Norway received a record number of submissions for this year's Melodi Grand Prix. 1,035 songs were submitted to broadcaster NRK. Songwriters and composers from all over the world were eligible to send songs this year. The final line-up included composers from Norway, Sweden and Iceland.
The winner was decided by the viewers and ten international jury groups from the following countries:
This is the first time since 2013 that Norwegian broadcaster NRK has used juries to decide the outcome. The juries only voted in the first round, in the second round the decision was solely that of the Norwegian televoters. JOWST became the favourite of the International juries with four out of ten votes.
Four acts qualified for a 'golden final', their last opportunity to convince viewers to grant them the Norwegian ticket to Kyiv:
The excitement increased during the second round of voting and the applause went through the roof when JOWST was announced as winner. Show presenter Kåre described the winning moment as a "classic state of shock", as JOWST walked up on stage after hugging his team and fellow contestants.
Joakim With Steen is the real name behind JOWST. At fifteen years old he took an interest in punk rock and songwriting. After finishing his education he went on to work as a teacher and later he started Red Line Studio where he has worked as a sound engineer and producer since 2011. Aleksander Walmann joins him on vocals. He participated in The Voice in 2012, where he reached the final.
During the show, last year's Norwegian Eurovision Song Contest participant Agnete performed her song Icebreaker. By everyone's surprise, three-time Eurovision winner Johnny Logan also came by. He won twice as performer and once as a songwriter for Linda Martin. Logan performed his 1987 winner Hold Me Now.