In a move described as “historic” by journalist Stein Østbø, Norway’s national final Melodi Grand Prix will allow autotune in its upcoming edition, Norwegian news outlet VG reports.
Keeping up with the times?
MGP’s director Stig Karlsen spoke with VG in an interview published on January 6th. He explained that most singers use autotune these days, and Melodi Grand Prix is in fact behind other music productions in adapting this change. Karlsen believes that in order to keep up with public expectations, MGP must use autotune; listeners have become “more discerning” as music productions become better produced. However, the Eurovision Song Contest itself does not use autotune.
VG raised concerns that a singer’s personality might be removed through autotune; to this, Karlsen responded that “using autotune doesn’t turn just anyone into a skilled vocalist”. In other words, a good vocalist shows their skill through timbre, vocal strength and breath support, rhythm, and communication and empathy. Autotune only corrects pitch and cannot make up for these other factors.
Public opinion of this news has been mixed. Because the Eurovision Song Contest does not use autotune, the Norwegian entrant may seem to have performed better at the national final than at Eurovision. However, autotune could give a second chance to a good song whose singer may have been having a bad night on the night of the national final. Over the years, as Eurovision has shifted to become more about performance and less about composition, successful live vocals have been instrumental to a song’s success.
What we know about Melodi Grand Prix 2023
The 61st edition of Norway’s national final, Melodi Grand Prix, will begin on 14 January and conclude on 4 February. The 21 competing artists were revealed last week and include four previous MGP winners–Kate Gulbrandsen (1987), Stig van Eijk (1999), JOWST (2017), and Ulrikke (2020). Excerpts of the entries are already available online, with the full songs being released starting tomorrow, January 9th.
Norway’s Eurovision journey
The Scandinavian nation made its debut in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1960, with Nora Brockstedt and the song “Voi Voi”, which placed 4th. Since their debut, they have participated 60 times, and made the grand final 57 of these. In addition, Norway has won the competition three times (1985, 1995, and 2009).
Norway’s latest Eurovision participation saw them being represented by Subwoolfer with the song “Give That Wolf a Banana”. During their participation, Norway placed 10th in the grand final, receiving 182 points from the jury and televoters.
Do you agree with this rule change? How do you think it will affect Melodi Grand Prix? As always, let us know what you think by commenting below. In addition, be sure to follow ‘THAT Eurovision Site’ on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok for all things MGP.
News source: VG
Photo credit: Mattis Sandblad / VG