Norway

#NORWAY: Tonight 1st Semi Final of Melodi Grand Prix: LIVE BLOG from 19.50 CET 18.50 GMT

Good evening Europe , God Kveld Europa, God morgen Australia . Tonight,Norway starts its search for the act who will represent them at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool , UK. .This year the acts have been split into three semi finals .Tonight we are bringing you our live blog of Semi 1, where we have 7 acts competing for three places in the Grand Final, which will take place in Trondheim Spektrum on 4th February .The hosts will be Arian Engebø and Stian “Staysman ” Thorjørsen. Voting tonight will be 100% public vote.

The seven acts competing for those places are :

  1. Alessandra Mele — “Queen of Kings”
  2. Eirik Næss — “Wave”
  3. Rasmus Thall — “TRESKO” (CLOGS)
  4. Kate Gulbrandsen — “Tårer i paradis” (Tears in paradise)
  5. Umami Tsunami — “Geronimo”
  6. Ulrikke — “Honestly”
  7. Jowst & Byron Williams Jr — “Freaky for the Weekend

Join me, Sarah as we live blog tonight’s show from Trondheim Spektrum , Norway .You know the drill by now , REFRESH THIS PAGE to keep up with the events as they happen. You can also see the show HERE

Please do feel free to leave a comment, it’s always interesting to see how different our views can be of what we see and hear. 🙂 .

I love your enthusiasm but it’s a bit early yet ! #joinus at 18.50 GMT 19.50 CET

Welcome back ! In a few minutes we hope to go live to Norway for the 1st semi final , once Norwegian TV unblock the live TV link . While we’re waiting, just to remind you of the new format of MGP this year. There are NO acts pre-qualified to the final ,everyone starts from scratch and unlike in previous years, the shows will not be split up into duels but will just be 7 acts performing and three are voted through to the Grand Final. There is also no second chance round either .

And we’re in !! We see the former members of Bobbysox and Tixx talking about MGP . The hosts are now on stage . Arian and Stian. You’ll grow to love them over the weeks !

As with last year, we are seeing live links of fan groups of the performers in home settings around the country. They like to have a party in Norway ! 🙂 .

I think we’re heading for the first act !Hold on for the ride !

Alessandra Mele — “Queen of Kings”

Alessandra is of Norwegian /Italian descent and it’s her first time competing in MGP . Shame she missed out on a trip to Turin last year .As the song suggests, Alessandra is dressed in warrior like gear and is accompanied by four backing singers who cavort and dance behind her. Staging is dark with occasional flashing lights . The backing singers look a bit like something out of Star wars with their flashing neon lights. A good performance .She seems pleased with it too.

Eirik Næss — “Wave”

Anyone who is used to watching the Nordic national finals will know that they don’t mess about when it comes to getting on with the show. Eirik is up now with his song “Wave”. He’s got a guitar with him on stage ,casual dress with a hat. Staging of yellow /gold LED lights which ressemble city lights. Joined on stage by 5 backing singers. It feels very anthemic like in parts . It’s a good performance but not sure it has that wow factor to make it stand out from other entries, we will see as we go through the evening .

Rasmus Thall — “TRESKO” (CLOGS)

Rasmus is the grandson of Anita Thallaug who competed in the 1963 Eurovision .It’s a bit of a rap song with Rasmuss sat in a giant yellow clog !surrounded by very large loudspeakers . Well it stands to reason as the song is called Clogs! He’s then joined by men in white coats ( yes you heard that right !) who join him in a robotic like dance !! It’s sheer craziness but also quite a lot of fun too. This is probably the most modern sounding song so far !

Kate Gulbrandsen — “Tårer i paradis” (Tears in paradise)

Those of you who were around in the 80’s may remember Kate and her big hair in the 1987 contest .She’s back after all these years for another go, with not quite so big hair ! As expected , the song is a ballad . She’s alone on stage , dressed in a grey/black outfit .While Kate sings well and she doesn’t need backing dancers .singers or any props to sell her song, it doesn’t really stand out as anything more than what we have seen of past ballads. I fear this will get lost amongst the other acts , which is a shame as many of us may like the sentiment of Kate returning to Eurovision after all these years.

Just to remind those of you who aren’t aware, NRK have allowed the use of autotune in the contest this year , this is software which corrects out of tune vocal performances so it’s at the right pitch.Think Cher in 1998 with Believe and you get the idea. So we are not expecting to see any bad notes tonight.

Umami Tsunami — “Geronimo”

Umami Tsunami are three young lads , As expected Geronimo is a modern dance track, the boys are dressed in all white oversize track suits , very futuristic looking . It’s the kind of thing which works well at Eurovision, it’s loud , lively and the boys look like they are having a great time on stage.Could be a contender for the three final spots.

We’re on the sixth song already , the night is going fast !

Ulrikke — “Honestly”

Now this is the most eagerly anticipated act and has received a lot of hype since it was announced that Ulrikke would be competing again in MGP this year. As you know , she won MGP 2020 but missed out on the chance to shine at Eurovision due to the contest being cancelled due to Covid 19. She’s back to have another go with her new song “Honestly” .Ulrikke is dressed in a long silver dress. Her staging doesn’t look unlike that she used for Attention . We have pyros , some wind machine effects . She has backing singers join her for the finale of the song , with violinists too.It’s a powerful,anthemic performance , yet…there is something about it that feels a little too safe . She will no doubt qualify for the final , but will she win the whole thing outright? We will see in the coming weeks .

Jowst & Byron Williams Jr — “Freaky for the Weekend

Here we see another familiar act , JOWST as we know represented Norway in the 2017 ESC in Kyiv . This time joined by Byron Williams Junior . It’s a a very Motown like sound to start with which then changes into an electronic dance sound ,joined by male and female dancers .It’s jolly , party like ,catchy and does keep you wanting to watch it . Good performance.

And that’s it……you’ve seen them all ! Hosts are just explaining the voting procedure for the public vote. I have to say it sounds very surreal hearing Liverpool mentioned during the show as the host destination . It’s just a couple of hours away for me .Nice to have Eurovision back in the UK this year ! 🙂

The hosts are having their usual banter and counting down the start of the vote . We now get a recap of the 7 songs we have seen tonight .We also get clips of the hopeful performers in the MGP equivalent of the Green room.Who do you think will be our three qualifiers?

We’re being treated to a little trip around Europe where members of the public are being asked to listen to what is probably a Eurovision tune

Back to the “Green room” now and more chat with the performers . I have to say that Kate looks good for her years .

A look back to past MGP’s now as is traditional each year

Subwoolfer won last year’s contest

Another recap of the acts now .Are we going to get the results soon? Voting has now closed.We’re having a little tour around the fan bases in Norway .They look like they are having fun ! 🙂

Here we go……Results

They are telling us who isn’t going as well Rasmus and Jowst are out !Think they must have taken inspiration from Strictly come Dancing in the way they announce the results

UMAMI SUNAMI ARE THROUGH !!

ULRIKKE IS THROUGH ! no surprise there.

Only two left !

ALESSANDRA IS THROUGH !

So we have our first three MGP Finalists. Congratulations to them all .

What do you think? Do you think the Norwegian public chose wisely tonight ? Let us know what you think .

Thanks for tuning in tonight , please do check in next week when we have Semi Final two . Goodnight Europe .

Author : Sarah Rudman

Source : NRK

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