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Changes coming to Melodi Grand Prix 2023

With national final season drawing closer, Norwegian broadcaster NRK has revealed that we can expect significant changes to Norway’s Eurovision national selection, Melodi Grand Prix in 2023.

A rundown of the changes

Earlier today, Eurovision.tv reported that Melodi Grand Prix will once again undergo changes to their national selection. However, this is far from the significant revamp of the selection in 2020. Prior to 2020, the national selection was a one-night affair, with ten entries out of a pool of submissions selected by NRK to directly compete in the final.

Nonetheless, to mark the competition’s 60th anniversary in 2020, NRK introduced substantial changes, some of which included increasing the pool of songs in the competition by having five semi-finals, pre-qualified artists with an automatic spot in the final, and allowing the public alone to decide the ultimate winner during the Grand Final.

In 2023, the semi-finals will remain but five will become three, no artists will have the liberty of directly going to the final, and this time, the Norwegian public and an international jury will have an equal say in who will ultimately represent the country at Eurovision.

MGP 2023: what we know so far

Format and Voting

In previous years, various artists were guaranteed a place in the Grand Final but this will no longer be the case in 2023. In addition, the last-chance semi-final will be scrapped, and only three semi-finals will be utilised. Instead of five songs in each semi-final, each will now feature seven songs, with the top three artists from each advancing to the final.

When the major revamp of the competition was introduced in 2020, the international jury was removed for the final, where the Norwegian public had the sole say in deciding who would represent the country at Eurovision. However, in 2023, NRK has decided to re-introduce a jury comprising of industry professionals from multiple countries, which are yet to be confirmed. The public and jury will each contribute 50% to the final result.

Competition Dates and Venue

The dates of the competition are as follows:

  • Semi-Final 1: Saturday 14 January
  • Semi-Final 2: Saturday 21 January
  • Semi-Final 3: Saturday 28 January
  • Grand Final: Saturday 4 February

All three semi-finals and the Grand Final will take place in the Trondheim Spektrum. This is only the third time in the competition’s history that the final has been held outside the capital, Oslo – in 1989 it was held in Stavanger and in 2020 it was held in Trondheim.

Who will host?

MGP 2023 will be hosted by Arian Engebø and Stian ‘Staysman’ Thorbjørnsen. Arian is a journalist and radio presenter, who is commonly known as the host of VG-Lista, one of Scandinavia’s largest free concerts. Stian is a singer-songwriter and TV host, and may be familiar to Eurovision fans as a MGP participant himself in 2015 and 2021.

MGP 2023 hosts, Arian Engebø and Stian ‘Staysman’ Thorbjørnsen
Photo Credit: Ulrik Kramer / NRK

MGP 2023 launch

So, when will we find out who will be in the running to represent Norway? NRK also revealed to Eurovision.tv that all 21 artists participating in 2023 will be presented on Wednesday 4 January, 2023, which is just a month and a few days away. All the changes to the competition outlined above were based on feedback from viewers. Head of music and MGP boss Stig Karlsen was positive about the changes and when speaking to Eurovision.tv, provided some of his reasoning behind the decision.

“There were several good reasons for the solution with pre-qualified acts, but MGP is in constant development. We are now going for a competition model that is easier to understand, and where all the artists compete with the same starting point. More is at stake for everyone from day one”.

Stig Karlsen, via Eurovision.tv

Norway at the Eurovision Song Contest

Norway has participated at the Eurovision Song Contest a total of 60 times since their debut in 1960 in London. Since then, they have won the contest three times, in 1985, 1995 and 2009 with Bobbysocks! and their song La det swinge, Secret Garden with ‘Nocturne’ and Alexander Rybak with ‘Fairytale’. Earlier this year in Turin, Subwoolfer represented Norway with their song ‘Give that Wolf A Banana’. They placed 10th overall in the Grand Final and received a total of 182 points.

What are your thoughts on the new changes coming to MGP 2023? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated on the latest news and opinions by following @escxtra on Twitter@escxtra on Instagram@escxtra on TikTok and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to follow us on Spotify for the latest music from your favourite ESC and JESC acts.

Isabella Tang

I'm a dedicated Eurovision fan and ESCXTRA contributor from the other side of the globe in Australia. Even though I'm fairly new to Eurovision, seeing as I was first introduced to it in 2016, this hasn't stopped me from looking back on all the previous years and loving the contest more and more.

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