NRK have kicked off this, the 60th year of their Melodi Grand Prix pre-selection for Eurovision, and their most ambitious contest to date. Week by week, they’re having heats, and releasing the songs from each one. Today, it’s the turn of the songs of heat five.

OK, SO WHAT’S HAPPENING?
We’re getting a final on February 15th, and no less than five heats every Saturday night up until then. It all started last month.

FIVE HEATS?! 
Each representing a different part of Norway – north, south, east, west and midlands. Each heat will have four artists and songs competing, but only one song will qualify to the February 15th final.

A FIVE-SONG FINAL?
No, it’ll be ten songs. As well as the five songs that qualify from the heats, a Norwegian jury has selected five artists and songs to go straight to the final.

AND WHO ARE THEY?
Earlier in the month, NRK gave the big reveal – of the five artists heading straight to the final. And each week, the artists of that week’s heats will be revealed. You can check them all out below.

AND WHEN CAN I HEAR THE SONGS?
You can listen to the four songs in each heat the Monday before that heat, and we’ve linked to them below. As for the pre-selected final songs, they’ll take it in turns to perform as the interval act at each of the heats, in the order we’ve listed below. And the songs themselves will be released the day before each heat. So, for example, ‘Take My Time’ got premiered at the first heat, and was released the day before that heat. ‘Out Of Air’ got premiered at the second heat and was released the day before. And so on.

GOT IT. RIGHT, WHO’S IN THE FINAL THEN?

Sondrey: Take My Time
(Ola Frøyen, Eric Lumiere, Terhi Pippuri)
Listen on Spotify

Didrik & Emil Solli-Tangen: Out Of Air
(Niclas Lundin, Mats Tärnfors, Figge Boström)
Listen on Spotify

Akuvi: Som Du Er
(Beatrice Akuvi Kumordzie, Andreas Stone)
Listen on Spotify.

Ulrikke Brandstorp: Attention
(Christian Ingebrigtsen, Kjetil Mørland, Ulrikke Brandstorp)
Listen on Spotify

Tone Damli: Hurts Sometimes
(Helge Moen, Jim Bergsted, Jethro Fox, Tone Damli)

HEAT ONE, NORWAY’S SOUTH, WON BY ‘WILD’

Kim Rysstad: Rainbow
(Knut Bjørnar Asphol)
Listen on Spotify
Take a minute, if you will, to picture Rasmussen’s ‘Higher Ground’ re-imagined as a James Bond theme song. Or, just take a listen to this. We’re not sure why anyone would set out to craft a song in said manner, but we’re hella pleased that they did. Contains the most triumphant key change of the week.

Raylee: Wild
(Andreas Stone, Anderz Wrethov, Laurell Barker)
Listen on Spotify
Evidently, the writers of Margaret’s ‘Tempo’ decided to write the follow-up to the song, regardless of whether or not Margaret was interested in recording it. She wasn’t, and as a result, Raylee ends up with the First Great Banger of Eurovision 2020 season. The best of the week’s options. By far.

Geirmund: Come Alive
(Eric Lumiere, Jonas H. Jensen, Niklas Rosstöm)
Listen on Spotify
Suffers somewhat from having a similar sound to Song 1 – which is surprising, given how niche that song is – but alas, an inferior version of it.

Lisa Børud: Talking About Us
(Jimmy Jansson, Anderz Wrethov, Maia Wright, Laurell Barker)
Listen on Spotify
An easily palatable, pure-pop number that goes right for the one-listen-and-you’re-in angle, and doesn’t miss a beat in doing so. Features the lyric ‘go ahead and let your extra out‘, and we heartily endorse this message. In terms of Eurovision comparisons, we’d liken it to Belarus or Malta from the 2019, or the recent winner of Junior Eurovision from Poland.

HEAT TWO, NORWAY’S EAST, WON BY ‘ONE LAST TIME’

JÆGER: How About Mars
(Roel Rats, Synne Vorkinn, Chris Wortley, Sindre T. Jenssen)
Listen on Spotify
This artist cites Billie Eilish as one of her influences, and that becomes quite apparent once the first chorus kicks in. It’s undoubtedly experimental, and something quite different for Melodi Grand Prix. But it does have its charms. Even if it did take a couple of listens for them to make themselves known to us.

Kim Wigaard & Maria Mohn: Fool for Love
(Torbjørn Raae, Arve Furset, Kim Wigaard Johansen, Maria Mohn)
Listen on Spotify
A duet that could have come straight from a Disney film from a long time ago. Or an espionage thriller an even longer time ago. Maybe this has been included as a respectful nod back to the contest’s beginnings 60 years ago? We’re not sure why else it could have been included here in 2020.

Rein Alexander: One Last Time
(Erik Småland, Kristoffer Tømmerbakke, Rein Alexander)
Listen on Spotify
By far the best song of the week. A seasoned professional on TV and on stage, 48-year-old Rein delivers a song that can best be described as a Viking pre-imaging of Loreen’s ‘Euphoria’. Yes, THAT good. We can’t imagine how this artist and song combo ever came to be, but we’re so glad that it did.

Tore Petterson: The Start of Something New
(Tore Petterson, Knut Bjørnar Asphol)
Listen on Spotify
A jazzy, musical-theatre-style number in which the gentleman singing maintains the gender lyric that the song was intended for. A nice touch for the 60th anniversary contest to include a same-sex number, but the song itself is about as competitive as it is contemporary. The style of the song lends itself well to a show-y performance, so there’s that to look forward to at least.

HEAT THREE, NORWAY’S MIDLANDS, WON BY ‘PRAY FOR ME’

Alexandru: Pink Jacket
(Ruben Markussen)
Listen on Spotify
Former boyband (Suite16) member goes solo and launches with an attention-grabbing, up-tempo pop song to lay claim to his new career. Unfortunately, the song hasn’t been all that well crafted, and falls into ‘quite basic’ territory. It most certainly wouldn’t fly at Eurovision, so there’s really no need for it to be troubling the national final.

Kristin Husøy: Pray for Me
(Roel Rats, Kristin Husøy)
Listen on Spotify
A production that builds excitingly is rather let down by a disappointing melody that never seems to go anywhere. The execution of the chorus can’t match the expectation, and the whole things falls flat on its face.

Sie Gubba: Kjære Du
(Magne Almås, Petter Øien)
Listen on Spotify
An old-fashioned dansband celebrating their 25-year anniversary by delivering something that sounds like it could well have been from the beginning of a 50-year career. Regardless, it’s got the strongest melody of the week, and the chaps are beloved in their native Norway, so the song is perhaps even more competitive than anything else in its heat.

Thomas Løseth: Vertigo
(Idar Sørensen)
Listen on Spotify
‘Vertigo’ takes on the task of offering us up something different, and succeeds wonderfully. True to its title, it’s a light, airy and dreamy song that rises as it goes on. If it’s as pretty to look at as it is to listen to, then that spot in the final could be easily for the taking.

HEAT FOUR, NORWAY’S WEST, WON BY ‘OVER THE SEA’

Hege Bjerk: Pang
(Martin Bjerkreim, Trygve Stakkeland, Hege Bjerkreim)
A wonderfully weird electro ballad that seems to intentionally malfunction in parts. The final could very well do with something like this in the mix.
Listen on Spotify

Magnus Bokn: Over The Sea
(Alexander Rybak, Joakim With Steen, Magnus Bokn)
Rybak is back, and he’s got his paws all over this one, with fiddle aplenty shoehorned in, as well as a rather magnificent key change. We actually ain’t mad about it though.
Listen on Spotify

Nordic Tenors: In This Special Place
(Einar Kristiansen Five, Jan-Tore Saltnes)
Not quite the ‘Grande Amore’ we were hoping for. This has more in common with EMD’s ‘There’s A Place For Us’. Very much the typical lead song from an animated film vibe going on here. Albeit one from the early ’90s.
Listen on Spotify

Oda Loves You: Love Who We Love
(Magnus Bertelsen, Oda Evjen Gjøvåg)
The most unabashed, purest pop song we’ve had so far in this selection. It’s potentially *too* cheesy for voters to take it to the final, but it may well be saved by its utterly mental final minute.
Listen on Spotify

HEAT FIVE, NORWAY’S NORTH, FEBRUARY 8th

Elin & The Woods: We Are As One
(Robin Lynch, Elin Kåven, Ylva Persson, Linda Persson)
An electronic epic with a hefty amount of Sami influences thrown into the mix, to give it its own character. It’s let down somewhat by a melody that sounds like it’s being performed as a duet in the chorus – jarringly off-key.
Listen on Spotify

Jenny Jenssen: Mr. Hello
(Mats Larsson, Jørgen Andson, Jenny Jenssen)
A sparkling anthem for the roaring ’20s. Though for the 1920s, as opposed to the 2020s, unfortunately. It’s fun – in a Christina Aguilera as a grandma making the follow-up to ‘Candyman’ kinda way.
Listen on Spotify

Kevin Boine: Stem På Mæ
(Henning Olerud, Stanley Ferdinandez, Kevin Boine)
The lyrics translate to him asking Norway to call up and throw him a vote, so that he can live his dream. And when he’s not begging for votes, he’s joiking. We have made none of this up.
Listen on Spotify

Liza Vassilieva: I Am Gay
(Audun Agnar Guldbrandsen, Stian Nyhammer Olsen, Myrtoula Røe, Liza Vassilieva)
And just when you thought MGP has reached peak ridiculous with the previous song, along comes this. It’s silly and throwaway – but actually absurdly catchy. Why not try singing along while sauntering down the street and see the kind of, at best, looks you get. What fun!
Listen on Spotify

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