Yesterday, two Norwegian papers Verdens Gang and Bergens Tidene revealed some of the participants that will compete in the Norwegian national selection – Melodi Grand Prix 2006. Officially the names are going to be announced by Norwegian broadcaster (NRK) at three separate dates, the first six participants is to be revealed on 21st December.
Among the participants that is now mentioned to take part, according to Norwegian papers are Geir Rønning, who represented Finland this year in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Why but did not manage to qualify for the final and finished at 18th place in the semifinal. He is born in Norway and have previously competed four times in the Norwegian national final, his best result so far is a second place in Melodi Grand Prix 1996.
Another veteran who returns is Tor Endresen, who represented Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest 1997, with the song San Francisco, that finished at last place with no points.
Three other names are mentioned. They are newcomers in Melodi Grand Prix 2006 but are known in the Norwegian music scene; Trine Rein who had a hit in Scandinavia with the song Torn – which later became a world known hit with Natalia Imbruglia. The other newcomers are Veronica Akselsen and Christine Gulbrandsen, only 20 years of age, but already with two albums behind her Surfing In the Air and Moments. Earlier this month the artist Ovi Martin was revealed as a participant in Melod Grand Prix 2006.
Officially the six first participants that competes in the first semifinal will be announced on 21st December, the second semifinalists on 27th December and the participants in the third semifinal on 2nd January.
The hosts for the five shows are already confirmed and will be Synnøve Svabø and Stian Barsnes Simonsen, who co-hosted the Junior Eurovision Song Contest last year from Lillehammer.
Stian Malme, projectmanager at NRK for the Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix has also revealed that 17 of the songs will be sung in English while one song will be sung in Norwegian. All the songs will also be issued on a CD, which will be in the stores already before the first semifinal starts the 13th of January in Alta.
Dates and places – Melodi Grand Prix 2006
� 13th January – Semifinal � Alta,
� 20th January – Semifinal � Bodø
� 27th January – Semifinal � Bergen,
� 3th February – Second chance semifinal � Oslo
� 4th February – Final � Oslo
Thanks to Wig Wams success and 9th place in the final in the Eurovision Song Contest this year with the song In My Dreams Norway is directly qualified for the final in Athens the 20th of May.