After four weeks, Melodi Grand Prix has now reached its final stop on the semi-final tour of the country’s artists. Four more acts are ready to fight for a spot in the MGP final next weekend, but which of these Norwegian hopefuls would we want to see go through tonight?

Let’s find out how Daniel, James, Melanie, Sean and Stefan ranked the Melodi Grand Prix semi-finalists tonight…

Ane.Fin – Walking In My Sleep

Daniel – 7.5 – This song has spunk and funk all around. It is a heavily synthesized track with a soporific undertone that matches the lyrics. I think there are a lot of interesting elements that might work well, the track itself sounds a bit overwhelmed with all the elements pulling the listener in every direction. If they can make it show to be a tidy composition and performance, then this has a high chance of doing well. It has piqued my interest and I want to see it succeed to let us root for it, at least for now.

James – 5 – For a minute I thought I was listening to a bad remix of a Robyn B-side. Lyrically, it’s a fine self-empowerment anthem of the “I’m not sure how I fit in, I don’t care, I sail this ship alone” variety. Just a pity about the production, which sounds like a music version of the cooking show Chopped, wherein the producer has to use a basket full of exceptionally annoying sounds. This doesn’t so much need a revamp as to diced and sticky-taped back together. Keep the vocals and the lyrics, though.

Melanie – 6.5 – This one is interesting. It’s a mediocre dance song, but feels kind of intense to listen to due to the loops you’re hearing the whole time. It’s an okayish song that can be elevated by a great stage choreography. For now, it doesn’t let me walk or dance in my sleep, but I don’t mind to dance along with it in my bedroom.

Sean – 6 – This is the type of glitchy electropop that Spotify loves to throw into my random playlists when possible, so it does appeal to my music taste somewhat. It has great crossover appeal so I can see a lot of people at least liking it. It doesn’t have the punchiness this type of song needs to make an impact though, it’s a pleasant enough listen but not one that will live long in the memory for me.

Stefan – 5 –  It has potential, but I just can’t imagine it at Eurovision. It just doesn’t have that kind of vibe. The song itself is quite good, but definitely not good enough to win MGP.

Total = 30 (avg. 6)

TuVeia – Bli med meg på gar’n

Daniel – 5 – Ummmmm, I feel like a joke entry is on the way. This has its unique twist and adds a fun element to the heat. It is scandipop being recorded in Old MacDonald’s farm. I think the chicken clucks and the cow moos are endearing but they are a bit too ubiquitous for my taste. I think this will have a strong visual appeal, but it is not screaming winner to me. It is fun and we must appreciate it for that!

James – 2 – This is almost identical in spirt and execution to Jan Bloukaas’s “Kaas Elke Dag,” an aggressively irritating novelty song that Afrikaans teenagers used to annoy their parents back in 2017. Whatever charm TuVeia’s entry has must be purely reserved for Norwegians – this is almost impenetrable for foreigners. From the tone and the odd lyric (something about “your daughter” gathering people from all over the valley), this is a bawdy-ish comedy track, but given this is entered in a national selection where there’s a recurring skit with two doofuses sitting in a fluffy pink box heckling passers-by, be warned that no-one outside of Scandinavia will give two figs or get the jokes contained herein.

Melanie – 6.5 – Well this gets 10,000 points for originality. Really digging the farm rap vibe it’s creating, just wanted the farm noise from the animals be more alive in the beat instead as being same as background noise. The song itself has an average beat that is okay but not groundbreaking. Really happy that we have this kind of funny songs also in Melodi Grand Prix and can’t wait to see the staging, but not seeing this one win.

Sean – 4.5 – Eh heh. Yeah. Uh. Let’s just say this probably isn’t going to translate well outside of Norway. Nice enough to listen to and ballsy enough to earn kudos from me, but… yeah. Don’t pick this one Norway.

Stefan – 3.5 – It’s catchy, but let’s be honest, it’s a joke entry. Eurovision gave us a lesson – always be ready for surprises so I wouldn’t be shocked if this goes far.

Total = 21.5 (avg. 4.3)

IMERIKA – I Can’t Escape

Daniel – 8.5 – This is a very sweet and soft-spoken ballad which will contrast nicely with a lot of the songs of the heat. In a very Billie Eilish/ Victoria punk way, this song has a strong appeal while still being musically very strong. I think that this falls in the category of very traditional pop beats that has a simple melody. But then it turns your expectations on your head with an illustrious build that ties the package together. I think that this is a strong entry, I just wish that the build ended in a really strong bang, but I get that this is the usual structure of the trope.

James – 1 – I retroactively upped TuVeia’s score by 1 because at least they attempted to keep it lighthearted. This is an awful break-up song. IMERIKA’s vocals really grate in that indie folk way where works like “bye” become multisyllabic. And I don’t know where they recorded the strings at the bridge, but they sound like they were done inside a dumpster. The execution and production are risible, and the lyrics and pronunciation of them are miserable.

Melanie – 8.5 – First of all, can I say that I love the way how she found her stage name? I’m Erika but then written as one word? Very clever! But I’m here to review her song for Melodi Grand Prix and that one is absolutely stunning. I love the minimalistic approach they did in this ballad. I was expecting it to be boring when I heard the first verse, because it really relies heavily on her voice and the piano, but it kept me intrigued the full 3 minutes. I think this one can be the dark horse for the win at the Grand Final IF it will be performed right.

Sean – 7 – IMERIKA’s entry is a very well put together mid-tempo ballad with the right emotional cues and breathy vocals – yep, ticks all the boxes here. The crescendo of the track is fantastic, but it’s too little too late, and I just wish the drama of that final 30 seconds was present for much more of the song.

Stefan – 4 – Starts a bit slow, goes on a bit slow, stays slow. I like the instrumental part before the last chorus and basically it’s the only good thing IMO.

Total = 29 (avg. 5.8)

RIVER – Coming Home

Daniel – 6 – I will be the first to admit that I do not tend to respond very well to Country-like music. I will see like many of the country like tracks that are slowly but surely making their mark in the Netherlands, Estonia, and Finland, this song has a lot of merit. It is a nice beat that supports very meaningful lyrics in a very relatable package. I think that these songs have a harder time trying to get a strong staging so I would like to see what RIVER will come up with. I think this is a perfectly fine song but that is about it for me.

James – 6 – As a pop country track, this doesn’t exactly register too highly on the originality scale. But the positives, and we start with one that is a greater factor for my scores in 2021 than in previous years: It’s cheery and optimistic. The bridge is great, where the track stops and they launch back into the chorus with added vigor. Yes, the “coming home” trope has been done to death, and the song has a little bit of a forgettability factor, but while it’s on it’s a pleasant three minute reminder of those we may soon rejoin after a year of devastation and desolation.

Melanie – 6 – This sounds more aligned with the songs you hear nowadays on the radio. It’s a very great radio track that makes me clap along when I’m in the passenger seat in the car. Nevertheless, I forget about this song after the first listen. It just makes something to make it stand out and make me remember it. Despite this, a great attempt from River.

Sean – 7 – I wish this was a bit more powerful, I really do. This had potential for real crossover appeal and to tap into the zeitgeist for country pop, especially the more EDM-heavy songs produced by Seven Lions and the late Avicii, but it just feels a little bit safe and flat otherwise. Probably the song most in contention this week.

Stefan – 7.5 – And again I have to ask myself, what is it with Norwegian people and their obsession with country music? Even though it’s not my cup of tea, it is the best song in this semi. Dunno if it’s because of the title but I’m getting Malta’s Firelight deja vu vibes.

Total = 32.5 (avg. 6.5)

Let’s see how the ranking sits with our team…

  1. RIVER – Coming Home – 32.5
  2. Ane.Fin – Walking In My Sleep – 30
  3. IMERIKA – I Can’t Escape – 29
  4. TuVeia – Bli med meg på gar’n – 21.5

So it’s RIVER that our team thinks should be the last semi-final winner in Norway – but do #YOU agree? Why not vote in our poll HERE to have your say?

Do #YOU feel we have underrated anyone in tonight’s show? What do #YOU think of Melodi Grand Prix this year? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below and on social media!

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