Following NRK’s live broadcast of the Melodi Grand Prix press conference, we now know the 11 contenders who will fight to win MGP 2015 and the chance to sing for Norway at Eurovision. Oh lawd we are excited! We’ve got artists returning from previous participations at Eurovision and MGP, as well as some fresh faces (including a few celebs from Norwegian reality TV). The finale won’t be broadcast until 14 March, but Eurofans want to know more about the acts right now. Naturally we’re here to help. So listen to the 15-second snippets of the songs that NRK has already released and then scroll down to learn even more.
1. Alexandra Joner – “Cinderella”
First up is pink-haired Alexandra who baffled the media when, during the press conference, she said that she’ll be heading to Russia if she wins Melodi Grand Prix. Um, no dear. You’re going to Austria if you manage to pull your song off in March. She later corrected herself in an interview with TV2 when she said, “I really want to win and I really want to go to Austria to perform in front of the whole of Europe.”
Her song is called “Cinderella”. We’ve been told that the song is about how we can all get what we want from life. Although things might go wrong now and then, you can get up and get the work done! She’ll need that mentality on the night, but is already oozing confidence. She thinks it’s a perfect song for MGP. We’ll chime in when we hear the full three-minute song in February.
2. Contrazt – “Heaven”
Next up is a popular country-style dance band called “Contrazt”. Considering the age range of the performers and their style of the music, it’s safe to say that “Heaven” is a major contrast to what we’re used to at MGP. Taking part in Melodi Grand Prix is a big thing for them. As Hans, the bassist, told local newspaper Ostlendingen: “We’re going to have a party out in the country!” Will we need to get our finest barn-dance attire when they perform on the night? Probably. Perhaps they’ll incorporate some great dancing too. Or some pyrotechnics. Or some farm animals.
Bidrag nummer to er @Contraztband med låta “Heaven”. Skrevet av Jan Lysdahl og Jacob Collin Launbjerg. #nrkmgp A video posted by Melodi Grand Prix (NRK) (@nrkmgp) on
3. Erlend Bratland – “Thunderstruck”
This guy is really proud of his song. Like, really really proud of it. “I have such a cool song that I have such faith in,” he told local newspaper Sunnhordland. “I’m happy with the fact that I didn’t make the grade last year. This year’s song is much better.”
But we ought to pay attention to Erlend, for he is known in Norway! Having won Norway’s Got Talent back in 2008, he disappeared for a time. In the same interview, he explains that winning the competition at the age of 16 was a bit too much for him. So he took a break and has come back with a brand new image. “I’m more ready now than I was 7 years ago.”
The song he’s going to give us is called “Thunderstruck”. Try saying that when you’re drunk. The song is modern and suits the image he’s given himself.
Oddly, Verdens Gang has compared his image to that of Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst. Really? He was quick to set the record straight. “I’ve heard that before,” he said. “We’re both different artists and we do different things. She’s more of a different genre than me – I’m more about pop and party music”.
So, we can’t expect theatrical and dramatic pyrotechnics on the night? Shame.
4. Ira Konstantinidis – “We Don’t Worry”
Ira will perform “We Don’t Worry.” NRK says that she’s half-Greek with strong ties to the country, so douze points from Greece if she makes it to Eurovision. She’s so new I can’t even find a YouTube clip of her! But apparently she studies music at a local college in Oslo and has always been interested in music and rhythm. No wonder — she’s had a go at all sorts of instruments in her childhood: flute, trumpet, the drums. She even has experience dancing! A multitalented performer might be the thing for Norway, especially after their mahoosive win in 2009 with fiddle-playing, past-lover-reminiscing Alexander Rybak. Only 17 years old, she is going to have to give the performance of her life.
Bidrag nummer fire er Ira Konstantinidis med låta “We Don’t Worry”. Skrevet av Øyvind Blikstad, Bjarte Giske, Ali Pirzad og @juliebergan. @iragk #nrkmgp A video posted by Melodi Grand Prix (NRK) (@nrkmgp) on
5. Jenny Langlo – “Next to You”
Jenny’s already considered how much of a challenge MGP is going to be. She told Norwegian online magazine Side2 that she was incredibly pleased to see who the other artists were when she was called up to take part. “It’s a finale with a variety of musical genres, and there are so many great people. But I also was a bit scared – I thought to myself, ‘Damn it, it’s going to be difficult!'” Well, if she can impress us with the 3-minute version of her song, “Next to you”, we might just get behind her. And we have many reasons to. You may know Jenny if you watched Norwegian Idol in 2011. Why? Because she won it! Like Erlend, Jenny is building on her success as a popular singer and celebrity in Norway. But she wouldn’t do Idol again. “I wouldn’t do it again, but it was very good to have experienced it. I’m thankful for it. But it was more like a stage in my life which I couldn’t be without, considering how much it changed me…I don’t think I was as good at singing then.” Hopefully she’ll convince us that she’s matured as a singer. Even more of a reason to be excited in anticipation for the full release of the song!
Bidrag nummer fem er @jennylanglo med låta “Next To You”. Skrevet av Jenny Langlo, Robin Mortensen Lynch og Niklas Olovson. (Machopsycho) #nrkmgp A video posted by Melodi Grand Prix (NRK) (@nrkmgp) on
6. Karin Park – “Human Beings”
As the press conference unfolded, some wiwibloggers were simply hyperventilating when NRK revealed that Swedish-born, Bergen-residing Karin Park, the writer of Margaret Berger’s “I Feed You My Love” (Norway 2013), would be taking part as an artist. The song reflects the sad story of her partner’s cancer. It’s about being strong for someone else who is weak, and has already been tipped by some MGP critics as the obvious choice to represent Norway this year.
“He got cancer and was so poorly that we didn’t know how the whole thing would pan out. The song is so personal that I couldn’t give it to anyone else. Many songs don’t have this sort of feeling that belongs to this song,” she told Norwegian news agency NTB. In another article on siste.no, she reiterated that she can’t imagine anyone else singing her song, which she wrote in co-operation with Guy Chambers – the guy (see what I did there…) responsible for many Robbie Williams hit singles. Given her previous involvement in Eurovision, she won’t be ignored at the final!
7. Marie Klåpbakken – “Ta Meg Tilbake”
The first song sung completely in Norwegian is going to be performed by Marie. She’ll be singing in dialect, and the title means “Take me back”. Another song about love then? It’s Eurovision after all! During the press conference, I managed to get another snippet of text. “Ser du det eg ser?” – “Do you see what I see?” It seems that the song will incorporate some of the strings from the orchestra on the night, based on the audio we have. It’s ticking all the boxes for me, I’m telling you. She’s previously worked with a band in Norway called Hver gang vi møtes (Every time we meet), so she’ll have had some experience with musical performance. Let’s just hope that this number in the native language doesn’t get lost in a swathe of English-language pop.
Bidrag nummer syv er @marieklaapbakken med låta “Ta meg tilbake”. Skrevet av Marie Klåpbakken, @linnhegesagen og @olatronsmoen. #nrkmgp A video posted by Melodi Grand Prix (NRK) (@nrkmgp) on
8. Mørland & Debrah Scarlett – “A Monster Like Me”
Kjetil lives in Brighton and has been the vocalist for a British band called Absent Elk, and Debrah is a Swiss-Norwegian artist with an already extensive online music profile, having taken part on Norway’s The Voice in 2012. Their song, “A Monster Like Me” stands out because of its theatrical and classical musical qualities. They worked on the song together after Kjetil spotted Debrah taking part in the singing competition. It could get easily lost on the night, but those of us who appreciate a good old traditional approach to Eurovision will surely love it. “I didn’t know him until he contacted me,” Debrah said at the press conference on Wednesday. And they did it in the most unconventional way — on Skype! Let’s hope we don’t lose the connection with them as they perform for us in the Oslo Spektrum. The question is, out of the two – who’s the monster? Will they dress up in scary outfits on the night? If we scream, let’s hope it’s not because of the singing.
9. Raylee – “Louder”
Another young’un, 17-year-old Raylee had a bit of notoriety on Norway’s Stjernekamp (Battle of the Stars). Again, it seems that the NRK jury has chosen artists not only based on the song, but also on how well known the singers are. So, Raylee’s back on TV everyone! The song is another English-language, modern entry which I fear might just get lost on the night. Until we have the full 3-minute recording, we can only speculate. Perhaps there’ll be a key-change and some great choreography! Rather interestingly, Raylee was able to meet an old acquaintance on Wednesday. Kåre, who was moderating the press conference, was the presenter of Stjernekamp last Autumn. But she isn’t taking part in MGP just to be with him once more! “No no. This is a chance I have to take. We’ve got a smashing song which I hope everyone will like”, she said at the conference. Honestly though, we hope this doesn’t mean that she’ll be smashing any glass on the night, considering that the song is called “Louder”.
Bidrag nummer ni er @rayleeofficial med låta “Louder”. Skrevet av Andreas Stone Johansson & Rick Hanley. #nrkmgp A video posted by Melodi Grand Prix (NRK) (@nrkmgp) on
10. Staysman & Lazz – “En godt stekt pizza”
We now have the only other song which is going to be performed in Norwegian on the night. Two big bloke-ish types will sing their number which is all about “a well baked pizza“. … You heard it here first folks. Pizza. Not cake, like this year. Oh no, we’re going all high-brow with a very well made pizza. Hungry yet? Too often we focus on personal experience and not enough on fast food. So Staysman & Lazz, who together managed to achieve the record of being 2014’s most streamed artists in Norway, are going to bring back proper music which focuses on real things that matter. The pizza-song is this year’s joke entry. But it’s going to get the Spektrum bouncing – you can already tell by the way the song is produced. It’s fun, but unless they really impress us, or if Norway decides that they want to go back to the days of Jahn Teigen’s “Mil etter mil” and nil points, I don’t think they’ve got a chance at winning the thing.
11. Tor & Bettan – “All Over the World”
If you know your Eurovision history, this next act should interest you. Tor & Bettan are made up of Tor Endresen and Elisabeth Andreassen, who have both represented Norway at the Eurovision Song Contest before. Bettan even won the thing when she was part of Bobbysocks in 1985 with La det swinge. Remember that one? This is her 12th MGP appearance, by the way. A big achievement. They’ve come together with a song written in English, which contrasts their previous attempts to represent Norway with Norwegian-language entries. They want to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Eurovision in style, and the song has been written with the NRK orchestra in mind. Which really is a shame – if they were to win, there’d be no orchestra in Vienna to perform with. They really are depending on the orchestra though – the song clip on the NRK website appears to show that the current backing track has been made with some synthetic instruments. It will only work with an orchestra if they want that authentic sound. There are all sorts of interviews flying around in the Norwegian media with Bettan and Tor. A comeback like this for Eurovision’s anniversary is sure going to grab the attention of fans and older viewers of the contest not only in Norway, but across the world. Could they do it?
Bidrag nummer 11 er Tor & @Bettan_official med låta “All Over The World”. Skrevet av Tor Endresen og Are Selheim. #nrkmgp A video posted by Melodi Grand Prix (NRK) (@nrkmgp) on
Could any of the artists potentially win Eurovision? Who impresses you the most? Are you hungry for a stuff-crust pizza? Let us know and leave a response below!
Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen, NTB scanpix/ANB [cover photo], NRK