This week we snuck in a last minute interview with Melodi Grand Prix returnee Atle Pettersen thanks to the help of his publicist. Atle first appeared in the Norwegian national final back in 2021 as a pre-qualified act, meaning that he and his song “World on Fire” advanced directly to the MGP Final. This year NRK has removed the pre-qualified act system, meaning he’s all on his own this time.

When asked about how he feels about this experience compared to 2021, Atle mentioned that this time he feels like he’s getting “the real experience this time” and that followers and MGP viewers alike care when you have stakes involved in the process. “The care more now because they know that we have to work together to get me to the final. This feels like how it should be, and more fair to everyone.”

He also spoke about how his participation in 2021 was prompted by NRK first, and then “World on Fire” was written. Ultimately he said that he was happy about the final song, but “it was too constructed and it didn’t feel real. This time I just wrote a song about something I care about and put my emotions down on paper, and put a melody to it.” It was only then after he wrote the entry that he decided it could be a possible MGP entry. And writing the song first then thinking of MGP has really changed his approach to the contest.

Atle is also a big Eurovision fan, and when asked which former Eurovision artist he would like to collaborate with, his answer was immediate – Eurovision 2012 winner and “Eurovision Legend” Loreen. His final message to fans? He hopes that you’ll be tuning into the semi-final on NRK and support him with a vote!

Atle Petterson will compete in the third semi-final of Melodi Grand Prix on Saturday January 28th starting at 19:50 CET. A total of three artists will be selected through a voting process to advance to the Grand Final on February 4th. The winner of the Grand Final will win the right to represent Norway at the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in May.

Are #YOU team Atle? Let us know on social media @ESCUnited, on our discord, or on our forum page!

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