Wow! After getting over 120 views yesterday for the first time in month, I haven’t even broken double figures today! Do you all hate Ukraine that badly? I think today I’ll finally take a look at another of the big Scandavian powers, and one that has produced possibly my favourite of all the entries so far.
But could Norway pull off another victory, 4 years after a triumphant Alexander Rybak hit the jackpot in Moscow and brought the contest back home to Oslo? I’d love another Norwegian Eurovision, hopefully they’d give it to Bergen, somewhere I’m dying to go! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, I’m just looking at the 10 national finalists today.
21 entries made up 3 semi-finals, with the three winners of each joined by a wildcard from the leftovers. Those ten finalists were subject to a public vote, with a jury throwing some weight behind the process (albeit rather a weak one that ultimately had no effect other than a modest boost for the eventual winner).
Vidar Busk – Paid My Way
Oh GREAT, what a way to start, 50’s rock’n’roll pastiche crap, my favourite! How many times will they try to bring Elvis back in Eurovision? It NEVER WORKS! Is this guy singing in English? This is really horrible. Not really much more I can say about it. Doesn’t add anything new to the sound, it’s just clinging onto it for dear life.
Fjellfolk – Ulvetuva
After that excitement, let’s have a nice sit down and listen to some Enya-esque folky music. Very Nordic, are they trying to recreate their 1995 winner “Nocturne”? I can’t quite remember how that went, but I’m sure it was a bit more memorable than this one.
Always nice to see something more traditional in these shows, that’s part of the fun of Eurovision for me. It’s just that this one is a bit of a toilet break, even if the leading lady sings it well.
Gromth ft. Emil Solli-Tangen – Alone
I remember Didrik Solli-Tangen, who represented (and tanked for) Norway in Oslo 2010, but I loved that song so much. Here’s his hot brother by the looks of it. He even sings like him, semi-operatic, very theatrical.
Holy shit, what’s this? A villainous Meat Loaf tribute actor has invaded the stage to shriek over a frantic thrash metal beat. What a fucking MESS!! How did lovely Emil get tangled up with these monsters? What a bizarre mix … they should listen to Emil: “Leave me alone, I’m fine on my own”. TOO TRUE. Totally shocking. Now let me go Google Image search him.
Gaute Ormåsen – Awake
This has been a horrendous ordeal so far, let’s get a nice fresh-faced guy trilling over a midtempo pop song with a bit of dance, some revolving window frames … yeah, not quite sure on the concept.
But fortunately he’s got a lovely falsetto, and the chorus has a nice sense of scale to it. He looks like Paradise Oskar’s big brother or something. This is pretty high quality, that would be a – perhaps unexciting but – decent entry in Eurovision.
Lucky Lips – Sweet and Heavy
Certainly an interesting artist/title combo. Oh, no this wasn’t what I was expecting at all. A pink-haired country song. I’m coming around to country music as I get older, I wonder where I’m getting that from?
Her voice quivers on some of the notes, but she’s got quite a sweet tone. Oh look, she’s taken her shoes off, WHAT A FREE SPIRIT! This has suddenly got too twee to function. We occasionally see country at Eurovision, but this doesn’t measure up to Texas Lightning or (at a stretch with the country link) Joan Franka. Nice enough, but it’s not a winner.
Datarock – The Underground
Another massive jump in genre, I can’t keep up. From Country we move to a full-on disco cheese track. Um… or is it? Suddenly a band appear with guitars (or is that one of those keyboard guitars?), not sure how they mix up, is this the sort of stuff they normally do?
The chorus is catchy enough, but his voice is just a bit nothingy, it just sounds a bit dated – the brand of retro we got in the late 90s almost. It’s got a sax solo, that’s a vote winner, and a rather unexpected key change. OK it convinced me, a bit of a mess, but have you seen the other entries so far?!
Annsofi – I’m With You
Former winner Alexander Rybak wrote this one (cue violin), and a pretty girl with a pretty dress and pretty hair stands and sings a pretty ballad. God, smile why don’t you??
The ballad itself is straight out of the Irish winner songbook, but unfortunately that hasn’t had much of an update since the early 90s, and it shows. Her voice is strong, even if some of the notes honk a little bit. Not quite the magic moment I think this was supposed to be, and much as it pains me to say, I think that lies with Annsofi.
Sirkus Eliassen – I Love You Te Quiero
What’s this going to be, Spanish chav-rap? It looks like it from the outfits, apart from the rabbits. The short-haired one is quite hot. Is this like a low-budget Sean Banan track? That explains the dancing bunnies.
Norwegian rap doesn’t do a lot for me, no matter how toned the rapper is. It’s catchy enough, that chorus is solid, but the song definitely has the whiff of “nul points” about it, something Norway have a long history of achieving as often as they win. I’ll just keep that Google Images window open…
Adelén – Bombo
Now THIS I love. Totally shameless ripoff of J.Lo’s “On the floor” and most of Ke$ha’s career … after a shaky vocal to start, she really hits her stride. She’s a likeable performer, gorgeous and keeping up with an energetic dance routine with the live vocals.
Certainly made an impact on me anyway, and a worthy second place. It’s very contemporary (see above rip-off), and while her voice isn’t flawless, it works as a superb pop song. Well done!
Margaret Berger – I Feed You My Love
From the opening seconds, with that pitch-black bassline, buzzing with drama and giving me goosebumps. It’s clear this is a professional effort by a seasoned performer. I’d heard of Margaret about 5 years ago with her song “Samantha” but not really investigated further.
The simple choreography and camera angles are totally effortless and make her the focus of that entire stadium in the same way Loreen did last year. It’s not a fun but flimsy pop song, this is hardcore but still accessible.
This just works on every level for me, they’ve got it all spot on. She stands there like a beacon in the dark clubby backdrop, it just works so well. The song itself is a bit of a mystery but my God I’m not going to forget it. Well done Norway, I’m backing this one right up to the end. God help me if it doesn’t qualify…