The second Melodi Grand Prix semi-final was held tonight. As decided by televoting, the second bunch of three acts who go through to the Norwegian final is made up of Charlie, Oda & Wulff and Knut Kippersund Nesdal.
Tonight was the second out of three consecutive nights of semi-finals under the new format of the Norwegian selection, Melodi Grand Prix. There was great musical variety as five more acts took to the stage for the chance to be among the three acts in this heat to go through to the Norwegian national final.
The Songs (you can find more information on the participants in our Get To Know article)
1. Cir.Cuz – Hele Verden (The Whole World) (Music & Lyrics: Joakim Harestad Haukaas, Andre Lindal)
The stage is lit in green lights against a dark background and starts with a shot to a drummer before the camera turns to the duo themselves, one in tie and braces, one in a bow tie, waistcoat and grey jacket. Both play well to the camera and look comfortable with their vocal performance. The song is an upbeat pop/rap number sung in Norwegian; it is musically quite consistent throughout in its structure of rap verse followed by a pop chorus. Both singers cover most of the stage and get an enthusiastic reception from the audience in the end.
2. Martine Marbel – Right Now (Music & Lyrics: Martine Marbel, Goran Obad)
The song starts with blue lights and a soft-focus close-up shot of Martine that slowly sharpens before the camera frame opens up to reveal three supporting musicians against additional blue and yellow spotlights. Martine wears a satin green top and shiny black hotpants. The song is a sweet, uneventful mid-tempo pop number with electronic backing and a somewhat thin vocal performance.
3. Oda & Wulff – Sing (Music & Lyrics: Christer Wulf)
Wulff looks smart in his waistcoat (another one) – he has a passing resemblance to Maroon 5’s Adam Levine – against orange lighting and a group of musicians including a trumpetier on a raised platform. Oda appears in her white dress from the left side of the stage to meet Wulff centrestage. They then both interact with the musicians. The song has a folk sound to it and quite a jolly timeless quality. The percussion, trumpet and guitar/banjo musicians have quite a central role in the presentation. It is not a vocally demanding song and therefore it does not showcase the vocal abilities of Oda, winner of the Norwegian version of talent show The Voice. Just before the end of the song the lighting turns to whiter tones before the song and its pleasant presentation get a warm reception from the audience.
4. Knut Kippersund Nesdal – Taste of You (Music & Lyrics: Magnus Hængsle, Jenny Moe)
The presentation starts with a shot to a microphone against the dark background. Soon there are white spotlights sweeping across the stage seemingly conducted by Knut himself, appearing alone on stage in his blue jacket. One can tell that, due to his young age, smiley Knut is not the most experienced of performers but he nevertheless has a good voice and gives a pleasant performance. The song itself is upbeat and has 80’s electronic elements. The visual presentation of the song relies considerably to the sweeping spotlights to good effect and the overall impression of this entry is quite sharp and gets a good reception from the audience.
5. Charlie – Hit Me Up (Music & Lyrics: Melanie Fontana, John Asher, Lars Hustoft)
The stage starts with blue lighting. There follows a close shot to Charlie and her beautiful long curly hair. Two dancers appear behind Charlie as the camera frame widens. Charlie herself is wearing a short strapless dress with a black petticoat showing underneath mathed with what appears to be light trainers. The song could be described as an upbeat teen pop number, again, with 80’s influences about it. Charlie’s vocal performance is good and she moves well with her dancers following her around the stage. The overall effect is that of a well worked enthusiastic performance that gets an enthusiastic audience response at the end.
The show started with presenters Erik Solbakken and Jenny Skavlan (pictured) at their make up table looking back at last night’s results complete with short videos; they then introduced the night’s experts panel and before stepping into the spotlight and onto the stage. Erik was tieless in a dark smart casual suit whereas Jenny was wearing a sleek, shoulder revealing dress. Erik had a backstage chat with the panelists and Jenny, from the hall’s dress circle, started presenting the competing songs.
Each entry was introduced by a video showing the artists with friends and family as well as in the studio. After each song was presented, there were short comments by the panel of experts.
After all songs were presented, televoting opened and clips from past
Norwegian entires were presented. There were whimsical references to the
stylistic choices of past Norwegian entrants, bad and good (see
Alexander Rybak) uses of violin as well as a plethora of la la’s and go
go’s in past lyrics.
All contestants then appeared on stage for the televoting results announcement.
The first qualifier to be announced was a ‘lost for words’ Charlie.
She was followed by a happy Oda and Wulff.
And finally… they were joined by an ecstatic and quite relieved Knut.
The show’s end credits appeared with presenters and contestants on stage
Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest
For many, ‘Norvege, nul points’ springs to mind when considering Norway’s performance in the Eurovision Song Contest. Yet this phrase can be misleading; apart from one struggling to think when the phrase would actually have been used in the contest itself, Norway has had much more success in Eurovision. Even if the country holds the record for finishing last at a Eurovision final more times than any other country, it also holds the record for the most points ever awarded with Alexander Rybak’s 2009 winning entry Fairytale. And even though, after its first participation in 1960, Norway had been a bit of a late bloomer, it nevertheless soon picked up to claim a victory in every decade since the 1980’s (1985, 1995 & 2009). Last year, Margaret Berger came close to claiming a 2010’s victory for Norway finishing fourth with I Feed You My Love. Will Norway manage to do a few places better this year and claim a victory this decade? The 2014 Melodi Grand Prix semi-finals have been promising so far…
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