Every February Norway puts on one of the most popular national finals in Europe, with millions of people at home and thousands abroad tuning in to find out which lucky act will have the honour of representing their country at the Eurovision Song Contest.
This year broadcaster NRK has made some changes to the format of Melodi Grand Prix including employing a new musical director, Vivi Stenberg, who has helped to bring a new flavour to the competition with new and exciting songs and big names.
Tonight at 19:55 CET and broadcasted LIVE here at Eurovision.tv, you will be able to follow the show as it unfolds from the Oslo Spektrum Arena in the Norwegian capital. Here, ten excellent songs will compete for the right to fly the Norwegian flag in Malmö on the 16th of May.
In addition, we will be treated to live performances from non other than Loreen, who won the contest for Sweden in Baku last year; and Tooji who represented Norway with Stay.
The ten acts
Below is a list, in order of appearance, of the ten acts that qualified to the final from three Semi-Finals held in Steinkjer, Florø and Larvik over the past month. In addition one wildcard entry was chosen to take the tenth slot in the final (Lucky Lips).
- Vidar Busk - Paid My Way
- Fjellfolk - Ulvetuva
- Adelén - Bombo
- Gromth and Emil Solli-Tangen - Alone
- Gaute Ormåsen - Awake
- Lucky Lips - Sweet And Heavy
- Datarock - The Underground
- Annsofi - I'm With You
- Margaret Berger - Feed You My Love
- Sirkus Eliassen - I Love You Te Quiero
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Now you can get to know the acts much better by reading our biogs below. You can also listen to the songs on iTunes and Spotify:
1. Paid My Way
Artist: Vidar Busk
Lyrics: Tim Scott
Music: Tim Scott and Vidar Busk
Vidar Busk won the Spellemannprisen in the categories Artist of the Year (1998) and Blues Record of the Year (2003). What few know is that he was a backing singer for Eurovision Song Contest legends Bobbysocks and now he is going to Let It Swing and rock’n’roll in Oslo! For swing and rock’n’roll are important keywords as Busk makes his own Melodi Grand Prix debut, where it’s all going to be about wonderful neo-swing; thirties and forties elements performed with a modern expression of rockabilly. Vidar Busk is participating with the song Paid My Way, which is written in collaboration with the American musician, producer and songwriter Tim Scott. Scott, who now lives in Norway, has previously played in The Havalinas, who in turn have toured with both Bob Dylan and Tina Turner. In 1996 Bruce Springsteen recorded a cover version of Scott’s song, High Hopes.
Lyrics and music: Trym Bjønnes
Fjellfolk is a band from Bykle in Setesdal and is made up of Helga Jacobsen (vocals, effects), Tor Hoslemo (fiddle) and Trym Bjønnes (guitar, vocals and programming). The trio have been playing together since 2008 and have held a string of concerts and performed at various festivals. These include MaiJazz, Eikrapen Roots Festival, Canal Street, Ekstremsportveko and Nordsjøfestivalen. Songwriter Bjønnes has with his background from LIPA made a name for himself as a singer-songwriter and was the week’s Urørt last autumn with the English language Rain Will Fall. Now it’s Melodi Grand Prix’s turn with the song Ulvetuva, based on a saying from the area they are from. It is a vulnerable and strong song with a floating and rhythmic chorus.
Lyrics and music: Ina Wroldsen and Quiz & Larossi
Adelén Rusillo Steen from Horten is 16 years old and therefore this year’s youngest MGP artist. She made her first solo appearance as a four year old during her nursery school’s summer concert. Subsequently there followed annual performances at school end of year concerts before she, as a 13 year old, signed up for a local talent competition. But now it’s getting serious: With MGP and the song Bombo Adelén is debuting as an artist on a national stage! The song is written by Ina Wroldsen and Quiz & Larossi who are some of Scandinavia’s biggest hit producers. Wroldsen has written songs for the likes of One Direction, Britney Spears and The Saturdays. Recently one of her songs made it to the top of the British singles charts; Impossible sung by X-Factor winner James Arthur. The Swedish duo Quiz & Larossi have also had a string of hit successes and have written and produced for world known artists like Diana Ross, Il Divo and Westlife.
Artist: Gromth and Emil Solli-Tangen
Lyrics: Emil Solli-Tangen and Sven Atle Kopperud (Silenoz)
Black Metal meets opera when Gromth from Eastern Norway and Emil Solli-Tangen from Porsgrunn unite on Oslo’s Melodi Grand Prix stage. The basis for this partnership was the mystery of music, and the vision for the project was to create a genuine black-metal Nocturne. The result is the song Alone, composed by Gromth. The lyrics are written by Emil Solli-Tangen and Silenoz (Sven Atle Kopperud), guitarist and songwriter in Dimmu Borgir. The band Gromth is made up of vocalist Ole Karlsen, Tjodalv (Kenneth Åkesson) on the drums, Grimd (Tomas Arnesen) on the bass, Damage (Kjell Åge Karlsen) on the guitar and André Aaslie on the piano and vocals. In their Melodi Grand Prix debut, they are joined by opera talent Emil Solli-Tangen. Emil studies at the Operahøgskolen and has sung with Den Norske Opera.
Artist: Gaute Ormåsen
Lyrics and music: Gaute Ormåsen, Fredrik Borgen and Jesper Borgen
The most famous person from Brumunddal in Norway, Gaute Ormåsen, is back at Melodi Grand Prix; this time with a song in English. He wrote the song Awake with Fredrik Borgen and Jesper Borgen. Gaute had his breakthrough in Idol in 2003 where he came second after Kurt Nilsen. This led to a record contract and hit songs like Miss You When You’re Gone and Chasing Rainbows, where the latter went to number one in the Norwegian charts. His debut in Melodi Grand Prix came in 2010 where Synk eller svøm made it to the Second Chance round. Altogether, Gaute has released 5 albums and is known for singing in his own Hedmark dialect, like with the radio hit Kjærlighet er mer enn forelskelse. He has also been an actor in the soap opera Hotel Cæsar and danced his way to 4th place in the Norwegian version of Strictly Come Dancing.
6. Sweet And Heavy
Artist: Lucky Lips
Lyrics and music: Malin Pettersen
Lucky Lips is a roots orientated acoustic band from Buskerud that was voted as Europe’s best blue grass band in 2011. The band is made up of Malin pettersen (vocals), Stian Jørgen Sveen (guitar/harmonies), Erlend Støylen Hølland (double bass/harmonies), Even Reinsfelt Krogh (banjo) and Pål Emil Berg (percussion). They have released two albums, of which the latest Mountain Dust (2012) received much acclaim in the Norwegian press and a 5-star rating from the newspaper Dagbladet. Among several profiled performances, Lucky Lips led the line-up at the EWOB festival in the Netherlands and have played at Norwegian festivals including Vikedal Roots Festival, Breim Country Festival, Vinstra Country Festival and Risør Bluegrass Festival. At the moment they are planning an American tour but first they need to win MGP 2013 with the song Sweet And Heavy.
7. The Underground
Lyrics: Fredrik Saroea
Music: Fredrik Saroea and Pål Myran-Håland
Datarock appeared 12 years ago when "the Bergen wave" homed in on record company Tellé Records. The group is made up of lead singer and guitarist Fredrik Saroea, Kjetil Møster on the Saxophone, Thomas Larsen on the bass and Tarjei Strøm on the drums. Since then, the band has performed 850 concerts in 36 countries on 5 continents. They have worked with some of the world’s biggest record companies as well as global brands such as Apple, Microsoft and Coca Cola. Their songs are used in an impressive array of films, series and adverts all around the world. Datarock is also the band with the most songs in leading video games; a total of 22 including FIFA and The Sims. Last autumn, Fredrik Saroea was an enthusiastic choir leader in the TV show Det store korslaget. Now he and the other red-dressed members of Datarock will aim to conquer the stage in Oslo with the song The Underground.
8. I'm With You
Lyrics and music: Alexander Rybak
Annsofi Pettersen (18) comes from Sarpsborg and has despite her young age, gained plenty of TV experience. Her first appearance was in 2010 when she took part in Det store korslaget where she sang in the winning choir. Later that year she took part in the talent competition X-Factor where she came third. Annsofi has released three solo singles as well as contributing to a number of compilations. The song I’m With You has been written by none other than Alexander Rybak! The partnership with Alexander Rybak started in the wake of X-Factor, when Annsofi was invited to sing with him at number of Christmas concerts.
9. Feed You My love
Artist: Margaret Berger
Lyrics and music: Karin Park, Robin Lynch and Niklas Olovson
Electropop artist Margaret Berger (27) grew up on the island of Hitra in Sør-Trøndelag. She made her breakthrough as an artist when she came a strong second in Idol in 2004 and made her record debut in the same year with the album Charmeleon. This led to a Spellemannspris for music video of the year for Lifetime Guarantee, in addition to being nominated for the prize for Newcomer of the Year. Now she is working on her third studio album and finally ready to take part in Melodi Grand Prix! The song, with which she will perform for the first time on stage in Oslo is called Feed You My Love and is written by the Swedish-Norwegian artist and songwriter Karin Park. Feed You My Love is produced by the Norwegian-Swedish producer duo MachoPsycho (Robin Lynch and Niklas Olovson). Lynch and Olovson have previously collaborated with artists like Jessica Simpson, Natalie Imbruglia and Pink. For the latter, they wrote and produced the Grammy-nominated super hit Stupid Girls!
10. I Love You Te Quiero
Artist: Sirkus Eliassen
Lyrics: Mgnus Eliassen and Erik Eliassen
Music: Magnus Eliassen
Sirkus Eliassen is made up of brothers Erik and Magnus Eliassen from Bodø. During the past two years they have managed to conquer all of Norway with their catchy radio hits in the Nordland dialect. They debuted in the summer of 2011 with the single Hjem til dæ that was A-listed on Radion P3 and sold five times platinum. In 2012 they delivered an even bigger hit Æ vil bare dans (together with DJ Ben Kinx) that was in the Norwegian charts for 28 weeks and sold platinum ten times! Now they are hell bent on having a new hit with the MGP song I Love You Te Quiero.
Your Eurovision.tv team in Oslo
A team from Eurovision.tv will be in Oslo to cover the final of Melodi Grand Prix 2013 and together with our friends at NRK, we will be bringing you exclusive backstage videos, pictures and social media coverage. So make sure you stay tuned and follow us on Twitter (@Eurovision), Instgram (Eurovisionteam) and of course Facebook (Eurovision Song Contest).
Norway will take part in the second half of the second Semi-Final of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest being held in Malmö, Sweden on the 16th of May.