The Grand Final of Melodi Grand Prix 2023 is set to take place this Saturday live from Trondheim in Norway. A total of nine acts are going to be competing to win over the hearts of the Norwegian public and the international jury, in order to win that single ticket to Eurovision 2023 in Liverpool. One of the big fan favorites who sailed through to the Final in the first semi is also the winner of the 2020 Melodi Grand Prix – Ulrikke.
We had a lovely chat with Ulrikke about her comeback in Melodi Grand Prix this year, but we also reflected on her victory in 2020 and the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest that year. You can read everything Ulrikke told us in this interview right below:
Welcome back to Melodi Grand Prix! This is a moment that many of us have waited for ever since 2020. Before we talk about this year, we have to recap that you became a fan favourite across Europe with your beautiful song “Attention” in 2020, won the ticket to Eurovision but due to the cancellation unfortunately could not perform. I can’t begin to imagine how difficult that must’ve been for you; could you tell us a little about how that felt?
Thank you so much! Honestly, it was absolutely heartbreaking. Of course I understood the decision to cancel Eurovision, it was a horrible situation around in the world with the corona virus. At the same time I lost my biggest dream, so of course I was really sad and disappointed. However, the year brought so many other good things with it, and I managed to turn a really shitty situation to something positive. And I’m SO happy to finally be back in MGP now!
Are you still in contact with anybody from the 2020 contest? A few others are back this year to try and win their ticket back to Eurovision – like Damir Kedzo in Croatia and Alicja rumoured in Poland; could a reunion be on the cards?
A 2020 reunion would be so much fun! I would have loved that!!
Back in 2020, you mentioned in several interviews that you would only come back if you had the right song. So this brings us to the beautiful “Honestly”! Can you tell us a little more about this song and what that means to you?
The song means the world to me, and is the most personal song I’ve written to date. Honestly is about my friendship to my best friend and manager, Christoffer. And how once you realize how important one person is to you, you have to fight and do what you can to save that relationship. 2020 really took a toll on our friendship, with Eurovision being cancelled, him losing his dad to cancer, the corona situation and everything else happening. I really wanted to be there for him, but didn’t know how to best comfort and take care of him. I am sure lots of people are able to put themselves in the same situation, and I’m pretty sure most of us has felt the pain of losing someone close, or almost losing someone.
If you win again, this would be the first time in over 15 years that the Norwegian language appears on the Eurovision stage. It feels like it could be a special moment; what was the reason behind adding this language and the beautiful ‘Til evig tid’ lines to the song?
Wow, 15 years!? Well, it’s about time then! I am super proud of being Norwegian, our language and our culture. So we knew all the way we wanted to incorporate some Norwegian in the song, and when we landed on “til evig tid” we knew it was the perfect three words.
We also must talk about the music videos you have released; both the dance video and the music video for the Norwegian version of the song. How did these come about?
Actually, we had planned a dance video to Attention in 2020 leading up to Eurovision. But then due to corona that fell through, so it felt like a “full circle” moment being able to make a dance video to “Honestly”. Also, Rikke and Tarjei who are the dancers in the video are absolutely amazing, so we are so happy they said yes to be a part of this project! And as I said previously, I’m so proud of the Norwegian language. Therefore we wanted to gift the fans a little special something by making a Norwegian version. Luckily we were also able to travel and make the music video with lots of amazing fans!
I also have to mention the unbelievably epic KLAAS remix of “Attention” you performed in 2021, coupled with the banger that is “Falling Apart”. Whilst you have chosen a ballad for this year, do you have any more plans to release dancefloor fillers for Euroclub and beyond?
I mean.. If I win on Saturday you can be sure there will be a banger of a remix of “Honestly”. I can’t wait to have the whole dancefloor dance and sweat and have a good time!
We know how much Eurovision means to you, and last time we spoke to you, you shared with us that your favourite songs were Alexander Rybak 2009 “Fairytale” and Loreen’s “Euphoria” from 2012. Do you have any more new favourites on top of these?
Well, I have to say Chanel’s performance last year was absolutely EPIC! And Sam Ryder is a huge favorite for me as well, his vocals are beyond. And of course I think Subwoolfer was a fun and very different act, haha.
Best of luck on Saturday, Ulrikke! I can’t wait to cheer you on from the Trondheim arena. Do you have a message for your fans who will be reading this?
Thank you SO much! And I also wants to say thank you to everyone reading – The Eurovision community is truly amazing, and I’m so happy for all the love you guys spread to not just me but all the artists competing in all the various national finals. It means the world to us!
Give a listen to Ulrikke’s “Honestly” right here:
Let us know who YOUR favorites are in this year’s Melodi Grand Prix by voting in our poll below: