Raylee is through to the Melodi Grand Prix Final after prevailing over Daniel Owen in the Golden Duel. Raylee’s synth-driven ’80s throwback – complete with a famous Flashdance tribute – in “Hero” beat out Owen’s slick, contemporary pop song “Psycho.”
Owen had been drawn against Ketil Stokkan’s “My Life is OK” in the first duel, while Raylee overcame folk artist Maria Solheim’s “Nordlyset” in Duel Two.
Tonight’s pre-qualified act showcase featured Stavangerkameratene and their entry “”Barndomsgater.”
In the first duel, the sax-driven nostalgia of Ketil Stokkan went up against the contemporary radio friendly pop of Daniel Owen.
No introductions needed for Ketil Stokkan – he’s a two-participant on behalf of Norway at Eurovision with “Romeo” (12th at Eurovision 1986) and “Brandenburger Tor” (joint-last at Eurovision 1990). Stokkan remained active through mid-90s and went to work as a schoolteacher in Nordkjosbotn. After 31 years out of the MGP limelight, Stokkan returns with his self-penned “My Life is OK.”
Stokkan faced a performer on the other end of the age spectrum in Daniel Owen. Despite only being 21, Owen has several singles to his name. He won Norske Talenter in 2011, and released his debut single “Girl Gone Bad” in 2015. He has released, at minimum, a single a year since 2017, and arrives at MGP with “Psycho.”
The second duel was between the energetic, synth-driven pop of Raylee and the Norwegian folk sound of Maria Solheim.
Raylee (Charlotte Kristiansen) was a fan favorite from Melodi Grand Prix 2020 whose entry “Wild” made it to the Gold Final. Raylee returns this year with an experienced songwriting team (including Canadian writer and producer Laurell Barker and Swedish producer Anderz Wrethov). Nostalgia spotters will no doubt have been delighted by the lyrical and synth touches referencing Bonnie Tyler’s “I Need a Hero” and a replication of Jennifer Beal’s chair and water stage scene from the 1985 classic “Flashdance.”
Solheim is a well-regarded 39-year-old folk singer from Alsvag, and has released five solo albums over the past two decades. Solheim had an unlikely Number 1 hit in Norway over Christmas 2009, when her duet with Norwegian punk legend Hank von Hell, “Rom for alle,” topped the charts for three weeks. “Nordlyset” is a call to follow the Northern Lights to the comfort of home, a common trope in Norwegian folk.
Tonight’s Pre-Qualified Artist:
Pre-qualified for the Grand Final is Stavangerkameratene, or the Comrades from Stavanger, and their entry “Barndomsgater.” Stavangerkameratene are a supergroup of sorts, made up of four Northern Norwegian lads who entered pop music contests in Norway. Kjartan Salvesen won Idol in 2004, Glenn Lyse won Idol in 2009, Tommy Fredvang participated in X-Factor 2009, and Ole Alexander Mæland participated in The Voice 2012 and was lead singer in the Norwegian pop band Elle Melle.
They released “Barndomsgater” (“Childhood Streets”) yesterday, and as with Semi-Final 1’s KEiiNO and TIX, also performed their entry live after the first round duels.
Next week, January 30, 2021 at 10:50 CET, another four artists will battle in Semi-Final 3 and will feature a live performance of a pre-qualified act. All acts eliminated thus far will have the chance to participate in a Second Chance weekend, where televote favorites will be pitted against each other for a spot in the MGP Grand Final.
What do #YOU think of tonight’s performances? Is there an act #YOU felt was unfairly eliminated from MGP? Let us know in the comments below, in our forum, or on social media.