, this backstory is giving me the sniffels. It just makes the song better. And the fact people are ALREADY saying it could win Eurovision in the YouTube comments section and NOT about winning MGP means that she’s clearly gonna go and do BIG things. This backstory is SO touching though and just shows Ulrikke’s kind personality, if hopefully she’s like how everyone says she is!

Esc addict
Esc addict
24 days ago

People on youtube and from this fandom are so relevant, it’s well known.

Esc addict
Esc addict
24 days ago
Reply to  Esc addict

Even less

Colin
Colin
24 days ago

Honestly, I really like this! A lovely melody, and Ulrikke is such a lovely woman! I wish her all the best. It’s early to tell is this my MGP winner, but I can see it being up there for both my gold, and the actual ticked to Liverpool! Also, others from semi 1 have also started to release their songs, and it’s obviously going to be a bloodshed from the get-go! Tresko is such a mood (very, very good), and Queen of the Kings also has that epic Viking vibe and a memorable instrumentation. I can see her being a… Read more »

Colin
Colin
24 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Heard Kate’s song too. Really soothing and elegant, as the snippet suggested. Still waiting for the full versions of Wave and Freaky for the Weekend, even if apparently they are already out on Spotify.

Lolek
Lolek
24 days ago

Wow, this blew me away!! Its truly fantastic!! I didn’t think she could bring something more epic than Attention, but Ulrikke did it! Very excited to hear this live!! 🙂