Ooooh, a list! And an ESC-related list, at that.
The best kind. ‘This the season!
So what’s this? Ok, so tomorrow, NRK kick-off their 2020 selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, Melodi Grand Prix. You can read all about it, and listen to the first batch of songs, right here. In this article, though, we look back over the last decade, and select our favourite Melodi Grand Prix songs never to have made it to Eurovision. The forgotten gems. The unsung heroes.
So no ‘I Feed You My Love’ or ‘Spirit In The Sky’ here, then? Nada. Though every single one of our Top 20 would have made an excellent Eurovision entry in its own right, we hasten to add.
Is there a playlist? There’s always a playlist.
Let’s get cracking then. Counting down from 20th best all the way to the absolute best, here we go;
20: a1: Don’t Wanna Lose You Again (2010)
Oh yes they tried that. But finished second in the end to *checks notes* Norway’s answer to Josh Groban.
19: Ida Maria: Scandilove (2018)
“Can you make love like a Scandinavian?“. Bashful, slightly awkward and with a underlying discomfort at showing any sign of emotion? Mercifully not, Ida!
18: Erlend Bratland: Thunderstruck (2015)
Straight-up pop that shot for musical theatre rock. And hit the mark pretty well, actually.
17: Irresistible: Elevator (2012)
Bottom-drawer songwriting for a hastily cobbled-together, ropey girlband. There’s a hell of a lot to love here, it must be said.
16: Mørland: En Livredd Mann (2019)
A Norwegian national treasure returned to take a solo shot at Eurovision – but hadn’t counted upon Tom Hugo, Alexandra Rotan and Fred Buljo taking the opposite approach that same year.
15: Suite 16: Anna Lee (2016)
A boyband from 2016 taking on the sonic form of a dansband from 1996, right down to using a girl’s name as a song title. We HAD to stan.
14: Anina: The Young (2013)
We know Oslo Spektrum is a big and sturdy place, but it’s still quite something that the arena didn’t collapse in upon itself at the sheer weight and noise of THIS. EPIC. CHORUS.
13: Shackles: On Hold (2013)
This dubstep-pop behemoth deserved a hell of a lot better. Though in fairness, shared a semi-final with Margaret Berger’s ‘I Feed You My Love’, so…
12: Lene Alexandra: Prima Donna (2010)
Glamour model turned Scandipopstar trying out for Eurovision – could this really have sounded any other way, than how you already imagine it does in your head? No, it could not. Thankfully.
11: Alexander Stenerud: Give It To Me (2010)
A gloriously camp throwback to when Norway ruled the international charts in the late ’80s via the a-ha boys. We never knew we needed it so badly in 2010, but we so very did.
10: Raylee: Louder (2015)
Kudos to Raylee, who in 2015, when deciding which Rihanna era to take influence from, went all the way back to where it started with ‘Pon De Replay’, ten years previous. This year, Raylee is back again with a song that may well be better than anything in this entire list. So that’s quite big news for her.
09: Venke Knutson: Jealous Cause I Love You (2010)
Never have threats of domestic violence sounded so twee. But in all honesty – “do you HAVE to, be so flirty, and size up every girl under thirty?“.
08: Alexandra Joner: Cinderella (2015)
The only thing more ludicrous than this song was its big-budget, ensemble-cast performance. Ultra camp, and we were here for every OTT second of it.
07: Hungry Hearts: Laika (2016)
We had affectionately called these lot ‘disco lesbians from outer space’ back in 2016. As the decade went on, however, they soon revealed themselves to be nothing more than ‘nasty, ignorant TERFs’. May they never return to the competition, or any kind of spotlight, for that matter.
06: Rebecca: Who We Are (2018)
The greatest Norwegian MGP ballad of the decade – foiled by that gurning eejit with a fiddle, trading on past glories. We are still not over the injustice of it all.
05: Stella & Alexandra: You Got Me (2018)
AKA when “haba haba” met “he-la-e-loi-la“. Where would we be without the cultural peak that is Norwegian pop music?
04: Hanne Sorvaag: You’re Like A Melody (2011)
Not just any melody though, the absolute best kind of pop melody that Scandinavian talent can pen. Incredible.
03: Reidun: High On Love (2012)
In hindsight, it’s probably for the best that this didn’t qualify for Norway in 2012, as ‘Euphoria’ just may not have been able to hold up against it in Baku.
02: Adelen: Bombo (2013)
Finishing second in Melodi Grand Prix to the greatest Norwegian Eurovision song of all time, ‘I Feed You My Love’ by Margaret Berger, was fair enough, really. It’s criminal, however, that she’s never returned to the competition since, despite releasing a great run of bops from then all the way up to last year.
01: Minnie Oh: You & I (2012)
At the time we heralded this as being Robyn levels of good. Of course, now that Robyn’s gone and released her ‘Honey’ album since then, we can readjust our statement: Robyn wishes she was making music this good.