Live: Norway chooses a song for Stockholm

Who is going to represent Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest? Tonight, the Norwegian broadcaster Norsk Rikskringkasting (NRK) organises the national final Melodi Grand Prix 2016 in order to select the Norwegian entry for the 2016 contest in Stockholm.

Leading up to the finals, there was some fuss about Freddy Kalas’ song. On 21 January 2016, NRK held a meeting with Freddy Kalas to discuss accusations of self-plagiarism in regards to his entry. The song was compared to a song the performer had released in 2011 under a different artistic name and in collaboration with the same authors. On 22 January, NRK confirmed that the chorus of the song was re-written and that the song received a new title. So tonight, he is one of the participants.

The show will take place at the Oslo Spektrum in Oslo, hosted by Silya Nymoen and Kåre Magnus Bergh. Silya is familiar with Melodi Grand Prix, because she was a semi-finalist in the edition of 2012. During the final, ten songs will compete. The winner will be selected over two rounds of public televoting. In the first round, the top four entries will be selected to proceed to the second round, the Gold Final. In the Gold Final, the results will be revealed by Norway’s five regions. The show starts at 20:55 CET and can be followed on Eurovision.tv. NRK’s official website will also stream the show via this link.

The ten acts participating in the Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix 2016 are: 

  • The Hungry Hearts feat. Lisa Dillan – Laika
  • Stage Dolls – Into the Fire
  • Stine Hole Ulla – Traces
  • Makeda – Stand Up
  • Pegasus – Anyway
  • Freddy Kalas – Feel Da Rush
  • Laila Samuels – Afterglow
  • Elouiz – History
  • Suite 16 – Anna Lee
  • Agnete – Icebreaker

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23:15 – The decision has been made. Agnete goes with the song Icebreaker to Stockholm. Thank you so much for sticking with the liveblog at ESCDaily and be sure to check back for more of our liveblogs as ESC season progresses. Good night!

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23:10 – A HUGE VICTORY FOR AGNETE!

WINNER

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23:06 – Third region:

First results 3

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23:05 – After two regions, Agnete is in the lead!

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23:00 –  In the Gold Final, the results will be revealed by Norway’s five regions. The results of the first region:

First results 1

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22:50 – And a tribute to Nora Brockstedt. Brockstedt represented Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest 1960 and 1961, with the memorable songs Voi-voi and Sommer i Palma.

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22:47 – Okay, four strong songs in the Golden Final. Who’s your favourite to represent Norway at Eurovision?

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22:41 – The fourth superfinalist is… Freddy Kalas.

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22:33 – The third superfinalist is… Agnete.

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22:29 – Prior to the performances, fans have the opportunity to speech for their favourite act.

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22:26 – The second superfinalist is… Suite 16.

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22:22 – Laila is performing her song again and it sounds much better than earlier this evening. 

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22:20 – The first superfinalist is… Laila Samuels.

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22:18 – And it’s time for the results. Which four will advance to the super final?

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22:13 – WOW! What a fantastic performance of Mørland & Debrah Scarlett.

Debrah

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22:10 – And there is an interval act: Kate Gulbrandsen. She won the Norwegian national final Melodi Grand Prix 1987 in a very close regional vote, giving her the opportunity to compete for Norway at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Mitt liv.

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22:00 – There she is! The last act of tonight: Agnete. We know her as lead singer of the band The Black Sheeps which participated in Melodi Grand Prix 2011, with their song Dance Tonight. They ultimately came second, losing out to the song Haba Haba by Stella Mwangi. This time, Agnete Johnsen competes in Melodi Grand Prix 2016 as a solo artist. The song is called Icebreaker and has a great intro which sounds as an epic dance anthem but when the chorus starts it suddenly slows down. Chances are that a lot of people will be thrown by this strange tempo change. Apart from the chorus, this song has a lot of potential in it and reminds me a bit of Make Me (La La La) from Dinah Nah. But in the end, this song is like mixing two songs into one and I wonder whether this is a good thing or not. Still, this number will undoubtedly do it well and goes to the superfinal. That’s for sure.

Agnete 1

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21:53 – It’s time for Anna Lee sung by Suite 16. When I first saw their promo picture I feared a One Direction type of song and yes… it is a One-Direction-song but  in a good way. This is a very radio friendly pop song that will undoubtedly be played a lot on the larger stations. With lyrics as I met you for the first time on the beatnick boulevard. Carrying an old sunburst guitar. I said you’re the one I write about in every single song these five men will get a lot of votes from Norwegian teenage girls. And we have not even spoken about the catchy na-na-na-na-na-na-na-hey, because that really doesn’t get out of your head. The song puts me in a good mood. We will see them back in the super final. They rock the stage!

Suit 16

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21:49 – The song History of Elouiz is co-written by the Swedish Jeanette Olsson. Jeanette’s vocals have appeared on tracks by artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Demi Lovato and LeAnn Rimes. She also has co-written and sung the title track for Disneynature movie Wings of Life. It is therefore not surprising that Elouiz sings an American sounding song with lots of Disney influences. There’s a split second in the chorus where she sounds very Taylor Swift. In contrast to many songs of Taylor Swift, this is not about high school relationships. They’re gonna write songs about us. Talk about us in their magazines. We are gonna be the inspiration. For every happy ending. Fairytales got nothin’ on us. Let’s give the world some poetry. This love is gonna make history, history.

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21:42 – Laila Samuels sings Afterglow. An enchanting singer, folk-influenced, some Scandinavian melancholia and a song which takes you on journey for three minutes. This song fits very much in the Norwegian tradition of dark and mystic songs from the past three years. That Norway has reached the final the last three years with that type of song is no coincidence. The song is about losing someone. That’s pretty obvious, but it’s also about not losing yourself when that happens. You have two choices in bad times: go down or fight back. Laila seems to be a fighter. Hower this is by far the best song of tonight, Laila doesn’t sing very well. One moment I was reminded of Karin Park and her live performance during Melodi Grand Prix 2015. And that’s not a good sign…

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21:36 – The sixth act tonight: Fredrik Auke, also known as Freddy Kalas and previously as Freddy Genius. He is a Norwegian singer which already topped the official charts in Norway with songs as Pinne for landet and Hey Ho. Tonight, he took part in the preselection for Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix in a bid to represent Norway with Feel Da Rush. If this won’t go to Eurovision it should definitely going to be a huge summer hit. Although we’ve heard it a thousand times (for example Bob Sinclar, Yves Larock, OMI and Yessy Matador), it is still very nice. This song puts a smile on your face and makes you yearn for white beaches, palm trees and fruity cocktails. The audience sounds very enthusiastic. Could Freddy be the surprise of this Norwegian preselection?

Freddy

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21:30 – The fifth song is from Pegasus. We have heard these kind of songs so incredibly often. Anyway sounds like a Bon Jovi reject and isn’t more than another rock ballad. This song is corny and will make no impression at Eurovision. Although it is sung well, there is little interesting to see on stage. Pegasus gives us three minutes of disappointment. Next.

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21:25 – Welcome back to the sixties! Makeda brings Motown combined with some bubblegum pop to the Norwegian preselection. Is this the Norwegian answer to Meghan Trainor? This properly hits the spot and creates a smile on your face. Stand Up is a nice, feel-good song, but there is a pitfall: is it original enough? I doubt it. On stage it looks simple, but it works effectively. That’s a big plus!

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21:20 – It is time for Norway’s Got Talent winner Stine Hole Ulla with the song Traces. Although she looks like a Norwegian princess and sings amazingly, the song is really terrible. This is so incredibly saccharine that even Walt Disney would say NO-PLEASE-NO to this song. I’m sure this could do great at an audition for a third-rate musical, but tonight is the terminus for this contribution.

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21:15 – The second act of tonight are the Stage Dolls – a Norwegian hard rock band based in Trondheim. Their first album was released in the early winter of 1985 after a successful nationwide tour in Norway supporting the Norwegian band TNT. The song Into the fire sounds very eighties and could have been a part of their debut album. Although there is a catchy hook in the song (o-o-o-o-hoo!), I do not see it happen tonight. However the band is popular in Norway, so they certainly will get some votes. For example, their last album went straight to number one in the Norwegian charts. About the act: fireworks, flames and old fashioned staging.

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21:10 – We start the evening with only women on stage: The Hungry Hearts feat. Lisa Dillan are singing Laika. They are gray and pink dressed and there is driving a car on the podium. Is this Modern Talking meets Kraftwerk? Disco with some great literary lyrics? This song can be compared with nothing else around. This is art and would be very noticeable at the Contest. The song starts with The streets of Moscow with my girlfriend to go away on texts as A homeless shadow trapped in the cosmic computer. A little curly dog embraced by endless space. And somewhere in the middle: Der untergang ist jetzt, der untergang ist hier. This act has something – I do not know what – but I’d like to give this song the very best.

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21:06 – There are the hosts of tonight: Silya Nymoen and Kåre Magnus Bergh.

Presentatoren

All pictures are screenshots from the Norwegian broadcaster. All footage belongs to them.

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21:05 – We start the evening with some cabaret and a compilation full of Eurovision-highlights.

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20:55 – Good evening, welcome everybody. We have started!

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20:25 – In about half an hour, Melodi Grand Prix 2016 will start. Who’s your favorite?