While most attention is focused on the Melodifestivalen rehearsals, let’s take a look at this week’s Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix songs.
The first two semi-finals in Norway have met with far from universal approval, with the second week in particular featuring some rather less than stellar performances, so let’s hope things will get better this Saturday, in the third and final semi-final.
Gothminister – Utopia
Far more of a name in their genre than Gromth were in the first semi-final, Gothminister play industrial metal, though ‘Utopia’ is far more accessible than may be expected. The metal songs nearly always surprise in the voting in Scandinavian national finals, often due to the genre’s large, but quiet, fanbase, so expect Gothminister to put in a strong showing.
In summary: probable qualifier
Adelén – Bombo
The kind of pseudo-Latino pop that always used to crop up in Belgian finals throughout the last decade, and then be performed terribly. I expect nothing else here from 16 year old Adelén, even if she does have some hefty hitmakers behind the song in Ina Wroldsen and Quiz & Larossi. And this year’s MGP hasn’t exactly been kind to pop.
In summary: lots of fun, but not a qualifier
Lucky Lips – Sweet and Heavy
Country bluegrass from Lucky Lips. I personally think this is absolutely beautiful, and with Melodi Grand Prix traditionally being a lot kinder on country music than its Swedish counterpart, may do better than expected. Will need a strong performance to stand out though.
In summary: Lovely, needs a good performance, borderline qualifier
Gaute Ormåsen – Awake
Unfortunately, Gaute’s song isn’t available on Spotify or on YouTube internationally, so I haven’t been able to listen to this in full, so will have to base this on the 30-second snippet broadcast last night. Which, in summary, a man who’s slightly older than he wants to be singing a song that’s far too young for him. With potential for some terrible falsetto notes.
In summary: your dad doing Bjorn Johan Muri (not like that!) at karaoke.
Anina – The Young
Now this is a surprise. While the televoters haven’t been kind to the girly pop this year, The Young stands out as far more substantial, with its Katy Perry-vibe and stand-up-and-sing-along chorus. We’ll see on Saturday whether Anina can carry it off live, but if she does, this could be the big surprise of the competition.
In summary: with the right performance, a potential superfinalist
Winda – Not Afraid
A big dance number designed the get the audience on their feet but ultimately, if it didn’t work for Mimi Blix with a much better song, there’s no reason it should work here. Not Afraid comes from the team behind ‘Haba Haba’, but really has none of the catchy elements behind that huge hit – Norway’s dance music can do much better.
In summary: not a chance
Sirkus Eliassen – I Love You Te Quiero
Sirkus Eliassen had one of the biggest hits of 2012 with the frankly quite brilliant ‘Æ vil bare dans’. Their MGP entry isn’t a patch on that, but follows much the same pattern, and is bound to have a strong performance, so should have a good chance.
In summary: qualifying, another likely superfinalist
To sum up, a much stronger semi-final than the past two weeks, though again a lot is going to depend on performances on the night. Last week it was the three best vocal performances that qualified, almost by default, and if the same is true again on Saturday we could see some surprises.
In theory, it’s pretty open, though I suspect Sirkus Eliassen are nailed on to qualify. Gothminister should follow them if the metal fans are voting (and they usually do), with the third place between Lucky Lips and Anina.