Live: It’s Melodi Grand Prix night in Norway

Tonight in Oslo, Norway hosts their popular selection Melodi Grand Prix in order to choose their next representative for Vienna. In just one show this year, there are 11 competitors tonight, with some classic, big names returning.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of Eurovision Song Contest, broadcaster NRK made the decision to cut the semi-finals and host just one spectacular show, using a live 54 member orchestra, Kringkastingsorkesteret (KORK), in their national final to add to the excitement.

ESC Daily is also present in the arena tonight with Neil MacInnes, so stay tuned for extras!

The show begins at 20:25 CET – you can watch here, and follow our commentary below!

The lineup for tonight goes like this:

    1. Erlend Bratland – Thunderstruck (with orchestra)
    2. Raylee – Louder
    3. Tor & Bettan – All Over The World (with orchestra)
    4. Jenny Langlo – Next To You
    5. Ira Konstantinidis – We Don’t Worry
    6. Contrazt – Heaven
    7. Marie Klåpbakken – Ta meg tilbake (with orchestra)
    8. Staysman & Lazz – En godt stekt pizza (with orchestra)
    9. Mørland & Debrah Scarlett – A Monster Like Me (with orchestra)
    10. Alexandra Joner – Cinderella (with orchestra)
    11. Karin Park – Human Beings

Follow our commentary below – the newest update appears at the top.

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Thank you for following with us this evening! Stick around for extra coverage in the coming days and let us know what you think of the winner. Good night, and we’ll see you in Vienna!

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22:34 – Final Results!

Some votes coming in from 5 juries at home: Thunderstruck and A Monster Like Me lead in the points: 85,373 to a final 88,869

And Mørland & Debrah Scarlett win MGP 2015!

They of course have an encore performance to close out the show.

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22:29 – Interval

One more time, our hosts Kåre Magnus Bergh and Silya this evening serenade the audience – this time starting at the piano.

And here’s the catch, it’s an introduction for Bobbysocks! 1985’s champion.

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22:22 – Just 5 minutes to vote now for the winner

A recap of the 4 superfinalists is played. It’s a huge question now, who will win MGP this year? It’s rather a mix of styles, eras and gimmicks that have qualified for the final vote.

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21:55 – Results!

The through to the superfinal is: oldies Tor & Bettan – they’ll now perform again

Next through is: Staysman & Lazz – da pizza guys

The third song will be: Mørland & Debrah Scarlett – with their lovely, dark duet

And last but not least is: Erlend Bratland – and his mellow club-song

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21:50 – Interval

Carl Espen is back with an eerie orchestral arrangement and his lovely 2014 entry Silent Storm. A huge cheer from the crowd, as would expected!

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21:48 – It looks like 2 minutes left to vote

And in that duration, we take a quick journey through Norwegian Eurovision history.

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21:39 – So now wait for results

That’s it for performances, and now our hosts speak again with special guests while the recap reel plays with the phone numbers.

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21:34 – Karin Park – Human Beings

We’ve seen Karin before, but not on stage – she wrote Margaret Berger’s song I Feed You My Love in 2013. Her own song now starts off with a flashing beat, kind of pin-balling around until it climaxes at the chorus. Karin’s vocals sit tightly above the music in a dramatic effect. This one is a bit darker in sound, a tad bit 80s in synth, but it’s another good club song, vaguely resembling her 2013 work with song structure. There is a tenuous feeling to the performance, with strobe lights and a wind machine, two dancers and two electro-drummers.

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21:30 – Alexandra Joner – Cinderella

Alexandra is the last to make use of the lovely orchestra tonight, flourishing piano keys with a fairytale denotation. It’s a total dance song with a synth foundation and hard beat. The piano adds something extra to the softness of the “princess” theme – it’s quite a nice melody. As does all of the pink, feathering gowns and the large throne center stage. Eight backing dancers and a couple horse props add to the effect, as well. Alexandra’s vocals are good, it’s upbeat and bubbly in a bright pop/R&B-ish kind of way. But is it too pink and sparkly for Eurovision?

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21:23 – Mørland & Debrah Scarlett – A Monster Like Me

Mørland begins solo, crooning to the piano and orchestra, reveling in a slowly kicking tempo. When Debrah comes in, she keeps the swaggering line of vocals and the music builds gradually to the climax. The vocals complement one another nicely, and the son soars a bit after the first chorus. It’s definitely the true modern ballad in the bunch. Quietly haunting and just a pretty melody, they definitely stand out from the crowd. Alone on stage, with foggy golden, red and electric blue lights, their performance is also good, be it simple.

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21:18 – Staysman & Lazz – En godt stekt pizza

Every show needs a gimmick of some kind – or so it seems. Norway this year has well-cooked pizza, but it’s not quite as cheesy as it sounds. With an awkward bluegrassy/banjo melody and an almost rapped lyric, Staysman Lazz actually have an interesting entry. The chorus is very catchy, at least. In addition to the banjo, the saxophone takes center stage, as well as the fiddle occasionally, using the orchestra. Oh there is also a rodeo of people, hay stacks and cheerleaders behind them – “yee-haw”. We’ll see how they do.

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21:12 – Marie Klåpbakken – Ta meg tilbake

Marie uses the orchestra and it’s definitely the right choice. One of only two songs in Norwegian this year, it’s a nice mix in the lineup. It builds in a ballad style but the chorus breaks out some light electronics on top of the violin, which Marie herself plays on stage as well, and other strings. There is a glacial kind of sound to the synth she uses, that kind of elevated the song – especially with the echoes, her soprano vocals and the combination of classical and dance.

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21:07 – Contrazt – Heaven

Contrazt has a classic sound, but it’s far too dated for Eurovision. The stage is quite full, as they decided to bring their own ‘orchestra’. Besides the lead woman there are three brass players, two guitarists, a guy on keyboard, one on the drums, and a backing vocal. The song is delivered well, but the longer it plays, the more outdated it becomes unfortunately.

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21:04 – “Good Evening World”

The hosts speak to some extra guests and banter with some more Norwegian humor.

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20:59 – Ira Konstantinidis – We Don’t Worry

Acoustic strumming kicks off the song, with light harmonies and a definite beat. It turns into a soft alternative composition, like watered down pop turned into an indie anthem. Unfortunately her vocals are rough and off key this evening. She had four female backing dancers and one male breakdancer to help along the performance. Definitely the ‘don’t worry’ message is carried on the airy arrangement. Most likely, though, it is not a strong contender for the win.

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20:52 – Jenny Langlo – Next To You

This one has a weird ethereal wave outside of the concentrated vocals and beat. It’s a bit static but with a huge echo and synthesized backing vocals to add a layer. Four guys with drum sequencers of some kind join Jenny on stage, as she stands front and center, dressed in black with some neon blue accents in microphone and lights. The melody is nice, but it’s not completely memorable.

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20:47 – Tor & Bettan – All Over The World

Elisabeth Andreassen, who won the contest in 1985 as a member of Bobbysocks, is Bettan here. And Tor Endresen finishd last place 1997. Their song is quite clichéd in lyric and melody, as a comfortable type of harmonic ballad (a chorus of children join them and the orchestra). Just a bit of a generation gap between the Eurovision they participated in and today. But it’s not a bad performance, just typical in composition. The chorus is a worldly message and the duet builds as any other does.

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20:42 – Raylee – Louder

To shake it up, Raylee takes a hip-hop/pop measure to add some burst to her entry. It’s very quick-tempo and floating on the minimalist electronics. Soulful vocals are added to by snapping and clapping, elevating the simple composition to something infectiously addictive to bass. It’s a great song to move to, steady and not overdone. Raylee is joined by 5 dancers on stage at first for some lifts and choreography. In the end a swarm of them fill the stage – Norway is ignoring the “just 6” rule tonight.

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20:37 – Erlend Bratland – Thunderstruck

Erland is first to sing, and with the orchestra. He has a deeper voice than you would expect, mixed with a dance beat and fast building bass – it’s a typical club kind of song, but it’s a bit slow to get to the climax. The orchestra sound lovely tonight, filling the arena with something extra. The vocals though are a bit flat, while the melody swells into a good tune – just choppy in the variation. All in all, it may not be big enough for Eurovision.

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20:33 – Introductions

“Welcome to the Melodi Grand Prix” Silya yells and the crowd roars with cheering. The conductor for the live orchestra tonight is introduced, followed by the artists. And of course the televoting numbers and rules are run through.

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20:25 – Welcome to the show!

It’s going to be an exciting night in Oslo, and it kicks off with a pre-recorded skit – it looks like some kind of hard core, humorous bootcamp for the contestants.

Our hosts this evening are Kåre Magnus Bergh and Silya. To really kick it off on stage, they present a dramatic number, dressed in some Arabian type costumes, to get the energy going.