Saturday, February 27, 2016

ESC 2016 - Norway

Our big night ... !! :-D

OK, starting well ... funny in a way that is actually pretty funny, while also poking fun at the Swedes. I like it.

Now up from the submarine and onto the Oslo Spektrum stage. Nice segue. And, haha, they've got impersonators. A not very convincing Conchita and Lordi. This is a really cool introduction, better than they've had for a while. Cool. Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea to hire Jan Fredrik Karlsen.

I have to say that if they cut out the national semifinals and instead put their energy and resources into making an intro to the show of this quality, then I totally support it.

A glimpse from the eighth Lithuanian semi which is going on right now. Eight, that is a lot ... !!

Going over the rules ... and we're going to be allowed to vote from the beginning of the show again, I resent that. Should definitely change that back. >:-(

Song #1: Laika by Tonje Gjevjon, performed by The Hungry Hearts feat. Lisa Dillan. Now this is MGP!! Oh my fucking god. What is this. We are confused. How can anyone think that this could have any potential ... like, anywhere? :-o A good thing too! We're laughing our heads off now, but we don't have to be the laughing stock of Europe if we don't need to. I wonder if their English pronunciation really is that bad, or if it's supposed to sound like they have Russian accents? Sheesh. At least they have zero chance of getting anywhere since ANYTHING else will have to be better than this.

Maybe I already should have mentioned that I haven't heard any of the songs yet, just snatches of them. So these are totally my first impressions. :-)

Song #2: Into the Fire by Torstein Flakne, Anne Judith Wik, Mark Spiro and Hallgeir Rustan, performed by Stage Dolls. About what you'd expect from this band. Fine. A perfectly acceptable rock song, but with very little personality. Not what you'd call catchy. We wouldn't get anywhere with this, but we wouldn't make fools of ourselves in any way either. So far my favorite by about 1000 percent.

Song #3: Traces by Stine Hole Ulla, Ingrid Skretting and Trude Kristin Klæboe, performed by Stine Hole Ukka. A Disney-style ballad, apparently. Very pretty singer, with HUGE eyes. One of the songwriters was in the grade below me at school, uninterestingly enough. Pretty good voice. Peculiar presentation, if I'm being diplomatic. Ooh, but very pretty with all the lights in the audience. A enjoyable ballad although comparing it to your average Disney is overstating it a bit. Singer rather dull and anemic. Probably my new favorite now, although I would to be honest prefer to not vote for any of these. Fingers crossed.

Song #4: Stand Up by Danne Attlerud, Michael Clauss and Thomas Thörnholm, performed by Makeda. Now this one I quite expect to like. The singer has a pretty good voice and I think she'll have much more energy on stage. She does ... but her outfit is horrendous. Out of this world hideous.  And she's surrounded by guys in snazzy formal suits. Bizarre. What is this song about ... I can't pay attention to the lyrics, I'm so distracted by her clothes. OMG. Who would allow her to be seen in public like this?? :-o The song isn't half bad - I think, I could hardly hear it over her outfit. :-o

trilltrall is having an attack of sudden anger every three minutes because he's so annoyed by Karlsen popping up in all the artist presentations. He's shouting at the screen, "I want to SHOOOT you!!" :-D

Song #5: Anyway by Tommy Nilsen and Ronny Nilsen, performed by Pegasus. A power ballad performed by ... poodle rockers, apparently. Actually not half bad. This show is on a rising curve, each song is better than the last. Or I should say "better". ;-) I could vote for this. In fact I think I will vote for this ... but will have to consider the other half of the entries first. But so far this is the best, IMO. Although of course there is nothing so far that has a snowball's chance in hell in Stockholm. :-)

Ooh, pyrotechnics ... ! trilltrall wants us to just send the pyrotechnics show and forget about all the songs.

Song #6: Feel da Rush by Fredrik Auke, Simen Auke, Mikkel Christiansen, Trond Opsahl and Christoffer Huse, performed by Freddy Kalas. KAS and trilltrall are rooting for this because the singer is from Drammen apparently. And he's one of the favorites. But his likely victory will be prevented by the professional juries, because although this is fun and very catchy, we would of course be thrashed to within an inch of our lives in Stockholm. :-D He gets the arena going like crazy though. I kind of like this, but it's very embarrassing to hear a Jamaican accent from such an extremely white person. But this guy obviously doesn't care about embarrassing himself ... or us. :-D

Can I mention as I do every year that it's SO annoying that NRK allow more than six people on stage. It's actually a kind of fraud, IMO.

Song #7: Afterglow by Laila Samuelsen, The Beatgees and Jan Weigel, performed by Laila Samuels (obv. the songwriter's stage name). Very good presentation. I like her voice. Energetic performance. Beautiful melody, maybe not super memorable ... but the half naked dancer cavorting among the audience may jog people's memories during the recap. And quite powerful while you're listening. So far at least this clearly gets my vote.

Song #8: History by André Lindahl, Jeanette Olsson and Michael Jay, performed by Elouiz. Pretty singer with excellent diction. Nice outfit, but weird presentation. Those store dummies are totally gonna start dancing at some point. I like her voice. Good melody. I really like the chorus here. Hm. This is actually quite good. This one or the previous entry ... we wouldn't have egg on our faces with either of these. Ooh, pyrotechnics ... !

Song #9: Anna Lee by David Bjoerk, Andreas Moe, David Eriksen and Alexander Austheim, performed by Suite 16. Norway's answer to One Direction, according to Karlsen. In other words, not my type of music. Never been the boyband type. But now am obviously no longer in the target audience. :-) Not sure how many of those who are actually watch this ... but they have a bunch of fans apparently, who call themselves "suitehearts" ... and the teenyboppers are the best, or alternatively worst, at voting in these sms vote things. Wild screaming in the audience. This is relatively catchy, but I still don't quite see it. Although I'm sure we wouldn't do badly with this.

Song #10: Icebreaker by Agnete Johnsen, Gabriel Alares and Ian Curnow, performed by Agnete Johnsen. I like it when people write their own songs in this contest. And this is another of the big favorites tonight. Well deserved, I'd say. Good song, well presented, pretty singer with a good voice and a good stage presence. Really nothing wrong with this, it just should have been a little catchier. But you can't have everything.

OK, that's the lineup. Now the first recap, Let me make my prediction for the first round. Four songs will get through, and my guess is that we'll be seeing again ... Freddy Kalas, One Direction Suite 16, and two female soloists. Laila Samuels and Agnete Johnsen, probably.

Awesome interval entertainment - Kate Gulbrandsen performing Mitt liv ... ! trilltrall is beside himself with happiness, singing along and cheering. Wow. He's four years older than KAS and me, I guess this is evidence of the generation gap, because we totally don't know the lyrics to that song by heart. :-D Ooh, and our performers from last year with their beautiful A Monster Like Me. This time with NRK's full choir. Stunning song that gets better every time I hear it. And Debra looks amazing, even better than in Vienna.

So I've done my civic duty - I've sent five votes each for Afterglow and Icebreaker. Fingers crossed we won't make fools of ourselves in Stockholm. That's really all I ask. KAS demands that we get to the final too, but that's really more than I sign up for. We're Norway. All we can ask is not to totally embarrass ourselves. We may not get even that wish ...

Second recap, but it's too late, the first round of voting is over.

The four "gold finalists" are in ... !! Oh, the excitement. Afterglow!! Yes! Laila performs again, entry still excellent. :-)

Second finalist ... Anna Lee. No surprise there. I like this idea of having some of the performers' most obsessive fans making a speech to appeal to the audience before the second performance. :-) Wow, these kids can't sing for shit.

Third finalist - Icebreaker! Yes! Again no surprise. My powers of perception are excellent tonight. Agnete's speechmaker isn't a fan but a former coworker of some kind. He is less certain of victory than the other two, probably more realistic. :-)

The fourth and last finalist - Feel da Rush. I knew it. OMG this idiot. Please, professional jury members, save us from this total embarrassment. Ha ha, his biggest fans are ten years old! :-D But his speechmaker was the best of the bunch. :-D But that accent ... ! To be fair though he always sings in Norwegian, this is his first ever song in English. No excuse, but maybe an explanation. ;-)

Third recap. I've sent five votes for Afterglow. But I'll be happy with any of these entries except for Feel da Rush. 75% chance of a positive result as far as I'm concerned. And I trust in the professionals. :-)

More of this wonderful interval entertainment, I love it! We've seen a lot of glimpses of MGP history so far, but I've missed Voi voi, and here it is. A tribute duet to Nora Brockstedt. Wonderful. And now other classics. Wow, trilltrall knows a lot of these old GP lyrics, I'm impressed. A hidden side to him is revealing itself. :-D Oh, Optimist ... !! We all know the lyrics to that one ... ! :-D And while we're on the subject of Jahn Teigen ... :-D Will we see him on stage?? It's the 40th anniversary of Voodoo, after all ... :-o Yes, the man himself ... ! :-D

I love this. All the dancers are jumping around like crazy and Teigen is just standing there. That's all he has to do. He's the man! :-D He just accepting the adulation. :-) An applause for Jahn Teigen - definitely!!

And now the votes are in. Oh, I forgot - now they're keeping all their votes from the first round too. Now there's a thought. Going to the first part of the country, Midt-Norge ... and they've got Icebreaker on top, quite significantly ahead too. I'm getting a feeling about that song. It'll probably be our entry. Northern Norway have the songs in the exact same order as Midt-Norge ... and Agnete is a northerner so she gets lots of votes from there. LOTS! Wow! :-o The south country next ... Icebreaker on top, again significantly ahead. But there's most people live in the east country and of course this is where Freddy Kalas is from ... KAS says that maybe we will give him a hundred thousand votes and he'll win at the last moment. Fingers crossed that we won't ... ! :-D

Do they add the first sets of votes at the end? And do we even have professional juries this year?? :-o

The west country have Icebreaker on top too, quite a bit. But now the east country ... ! Well, it won't be Afterglow, alas. Come on, Icebreaker ... ! Wow! Almost 20 000 votes ahead of Feel da Rush in second place. Yes!! We have chosen an excellent entry! Is this really Norway? The fourth really good song in a row! :-D

Aw, and she's so happy. This was a good choice all round. We will definitely not make fools of ourselves this year. My wish came true! :-D

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