The Norwegian national final “Melodi Grand Prix” has been celebrating that Norway has been participating in the Eurovision Song Contest since 1960, that’s 60 years, but Norway missed out two years: Amsterdam 1970, because of the scandal in 1969, where have been four winners with the same amount of points. A lot of countries denied their participation. And in Tallinn 2002 Norway had to pause due the bad placing in 2001 and in these years there have been no semi finals and bad places countries had to pause. So this year we would have had the 59th entry in Rotterdam, if the ESC hasn’t been cancelled due to the Corona pandemic.
This year’s Melodi Grand Prix has been bigger than in former years, with several qualification rounds and all regions have contributed their performers. There has been a technical issue with the televoting to determine the four finalists. Hence the Norwegians could not decide their favourite, instead an ad hoc jury has determined the four finalists for the “Gullduellen”. With a big surprise some of the favourites tipped out e.g. Didrik & Emil Solli Tangen with “Out Of Air” . At the end one remaining favourite made the race: Ulrikke with the ballad “Attention”, which has been co-written by Kjetil Mørland, who made a great 8th place with “A Monster Like Me” together with Debrah Scarlett in Vienna 2015.
The 24-years-old singer Ulrikke Brandstorp come from Skjeberg, close to Oslo. Since her adolescence she appeared in different theatre productions. Ulrikke toured around Norway with the productions “The Show Must Go On II” and “The Thrill Of Michael Jackson”. In 2013 she participated in the Norwegian Idol show and in 2015 The Voice Norway. Two years later Ulrikke had her first attempt at the Melodi Grand Prix with “Places” and made a fourth place. Since 2019 she is singing in the musical “The Sound Of Music”.
With her song “Attention” Ulrikke tells the story of changing ourselves to please the other in the respect of love:
“I find myself longing for attention. I'm not myself doing what I do. I know I may have hurt someone I love along the way, it wasn't my intention. I lost myself doing what I do. I, just want your attention”
The song a smooth ballad which is perfectly balanced with Ulrikke’s capable voice. The whole arrangement appears a bit stodgy and does not convince by first time listening. Nevertheless a slot in the Grand Final in Rotterdam would have been secure. Ulrikke has denied her place in next year’s final of the Melodi Grand Prix, as she wanted to go directly to Rotterdam 2021. But the Norwegian broadcaster NRK wants to broadcast the Melodi Grand Prix instead of making an internal choice.
Finals: 55 (13 since 2004)
Top 10: 24
Chances for Top 10: 41%
Chances for Final: 76%
Norway has joined the Eurovision Song Contest in 1960. The first entry “Voi-voi” by Nora Brocksted made a good 4th place. Norway is the record holder in getting last at the ESC when it comes to the voting. In the 59 years old history, Norway has been last for 11 times, and four times Norway has not received a single point! Even if the Scandinavian countries have a similar taste of music and singers are mostly known all over Scandinavia, Norway and Sweden battle out their own competition, but like all Nordic countries are generally very generous exchanging points with each other, which can also be noticed in the Balkan countries, Greece and Cyprus and in other neighbouring countries.
On the other hand, Norway has won three times and has been in the Grand Final for 55 times and reached the Top10 for 24 times, that’s a 41% chance for Top10 position for Norway. So that’s quite a success. There are stronger periods e.g. the 1990’s where Norway made a top 10 position for five times! In some years it seems that Norway has not such a lucky hand to send a song with hit potential. But some Norwegian entries have become real evergreens over the years in Norway and beyond.
In recent years Norway has been quite successful again, since 2012 Norway could mostly qualify for the Grand Final, that’s mainly due to the good quality songs on a very good international level and the evolved selection process in the Melodi Grand Prix – the national final. Last year the group KEiiNO could make not only the 6th place with “Spirit In The Sky” in the Grand Final of Tel Aviv, is has also been the favourite of the international public.
3x 1st place “La Det Swinge” |Bobbysocks (Gothenburg 1985) “Nocturne” |Secret Garden (Dublin 1995) “Fairytale” |Alexander Rybak (Moscow 2009)
1x 2nd place “I Evighet” |Elisabeth Andreasson (Oslo 1996)
1x 3rd place “Intet Er Nytt Under Solen” |Åse Kleveland (Luxembourg 1966)
3x 4th place “Voi-voi” |Nora Brockstedt (London 1960) “I'm Not Afraid To Move On” |Jostein Hasselgård (Riga 2003) “I Feed You My Love” |Margaret Berger (Malmö 2013)