Last night the third and final heat of Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix took place. So we now know nine of the ten songs that will compete in next Saturday’s final. The tenth will be a ‘wildcard’ selection – decided by 50% jury and 50% public vote.

It was a much weaker heat than last week’s. Although it did house our absolute favourite of the 24 songs in this contest – Tooji’s ‘Stay’. Thankfully, he made it through to the final too. It’s a high energy club track, with middle eastern flavours. An excellent production courtesy of Sweden’s Peter Boström, and a brilliant pop melody. Plus Tooji is our latest pop crush. The performance of it was AH-MAY-ZING – thanks to a competent delivery from Tooji, some ace choreography, and a lot of dazzling lighting effects. We want this to win in Oslo next week and go on to represent Norway at Eurovision. Yes please.

Joining him in the final: the old man country music from Petter Øien & Bobby Bare, ‘Things Change’, plus Yaseen & Julie Maria’s ‘Sammen’ – a song that’s been interpreted as being about the tragic shootings that took place in Norway last summer.

Of the five songs ousted from the competition, we were miffed to see Lise Karlsnes amongst them , with her song ‘Sailors’. Bizarrely, it’s not on YouTube yet, despite her being arguably the biggest name in the competition. Although her new album ‘Dance Or Die’ which was released on Friday is online for streaming here, and well worth a listen.

The camp retro pop of Silya’s ‘Euphoria’ is also worth a look. As is the beautiful Nordic ballad that is ‘Si’ by Marthe Valle.

 

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