Not to be outshone by their easterly neighbours, broadcaster NRK have adopted the format used by SVT otherwise known as Inför Eurovision Song Contest, adapting it for Norwegian TV screens under the name Adresse Baku.
The series features 4 hour-long shows presenting all of this year’s entries with a panel consisting of 6 members giving their opinions as well as awarding each entry points from 1 up to 12.
The panel consists of some faces that will undoubtedly be familiar to Eurovision fans, both foreign and Norwegian alike. Those most known are of course head of delegation and Norwegian godfather of Eurovision himself, Per Sundnes. Programme presenter Erik Solbakken also complements the line up alongside Marianne Jemtegård, a DJ who has an opinion on most things and who also has had spots in the Norwegian selection programmes. The other 3 spots are filled by not so familiar faces to overseas viewers – Jan Fredrik Karlsen, known as being a judge on Idol and something of a music management svengali, Christer Falck, also a personality from the domestic music industry who is also made his name as a programme presenter. The final panel member is another programme presenter, Linda Eide, who is known as something of a comedienne in her weekly programme Norsk Attraksjon. Eide’s love for the contest is well known, so much so that she has even used Massiel’s La La La as the theme music to her weekly show!
Melodi Grand Prix host Marte Stokstad is at hand to keep an eye on proceedings and to make sure that the sometimes outspoken panel are kept in check. And let it be known, most of the panel certainly to not mince their words, with the Irish act Jedward being described as "So much ADHD energy cannot be a good thing", poor Belgium and Iris being passed off as bland but with young Soluna Samay for Denmark reaping much praise. From the first episode, Denmark came away victorious with an impressive 53 points, followed closely by the greek aphrodisiac Eleftheria Eftheriou with 51 points. Ireland and Israel lurked around the lower echelons of the scoreboard with 17 and 18 points respectively.
The jury weren’t that much kinder in programme two either, metering out criticism to the UK : "Pretty bland stuff, even trying to sound all Disneylike at the end doesn’t really save it"; Germany’s Roman Lob also came under fire with Falck going so far as to say "Everything I hate about music is presented here in these few minutes!" Italy’s sixties pastiche L’Amore è Femmina sung by the competent Nina Zilli on the other hand was lapped up by most, as was surprisingly Montenegro’s Rambo Amadeus, greatly applauded for making an interesting, satirical and catchy entry. French favourite Anggun and her rather suggestive video was branded as messy, with poor San Marino and Valentina Monetta’s ode to a certain website being slaughtered wiuth comments such as "The worst yet, I have ever seen in my entire life" as one of the judges put it. Romania’s sunny and catchy entry Zaleilah gained the highest score yet, with a whopping 58 points and home favourite, sultry crooner Sabina from Azerbaijan gaining unexpected support for her When The Music Dies, coming a highly respectable second with 53 points. The second installment of Adresse Baku also saw one country making a dismal impact, namely Switzerland with a scant 9 points in total. One panel member went so far as to describe it as " A complete and utter massacre. The song has nothing going for it!" Germany landed surprisingly in penultimate position, only managing to muster 18 points.
The complete results from both shows are listed below: