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How To Bet On Norway's Melodi Grand Prix

The first National Final with betting opportunities this season comes to us from Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

The format of the show is the biggest that Norway has ever organised with 26 songs competing over 7 shows of entertainment. The next five Saturdays, from 16th January to 13th February, have four songs competing in each heat, with one qualifying to the live show. Those five songs will be joined by one of the 2nd place entries from the semi finals, qualifying through a sort of ‘last chance’ round on Sunday 14th February.

To make it more complicated those six songs will be joined in the final by six songs that have received a free pass to the final, meaning a 12 song finale on February 20th to decide who competes in Rotterdam.

NRK are going to be releasing the artists and songs for each heat in a press conference each Monday, and certainly in 2020 companies such as Betsson and CoolBet (in the Scandinavian region) and Unibet (available more widely) were offering odds just a few hours after songs were revealed. There have been some big movements in this market in the past with odds setters clearly listening to different songs than we were, so there could be some opportunity for value if you commit quickly. It is unlikely that an exchange market will be available except potentially for the final.

It should be noted as well that NRK are, we assume, continuing with their use of an app for votes that is similar, albeit less complex, to that used by Sweden. That app crashed last year as, big surprise, the broadcaster massively underestimated how many viewers would want to vote if voting was made free. Don’t expect that to happen this year, but the use of a casual app like this as a general rule favours pop songs and those with widespread appeal to the general public. Considering last year’s MGP, I do suspect Rein Alexander’s bearded Viking look would have run Ulrikke close if the public voting system had been working.

Ulrikke, the 2020 winner, is not taking part in the competition this year, so we don’t have any of the returning winner complications and sympathy vote to consider, at least not directly. Despite Ulrikke taking part as a pre-qualified finalist last year, I advise early caution if one wishes to vote for acts that are pre-selected for the final compared to those that emerge through the heats - only the latter bunch of songs have proven their worth competitively. We’ve seen all too often how the majority of Big 5 entries in the Eurovision Song Contest struggle to get close to the left hand side of the leaderboard, and even if they are good on paper that doesn’t always translate to the stage.

On we'll give a quick review of the runners and riders in each heat during the week, keep checking here to see if there’s any tips from the team.

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