Live: Norway kicks off preselection weekend

Norway starts a weekend of semi finals tonight. In heat 1, five songs will compete for three spots in the final next week in Oslo Spektrum. After a live performance and jury commentary, we can maybe spot an early favorite.

ESC Daily provides live commentary in the article below. You can watch the show here. These are the candidates for tonight:

1. Hilda & Thea Leora – Best Friend’s Boyfriend (Martin Kleveland, Lisa Desmond Linder og Jesper Jakobsen)
2. Mo – Heal (Laila Samuelsen)
3. Dina Misund – Needs (Dina Misund, Frode Bjørgmo Strømvik)
4. Linnea Dale – High Hopes (Linnea Dale og Kim Bergseth)
5. Timbre & Frikk Heide-Steen feat. Ida Stein – Frozen by Your Love (Anders Bratterud)

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For a brief moment, I thought it was my fault that I saw a medieval costume drama. But no, the NRK just tweeted: “Unfortunately for our international viewers we have some difficulties with our stream. We are working on the issue.”

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It’s working! The show has started, and the setting looks quite small and cosy. We seem to be in a bar! This is the result of the NRK wanting to downsize its preselections compared to last years. There were some financial issues. No surprises there!

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Song 1: Best Friend’s Boyfriend

Back to the nineties with this lemonade pop song. Two sisters present themselves as friends, of which one steals the boyfriend of the other. The performance is not in the bar, by the way, it is in a small theatre – perhaps recorded earlier? The two (short!) girls move around the stage, playing the camera one by one. Vocals of the song are okay, and the melody is cheerful, but the lyrics are ridiculously cheap. Time to get back to the bar for some jury comments.

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Song 2: Heal

Who ever said that quasi-urban ballads can only be sung by women like Cheryl Cole? Mo is a guy with a high pitched voice (no Cezar though… Don’t worry) and an eccentric haircut. Michael Jackson much? Mo’s song is presented in a professional and strictly constructed way, with three background dancers and a lot of small light spots. Back to the studio for the Norwegian commentators – I am sorry that I cannot translate any of those for you.

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Song 3: Needs

A hippie song about materialism, or at least that’s what I got from the preview video. Some Norwegian words luckily sound a lot like English. The music is a little country-ish, the voice remind the listener a lot of Jewel, and the lyrics are indeed more interesting than the ones we’ve heard so far. “Dont throw your arms around the world” is the sentence that starts the refrain. Calm, yet uplifting because of the banjo sounds. But why, why does the guy playing the banjo have to wear a cowboy-hat?

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Song 4: High Hopes

Musically perhaps the most interesting song so far: a smooth and mystical electric song in the style of the band Hurts. The vocals are pretty good and the presentation stays in style, with two old-fashionedly dressed dance couples in the background. Linnea comes across a little shy on stage, but she keeps her cool and there is still time to work on this. Worth a shot for the final, I would say.

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Song 5: Frozen By Your Love

The big favorites for tonight’s show. ‘Frozen by your love’ is a great modern dance song, but the performance still calls for some improval. The vocals of Frikk are by far not good enough; Ida is only slightly better. But there is more than just the vocals. The dance looks a little awkward, too. Frikk sings ‘I cant seem to move’, and yeah, that seems about right. Any kind of interaction between the two singers is missing, but the applause from the crowd is huge, so they will probably get another chance to do better.

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While the jury discusses whether commercial dance music is suitable for Eurovision, I am gonna make myself some tea. Televoters will send three songs through to the final. Listen to the recap and make up your mind! My vote go to song 3 & 4.

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One minute left to vote!

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RESULTS! Three songs qualify, and the first one is:

Dina Misund – Needs!

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The second qualifier is:

Linnea Dale – High Hopes!

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And the last qualifier is…

Mo – Heal!

That’s it for tonight! Hope you join us tomorrow for the second semi final again. For now, goodnight!

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