Fantastic opening show ... !! Love it with all the familiar faces, and the fact that they're using Satellite as the music ... and that they're making fun of Alexander Rybak. And that he's part of it too. ;-) Very fun and very cool. :-) Rimmen's dress is nice but covers too much for my taste, and is too glittery. But that's just me. Maybe. ;-)
I've already blogged about all the entries, so I won't go into much detail in this post ... you can read the reviews of the quarter-finals here: 1, 2, 3.
Entry #1 - Vardlokk, performed by Helene Bøksle. Plus: Beautiful singer with a fantastic voice. Looks very Norwegian. Gorgeous dress, although of course that may change. ;-) Norwegian language. A lovely melody with real personality and an authentic Norwegian sound. Minus: May be too boring ... I mean understated, whatever. Reminiscent of Alvedansen, which was hardly a success. Doesn't create much energy in the audience, too low-key for that.
Entry #2 - Alt du vil ha, performed by Sie Gubba. Plus: Norwegian language. Not a bad melody. Also quite authentically Norwegian, though of a rather newer tradition. Minus: Not enough energy in the performance. Not a very memorable song, kind of boring.
Entry #3 - Depend On Me, performed by Babel Fish. Plus: Not at all a bad song. Professional performers. A nice subject for a song, a bit untraditional. Minus: Dull!! We've all heard this a thousand times before. Yes, they are the Babel Fish, but the whole point of Babel Fish is that they didn't make it abroad. It's pointless to send something that we think is fantastic but that is in reality seriously dull - we won't be able to vote for it! Way too standard, no personality, boring.
Entry #4 - Fire Below, performed by The Lucky Bullets. Plus: Nothing. Minus: Everything.
Entry #5 - Dance Tonight, performed by The BlackSheeps. Plus: The language - a mix of English, Norwegian and Sami. Charming performers who have already won ESC Jr. A catchy song, lots of energy on stage that transfers to the audience too. A fun entry with a good beat. It'd be a good gimmick to send a gang of Junior winners. Minus: THEY CAN'T SPELL!!!
Entry #6 - Haba haba, performed by Stella Mwangi. The big favorite tonight. Plus: Unusual entry - ethnic character usually goes down well. A very charming singer - she'll make you smile just by being there. A beautiful girl - that never hurts. ;-) A fantastic chorus that has the audience on its feet. A fun dance that's easy to learn, ie, a good gimmick. An energetic performance, lots of fun to watch. Minus: The verse is way too weak and shows up her voice, which isn't the strongest. It's the wrong kind of ethnic - not very smart to send a black girl to the international final (there are a lot of racists out there, I'm not pointing fingers at anyone, you know who you are) but I'd be proud of sending her anyway. :-)
Entry #7 - Not That Easy, performed by Åste & Rikke. Plus: Two beautiful women with really good voices. An unusual song with personality & character. An interesting song. Minus: That hair is SO distracting! o_O The song is kind of unmelodious and takes a few listens to really get you.
Entry #8 - You're Like A Melody, performed by Hanne Sørvaag. Plus: A good melody. Sweet. A beautiful woman with an appealing voice. Looks stereotypically Norwegian. Minus: She seems strangely nervous. Very unbecoming dress. Extremely typical ESC entry, especially the lyrics. Not a lot of personality. (The song, I mean.)
And now - eight will become four ... ! The voting is over and the four highest scoring candidates will go on to the last round of the final. Who will they be?? My guess - definitely Mwangi and Babel Fish. I'm also hoping for Bøksle. The last I really don't know. The field is so even this year, there isn't really one obvious winner. To be honest, I'll be happy with anyone except those rockabilly douchebags.
I voted once for Mwangi and ... four or five times for Bøksle. I lost count. :-) But what I really wanted was to vote for Susperia ... !! Waaah!!
OK, let's hear it. First ... The BlackSheeps. OK, no surprise. I'm cool with that. Second ... Sie Gubba. Seriously? That's kind of a surprise. But like Anne Ida says, if we want the entry to reflect the general musical tastes of the average Norwegian, then this is definitely the song to send. :-D Third ... Stella Mwangi. Of course. :-) I love what Sundnes said to her - you shouldn't smile any wider now, your head will come apart. :-D She's so happy ... !! I really want her to win now, just because if she does she will be SO CRAZY HAPPY ... ! :-D Now, the fourth and final place (again, sorry about the lousy pun) ... The Lucky Bullets! WTF??!! AUGH!! So it's true, Norwegians are idiots!! >:-( Who voted for this shit?? I hate you guys so much right now.
Stella, save us!!! You're our only hope!!!!
AUGH ... !!! It's the runthrough of the four entries and I'm texting while it's on, and these hideous 50s throwbacks actually had me singing along to their atrocious song ... !! OH NOES!! They're brainwashing me! Augh!!
Stella, save us ... !!! :-o
I voted for her ten times. Fingers crossed ... !!!
The intermission ... Signe finds Mr Oslo, after a fruitless search among skiers ... and then the musical act, which I have to say is surprisingly unimaginative. It was so much more creative last Saturday. Weird. Gothic choir music morphs into a totally standard performance of My Heart Is Yours. Not impressive. But Didrik's got his hard t right, anyway.
And now - the votes! I'm so nervous!! STELLA!! Here's the voting setup - we've got both professional votes and televotes, plus the votes from the audience in the venue ...
there are four of the former ... the votes from the venue come first, that's about 7,000 votes distributed per person, and then one jury group each from the four towns that hosted the quarter-finals and the semi. Each 'town jury' has 20,000 votes to give out, in chunks of 2, 4, 6 and 8,000, respectively. Oh, I'm so nervous! Stella wins the venue, but it's pretty even between her and the bullets. Then the four towns ... there's no obvious favorite there ... but it's shaping up to a showdown between Stella and the BlackSheeps. Sarpsborg is the last town, and ... Stella's in the lead. YES!!
Ooh, Rimmen has a new dress. I didn't notice it till now. Gorgeous! :-D
Now the televotes - they are divvied up into two chunks, the first is from three parts of the country combined, the north, the west and the south. OMG nervous!!! But ... Stella will crush the others ... won't she?? YES!! She will!! She does!! YES!!!!
The last part of the televote, from the east country and Trøndelag. Sie Gubba are from Trøndelag, so they'll get a good bit of the votes here ... but they're dead last, so they'll get nowhere near enough. Not even to beat the Bullets. (As long as somebody beats them, that's all I ask.) OMG it's Stella!! She is TOTALLY the winner!! She totally beat everyone! Yay! :-D And she's soo happy ... she's crying and totally beside herself ... which won't help her already not very strong voice. But what are you going to do. :-D
OK, it's done, we've got our winner. I'm happy with this entry. No, it's not very Norwegian, and she's not a very good singer, but it's a fun song and a memorable entry. I likes it. :-) We can hold our heads up this year. But yeah, it's one of the 42 songs that will not win the 2011 ESC. :-D