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Finalists announced in Norway: Rybak returns!

15 January 2018 at 12:57 CET
The ten acts participating in the 2018 edition of 'Melodi Grand Prix' in Norway Julia Marie Naglestad/NRK
The ten finalists competing in the Norwegian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest have been revealed. The line-up for 2018 features some familiar faces and includes Alexander Rybak who won the contest for Norway in 2009.

The 2018 edition of Melodi Grand Prix (MGP), the Norwegian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest will take place on Saturday 10th March. The show, which will be presented by Kåre Magnus Bergh and Silya Nymoen (pictured below), will see 10 acts battle for the right to represent Norway at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon. The acts were revealed at a press conference which was held in Oslo. 

Star-studded line up for 2018

The list of participants for Melodi Grand Prix 2018 features some big names including previous Eurovision winner Alexander Rybak!

Charla K - Stop The Music

Charlotte Kjær (29) is from Tønsberg and currently lives in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2009, she participated in X Factor Norway as part of the group Shackles. In 2013 the group participated in MGP as a duo. Charla K has worked with the Swedish producer and musician Alex Shield, and in 2017 she signed a record deal with Per Gessle's record label Space Station 12. Gessle is known by many for his success as part of Swedish Roxette. Charla's first single was Should'a Let Me Go, written together with Alex Shield and Sharon Vaughn. This year, she co-wrote Stamina for Anastacia’s new album.  

Alejandro Fuentes - Tengo Otra

Alejandro Fuentes (30) was born in Chile and grew up in Kristiansand, Norway. He first became known through Norwegian Idol in 2005, and has since enjoyed success as a solo artist as well as a member of the group De Nye Gitarkameratene. They were awarded Spellemannprisen 2006 (Norwegian Grammy) for their cover version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. Alejandro has received gold and platinum awards. With his Chilean background, Alejandro wanted to perform the love song Tengo Otra in Spanish at this year's MGP.  

Alexander Walmann - Talk To The Hand

Alexander Walmann (32) from Porsgrunn, first became known to the public when he came second in the Norwegian TV show The Voice in 2012. Still relatively unknown, he was considered an underdog before last year's MGP where he and Joakim With Steen participated as JOWST. They won the national selection and represented Norway in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, where they finished 10th with the song Grab the Moment. JOWST has toured Europe and received a multi-platinum award.

Stella and Alexandra - You Got Me

Stella Mwangi (31) and Alexandra Rotan (21) were matched by Norwegian broadcaster NRK, since they were seen as the perfect duo the song You Got Me. After getting together and singing the song in a studio, it was clear to them and everyone around them that this was a pairing that was meant to be. Being from the same town in Norway, the two musicians have a lot in common and mutual respect for each other's work. Norwegian-Kenyan Stella is considered one of Norway's leading rap artists, while Alexandra is travelling the world as lead vocalist for the Norwegian producer and DJ Alan Walker. 

Stella won MGP with the song Haba Haba in 2011, and represented Norway at the Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf. Alexandra also has experience from the MGP world, having participated in the Norwegian MGP Junior.

Vidar Villa - Moren Din

Each time Vidar Villa (26) from Oslo releases a new song, it gets streamed millions of times on Spotify. His song One Night Stand was one of Norway's biggest hits last summer, and received a four time platinum award. In 2017 his songs were streamed more than 27 million times, making him one of the most streamed Norwegian artists last year. Vidar Villa's song is in Norwegian and is about a man falling in love with his friend's mother. 

Tom Huga - I Like I Like I Like

Tom Hugo Hermansen (38) is from Kristiansand and is a singer-songwriter with several platinum awards. He works both in Norway and internationally, and currently divides his time between Germany and Norway. Tom Hugo has co-written multiple songs for successful artists in Germany and Japan. His debut single, Open up your Eyes, was released in 2011, followed by his debut album, Sundry Tales, the year after. Tom Hugo is participating in MGP for the second time. His first performance in the show was with the song Det er du back in 2013.  

Ida Maria - Scandilove

Ida Maria Børli Sivertsen (33) comes from Nesna and is a well-known artist and songwriter in the genres of punk and rock. She has been part of the music scene in Norway since winning a national contest in 2006, and has since toured venues and festivals in Norway, Europe and around the world. Several of Ida Maria's songs have been used in TV series in the US. Her debut album, Fortress Round My Heart, was released in 2008, resulting in a Spellemann Award (Norwegian Grammy). Ida Maria wrote the song Mama's Boy performed by Ella in MGP last year.

Rebecca - Who We Are

Rebecca Thorsen (19) from Oslo finished high school last year, specialising in music. She has won P3 Urørt U16, a national music competition for artists under 16 and is pursuing a life in the music industry. She has already performed on stages such as the Bluebird Café in Nashville and been a supporting act for Isac Elliot and Donkeyboy. Her song is written by Kjetil Mørland, who won MGP in 2015 together with Debrah Scarlett. They finished in eighth place in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song A Monster Like Me.

Nicoline - Light Me Up

Nicoline Berg Kaasin (28) is from Bærum, and is a singer and dancer who became well known in Norway when she reached the final of The Voice in 2015. In 2016 she released her first single No Suitcase. That same year, she reached the final of Norwegian TV show Stjernekamp, where she competed with many of Norway's most established musicians. Nicoline was one of Margaret Berger's three backup vocalists when she won MGP in 2013 with Feed You My Love, and later represented Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden.

Alexander Rybak - That's How You Write A Song

Alexander Rybak (31) became known all over Europe when he represented Norway and won Eurovision Song Contest in 2009. He broke all previous records with 387 points. The song, Fairytale, topped the European charts after his victory, and his album Fairytales was released in 25 countries. Since then, Alexander has been working on numerous music projects and toured Europe. Alexander was born in Minsk, Belarus. At the age of 5, he and his family moved to Oslo. He learned to play violin, and it was not long before he started performing on stage.

Don't forget to follow the official MGP accounts on Twitter and Instagram. The winner of Melodi Grand Prix, and Norway's representative for Eurovision 2018, will be selected using public and jury votes. Visit the website of MGP for more information.