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!