Eurovision 2016 – Norway

If I say “Gorgeous Norwegian blonde in a tight white gown singing a power pop ballad with killer pipes” you might reply, “Margaret Berger!” That is a description of Norway’s 2013 Eurovision entry. It’s also a description of Agnete, winner of the 2016 Melodi Grand Prix. She will represent her country in Stockholm with the song Icebreaker.

It’s impossible not to compare the two women if you’re a Eurovision fan, but this isn’t a bad thing when both are powerful performers. I think Agnete and Icebreaker are terrific. Take a look and listen.

I love this song! It’s got a cool mystical element that’s unique to the northern countries. I feel the ice and snow in this song. I’ve read some criticism of the song’s changes in tempo, but I think that adds to its mysticism. Agnete has the voice and presence to carry this song and make it a hit.

Two things.

The dancer in the octagonal snow globe was distracting and ridiculous. I don’t know which would be worse: if she was choreographed or if she wasn’t. Either way, her jerky movements were out of harmony with the song. Change (or add) the choreography so she actually moves in time with the music.

The snowflake dress is beautiful and flattering, and fits the theme of the song. That being said, it reminds me and others of Margaret Berger. Agnete needs to stand on her own and not the shoulders of another. Find an equally lovely, less literal gown and she’ll be golden. Hey, gold is a nice color…

It’s early in the contest season, but I’m going to give this a solid 8 points, that could become more. Icebreaker is the only song I’ve heard so far that’s stuck with me. Congratulations and best wishes to Agnete and Norway!

You can read more about Agnete here.

Eurovision 2016 will be held 10, 12 and 14 May in Stockholm, Sweden. You can watch the entire contest live on

Eurovision 2015 – Norway

When it comes to Norway, the Eurovision audience runs hot and cold. The Norwegians have won the contest three times. They have also come in last 11 times; earning null points four of those times.

The last couple of years, though, Norway has been hot with 2013’s Margaret Berger finishing in 4th place and 2014’s Carl Espen coming in a very respectable 8th place. So, will 2015 prove hot or cold for the Scandinavian nation?

Mørland & Debrah Scarlett will be waving the Norwegian flag in Vienna after winning the national competition with their song A Monster Like Me. There is an official video that I really don’t care for. I think it’s silly and doesn’t do much to show off their performance skills. If you must see it, you can find it here.

This video is from their winning performance at Melodi Grand Prix.

I don’t know about you, but I’m hot for Norway! What a great duet. Mørland’s soulful voice blends smoothly with Debrah Scarlett’s smoky, bluesy sound. I love the song. A Monster Like Me isn’t your typical ballad. It’s dark and turbulent, but also romantic. Catchy, too. For me, this is top 5 material at the very least. We’ll see whether the Eurovision voters get hot and bothered, too, or turn a cold shoulder.

Best wishes and kisses to Mørland & Debrah Scarlett!

You can find out more about Mørland & Debrah Scarlett here.

Eurovision – Sweden and Norway Redux

Another Look and Listen

My Finnish friend, Markku, who got me interested in (obsessed with?) Eurovision, send me a couple of different videos of the Swedish and Norwegian competitors. I have to say, I like these versions better than the versions in the official list.

This is Loreen, the Swedish singer, performing on the TV show, Voice of Finland. I love this version of “Euphoria”. I can’t hear it enough. Her voice is so strong and the toned-down theatrics allow the song to shine.

This is Tooji, the Norwegian singer, performing a studio version of “Stay”. I was surprised at how much better I liked it. It sounds like a great dance tune that I’d love to hear on the radio or in a club. I don’t know if it helped or not that it’s just the song and not a live performance. Sometimes, theatrics can really be distracting.

I’m still waving a Swedish flag at this point, but Norway is definitely strong competition.

Eurovision – Norway

I’m going through the list of Eurovison 2012 contestants and deciding which countries I’ll be rooting for. I just watched Norway’s entry. The artist is Tooji and the song is “Stay.”

Good beat, good vocals, good hook, good-looking guy. Um, it’s good. It’s not great or special, though. Kind of generic really. Doesn’t do it for me like Loreen from Sweden.