With tonight seeing the acts from Central Norway take to the stage in Fornebu, it’s time once again for our assembled team to review the acts and pick a favourite. But which of the four songs will our team take to their hearts the most?

Our panel this weekend is unchanged, with Daniel, David, James, Melanie, Roy, Sean and Stefan all tackling the hopefuls for tonight! Let’s see what they thought…

Alexandru – Pink Jacket

Daniel – 8 – “A very modern pop song with a synth-twist. This song is as formulaic as it comes, from the materialistic title to the musical structure of the song, nevertheless, this song succeeds in delivering a fun three minutes that infuses tropi-house and mainstream pop. This is all to say that being formulaic is not bad as long as it is done well (see Melodifestivalen) and I sincerely believe that Alexandru succeeded here in that endeavour. A very catchy chorus and a promising talent, this song has a strong potential within MGP.”

David – 3 – “If we maybe go back in time, maybe about 10-15 years back, then I’m sure that there would’ve been a chance for me to really like the song. Time has passed, so has my interest, sure it’s quite radio friendly, but would I care enough about to think about the song afterwards? No. Then there’s the lyrics which comes out as nonsense. You got a pink jacket, good for you, I have a leather jacket, but I highly doubt anyone wants to hear a song about that.”

James – 5 – “Paolo Nutini’s “New Shoes” for this generation. Alexandru loves his new pink jacket, it makes him happy on the L.A. streets even though the purchase made him broke. In L.A., the only people who wear pink jackets anymore are the idiots from “Vanderpump Rules,” and you don’t want to emulate those auld fossils whose denial of their own ageing gets more embarrassing by the year. Simple pop track, very stupid lyrics, not much of a hook, little within to offend but little within to recommend.”

Melanie – 6 – “So let me start with saying that I’m really am distracted by the lyrics. I don’t know someone who would use his whole paycheck on a pink jacket. So I’m really curious about the story behind these lyrics. The song is very catchy, but it really depends on the staging if it will be a hit or not. If he can give this catchy song a killer choreography, he will be sliding into the finals. Otherways, he and his pink jacket will be staying home sadly.”

Roy – 6 – “The beat is fun, but the lyrics are complete nonsense on this. I just don’t really know how to feel about this song… I bop my head back and forth, but in the meantime my face looks cringed out doing it. Just picture that and that is how I feel about the song. As for the staging, they could make this quite fun. In my head I have this idea of him on a treadmill with a moving background and the staging crew moving cardboard objects to go along with that. That would enhance the silliness a bit and would make it more forgiving in my opinion. Not the best song, a low 6 for me.”

Sean – 6 – “This is a serviceable pop song sung by a young male singer so regardless of quality this already starts with a leg-up. It’s not really a stand-out in the genre but wouldn’t sound out of place on the radio, it’s just not one that ticks the boxes for me. The lyrics are a little banal and silly even by Eurovision standards, although I’m sure I’ll find myself humming this song in a few hours.”

Stefan – 3 – “It is a simple radio friendly song that you will probably forget the moment it’s over and it’s about a pink jacket??? Hell yeah, it’s damn expensive and it won’t even keep him warm, but he does feel like hell yeah. Sorry, but pass.”

Total = 37 (avg. 5.29)

Kristin Husøy – Pray for Me

Daniel – 6 – “A nice power pop song with a good beat, this song shares a lot of similarities with Switzerland 2018. I love the instrumentation more than anything, the confluence of the whistles, the organ and the snare drums works rather well. I will say the song is a bit lacking in the fun department, and it seems that this could be pretty forgettable after a few songs. Nonetheless, Kristin is super talented and has a solid chance to win her semi.”

David – 4 – “Now and then, I do really enjoy these very heavy sounding songs, with a deep beat. Yet, I don’t feel that much gravitated towards this one. It has something that I like, but I don’t think it develops further on afterwards, leaving me stuck in a loop. Eventually I get bored, since I’m left waiting for something to happen. Unfortunately dear, you better pray that someone wants to pray for you.”

James – 8 – “Another Roel Rats number. At least this one isn’t about f%$#ing in front of a council house (“22”) or space (“How About Mars?”). That being said, I’ve liked his songs thus far as he’s done a great job crafting tunes to his singer’s strengths, and that’s also the case with the soulful voice of Kristin Husøy. I like the whistling, the bass, the Hammond organ and the bridge provides a great opportunity to lead the audience in a clap or stomp-along. The lyrics are a bit cliché, but Husøy sells them and regardless of result at MGP she has the potential to be a breakout star in Norway.”

Melanie – 5 – “‘Pray For Me’ sound like a follow-up song from Zibbz who represented Switzerland in 2018. It gives me the exact same vibes as their song ‘Stones’. Nevertheless it’s a cool song with attitude. It’s has a nice build, but disappoints me in the chorus. It just keeps building up and building up, but sadly never reaches it’s peak.”

Roy – 5 – “ZiBBZ had a solid entry 2 years ago that unfortunately didn’t qualify. Kristin felt sad about them and decided to low-key copy their song and make it her own. “Different weapon but the same attack” is a very fitting ZiBZZ lyric in this case. Once I noticed the similarities, I couldn’t not hear it and that’s a bit annoying. On it’s own the song is fine, but it also isn’t something too ground-breaking to me. I feel like Norway stuffed all the good songs in semi 1 to create hype and then just don’t follow up as well afterwards, unfortunate!”

Sean – 5 – “This has that Americana Elle King feel which isn’t too common in Eurovision so could stand out from the pack. She has a great raspy, soulful quality to her voice which works well with the song, there is obviously a lot of musical quality here and it lends itself to a memorable performance. It’s just a little too plodding and basic for my tastes so can’t give it a higher score, sorry!”

Stefan – 9 – “I’m getting Adele and OneRepublic vibes and I’m liking it. I like the energy of the song, her appearance, it just reeks with empowerment and it definitely deserves to qualify. My favorite of this semi.”

Total = 42 (avg. 6)

Sie Gubba – Kjære du

Daniel – 5 – “Folk music with a country twist is not my genre, I will say that flat out. That being said, this song is not terrible, it actually sounds rather sweet and simple. I feel like the song is a bit too predictable and there is not a lot of room for interesting stage scenography. Overall it is a cute song with an actual great instrumental solo that I think will have a lot of appeal in Norway but I do not see it being popular outside of Scandinavia.”

David – 3 – “Well, I guess this is what Norwegian country music must sound like. Pleasant and relaxing song, but not something I would listen to. As someone who speaks Danish, then I partially get the lyrics which are sweet, but not something I’d personally care about, so the foreign language trick doesn’t have an effect on me. I’m just overall left with a very “meh” impression of the song.”

James – 9 – “Country rock, like rap, is a divisive genre, but I love this. And country rock, like rap, often doesn’t work too well when made outside of the United States, but Sie Gubba are old pros at this, and it shows. There is a great interplay of guitar and violin, and for a track that sounds like it came out of Nashville the Norwegian lyrics work great. After the faceplant of Waylon’s insulting “Outlaw in ‘em,” it’d be great to have a proper country song done with respect by artists who know what they’re doing at Eurovision 2020, though I doubt this will make it.”

Melanie – 7 – “I LOVE this song. I’m seeing mysef trying to sing this song in the pub while trying to drink beer (because I hate beer). But honestly, I dont think that this would do well at Eurovision. It isn’t a genre that the general Eurovision viewer would like and automatically volunteers for finishing in last place. But it will have a place in my Eurovision heart forever.”

Roy – 1 – “What is the best way to celebrate a 25-year anniversary? Exactly, retire! Sie Gubba obviously didn’t get the briefing and decided to aim for a career-changing Eurovision run. This music is so dated and it is the type of music I always hear when I visit my grandparents. Once there, I always turn off the radio to avoid this type of music, so I will do the same here. Sorry, not sorry!”

Sean – 6 – “Sie Gubba bring the type of soft country rock is not often heard in Eurovision and I would welcome anything to give us some real musical variety in Rotterdam, and yes, it feels like a very genuine song. At the same time, it just feels too soft and almost schlagery for me and it’s one of those songs that fades into the background. Perhaps a standout performance could change my mind on this one? At the minute, I have to give it an average grading with potential to grow.”

Stefan – 3 – “What is it with people from Norway and USA country music style? I’m not a fan of it, I rarely listen it, thus this is not something that I like. I don’t know how others will judge it, but in my personal taste and opinion, this is not a song you should send at Eurovision.”

Total = 34 (avg. 4.86)

Thomas Løseth & Erika Norwich – Vertigo

Daniel – 8 – “Just like the song implies, there is a steady rise to the song that I can stand behind. The two voices work well together and add to the growing epic feeling. I wish there was a bit more going on with the chorus because it is slightly repetitive, but there is no denying that this song can be rather powerful if staged properly. Overall, I think this song is the most Eurovision-friendly sounding song and stands a decent shot of qualifying not only from MGP but also in Rotterdam.”

David – 2 – “Very touching ballad actually, but it’s a ballad and already there I’m about to give up, but what a voice. That’s probably what amazed me the most, but that’s the shame of it, cause then I don’t care about the lyrics nor the music, and I’m just left with nothing in the end. I’d normally be more harsh on a ballad, but I can see a very small bit of potential, but I’m the end it’s still a ballad… I’m just left bored.”

James – 4 – “A snooze of a duet that takes forever to get going. The lyrics are a series of disconnected phrases (“Vertigo! I’ll be gone forever!”) and it gets repetitive really quick. The only thing that goes quick in this song, to be honest. Unless their staging is captivating (which has happened in the past with songs you can initially brush off as slow) and their live performances soar, this could easily get lost in the shuffle.”

Melanie – 5 – “Starts promising with a great atmosphere. Thomas and Erika both have good voices. Sadly the song builds towards a climax that never would be reached. It’s just missing a real WOW-factor, making it a standard contemporary ballad.”

Roy – 7 – “This is a very intriguing song to me. Apparently Thomas claimed the song on his own, but the girl in the song adds the dimension that this song really needs. I feel like this is the song that they should go for this Saturday. It just adds some diversity and it won’t win it all, but I feel like it is the song with the most potential out of this semi-final. A bit repetitive maybe, but for once I don’t fully mind it here.”

Sean – 8 – “Now this I like! It’s not my normal style but Thomas and Erika’s voices complement each other well and the build of this song is really atmospheric and anthemic. It also has a singable hook that will make this memorable. I hope the live performance lives up to the promise of the studio version as it could be a goosebumps moment.”

Stefan – 8 – “Another tender bear from Norway with a cozy song. I would just like to sit next to a fireplace and play this song all day long. It is a very likable song and they just need to have to good stage presence. They need to show people they’ve connected and just to let their emotions free and light up the stage.”

Total = 42 (avg. 6)

So, let’s see how the songs rank against each other…

  1. Thomas Løseth & Erika Norwich – Vertigo – 42
  2. Kristin Husøy – Pray for Me – 42
  3. Alexandru – Pink Jacket – 37
  4. Sie Gubba – Kjære du – 34

So it’s tied at top, but with more higher individual marks, an argument could be made for Thomas Løseth & Erika Norwich winning tonight’s semi-final, although Kristin Husøy also proved a popular choice! But will the result follow our team’s views later?

Who do #YOU want to represent Norway in Eurovision 2020? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below and on social media!

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  1. Seth

    January 25, 2020 at 16:08

    Thanks for this guys! My sister and I have been following this blog in the past 3 years and she pointed out that ‘this Sean guy’ (her words) 1) seems to have the ability to predict how well or how bad a song will do if it eventually goes to ESC and 2) understand the views of common/outside ESC bubble voters. As she only watches the main ESC show and read blog post now and then, I’m taking her words for it. We’ll be looking forward to your reviews during the national’s finals.

    Seth and Karla

    • Sean Tarbuck

      January 25, 2020 at 17:26

      That means a lot, thank you for your kind words! There’s a lot more reviews and features coming soon so keep your eyes peeled!

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