NRK, the Norwegian national broadcaster, has confirmed that Melodi Grand Prix will be used to select the Norwegian representative for the Eurovision Song Contest 2021.
Melodi Grand Prix 2021 will use the same format as this year’s contest. A total of ten artists will compete in the final; five qualifiers from the semi-finals and five pre-qualified finalists.
Christina Rezk Resar, the acting Head of NRK Entertainment, clarified NRK’s decision to hold Melodi Grand Prix in 2021. She believes that MGP next year will be more important than ever for a hard-tried music industry, and hopes many artists and songwriters will submit their contributions:
“The audience is best catered for by organising MGP in line with the sixty year tradition. MGP has always been an important showcase for Norwegian music. Based on the situation the music industry is in, it is more important than ever to fulfill this role and showcase the breadth of Norwegian artists and newly written songs.”
Ulrikke Brandstorp, who won MGP 2020 and was due to represent Norway at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest with “Attention”, was offered an automatic place in the final of MGP 2021. Ulrikke declined and will instead appear as part of the interval act during the final, where she will perform “Attention” and a brand new song.
“The cancellation of this year’s competition is obviously a shame for Ulrikke, who has made a huge effort ahead of this year’s MGP and Eurovision, but everyone agrees that the situation the world is in does not allow for major music competitions. We offered Ulrikke a place in the final in next year’s MGP, but I understand that it is difficult to replace not getting to go to Eurovision this year. Ulrikke is an amazing artist that we will probably see a lot in the coming years.”
Ulrikke posted on Instagram after NRK made the announcement:
View this post on Instagram
Drømmen min er knust. Jeg hadde så SYKT lyst til å representere Norge i Eurovision. Jeg har full forståelse for at Eurovision 2020 er avlyst på grunn av coronaviruset, men jeg håpet i det lengste at NRK ville gjøre som mange andre land og støtte sin artist ved å sende artisten til Eurovision i 2021 med ny låt. Jeg er derfor naturlig nok veldig skuffet over NRK sin beslutning i dag om å kjøre en ordinær MGP-sesong neste år. Det knuser hjertet mitt ovenfor fansen som har vært helt fantastiske støttespillere og en utvidet familie de siste månedene, at vi ikke får muligheten til å oppleve ESC sammen. Jeg vil at dere skal vite at Christoffer og jeg har kjempet til siste minutt for å prøve å gjøre dette mulig. Dette var drømmen vår ❤️ NRK har tilbudt meg å være finalist i MGP 2021 nå som det blir et vanlig MGP-år. Per nå har jeg takket nei, men man skal aldri si aldri. Jeg ønsker ikke en finaleplass på bakgrunn av at jeg ikke fikk dratt til Eurovision i år, men fordi jeg evt. hadde hatt en like god låt som «Attention» på bordet akkurat nå. Nå ønsker jeg i utgangspunktet å fokusere på andre spennende prosjekter fremover. Masse kjærlighet til dere alle ❤️ Foto: @c_ingebrigtsen
“My dream is shattered. I then wanted to represent Norway in Eurovision. I fully understand that Eurovision 2020 has been canceled due to the coronavirus, but I hoped for a long time that NRK would do as many other countries and support its artist by sending the artist to Eurovision in 2021 with a new song. So naturally I am very disappointed with NRK’s decision today to run an ordinary MGP season next year. It breaks my heart over the fans who have been absolutely fantastic supporters and extended family over the last few months, that we will not have the opportunity to experience ESC together. I want you guys to know that Christoffer and I have been fighting to the last minute to try to make this possible. This was our dream NRK has offered me to be a finalist in MGP 2021 now as it will be a regular MGP year. As of now I have declined, but you should never say never. I do not want a final place on the grounds that I did not go to Eurovision this year, but because I might have had as good a song as “Attention” on the table right now. Now I want to focus on other exciting projects going forward. Lots of love for you all.”
More details about MGP 2021 will be announced at a future date.
Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest
Norway debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1960, and have won the contest three times – in 1985, 1995 and 2009. The country has the dubious record of finishing last the most times, eleven in total, and have received nul points four times. Norway last won the contest in 2009 when Alexander Rybak broke all records with his song “Fairytale”. He scored 387 points in the final, receiving 16 sets of 12 points and scoring points from every country.