Norway Melodi Grand Prix Semi-Final 2 - Aussievision's winner
This weekend is the second semi-final of Norway’s national selection Melodi Grand Prix. Earlier this week NRK revealed the four artists competing in the second round.
Four more artists will be competing for only one place in the grand final where they will join the six artists who have pre-qualified as well as Blåsemafiaen who advanced from last weekend’s semi-final. Unlike last years MGP format, hope is not lost for the three songs left behind in this semi-final as a new ‘wildcard’ round is introduced this year. After the five semi-finals are completed, one more show will announce which of the acts that failed to qualify has earnt the golden ticket to the grand finale. The songs were released on Spotify (you can access here) and the Aussievision team each chose their favourite entries in this weekend’s semi-final.
Here are the results:
1st: Raylee - 'Hero' (7 votes)
Kyriakos: "Raylee jumps straight into the 80's with this one! Love her new look! Are we getting Flashdance for 2021? I hope so! With songwriters who one or another have written hits like 'Fuego', 'Too Late for Love', 'She Got Me', 'Only Teardrops' and Thomas even worked on Cosima's debut album (yes that's Cosima from Australian Idol 2003!), they take all the good things from the 80's and mash them into something contemporary!"
Miles: “As much as I really didn't fall for Wild, this satisfies all my spandex-wearing, drum-thrashing, synth-roaring, gratuitous guitar solo-having, nuke-fearing, Tears for Fears-loving, hair-perming, and danger-zoning '80s fantasies. I await the aerobics remix of this with bated breath.”
Laura: “'Hero' makes me want to put on my leg warmers and be a maniac on the floor! This one gets my pick because it's instant and catchy. It's so '80s it hurts - in the most tubular way possible. Fortunately this doesn't extend to the lyrics: unlike Bonnie Tyler, Raylee isn't holding out for a hero - she doesn't need anyone to save her except herself. I'd love to see a bright, bold, brash, neon-coloured, aerobics-filled stage show to accompany this retro number!”
Hugo: “No song from this semi jumps out at me, but on further listen ‘Hero’ is my favourite of the bunch. Verses give me real Dua Lipa vibes and the chorus gives Raylee a chance to show off her vocals. Very different approach to ‘Wild’ and will be interesting to see the staging. A solid, pretty standard pop entry, but nothing more at this stage”
Steven: “If forced to pick, I’d opt for the 80s sound track-inspired, “pre-finale”, power workout number that already sounds like its own remix. I just hope there are lots of lyrca-clad hunks to make me forget the basic lyrics.”
Fleur: “Honestly, nothing really jumps at me from this semi. My vote though goes to Raylee this week. It is the only song of the four that I can see on the Eurovision stage. I do prefer ‘Hero’ to last year’s ‘Wild’, that song just did not do it for me. ‘Hero’ is a welcome improvement in that regard, it is a better structured song. Also, I can’t say no to 1980s pop.”
Ally: “This was my clear winner. I was a fan of this song from the first bar. It’s fun, catchy and makes you want to get up and dance, which is what I look for in a song and normally the kind of song I gravitate towards. As much as I did really like her song in MGP last year, I love this one even more”
2nd: Maria Solheim - 'Nordlyset' (5 votes)
Dale: "Maria's beautiful soft voice with this understated but emotion-pulling song is a perfect match. It sounds like it could be from a fishing village or from the soundtrack of teenage romcom (hey maybe both!). I adore it, I love the folky almost country sound in the production with harmonicas and all. A real stand out for me, would be great to see it make it to the Grand Final and bring some musical diversity to the line-up.”
Emma: "Not usually my style of music but Maria's beautiful vocals made me want to keep listening right till the end. I love the production...it's a little bit country and a little bit folk and you could do a lot with the staging on this one given the title means 'Northern Lights' in Norwegian.”
Guy: “It’s Nordlyset for me. The northern lights are dancing again in Norway, albeit a slow dance this time. This is an all round beautiful song - her voice perfectly matches the style of the song, the arrangement is simple, but still gives a bit of build as it rolls along, and the lyrics are sweet. This is going to be an interesting round - this song is quite different from the lighter other 3 songs. Nordlyset will either get lost in it all or really stand out and shine.”
Mike: "Realistically this not going to win this Semi Final but of all the songs on offer this the only one that has stuck with me since first listen. It’s a lovely ballad with some country/folk elements that give it a nice traditional flavour. The production also brings Maria’s vocal to fore which she delivers with right amount delicacy that suits this song. I don’t understand a word of this song and yet I still felt an emotion for it. This is one I will continue to listen to after MGP has long finished."
Ruby: "Overall, this is the only song I’d go back to for repeat listens from the semi-final. Slightly lilting, it’s a well-produced Norwegian ballad, and hopefully will stand out with the change in pace and language."
3rd: Daniel Owen - ‘Psycho’ (2 votes)
Cooper: "It has a very modern and current feel to the song with a great hook that's very memorable. In my opinion the song is in vein of Felix Sandman's 'Boys with Emotions' from Sweden last year (A song I really love). Its contemporary vibes will definitely help get the backing of the younger demographic watching MGP. Staging is definitely key with these types of mid-tempo songs though, Daniel is going to need some great staging to ward off stiff the competition coming from Raylee with 'Hero'.”
Josh: "This song sounds like the first solo single from a freshly broken up boyband member in all the right ways. With the high pitched pre-chorus, Daniel will have to make sure his live vocals (or backing track) are able to hold up under the pressure of being on stage and (I hope) dancing at the same time. Maybe Luca Hanni or Benjamin Ingrosso could provide some tips.
Staging will be key to making sure the song doesn’t get too monotonous as the chorus does begin to become slightly less impactful with each repetition. Overall a very solid and catchy song and I think the strongest of this group.”
4th: Ketil Stokkan - 'My Life is Ok' (1 vote)
Ford: "I'm gonna be the odd one out and go with Ketil Stokkan's 'My Life is Ok'. The song is a little out there and fun, and that's just what I've been in the mood for in the last couple of days. I love an entry that doesn't take itself seriously and is able to give me a break from actually seriously thinking about something for a good three minutes. And the doo-woppy 50's sound is great!"
So it's clear the Aussievision team have a favourite in Raylee but of course it’s all up to the Norwegian public to choose who advances to the Grand Final. After all, last week the team placed the eventual semi-final 1 winner's Blåsemafiaen as joint last place.
Semi-final 2 will also see the pre-qualified act Stavangerkameratene performing their entry 'Barndomsgater which will be released Friday.
The second semi-final takes place 19:50 CET Saturday 23 January which is 05:50 AEDT Sunday 24 January.