Previously, it had become customary for NRK to reveal the participants of Melodi Grand Prix during the autumn, but now things are changing as the Norwegian broadcaster has decided to create a new concept for revealing their artists and songs just days before the live shows.
The songs and artists are chosen... but only the chosen few know
Starting in September and throughout the autumn, musical director of Melodi Grand Prix, Vivi Stenberg and a team from NRK have been working tirelessly to choose the 21 acts that will take part in the Norwegian national selection in January and February next year.
Additionally, they have received the help of some known professionals in the music industry in Norway: Kristin Winsents, Gisle Stokland and Christine Dancke.
"Gisle, Christine and Kristin were the first people I asked. Gisle because he has this amazing ability to spot what has broad appeal in the commercial world. He was amongst another things one of the first people to interview Rihanna before she became a superstar. Kristin because she is one of Norway's most experienced music journalists and knows what works. I asked Christine because she has a fierce and uncompromising understanding of music, a good radio ear and not least a love for Melodi Grand Prix", said Vivi Stenberg.
Gisle works as the editor of music site 730.no whilst Christine Dancke is a DJ and presenter at Radio P3. Kristin Winsents is known as a music journalist and now works as a presenter on Radio P2.
"It's been fantastic having this knowledgable trio onboard. Through regular listening meetings, advice and tips, they have contributed to making the selection of artists for Melodi Grand Prix 2013 much easier", Vivi Stenberg went on to say.
Putting the artists on a level playing field
The 600 entries received by NRK have been whittled down to just 21 artists. However, unlike previous years the names of the acts will not be revealed until just days before each live show, increasing the excitement and placing the artists on a level playing field.
The acts will be revealed in a brand new program on NRK 1 the Wednesday before each of the live semi-finals. Here the artists and songs will be presented to the public and press live.
"With this, all the artists will be have an equal starting point, by being revealed on live TV. We hope that this will increase the curiosity and excitement surrounding the competition", explained Vivi Stenberg.
Dates for your diary
With all these live shows, it is easy to lose track so here is a summary of dates for Melodi Grand Prix 2013:
Semi-Final 1 artists revealed: 16th January 2013
Semi-Final 1 (Steinkjer): 19th January 2013
Semi-Final 2 artists revealed: 23rd January 2013
Semi-Final 2 (Florø): 26th January 2013
Semi-Final 3 artists revealed: 30th January 2013
Semi-Final 3 (Larvik): 2nd February 2013
Final (Oslo): 9th February 2013
Seven acts will participate in each of the semi-finals.
It has previously been decided that Norway will take part in the second Semi-Final of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, being held at the Malmö Arena in Malmö, Sweden on the 16th of May.