Saturday, January 28, 2012

ESC 2012: Norway, round two

Wheee ... !! :-D

No family members present (at least not any two-legged ones ;-) so liveblogging is on ... ! I love my pathetic life. :-D

There's very little by way of intros this year. Just straight on with the show. Larvik is hosting this round, their first time hosting. Marte Stokstad in a pretty cool dress, but she's standing funny. Huh. My mother ranted so much against Stokstad last Saturday, she must have prejudiced me against her without my noticing it ... o_O

Entry #1: Keeps On Dancing by Cocktail Slippers, performed by Cocktail Slippers. I've been looking forward to this entry. It makes me think about my dream of one day seeing Katzenjammer represent Norway in the ESC. ;-) Katzenjammer would be amazing. But these girls ... aren't quite on that level. I really like the chorus, but the verse is way too ... bland. Their performance could be more energetic, the song could be catchier, the singer's voice could be better, the whole thing could just have been a lot ... better. I like it, but I haz disappoint all the same. Fun with a girl band, but doesn't have the personality to be a big hit. Alas. So far the best entry though. ;-) I wouldn't be unhappy with this as our entry, but I'm pretty dang sure it doesn't have what it takes. I do like it that they've written their own entry though.

Entry #2: I've Got You by Thom Hell and Isabel Ødegård, performed by Isabel Ødegård. Again, good that the performer has at least participated in writing the song. Nice dress. A voice that's rather weak, but with personality. The song is very low key, the voice kind of makes the whole thing. The melody is sweet but this is probably too forgettable. The bridge is very good though. A charming and sweet entry. She's got the audience going, that's always good. But there's no real hook to the song and although the performance as a whole is good this would be forgotten too soon.

Entry #3: Make It Better by Hanne Sørvaag, Tommy Berre and Tommy Fredvang, performed by Tommy Fredvang. Kudos as above. Major pros he's collaborated with, so this song should be good. Unusual opening to the performance, is that a good sign? :-) Ooh! This is good! A very confident singer and a sudden rush of music, that can really work to make the audience remember the entry. His voice isn't necessarily very good, but certainly good enough for the ESC. ;-) He's good looking and that's usually at least as important. :-D The melody is catchy and the lyrics simple. We may be on to something here. Top of the list so far.

Entry #4: Another Heartache by Rikke Lie, Maria Marcus and Niclas Lundin, performed by Rikke Lie. Another singer-songwriter, that's a plus. But weird dress. The singer is playing the piano, that's unusual, may be a plus. The song itself ... meh. Nothing wrong with it, but I feel like I've forgotten it already. Pretty singer, not a strong voice, but again, with personality. Character, whatever. The song is way too bland and forgettable. And WTF is with the backing musicians??? The audience seems to love it but sheesh, what are they on? Totally doesn't mesh with the song's message ... or the melody for that matter. And why show us something that can't be used in Baku?? At least one thumb down for this entry, primarily on the performance.

Entry #5: Crush by Beyond 51, performed by Malin Reitan. A singer from the Junior ESC and a songwriting team that's already been represented in the real ESC (sorry, kids). By the extremely unpopular Haba haba, but still. I dig that song. :-) This one I've heard really bad things about though. What an outfit ... !! And again too many people on stage. Why do they do that?? In a way they're lying to the audience. There's no way we can get what we're voting for with these entries. >:-( I also don't like the silly dance moves, however many they are. >:-( A pretty girl, professional performance, but a very weak voice. Catchy song, but way too juvenile. I seriously hope this won't get anywhere, but she has a lot of fans - and of exactly the right voting age in these circumstances - so she may well get through. Not a big problem, Nora al-Jabri would crush her in the final. >:-) But seriously, this is total plastic. Let's not vote for this. Too American and way too plasticky.

Entry #6: Ola nordmann by Glen Hauger and Lars-Erik Blokkhus, performed by Plumbo. The song is written by two of the band members and they're singing in Norwegian, kudos for that. I really feel like sending a vote their way as a matter of principle. The song itself is ... pretty catchy, or at least the chorus is catchy. The verse, as usual, a little more bland. But not too bad. A bit of an international flavor to the entry too with the flute and what not. Not a winner, but certainly not bad. They deserve to get through if for no other reason than that they're the only ones tonight who are singing in their own language. o_O Also nice with some guys on stage, and something that kind of resembles rock. Not at all a bad entry that definitely stands a chance.

Entry #7: You And I by Minnie-Oh, performed by Minnie-Oh. Everyone's singing their own songs tonight! Some of them have designed their own costumes too, and it shows. Ouch. This isn't getting through. Kind of catchy, but a weak singer, annoying synthesized music, a repetitive melody. I seriously hope we won't have to hear this again. I doubt this will appeal to the masses. Unless of course the blacklight and crazy light effects will do the trick. Kind of fancy with the Kali arms but ... no. Nah. Let's not vote for this.

Entry #8: Shapeshifter by Silya Nymoen and Rikke Normann, performed by Rikke Normann. Again with too many people on stage. Sheesh. NRK, what are you thinking? Another weak singer who doesn't want to 'work' with anything other than music. Pretty catchy song, but what is the title supposed to mean? If anything? I'm not sure how the dancers' costumes tie into the song's ... message, if that's the word I mean. A messy entry that would need a lot of work if it were to win ... but it won't. Problem solved. :-D Nope, not a winner. So far tonight - or in fact this year - I can't begin to guess which of these songs could make it to Baku. Except Somewhere Beautiful, possibly. Well, we may well not have seen the winner yet at all. But this one definitely isn't it.

That's it ... !! I have to say that the lineup tonight is pretty even, but not strong. Alas. Gotta think a little bit how I'm going to vote here. :-) Can I just complain a little before I do that Per Sundnes is WAY too quick to grab the mike away from his interviewees?? He hardly ever lets them finish talking. What's up with that? Every time ...

OK, so, I've voted twice for Make It Better and once for Ola nordmann. In good conscience I can't vote for anyone else. And I hardly dare to venture a guess as to which three songs will make it through. Nothing stands out tonight, to be honest. Unusual.

And we're back. Voting is over and the results will be revealed. Again, I really can't hope to guess. Such a weird lineup tonight. I am torn. Obviously I hope that the two I voted for will get through. And I think they have a good chance. But I really don't know. Cocktail Slippers might be good too. They'd be fun and stand out a bit in the final, if nothing else. I just really hope that Crush doesn't get through, but I fear I'm in for a disappointment.

First entry through is ... Crush. Of course. Dagnabbit. I will be SO embarrassed if we send this to Baku. My only consolation is that she at least came in third. I really wasn't longing to hear this one more time.

Second place goes to ... Make It Better! Yay! This was definitely tonight's strongest entry. And I'll enjoy hearing it again, unlike ... well. This is something that could theoretically have a chance in Baku, so I'm glad my countrymen were sensible enough to vote for it. :-)

I really think Plumbo have what it takes to make it to the top at least on this level of the contest, so they may end up taking the last place in the final tonight. Ooh, the excitement ... !

And tonight's winner is ... the audience seems divided ... it's ... yup, Ola nordmann. Not really a major surprise. :-) Aw, they're so happy. Suck on that, antiracists. It'd be fun if they won the whole thing. We'd probably bomb in Baku (I'm tempted to say again :-) but who cares, we'd be sending something totally different yet again, and not at all a bad song. And the guys are soo happy. Aw. :-) A good time was had by all. :-)

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