Saturday, March 14, 2015

Melodi Grand Prix 2015

Whee ... !! Our time has come .. ! We will be selecting our entry for Vienna tonight and of course I am live blogging it. Oh, the excitement ... !! :-)

First of all I have to say that it's SO annoying that they're calling it the "MGP final". There hasn't been any quarter or semi finals so how is there any final?? Try to think a little, NRK.

But that's just my little pet peeve. I'm hoping for a good show tonight as it's a big anniversary - the ESC is 60 years old this year, although of course we haven't been participating that long. But it's also the 30th anniversary of our first victory, and the 20th of the second. So apparently they're going to really celebrate. We'll see.

Ooh, and our official broadcasting orchestra is playing the music for each song, they're wonderful, so that's a very good thing. :-)

Opening with a short WWII-themed skit, how can that go wrong. Well, it's a nod to the biggest hit on Norwegian TV this year, which was a mini series set during the war. A few more little fun skits ... intended to be fun, at least .. and then, wahey, all the performers of the night in a rousing rendition of
Dschinghis Khan. Costumes and all. That really is a cool song. And it's a first - no song in German has ever been performed in our national selections before. Hope you're catching this, Austria ... ! ;-)

A few comments on this year's lineup here in Norway: it's not very good. We will definitely not be bringing the contest back to Oslo again this time around. :-) There are no really abysmal clunkers, though ... just a whole lot of songs that are completely meh. I do really hope that we won't pick the pizza song.

Entry #1: Thunderstruck by Joy Deb, Linnea Deb and Erlend Bratland, performed by Erlend Bratland. My favorite this year. That doesn't mean it's all that good, but it's the best of the bunch, anyway, IMO. In this context. Good lyrics, a good melody that really packs a punch ... and, not least, a singer who can actually sing. I'm hoping getting to open the show will work in his favor. It may not though. His performance is ... OK, pretty good. A hell of a lot of pyrotechnics.

Entry #2: Louder by Andreas Stone Johansson and Ricky Hanley, performed by Raylee. She's going to "inflict" her energy on the audience. OK. She looks really different off stage and on. Not that that's relevant. Her voice is pretty good and the song is sort of ... semi-catchy. Gets a little repetitive, maybe. Energetic stage show ... but now they're doing that thing that just pisses me off where they send lots and lots more people on stage than what we'll be allowed to use internationally. That's tricking the voters, NRK! You're asking us to vote for something that we won't be able to use in Vienna. Not that this is what we'll be sending, probably, but still. It's the principle of the thing. Sheesh.

Entry #3: All Over the World by Tor Endresen and Are Selheim, performed by Tor Endresen and Elisabeth Andreassen. This is supposed to be some fantastic thingummy because these two are such Eurovision greats and it just has to be great because it's them. But it's SO not great. Ridiculously oldfashioned and just too much of everything that no longer works in this contest. And now they have NRK's children's choir on stage! All of it!! Seriously. They're trying to sell us a nonexistent product. Don't vote for this, people, it's a scam!

Entry #4: Next to You by Jenny Langlo, Robin Mortensen Lynch and Niklas Olovson, performed by Jenny Langlo. Ooh, they've stuck her mike on a lightsaber. And then there's lots and lots of spotlights sort of echoing that. This is obviously something we're supposed to remember the song by. It might work. She also has a very unusual voice which make this entry stand out a bit. The song itself, I don't know ... The chorus reminds me of the Swedish song in Malmö. But only the chorus. The rest is ... rather unmelodious, so of course not very catchy. Kind of good, but also the sort of song that needs to be heard more than once for people to really get their heads around it, I think. Definitely not a plus, I'm afraid. I'm watching with Quiltoholic and she is very underwhelmed by this. :-)

A little interval entertainment there - the top 3 craziest costumes from the past 60 years of the international finals. Ukraine wins. No prizes for guessing which year ... ;-)

Entry #5: We Don't Worry by Øyvind Blikstad, Bjarte Giske, Ali Pirzad and Julie Bergan, performed by Ira Konstantinidis. The youngest performer of the night, only 17. Not a very good singer, IMO. She sounds constantly out of breath, They're playing up the high school aspect ... something awful, really. This isn't doing anything for me whatsoever. My least favorite so far.

Chitchat between entries ... showing people in various countries who are watching the show. Yay for the internet!!

Entry #6: Heaven by Jan Lysdahl and Jacob Collin Launbjerg, performed by Contrazt. Contrazt are what in Norway and Sweden is called a "dance band". Think Vikingarna, if that means anything to you. This entry is very typical of the genre. Easy listening, literally. The singer has a good voice, a very comfortable voice to listen to. Again, typical of this kind of band. They mentioned that their concerts normally last for four hours ... and this is definitely voice you could listen to for four hours. The song is easy to listen to, and catchy - as these things usually are - but also quite forgettable. So definitely not the winner. However, there's nothing on this stage tonight that can possibly win. So IMO we should actually just as well send this, try to spread the genre and at least know that nobody will be clawing their ears bloody listening to this.

Entry #7: Ta meg tilbake by Marie Klåpbakken, Linn Hege Sagen and Olav Tronsmoen, performed by Marie Klåpbakken. One of the only two Norwegian entries this year that is actually in Norwegian. So for my part I was inclined to like it before I ever heard it. And she's all alone on stage, that's very good too. I'm not thrilled with the presentation though - very modern, and the song seems a little oldfashioned. Oh, a couple more people on stage now. Violinists. And the singer is playing the violin too ... while being blasted with a wind machine. Oh, Eurovision ... !! This is a pretty good entry, but like all the other songs, too forgettable. Too bland.

Another top 3 - this time crazy choreographies. OMG how to choose ... ! Montenegro wins, with Euro Neuro.

Entry #8: En godt stekt pizza by Stian Thorbjørnsen, Petter Kristiansen, Lars-Erik Blokkhus, Jesper Borgen and Magnus Clausen, performed by Staysman & Lazz. The night's big favorite, because Norwegians are idiots. Also with Norwegian lyrics. Which is a very good thing if we should choose to send this, because no one will understand what they're saying. A "party song". I suppose it's catchy ... but it's mostly just annoying. And the presentation shouldn't be allowed, they have like 25 people on stage! I hope anyone who's considering voting for this realizes that in Vienna, it would look NOTHING like this. They probably aren't though. Sad. We might actually end up sending this.

Entry #9: A Monster Like Me by Kjetil Mørland, performed by Mørland and Debrah Scarlett. Now this is actally a good entry. Has some, whatchacallit, depth. The problem with it is that it may be ... too good, or whatever. It may need more than one listen to really get to the audience. Which is exactly what it doesn't get ... that's the format of the contest. That's a shame sometimes. His voice is pretty good, hers is wonderful. This is probably the best entry this year, but it may be a little too ... profound, or whatever, for its own good.

Yet another top 3 - this time the "most la la la" songs. WTF? The UK wins, with Boom Bang-A-Bang - Spain comes third ... ! Seriously??

Entry #10: Cinderella by Erik Smaaland, Kristoffer Tømmerbakke and Thea Oskarsen, performed by Alexandra Joner. A pink-haired Cinderella ... in fact, pink everything! Wow. This is tacky even for Eurovision. But it has potential. It could be made classy. I think. The song is a little unusual in its theme, which is good ... and Joner is a good singer. The catchiest song of the evening. This is the only song tonight that people will remember the tune of for longer than ten minutes. Maybe we should actually send this. o_O

Entry #11: Human Beings by Karin Park and Guy Chambers, performed by Karin Park. Her pre-song interview sent shivers down our spines. Karin, please: just speak Swedish!!! This song ... this is one of those entries that are pretty while you listen to it, but that you immediately forget once it's over. Her outfit is ridiculous, who picked that?? This won't get anywhere. Too bland, although her voice has character.

That's all! Now a quick runthrough of all the entries. While we all get the chance to vote ... although the voting has been open since the start of the show. I'm voting, let's see ... twice for Thunderstruck and once each for Cinderella and A Monster Like Me. Although I'm afraid it's pointless ... I can't tell you how I know this, but I have connections. :-) We're going to send the pizza song. It's almost completely certain. Damn you, stupid Norwegians ... !!


More chit-chat, and a look back at our Eurovision history ... and then our winner from last year. Now that was a good song! I love that song, I really do. Ooh, the songwriter's singing too! They've made it a duet! AWESOMESAUCE. A last glimpse of happiness before the pizza song takes over ...

The first round of voting is over and now the eleven finalists will be reduced to four. Dare I make a guess? One of them will most definitely be the pizza song ...

Tor & Bettan. Sheesh, people! This is my parents' generation who have done this. I hardly know which would be worse between this and the pizza song.

They're performing their song again and it's still IMPOSSIBLE TO PERFORM internationally. So wtf, NRK??

Top 3 something or other - crazy falsetto singing?? I didn't catch it, I was in the kitchen getting some pineapple soda. Albania wins.

Next through is ... the pizza song! Boo-hoo. They think that their song will appeal to lots and lots of people all over Europe. They think they can win the whole thing. Are they mentally ill?? Or can they really be that dumb?

The sad thing is that on stage right now it's looking really good, lots of energy, happy people, a real party. But it won't look ANYTHING like this in Vienna. Sheesh, humans.

Top 3 creative performances ... Azerbaijan 2013, Russia 2008 and Ukraine 2014, in that order. That hamster wheel actually kind of grew on me.

Third "gold finalist" - A Monster Like Me. Well deserved.

Top 3 "weird". Bosnia wins with Pokusaj.

Fourth and last ... Thunderstruck. Some small amount of faith in my countrymen restored.

All four have performed for a second time. It all went well and now we have five minutes to vote. I'll vote twice each for Thunderstruck and twice for A Monster Like Me. Let no one accuse me of failing in my civic duty.

BREAKING NEWS ... !! Like I said, I have connections. And now I can report that we most likely will NOT be sending the pizza song! OMG!! A Monster Like Me is pulling ahead! Be still my heart ... !! Can it be true?? I have to send a couple more votes their way ... !!

Meanwhile, the interval entertainment! And it is ... Bobbysocks! First the hosts with a ballad version of the first verse of La det swinge, and then actually Bobbysocks with the rest of the song. And what a song it is. This is fantastic. And the actual best song will probably win. FANTASTIC. Fingers crossed that it will actually pan out ... !!

And now - the results ... ! The country has been divided into five parts and they're calling the votes from each part. Starting with the north. Gasp! The pizza song came second! In the north! Now I believe ... ahem, my source. That's where I thought that kind of thing would really be a hit..

Middle Norway, or whatever I should translate it with ... and they've got the pizza song last! I believe! A Monster Like Me came second both here and in the north. And Thunderstruck first. Well, I'll be thrilled with either! Wahey!! :-D

The south country next ... and they have A Monster Like Me first!! YES!

The west country ... Pizza last and Tor & Bettan second. A Monster Like Me second and Thunderstruck first. By a lot! Wow! Maybe my actual favorite will actually win?? Coolness!!

The east country. Fear! The pizza song will win here! But ... but ... ! OMG! Not by that much. They came third and not last. A Monster Like Me has won!! YAY!!! YAY YAY YAY!!

OK, I apologize. I take it all back. Faith in my countrymen fully restored! YAY!

My conclusions from this are as follows: First, that if it wasn't for the extended voting, the pizza song would never have gotten to the second round. With only a brief window for voting, it wouldn't have stood a chance. Second, that their results in the second round was due primarily to Østfold.

Congratulations to the winner!! The best song won. No idea how this will do in Vienna, but we can hold our heads up high. :-)

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