PREVIEW: Norway’s Eurovision selection show Melodi Grand Prix 2023 starring Skrellex, Ulrikke, Jone & Elsie Bay

By Aline Mahrud

WHEN?: 7pm UK time Saturday 4 February 2023

WHERE?: Trondheim Spektrum, Trondheim HOW DO I WATCH?: NRK

Drag in Eurovision rarely pops in the way it does on RuPaul’s Drag Race but that’s all changed thanks to this performance by Skrellex.

  • Read on for reasons including Skrellex, former winner Ulrikke, Jone and Elsie Bay

12 points: Skrellex Love Again (Jonas Gladnikoff, Kai Thomas Ryen Larsen, Michael James Down, Primož Poglajen, Will Taylor)

Opening with a visual nod to the microphone grab by Charlotte Perrelli’s Hero, this performance of a fairly standard Europop track really elevates it. The staging is a camp riot of pinks and blues, the singing on point and the choreography even includes some gymnastics at 1 point. Love the ‘Keep your labels for your clothes’ line. Think this is an entry that will find an audience that loves it but not at all sure that it can win the Norwegian ticket against some top drawer competition.

10 points: Ulrikke Honestly (Ben Adams, Christoffer Gunnestad, Helge Moen, Jim Bergsted, Joshua Oliver, Ulrikke Brandstorp)

Ulrikke, of course, won the ticket to perform in 2020 but the Contest was Covid-cancelled. This is well-performed and has an anthemic and dramatic swift build to the chorus but does perhaps feel a little Scandi-Eurovision-entry-by-numbers. Subwoolfer star A1’s Adams amongst the songwriters. Violins? Check. Wind machine? Check.

8 points: Jone Ekko inni meg (Echo inside me) (Audun Guldbrandsen, Christine Ekeberg, Christopher Colin Archer, Jonas Nes Steinset, Morten Franck, Silje Blandkjenn)

Part rap, part joik – no KEiiNO again this year and we see emo Jone with his black fingernails as a dark horse in this competition. There’s something very Norwegian about this which is not just down to the language in which it is performed and this song probably surprisingly shone brightest in its 2nd semi.

7 points: Elsie Bay Love You In A Dream (Andreas Stone Johansson, Elsa Søllesvik, Tom Oehler)

Bay was top 4 at Norway’s MGP in 2022 with Death Of Us and Love You In A Dream is a similar dark, Billie Eilish nod at a Bond theme. She also co-wrote the frankly bonkers Witch Woods for Emmy the year before.

6 points: Umami Tsunami Geronimo (Bjørn Olav Edvardsen, Carl-Henrik Wahl, Kristian Lund, Lasse Nymann, Sindre Jenssen, Torgeir Ryssevik)

The publicity around the AutoTune now used in MGP isn’t a great look for the show and we can’t help but think that this boy band trio with backing singers and dancers seemingly melting into the main act are the main beneficiaries. A catchy pop hit that reminds of 90s Backstreet Boys and songwriter Max Martin in its appeal is rather awkwardly performed. The ‘Take back control’ hook also can’t help but raise our post-Brexit hackles.

5 points: Alessandra Mele Queen Of Kings (Alessandra Mele, Henning Olerud, Linda Dale, Stanley Ferdinandez)

The sort of mix of both Norwegian and Irish folk which many would assume would be a natural fit for either country at Eurovision.

4 points: Eline Thorp Not Meant To Be (Andreas Stone Johansson, Eline Thorp, Elsa Søllesvik, Jonas Holteberg Jensen)

A strong, relatable break-up lyric for a song that it well-performed if a little predictable.

3 points: Atle Pettersen Masterpiece (Andreas Stone Johansson, Atle Pettersen, Hannah Dorothy Bristow)

Atle’s vocals are good but this song is far from its title and feels a little mediocre in this decent field.

  • Main picture via Facebook courtesy NRK. Tickets
  • Have you seen a Melodi Grand Prix show, do you like any of their songs and what did you think of this 1? Let us know what you thought in the comments below
  • Enjoyed this preview? Follow monstagigz on Twitter @NeilDurham, email neildurham3@gmail.com and check us out on Instagram and Facebook

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