Norway – Melodi Grand Prix 2017
1. Kristian Valen – you & I
If you’re expecting this entry to echo Lady Gaga’s jaunty country-infused song of the same title you will be more than disappointed. Sadly this is a drippy piano-laden ballad from comedian and impressionist Kristian Valen. Reinventing himself as a serious singer-songwriter Melodi Grand Prix is a great vehicle for this forty-something but the song, accompanied by badly considered thunderclaps, misses the mark. And yes, the start does echo “The Winner Takes it All”!
2. ulrikke - places
Head and shoulders above every other entry Melodi Grand Prix is Ulrikke’s to lose. “Places” is a Zara Larsson lite r&b synth pop jam effectively showcasing former The Voice alum Ulrikke’s contemporary style. This should easily romp to victory and see Norway take its place back in the Grand Final. Ulrikke is also on record as saying Loreen’s “Euphoria” is her all-time favourite Eurovision song – makes you like the pop-ette even more.
3. Elin & the woods – first steps in faith
Bring on the antler-chic. Creative staging may hypnotise the audience and see this slice of Nordic folk pop materialise into the final round of the competition. Intriguing and quirky enough not to tip into the comedic this could surprise on the night and is gaining a groundswell of support from many Eurovision fans. Mark down as “one to watch”.
4. amina sewali - mesterwerk
Sadly this is filler. Nice enough contemporary pop song but Sewali’s weak vocals don’t really make any lasting impact. “Mesterwerk” starts promisingly and becomes less masterpiece and more piecemeal as it plays out. Mark this one down as “toilet break”.
5. ella – mama’s boy
You huff and you puff but the house ain’t never coming down! This high octane aggressive bit of puff-pop will certainly have Oslo’s Spektrum dancing in the aisles. And there’s no denying that “run to your Mama boy” chorus is one thick slice of delicious cheese. But will the Norwegian’s have the appetite for this kind of cheese?
6. run run away – rune rudberg band
This straightforward Country entry is pleasant enough but will it have the voting potential to excite the Norwegian public into sending it to Eurovision? Frankly, no but it’s great to see something of this simple music styling included in the 2017 line-up.
7. i go where you go – jenny augusta
More quirky Nordic folk pop – this time we’ve Jenny Augusta’s dramatically odd ode to stalking in the attempt to find…poetry. This out-quirks Elin & the Woods but may be a step too far for the audience and it’s likely they’ll leave Ms Augusta ambling aimlessly in the forest. Unicorns, dolphins and marshmellows – this is quite bonkers. File under Jaime-Lee’s “Ghost” from Eurovision 2016.
8. grab the moment - jowst
The real threat to Ulrikke’s place in the 2017 contest is JOWST’s accessible and contemporary pop piece “Grab the Moment”. Showcasing The Voice finalist Aleksander Wallman on vocals the lads of JOWST should generate enough votes to see them competing for the chance to sing in Kiev. Containing a killer chorus the only criticism of “Grab the Moment” is that it does not really build to anything after its initial potential.
9. wrecking crew - ammunition
Joke rock band – urgh! There’s great examples of where this kind of act works (ummm Lordi anyone?) but this is not one of them. This sadly is a wreck.
10. nothing ever knocked us over – in fusion
New all female trio In Fusion are the another real contender to represent Norway in Kiev later this year. “Nothing Ever Knocked Us Over” is the big dance song for this year. Sadly last year’s big camp disco dance hit from The Hungry Hearts did not make it through the preliminary stage. These girls will need to sing their socks off to ensure they’re in the running.