Norwegian broadcaster NRK have revealed the ten acts who will be competing to represent Norway at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. AND, more importantly, the songs with which they’ll compete.
Mercifully, it’s mostly a strong line-up this year, with only a couple of real duds, and anything else that’s questionable at least being elevated by sheer novelty.
Below, we’ve given you a brief intro to the artists, let you know what to expect from the songs, and presented you with a link to listen. And we’ve done it all in order from our absolute faves to our absolute not. It goes from the sublime to the ridiculous – and that’s even before you get past our number 1!!!
Here are whom Norway must pin their Eurovision hopes on this year;
KEiiNO: ‘Spirit in The Sky’
Lyrics and music: Tom Hugo Hermansen, Alex Olsson, Fred Buljo, Henrik Tala, Alexandra Rotan
Who? A collaboration between three established solo singers. Sami artist Fred Buljo, the singer of last year’s Oslo Pride anthem, Tom Hugo (who some of you will remember from Melodi Grand Prix 2013 and 2018), and Alexandra Rotan, who performed the brilliant (and Scandipop Award Nominated!) ‘You Got Me’ at last year’s Melodi Grand Prix with Stella Mwangi.
What? The mix in sounds and styles that befits such a collaboration. It’s equal measures ridiculous and amazing, and is going to stand out by a mile – both in Oslo and in Tel Aviv, which we hope it reaches!
Mørland: ‘En Livredd Mann’
Lyrics and music: Kjetil Mørland
Who? The man who gave Norway an 8th place finish at Eurovision in 2015 with ‘A Monster Like Me’. He also wrote the incredible ‘Who We Are’ by Rebecka, which finished 2nd at Melodi Grand Prix last year. This year he’s back to get the job done himself. Perhaps at both MGP and ESC.
What? Another moody and atmospheric ballad from the master of the genre. This one’s gets a bit rousier though, and is no less impactful than its predecessor.
Anna-Lisa Kumoji: ‘Holla’
Lyrics and music: Ashley Hicklin, Jeroen Swinnen, Maria Broberg
Who? Usually spotted treading the boards in musicals, or heard voicing the Norwegian dubs of animated films, Anna-Lisa is taking a break from theatre and film to focus on her recording career. And both ‘Holla’ and Melodi Grand Prix are her starting point.
What? Someone’s been let into the secret that the best way to make an impression on a Eurovision or adjacent stage is with an almighty BANG! And she’s ran with the idea.
Carina Dahl: ‘Hold Me Down’
Lyrics and music: Ashley Hicklin, Jeroen Swinnen, Pele Loriano, Laurell Barker, Laura Groeseneken.
Who? Undoubtedly most famous in Norway for being a model, blogger and reality TV star, Carina has nevertheless been making and releasing music with more frequency this decade than anyone else in this line-up. This is her third time taking one of her songs to Melodi Grand Prix.
What? Already the strongest of her three MGP entries. ‘Hold Me Down’ is an epic mid-tempo and should make the ‘gold-final’ on the strength of the last 60 seconds alone.
Hank Von Hell: ‘Fake It’
Lyrics and music: Hank Von Hell, Andreas Werling, David Johannesson, Eric Bäckman.
Who? Formerly the frontman of a punk/rock band from the 90s and 00s known as…..*removes specs*….Turbonegro. Right. He’s back after eight years away from music, having released a solo album at the end of last year, and booked to play a plethora of music festivals later this year. And obviously looking for the world’s biggest music stage as a platform to launch his comeback.
What? A cheap novelty of a song with a chorus that sounds like it was written on the back of a cigarette packet. So yes, you could say that we absolutely adore it and are already stanning hard.
Chris Medina: ‘We Try’
Lyrics and music: Chris Medina, Jason Gill, Tormod Løkling, Julimar Santos.
Who? An American who rose to fame on American Idol, and subsequently had a huge hit over there (and throughout Scandinavia) with ‘What Are Words’. Evidently his visits to Norway to promote it, left an impression: he now lives there with his Norwegian girlfriend and their two-year-old daughter.
What? We appreciate the tempo, we appreciate the melody of the chorus, but this one just falls short of being amazing as it seems to be missing that certain something special. Anyone else feeling that, or are we missing something?
Erlend Bratland: ‘Sing For You’
Lyrics and music: Erlend Bratland, Arvid Solvang, Nils Egil Brandsæter
Who? We’re very pleased to see the return of Erland, who finished runner-up at Melodi Grand Prix in 2015, with the electric ‘Thunderstruck’.
What? ‘Sing For You’ sounds like it could be from a musical production. And it might well have been our favourite song from whatever musical it would have been taken from. But it’s not our favourite song from the 2019 Melodi Grand Prix selection unfortunately. We’ll no doubt be listening to it again though, throughout the next few weeks.
Adrian Jørgensen: ‘The Bubble’
Lyrics and music: Jonas McDonnell, Aleksander Walmann, Kjetil Mørland
Who? Adrian rose to fame back in 2013 when he finished as runner-up on The Voice. Since then he’s released a handful of singles, and even got to perform on the Eurovision stage for Norway – singing back-up for JOWST in 2017.
What? Yeah, this is nice. Kinda.
Ingrid Berg Mehus: ‘Feel’
Lyrics and music: Ingrid Berg Mehus, Bjørnar Hopland, Anthony Modebe
Who? A professional violinist with a hankering for dance music.
What? I mean, it’s better than last year’s violin-infused entry, but then that was our 10th fave of last year’s MGP, so it wouldn’t be difficult that this is at least our 9th fave. But yeah – no more than that. Completely unremarkable.
D’Sound: ‘Mr. Unicorn’
Lyrics and music: Kim Ofstad, Jonny Sjo, Mirjam Johanne Omdal, Magnus Martinsen
Who? A Norwegian pop band who enjoyed most of their success in the 90s. And back in 2010, the two guys produced ‘Glow’ – which Madcon performed as the interval act when Norway hosted the Eurovision Song Contest.
What? On paper, we should absolutely love this. Disco-themed POP! But we absolutely don’t.