Friday, January 8, 2010

ESC 2010: Norway, first quarter-final

I was going to post about Elvis today, since this would have been his 75th birthday if he had still been alive (but as a customer and I agreed today, he will live forever!!) but of course I can't do that, because tonight's the night when it's all starting ... !!! :-D The first quarter-final in the Norwegian selections for the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest is being held in Ørland in South Trøndelag. I know, there's never anything really good in the first quarter-final, but even so, I'M SO EXCITED ... !! :-D

Read on for my not very profound thoughts ... ! I'll update the entries with links to various Youtube videos, when they're posted (which shouldn't take long ;-).

Entry #1: Kim Bergseth, Laila Samuelsen and Gaute Ormåsen - Synk eller svøm, performed by Idol-Gaute Ormåsen. Not my favorite singer, and in fact not much of a singer at all - a so-so voice, about what you'd expect from a traditionally good-looking guy who didn't win Idol. >:-) The song is also pretty so-so. Kind of catchy but nothing special ... I may remember the chorus for a while, but it's not a winner. Sry. But I really respect him for singing in Norwegian, he's the only one in this quarter-final who's doing that. Maybe in the whole lineup this year, in fact, I'm not sure. Serious kudos. He may well get through, just because of who he is and because the song isn't that bad, but it's not a winner.

Entry #2: Jarl Aanestad, Simon Walker and Lene Alexandra Øien - Prima Donna, performed by Lene Alexandra. This is her second time in the contest. The other song was better ... not saying it was good, but at least it was fun. I'm not buying this at all. The performance is lacking in energy and enthusiasm, I don't like her dress, the song is a totally standard eurotrash ditty. But the time for this kind of song has pretty much passed though, they're not doing well these days. I don't think Sweden could have won with Take Me To Your Heaven in 2009, for instance. Again, this may get through to the semi just because of who she is, but it doesn't deserve to - there's no point in us sending it, because come May it would crash and burn. Stupid song, I hope we've heard the last of it.

Entry #3: Julian Berntzen - Rewind Love, performed by Johnny Hide (the singer from Number Seven Deli, FYI). Sheesh, it opens with a violin! We're going to be hearing SO many violins in May ... !! :-D But this song, hmm ... I kind of like it. By far the best so far. An old-fashioned and ... I hesitate to say creative, but certainly an original entry in this connection. Not catchy, but sweet. People may remember this one ... it's not a winner, but it may do OK. Of course it may be too weird and completely bomb. ;-) But it's sweet and sincere and may go down well in the East. But that last note, OMG ... !! Ouch!! o_O I think he shot himself in the foot right there ...

Entry #4: Simone Larsen, Simen Eriksrud and Bjørn Johan Muri - Yes Man, performed by Bjørn Johan Muri. Another guy who didn't win Idol. And I have to say that I can't stand Larsen, anything to do with her and I automatically take a negative view, because when she was in D'Sound all their lyrics were in English even though her English pronounciation SUCKS ASS ... or at least did back then. Yes, I am that immature. Anyway. This song really isn't bad at all. Catchy, a somewhat original melody, might stand out enough to be remembered. The best so far. The lyrics are pretty stupid, but who cares, it's the ESC! It's all about stupid lyrics. His performance is kind of embarrassing - he's barely twenty and supposedly some kind of teen, or is it tween, idol, and he acts that way too. Sheesh. But that can be fixed, I guess, maybe. This song will be in the semi, though, no question.

Entry #5: Thomas Eriksen and Elisabeth Carew - Rocketfuel, performed by Elisabeth Carew. Yes, the title of the song really is spelled wrong. >:-( And of course the lyrics are dumb. But her dress is pretty cool, so that's a plus. ;-) The performance is kind of fun - very ESC - but she's out of breath before the song is over, so I'm not impressed. May get through, it's not at all the worst, but it's not very special, so it probably won't. And that's not a bad thing.

Entry #6: Mats Lie Skåre and Merete La Verdi - Make My Day, performed by Maria Haukaas Storeng. Now here at least is a singer who can really sing!! Hands down the best voice of the night, absolutely no contest. She is competing for the second time - she won our national contest in 2007 and came fifth in Belgrade, quite impressively. That song was better though ... more memorable ... but this one is pretty good too. A happy love song. :-) A really nice chorus. I would be extremely surprised if this doesn't get to the semi and beyond. I don't like her costume much, but that's really the only thing I have to say against this entry. It could have been boring, but her performance was so good that it's anything but. :-)

Entry #7: Arnt 'Obsidian' Grønbech, Torbjørn Schei, Vegar Larsen and Robin Isaksen - The Dragontower, performed by the composers & writers in their capacity as Keep of Kalessin. A heavy metal, or should I say black metal band. Yes, seriously. They've been at it for almost 15 years and they shocked their black-clad fans when they announced their plans to compete in the ESC. :-D But why the hell not?? All genres should be represented. I'm almost rooting for them just for that. ;-) But since this is absolutely not my kind of music - they say it's melodious, but it's mostly noise really - and they, like the Eriksen/Carew combo, can't spell, I will reserve my vote tonight for Haukaas Storeng. :-) But this is a pretty good entry. Far from the worst of the evening, in fact one of the better. May well get to the semi, or even the final, but I doubt it's a winner on May 29th. I wouldn't be ashamed to see this in Telenor Arena, though. ;-)

The presenters are OK - I'm not much of a Per Sundnes fan, but I can deal. I can't remember the woman's name but there you go. Marte something? Nothing against her though, she's doing a good job.

Kind of boring intermission 'entertainments' - just celebrities talking about their ESC memories. I care about this why?

I've voted twice for Make My Day, so let's see the results. Two songs will go directly to our national final from this round, and two will go to the semi.

Bjørn Johan Muri - Yes Man
Gaute Ormåsen - Synk eller svøm

Maria Haukaas Storeng - You Make My Day
Keep of Kalessin - The Dragontower

LOL! The metal guys are totally excited. :-D Results pretty much as expected and nothing to worry about. OK, when I say 'worry' here, I mean that I hope we won't send a total piece of shit to ... Oslo, you know. I mean, we're so used to getting zero points, it's not a big deal, but now that we're hosting it ourselves, it'd be nice to get at least some points from someone. So fingers crossed, guys, that we'll manage to pick something halfway decent. ;-)

James, I hope you're reading this and that you'll check out Keep of Kalessin's entry. It's an ESC song that you might actually like ... !! :-o


Calyx said...

Keep of Kalessin rocks! My absolute favourite! Considering that the only areas of music where Norway dominates are modern jazz and black metal, this is totally appropriate. Would be very cool to have them represent us in the ESC. Great band , and yes, I get the melody. And they can really play, which is not always a given in the ESC....

Elin said...

I still don't understand how Maria Haukaas Storen didn't get to the finale during her participation in Norwegian Idol... She is by far the best singer of these people.

As for Keep of Kalessin, the song is actually quite melodious. Listen beyond their vocal, and it's a really nice song, in my ears. ;-) If the song had female singer, it would be great... I mean, a female that's not growling! Mmmmhmm!