Norway MGP 2023 hosts: Stian "Staysman" Thorbjørnsen & Arian Engebø
Hosts of MGP 2023: Stian "Staysman" Thorbjørnsen & Arian Engebø (Photo: NRK)

Norway prepares for MGP 2023: Final on 4 February

There will be big changes in Norway's Melodi Grand Prix next year. Fewer and bigger heats, no pre-qualified artists, no duels and a final in the city of Trondheim

Norway's Melodi Grand Prix 2023 will have the same scope as before, with the same amount of new Norwegian music, but the number of broadcasts will be reduced to three heats and a final. The 21 artists will be presented on 4 January 2023.

No pre-qualified artists

Everything is at stake for all the artists in next year's season, as none of the artists is guaranteed a place in the final. The changes for 2023 have been made on the basis of feedback from TV viewers.

Head of music Stig Karlsen says:

– 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.

Four shows

The heats have been cut from five to three, and there will be no "last chance" either. To offer more music in each broadcast, seven artists will compete in each heat. There will be no duels, and the voting process starts after all the artists have performed. The three artists who have received the most votes will advance to the final. The three heats will be broadcast live from Nydalen in Oslo.

Next year's winner of the Melodi Grand Prix will be chosen in Trondheim Spektrum on Saturday, 4 February. The MGP final has been held outside of Oslo only twice, in Stavanger in 1989 and most recently in Trondheim in 2020.

  • Heat 1: 14 January
  • Heat 2: 21 January
  • Heat 3: 28 January
  • Final: 4 February

– After two years of a pandemic, we can finally bring MGP back to a large arena. We have dreamed of a packed venue since we last had a full house, just weeks before the country shut down in March 2020. The commitment we saw from the audience of 8,500 is difficult to describe in words, but the TV images speak for themselves. We are looking forward to creating a Grand Final again from the middle of the country, to the whole of Norway, says Karlsen.

Arian Engebø and Stian "Staysman" Thorbjørnsen will host Melodi Grand Prix 2023. Arian is a radio host on the famous music program StudioP3 and has also been hosting “VG-Lista,” the largest free concert in Scandinavia. Stian is an experienced musician and has also participated in Melodi Grand Prix twice. He's also a well-known TV-host.

International jury in the final

In order to increase the chances of winning in Eurovision, it's been decided to reintroduce an international jury for the final, last seen in MGP 2019. The juries will consist of industry professionals from a selection of countries, and will count for 50% during the final. The audience votes will therefore count for the other 50%. Who sits on the jury will be announced after the final.

– MGP is part of an international music competition, and we want to use a similar voting model to what's used in the Eurovision Song Contest. This is to increase the chances of winning in ESC. A model with both a professional jury and audience votes also gives us a better basis for creating a more exciting MGP, says Stig Karlsen.

Launch of artists and the music

All 21 artists' names will be released during a press conference on Wednesday, 4 January 2023. Here, we'll also find out which heat they'll appear in.

In order to draw attention to the songs that will compete over the three weeks of heats, the songs will be released on a weekly basis. In other words, the first seven songs will be released on Monday, 9 January. There will then be song releases on all streaming services on Monday, 16 January for the seven songs competing in heat 2, and on Monday, 23 January for the seven songs competing in heat 3.

Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest

Norway 2009: Alexander Rybak - "Fairytale"

Since their debut in 1960, Norway has participated in Eurovision 60 times. They have won the competition three times:

Norway 2009: Alexander Rybak - "Fairytale"

In 2009, Alexander Rybak's Fairytale received the most points ever in the old voting system: 387 points – getting 12 points from 16 countries. However, Norway holds another Eurovision record; the country that has finished last the most times – 10 last place finishes!

Since the introduction of the Semi-finals in 2004, Norway has been very successful; qualifying for the Grand Final 15 out of 18 times.

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