Norway: Aussievision's Melodi Grand Prix 2023 rankings
This weekend is the Grand Final of Norway's Melodi Grand Prix (MGP), where the nation will decide its representative for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.
Over the past three weeks, the top three acts from each semi-final have progressed through to the Grand Final leaving nine acts who are battling it out for the ticket to Liverpool.
The final will be hosted by Arian Engebø and Stian Thorbjørnsen at Trondheim Spektrum arena.
Unlike the semi-finals (whose results were determined purely by the public), an international jury has been re-introduced for the final, consisting of industry professionals from multiple countries. The jury and the public will each contribute 50% to the final result.
Aussievision team rankings
Ahead of the event the Aussievision team ranked the 9 entries to decide our winner and here are the results.
9. Umami Tsunami - 'Geronimo' (65 points)
High: 5 points from Tim
Low: 2 points from Kyriakos, Justin, Dale, Mark, Hayley, Steven and Guy
8. Swing'it - 'Prohibition' (72 points)
High: 10 points from Craig, 8 points from Justin
Low: 2 points from Zhi, Tim, Josh, Fleur and Hugo, 3 points from Cooper, Emma, Hayley and Steven
"I seem to have a thing for all the electro-swing/sax solo numbers across the various national finals this year, because 'Probibition' is great fun. The chorus is extremely catchy, the performers are charismatic and the staging has some memorable gimmicks. Swing'it have defied the odds to make it to the MGP final so far, and while I don't seriously expect them to win the whole thing, this is the song at MGP this year which makes me smile the most" ~ Craig
7. Elsie Bay - 'Love You In A Dream' (81 points)
High: 8 points from John
Low: 3 points from Zhi, Dale, Craig, Mark and Guy
6. Skrellex - 'Love Again' (95 points)
High: 12 points from Hayley, 10 points from Zhi
Low: 2 points from John, 3 points from Kiel and Josh
"It was a tight three-way race to the 12 points but Skrellex has won me over! I already have huge love for drag queens and Skrellex is a STAR! I wanted fabulousness and colour and fun and she delivers this in spades! She can sing, she can dance, and her backup dancers are gorgeous! This song is pure happiness and bop and it makes me smile!!" ~ Hayley
"I know this is a dated disco track that is off the charts on the camp Richter scale. However, this is an insanely infectious tune and in the semi-finals Skrellex delivered an incredibly polished performance. The grabbing of the glittering microphone in the beginning gives me major Charlotte Perrelli vibes (‘Hero’ Sweden 2008). I know auto-tune helps, but I was pleasantly surprised with Skrellex’s vocals particularly during the lifts and high notes. A surprise qualifier, but this could emerge as a dark horse to lift the MGP title." ~ Zhi
5. Atle Pettersen - 'Masterpiece' (97 points)
Highs: 10 points from Kyriakos, Dale and Guy, 8 points from Kiel, Josh and Steven
Low: 2 points from Craig and Emma, 3 points from Justin, Tim and Fleur
"Without the way Atle performed this, it would be a fairly run of the mill ballad. But he absolutely nailed the live performance in the semi final. The vocal was excellent, the staging was really effective, and his styling looked awesome." ~ Guy
"Great to see Atle in a vulnerable ballad. I love the overall package with the lighting and beams throughout the performance and emotive delivery. It was very difficult for me to choose between ‘Masterpiece’ and ‘Honestly’ for my 12 points." ~ Kyriakos
"This is a heartfelt man ballad executed really well. What brings this to life is the staging which lifts the song and allows Atle to be front and centre without being dull. The chorus is great and I love the little lyrics run of Baby, it's alright, if you'll be fine, then I'll be fine too. This pipped another very well executed ballad just being a little more contemporary and something I seek out to listen to more." ~ Dale
4. Eline Thorp - 'Not Meant To Be' (107 points)
Highs: 12 points from Josh, 10 points from Justin, Tim and Fleur
Low: 2 points from Cooper
"I love the melody and structure that keeps the listener guessing. Retro 80’s vibe really hits the spot for me and I am obsessed with the playful winding vocals on that flawless chorus. If Eline can up her staging and vocals just slightly for the finale performance I do think she stands an outside chance at winning! Win or loss, this is destined to be a fan fave for the year of National Finals." ~ Josh
"I like the lyrics (everyone's had one of those breakups, right?), and the delivery seems jury friendly. She's also stable vocally, which is necessary to be able to listen to her lyrics closely on first listen." ~ Justin
"I really like this song and it will make my playlist. 'Not Meant to Be' has that point of difference compared with the other female-led vocal songs in this national final with its slight rock edge. It is my type of pop song. Definitely a solid contender." ~ Fleur
"I really enjoy the simplicity of the song. I find the chorus really infectious and memorable as well as comfortable. I think the story within the song is really sweet and I feel like the song itself is very genuine. I don’t know how it’s chance will go on Saturday but I remain hopeful of a good result." ~ Tim
3. Jone - 'Ekko inni meg' (136 points)
Highs: 12 points from Justin and Fleur, 10 points from Hayley, Emma, Hugo and Steven, 8 points from Cooper, Kyriakos, Craig and Mark
Low: 2 points from Kiel, 3 points from John
"First of all, Jone gets a bonus point for singing in Norwegian, thus dispensing with any qualms I might have over the lyrics. Next, it delivers modern Scandi dance-pop that has hooks. And finally, Jone has a decent voice and there’s staging potential. I wouldn’t be disappointed if this were chosen for Liverpool." Steven
"I am generally a sucker for yodelling, but I quite like the back-and-forth in a way that makes it feel more modern than something like Romania 2017's 'Yodel It!'. If it does end up going to Liverpool, I wonder how they'll use the yodeller, though." ~ Justin
"I love this. It's a modern day sea shanty and I am here for it. There will be nothing else that sounds like this at Eurovision. It has that unmistakable Nordic sound without sounding clichéd. The EDM elements gives it that something extra that sets it apart from other songs of its ilk." ~ Fleur
"What a banger!! This is like ‘Fulenn’ (France 2022) but from Norway! I love the beat of the chorus, and it’s quite melodic as well. This feels dirty and grungy and club like but with good Norwegian production. Interestingly I think I like the studio more than the live at this point, but get this on the big stage in the MGP grand final and who knows. I love this song." ~ Hugo
"Nothing else sounds like 'Ekko inni meg'...it's almost a Norwegian techno sea shanty which is going to attract the youth vote for sure (and anyone who doesn't like ballads). It's so damn catchy and the clever use of on screen graphics really enhanced the live performance. Will be interesting to see if both singers will be on stage for the final performance?" ~ Emma
2. Alessandra Mele - 'Queen of Kings' (144 points)
Highs: 12 points from John, Dale, Tim and Mark, 10 points from Cooper and Kiel, 8 points from Zhi, Fleur, Emma, Hugo and Guy
Low: 3 points from Kyriakos
"This song has blown up since the first heat. ‘Queen of Kings’ has all the right ingredients to become a viral hit in this contemporary streaming music industry. It’s incredibly catchy, impactful and memorable. I could see this so really well in the MGP final and could even take out the win." ~ Cooper
"If this ends up being the winner, I can guarantee you that Norway will qualify to the Grand Final and potentially, land in the Top 5 with ease. This is not just a girl power anthem, this is THE ultimate summer anthem. It would be a dream come true seeing a bop battle between Alessandra, E'Femme, Noa Kirel, and either Eyjaa or Maia Maia in Liverpool." ~ John
"A song built for dancefloors but also embodying so much Norwegian character, this can be an instant standout on the Eurovision stage, especially with the staging she has teased so far. If Norway isn't swept up in sentimentality for Ulrike, this is their best chance at making their mark in Liverpool." ~ Kiel
"This isn’t just my first place - for my mind, it’s miles ahead of the pack. It takes the best of those sea shanty-style entries - think Hammer of Thor or Higher Ground - and makes it contemporary and danceable. Alessandra is a proper good singer too. Maybe there’s some room for improvement when it comes to the choreography, which could be sharper and more convincing? Otherwise, a world of potential awaits Norway if they put Alessandra on a plane to Liverpool." ~ Mark
"Queen of Kings has a super catchy chorus and we start the song with that! You are immediately hooked and Alessandra gives a fantastic and cohesive performance. It's up-beat pop that sounds like something Ava Max would record but still has that distinct Norwegian MGP sound in production. This is a fun banger I want to see on the stage in Liverpool." ~ Dale
"Yeah this is pretty good. It’s high energy pop that has a really good bass line to it. It’s memorable and stands out in the line up. It’s fighting an up hill battle to win but it’s certainly got the potential to do good things in Liverpool." ~ Tim
1. Ulrikke Brandstorp - 'Honestly' (172 points)
Highs: 12 points from Cooper, Kiel, Samuel, Kyriakos, Craig, Emma, Hugo, Steven and Guy, 10 points from John, Josh and Mark, 8 points from Dale and Hayley
Low: 6 points from Justin, Tim and Fleur
"I mean from the day Ulrikke was announced as returning, ‘Honestly’ has been the song to beat. It is the most Eurovision song I’ve heard in a long time and I’ve been obsessed with it throughout MGP. We’ve seen a trend of Eurovision songs straying away from the “Eurovision Sound” but this return to a euro-power-pop-ballad excites me! These type of songs made me fall in love with the contest in the first place. I’m excited to see if Ulrikke can finally make it onto the Eurovision stage." ~ Cooper
"She must return to the Eurovision stage. Like, this is a song straight out of a fairytale." ~ John
"This song 'Honestly' grabbed my 'Attention' from the first listen. The stirring violin melodies create an unpredictable and mesmerising ballad that dare I say is better than her 2020 entry. Despite the use of auto-tune in this year’s selection, Ulrikke’s sensational vocals are still in a class of their own. Her semi-final performance reveals simple but clever staging that effectively convey the emotions of this song. The only critique I have is that I think the four violin players in the last 30 seconds is unnecessary, but other than that I’m rooting for Ulrikke to be finally given the chance to grace the Eurovision stage." ~ Samuel
"After a few years of performers aggressively trying to avoid Eurovision clichés at the contest, it is very refreshing to have a song which isn't afraid to lean into crowd-pleasing tropes. As in 2020, I'm very impressed by Ulrikke's level of vocal control, and she wrings absolutely every ounce of feeling out of this over the course of the performance. Ultimately, it doesn't matter whether 'Honestly' is the most original composition of all time - this is a top-tier Euroballad, and I hope dearly we get to see it in Liverpool in May." ~ Craig
"It’s sad because Ulrikke really deserves her spot on the Eurovision stage that she sadly missed out on in 2020, but this song just simply isn’t as good as Attention. While this will certainly qualify for the grand final at Eurovision, it’s not a potential top 5 like Attention was destined to be." ~ Josh
"Despite this superb crop of offerings served up by Norway this year, it's hard to go past Ulrikke. We know she's the sentimental favourite after not getting to compete for Norway in 2020 due to the pandemic. But this isn't a Keino-esque, try again tilt with a not-as-great offering compared to her original hit. She's built on 'Attention' and has delivered a track that, bar the bit-too-loud orchestra burst after the first chorus, is a polished package bursting with emotion, genuineness and heart which will resonate with fans and jurors alike. Couple that with some already bang-on staging, and we have the first big contender for the Eurovision crown in 2023, one that is fitting of giving her a second chance at being there." ~ Kiel
"It’s so good… but it’s not as good as 'Attention', which I maintain could’ve toppled both Dadi and the Roop if 2020 had taken place. And it’s not as good as 'Queen of Kings'. Vocally masterful it may be, 'Honestly' just feels slightly too by-numbers, dated and safe. Will be happy to be proven wrong - Ulrikke deserves a break." ~ Mark
"I think Ulrikke has come back with a better entry this year. It’s a song that she has a personal connection to and you can really feel that when she performs it. It also has a great string arrangement and builds into a huge final minute. Ulrikke truly deserves her moment on the Eurovision stage with this song." ~ Guy
"This song has two key selling points: Ulrikke’s accomplished live vocal abilities and the room made (in a perhaps overly calculated manner) to capture “moments” to display those abilities. Whilst it’s melodically spasmodic at points, this is a package backed by a heartfelt story that, with a little polishing, is Eurovision ready. I’d like to see it on stage in Liverpool." ~ Steven
"Ulrikke’s ballad is super catchy. It has vulnerability and that big moment that gives me goosebumps every time I listen to the song or watch the performance. The three minutes flows by so quickly because of how captivating Ulrikke is. Love the lighting and the performance has some very memorable shots." ~ Kyriakos
"Send her… send her!!!!! I didn’t know how she could follow up 'Attention' with something of similar quality, but Ulrikke has delivered! I was teary when I first heard this song because it’s just so good! So Norwegian in production, the strings, the percussion, the everything - it all comes together to form a terrifically strong package. I love the explosion of strings after the first chorus, then it builds and builds, then the “Eurovision note” at the end is wonderful. This gives me big ESC winner vibes, so please Norway, from the bottom of my heart, do the right thing. Words can’t express how much I love this!" ~ Hugo
"She may have missed her chance in 2020 but MGP is Ulrikke's to lose this year. 'Honestly' is your typical cliched Eurovision ballad complete with smoke, wind machine and handsome violin players but sung with such conviction. I can't help being swept up in Ulrikke's tale of lost love...from the emotive quietness of her voice at the beginning which takes us along for the three minute ride to desperate heartbreak at the end. The song is strong enough to win MGP as it is but considering she may also receive a sympathy vote of sorts from the Norwegian public, I 'honestly' can't see this not heading to Liverpool this year." ~ Emma
The Running Order
The running order for the Final is as follows:
Jone - 'Ekko inni meg'
Eline Thorp - 'Not Meant to Be'
Skrellex - 'Love Again'
Ulrikke Brandstorp - 'Honestly'
Umami Tsunami - 'Geronimo'
Atle Pettersen - 'Masterpiece'
Swing'it - 'Prohibition'
Elsie Bay - 'Love You in a Dream'
Alessandra Mele - 'Queen of Kings'
How To Watch
The Final of Melodi Grand Prix 2023 will take place on the morning of Sunday February 5 (Australian time) and can be watched via the NRK website. The show will begin at:
7:50pm, Sat Feb 4, Central European Time
4:50am AEST (QLD)
5:50am AEDT (ACT, NSW, TAS, VIC)
For continued updates on all the Eurovision Song Contest news follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. All links at: https://linktr.ee/aussievisionnet