Saturday, March 11, 2017

ESC 2017 - Norway

It's our time ... !!

(I actually like that song quite a bit. The British are actually capable of sending something that isn't utter garbage, if they put in any kind of an effort.)

A Star Wars-style opening. Is it clever? Kind of, I guess ... and it is pretty original in this context ... but overall it's embarrassing that we aren't able to come up with any ideas of our own and just mooch of others instead. And the Americans, to boot.

What is good is that we're playing up the European side, because there are a lot of people outside of Norway who watch our national selection too. So that's nice. But it's not what you'd call classy. I'm starting to dread the interval entertainment ...

All the performers flashing by ... good luck to all of them, but I'm not convinced that this year's international winner is in this lineup. It'll be interesting to see how it works out with the new voting system though. I don't really support it ... we're supposed to select a song to represent Norway, and then it'll just have to do however well it does. I'm not sure it's right to have the song partially selected by a bunch of people that have nothing to do with us. But it's part for the course now, NRK comes up with something new every year to try to make the show more ... I guess popular, it can't be relevant. :-D We'll just have to see. I don't really care how we do internationally, I just want a song we don't have to be ashamed of.

Song #1 - Places by Tony Alexander Skjevik and Ulrikke Brandstorp, performed by Ulrikke Brandstorp. Boring opening, not good. Not a great singer, but that's less important. Not particularly catchy, and that's very important. Repetitive ... basically overall boring. Not a good performance either. Yawn. Just waiting for it to be over mostly.

Song #2 - I Go Where You Go by Jenny Augusta Enge og Inga Þyri Þórðardóttir, performed by Jenny Augusta Enge. Opens with a violin, seems familiar. :-) A much more interesting voice than what we just heard, if nothing else. An eye-catching outfit. This will definitely appeal to a certain segment of the audience. It's a little too ... I don't know, even? There's no real hook to it. But it's very pretty and quite charming and definitely a lot more memorable than the first song. My favorite so far.

Song #3 - Run Run Away by Peter Danielson, Åsa Karlström and Mats Larsson, performed by Rune Rudberg Band. Svenskjävlar ... !! Just because this is written by Swedes I want it to bomb, I didn't even have to hear it first. I wouldn't vote for this even if it was a masterpiece, but luckily there was never a chance of that. >:-) What to say? It's about what you'd expect from a "country pop" song performed by Rune Rudberg. It's nice enough for its type but wouldn't stand a chance in Kyiv. Makes me wonder what they're actually thinking when they pick out the entries to compete in this show. I guess they just have to have some big names in there too.

Song #4 - Grab the Moment by Jonas McDonnell and Joakim With Steen, performed by JOWST. The ambition here seems to have been to make something rather ... modern. There have been some songs like this in the contest recently - internationally, that is - and they have done well, so it's not a bad idea. But this doesn't take it anywhere near far enough. OK to listen to, but pretty boring.

Song #5 - You & I by Kristian Valen, performed by Kristian Valen. The other big name this year. I've never seen anything else Kristian Valen has ever done, I know him exclusively through various media headlines about all the crazy stunts he pulls, which is maybe why I think he looks ridiculous. He seems to be trying to look a lot younger than he is, to the extent that it's embarrassing. But can he sing?? Not that well, it seems. The song is a ballad, which can make an entry stand out, but is also risky. Ballads rarely win ... and this one definitely wouldn't. And he just looks SO ridiculous. This song could maybe have worked with some singer who could actually sing. But as it is ... nope.

Song #6 - Nothing Ever Knocked Us Over by Gustav Eurén, Danne Attlerud, Niklas Arn, Karl Eurén and Cissi Kallin, performed by In Fusion. Flera svenskjävlar ... ! But three pretty girls performing the song, that can only be a plus. And finally, a happy, upbeat song. With a lot of dancers on stage ... too many, and I really resent this, because it's cheating to present a song in a way that can't be used internationally. It gives the audience the wrong idea. But ooh, multicolored smoke ... ! Fun. Not half bad, in terms of this lineup.

Song #7 - Mesterverk by Amina Sewali, performed by Amina Sewali. I like it when the artists perform their own songs ... which I strictly speaking should have given Kristian Valen kudos for too. Oh well. Kudos to Amina, anyway. And it's interesting that it takes an immigrant to sing in Norwegian ... !! A very beautiful girl, with good stage presence and confidence on stage. A theater student, which shows in her performance. An unusual and striking presentation. Her voice isn't the greatest though, and the song isn't an immediate earworm, not by a long shot. I'm not sure what to say about this ... overall a very good entry (in context ;-) but with some weaknesses that unfortunately are rather central ones.

I wonder if Jan Fredrik Karlsen has some kind of diagnosis. And I'm sure I'm far from the first to have wondered about that.

Song #8 - Wrecking Crew by Erik Mårtensson and Åge Sten Nilsen, performed by Ammunition. Now there are Swedes on stage too ... ! Whatever next. This is this year's rock'n'roll alibi. Certainly more memorable than the token ballad. Kind of catchy. Also a pretty good presentation, BUT it can't be performed in Kyiv because there are too many people involved ... ! A fun entry that would stick in people's minds more than most of the other entries we've seen so far tonight. And we could play up the Wig Wam connection in our PR. :-)

Song #9 - First Step In Faith/Oadjebasvuhtii by Elin Kåven and Robin Lynch, performed by Elin & the Woods. My immediate reaction - too weird. The Sami connection is a fun thing that can be made use of, but the antlers are taking it a step too far. The melody isn't particularly catchy and I think that this would just weird people out to the extent that they would completely lose track of it anyway.

Song #10 - Mama's Boy by Ida Maria and PK Ottestad, performed by Ella. The title rubs me the wrong way ... it's not the kind of thing I want us to send to Kyiv. But I don't want us to send any of these songs. :-( The singer's kind of hot I guess. The song is trying to be catchy but doesn't really succeed. A nice showy presentation though.

That's it!! Sheesh. I don't really want to send any of these anywhere. Is it too late to drop out of the contest? :-( The first recap and I have to vote ... double sheesh, what to do?? I'll send one vote each for entry 2 and 8, and two votes for entry 7. I'm embarrassed that it takes a Ugandan for us to get a Norwegian language entry ... !! But overall it was the best entry so I'll be crossing my fingers for it. But we don't stand a snowball's chance in hell no matter what we do.

And now, the results from the international juries! Ireland is the first to name their #1, and it is claimed that they know what they're doing. Not recently, I'll have to say. And not tonight either. o_O But Armenia also have Places as their choice! Sheesh. The Finns are more sensible though, they want a Wrecking Crew. :-) Hm, and a Swede claiming to have watched our show instead of their own final?? They pick Grab the Moment. Nah, let's not. Israel too!! Whut. The German also want Places. Sheesh. But the Austrians go with Ammunition. Eep! Two more votes for Grab the Moment. And the British go for Mama's Boy. I am seriously out of touch with Europe.

Johnny Logan is going to sing to us ... !! Oh, his beautiful song with the super weird lyrics that it's best to just not think too much about. But what?? Is he in Oslo!? Haha, awesome interval entertainment. Johnny Logan's always worth watching when he pops up at these events. He must have a good sense of humor. :-D

The voting seems to be over ... ? Now we're going to see the results of the rest of the European votes and our votes. I'm not even going to try to guess which four songs got through. None of them deserve it, IMO.

The four "golden finalists" are ...

Grab the Moment, unsurprisingly. One of the best of a bad bunch.
We can do something with this in Kyiv, I suppose. Probably the best choice. But who will remember this two minutes after they've heard it?

Places. Sheesh. This will go exactly nowhere if we send this to Kyiv. The singer's friend claims it's super catchy. What has she been smoking? And her other friend says it's new and exciting. lolwut??

The joik! What! Bizarroworld. We're going to have to grab the moment, definitely.

Wrecking Crew. Phew. That one's not totally hopeless. So one of the three I voted for got through. Better than nothing. :-)

So two useless entries in the last round, and two that we won't have to be entirely ashamed of. It's probably smartest to send Grab the Moment. But I couldn't hum it to save my life even though I've listened to it twice in the last two hours.

OK, I've voted once for Ammunition and twice for JOWST. I've done all I in good conscience can do with this crap. I wash my hands of it.

And now the interval entertainment ... Agnete!! Singing Icebreaker as a ballad. LOVE IT. I love that song. Can we send it again this year instead of whatever it is we've picked? Dancers ... and Agnete in her beautiful outfit. Let's send this!!

A look at some of our competition ... which would have to be serious bullcrap for that word to mean anything ...

The voting is over and the results are clear. Third runner up is ... Places! Yes! Whew. Second runner up ... the joik. Whew again! The Norwegian people are not complete idiots! First runner up ... or rather the winner ... and now we can't get a complete and utter piece of shit, so I guess I'm happy. The winner is ... Grab the Moment. OK, the best of a bad lot. The best choice. But still, sheesh.

The hosts are claiming that the contest got more than ONE THOUSAND submissions ... ! And this was the best of the lot? Jebus, what's wrong with the world ...

They're going to make us proud in Kyiv. OK, good luck with that, and good night.

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