On Saturday Raylee went wild during the opening show of Melodi Grand Prix 2020, ultimately booking her spot in the February 15 final. And on Monday Norwegian broadcaster NRK revealed the four acts that will all be hoping to follow in her footsteps during Semi-Final 2. They are: Anna Jæger, Kim Wigaard and Maria Mohn, Rein Alexander, Tore Petterson.

Melodi Grand Prix 2020 – Semi-Final Two Acts (Eastern Norway)

Anna Jæger – “How About Mars”

Lyrics and music by: Roel Rats, Synne Vorkinn, Chris Wortley and Sindre T. Jenssen

Twenty-six-year-old Anna grew up in Canada and the United States, where she’s played in rock bands. She’s performed at small clubs and bars in Virginia and Washington D.C. She describes her music as “electro-pop rock”. Speaking of her competing entry, she told NRK: “I’m a kind of alien who wants to take you to my planet Mars.”

Kim Wigaard and Maria Mohn – “Fool for Love”

Lyrics and music by: Torbjørn Raae, Arve Furset, Kim Wigaard Johansen og Maria Mohn

Kim, 31, and Maria, 36, come from Fredrikstad where they are both vocal coaches. He’s worked at home and abroad across musicals, operas and cabaret and has even sung with the Norwegian Opera and Ballet. You may recognise him as a semi-finalist on Norwegian Idol, a member of the Top 40 on The Voice and a judge on the Norwegian edition of All Together Now.

She’s a “singer, songwriter, pianist, humorist and actor” and has sung in the esteemed vocal group PUST, the Norwegian Soloist Choir and with various big bands and orchestras. She’s participated in shows like Idol, Popstokk, Sommeråpent and Beat for Beat. Since 2012 she’s been one-half of a musical humor duo alongside Henning Stranden.

Rein Alexander – “One Last Time”

Lyrics and music by: Erik Småland, Kristoffer Tømmerbakke og Rein Alexander

Rein, 48, has lived in the United States, Iceland, the UK, Italy and Sweden — both as a student and professional. In 2003 he won the Norwegian programme Kjempesjansen. (Another famous winner of the show? Alexander Rybak who topped the 2006 edition). Rein’s song seems to be about perseverance. He says: “Everything is tough and heavy, but it is also worth it, and you find joy in it. Challenges are a good thing. It is important to get up when you have fallen.”

Tore Petterson – “The Start of Something New”

Lyrics and music by: Tore Petterson og Knut Bjørnar Asphol

Born in Drammen, Tore, 40, is known from the NRK series “Sofa” and “Farmen”, and is also a judge on TV 2’s “Shall We Dance”. He’s also part of the comedy duo “Adam and Tore”. “The message behind the song is that it’s never too late with a new beginning,” he says. “Never stop dreaming or working for your dreams.”

MGP 2020: The 5 Pre-qualified artists

Five artists have been pre-selected for the final in Trondheim on February 15. They are Tone Damli, Ulrikke Brandstorp, Akuvi, Didrik & Emil and Sondrey.

The five acts were selected by an internal jury — the usual method for MGP. Each of the pre-qualified acts will perform their competing song at one of the five semi-finals, to ensure that Norwegian viewers are exposed to all the competing songs prior to the grand final on 15 February.

During the first semi-final Sondrey had the honour.

Are you excited by these artists? Did you know any of them before? Let us know in the comments box down below. 

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ESC Joe
ESC Joe
8 months ago

Am I the only one who gets goose bumps on “Fool for Love”? It has a beatiful melody and it totally grabs me, although I usually listen to rock or modern pop. In my opinion, this song would be a potential finalist at Eurovision!

NickC
NickC
8 months ago

I would any of these 4 over the plagiarized song. At least they are original material.

Jake
Jake
8 months ago

this semi needs to be saved by amazing staging because none of these songs are earworms…no bueno

bastian
bastian
8 months ago

wow, this.is.weak. o_0

bastian
bastian
8 months ago

Erm. no. Spirit in the sky is a bop. Rein’s song is really weak.

Max
Max
8 months ago

This sounds like a Söngvakeppin Semifinal ?

Kosey
Kosey
8 months ago

Hats off to Norway, they are serving diversity and uniqueness of sound, which is what I was wanting to stop things going stale. Ok, so Fool for Love and Tore are not my thang, but they seem to be enjoying themselves and are no doubt talented, so I’m glad they are here. How about Mars is clearly the most modern here, maybe I will have to listen to it more, I felt there was something missing on first listen. Rein is closest to my taste, and there is a classic banger in there somewhere. Again though, it’s not hitting all… Read more »

Whisker
Whisker
8 months ago

i can see the “How about Mars” on the Eurovision stage. And it allows for an interesting staging. The duet reminds me of “Monster like me” in parts. It sounded like a James Bond tune in the beginning. But as the song went on, I felt it was too messy. It made me curious about the live performance tho. The “Start of something New” – I don’t like i( at all. It’s like a Michel Bublé song. It doesn’t sound Eurovision to me. I prefer the “One Last Time” for the Norwegian Bublé, even though I don’t like it. So… Read more »

Lolek
Lolek
8 months ago

SF1 was definitely way stronger (I prefer Geirmund and Lisa Borud to pretty much all the entries in SF2).

I feel like this SF is basically handed to Anna Jaeger, though I do like Rein Alexander’s song. I’ll be happy with one of those two songs.

Héctor
Héctor
8 months ago

Wow, this is worse than the 1st SF. Well, I suppose the direct finalists and the 3rd and 4th SF are better, because I remember reading something about how much quality the songs had and how many possible ESC winners there were. Though the Norway HoD always says that. “How About Mars” is the only decent choice, but it reminds me of Billie Eilish and… your are going to kill me… but I don’t really like Billie.

Joe
Joe
8 months ago
Reply to  Héctor

There probably is among the automatic qualifiers and the other four semi-finals. We still have no idea what the other three semis have in store.

Tibor
Tibor
8 months ago
Reply to  Héctor

Sorry, but the reference keeps being made and I just don’t get it: How does “How about Mars” sound like Billie Eilish, apart from the fact that it has the same basic rythm as (but a ton of other differences compared to) “Bad guy” – I’d say, moreover, not the most typical Billie Eilish song? Is there more to it? What am I not hearing?

DALTH
DALTH
8 months ago

Not a great bunch of songs I’m afraid, how about mars built nicely but kinda went nowhere, the duo and rein are just to cheesy even for eurovision and the last song is my idea of hell.

Joe
Joe
8 months ago

As a Norwegian, I got surprised to see 3 acts that I had never heard about, going from Raylee & Lisa Børud. Tore is the only famous one, and he is actually not famous for singing, as all of u can hear, so yeah. But I am happily surprised with How about Mars, alltho I think it lacks a catchy chorus. I LOVE the prechorus, and the build up, the chorus isnt bad, but it just lacks “power”. I also think it is kinda similar to “look what you made me do” by Taylor Swift in the build up.. hahah!… Read more »

Rasmus
Rasmus
8 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Do you think it was a great or bad idea for Norway to go regions this year? I think it was a bad idea. Swede here:)

Lars
Lars
8 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus

They don’t go anywhere – they are in a small airplane hangar outside Oslo, in Fornebu. 🙂
The show and voting got all bad reviews so I guess no point with semi-finals

Joe
Joe
8 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus

I love the fact that we have the Semi Finals back. We havent had them since 2013 I believe, and i actually love that. I do think tho that doing it in «regions» instead of just mixing songs out of style & how good they are, is probaly a bad choice. Like in the first semifinal we had song that were very similar in style, while in semi finale 2 we have a mixture, but with definitly weaker songs. Both Lisa & Geirmund could have won semi2 & tbh the only one that could have given them a fight is… Read more »

Kris
Kris
8 months ago

The semi allocation is not equal in terms of song quality !
I feel three songs in semi 1 could have won this semi
And two would have won for sure !!

Here two songs are utterly useless as per my taste
Amongst one last time and how about Mars , I like the latter just a tiny bit better

Whisker
Whisker
8 months ago
Reply to  Kris

I agree with you.
I thought Geirmund had a good entry, too bad it didn’t qualify. I am kind of pissed off now that I listened to the SF2 entries.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
8 months ago

omg “how about mars” is everything i asked for. the strong billie eilish vibes, the production…. whew we entering 2020 ladies! i have the song on repeat

Rasmus
Rasmus
8 months ago

hes is my fave to 🙂

Rasmus
Rasmus
8 months ago

I hope Norway never do this regions thing again. The songs are far worse now then any year so its better with normal semis and not region ones.

Rasmus
Rasmus
8 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus

i think the opposite but thats fine:)

Sabrina
Sabrina
8 months ago

I can’t say I approve all the decisions made during the track, but I feel “How About Mars” is the first song in this MGP that’s actually trying to take us somewhere different. It’s also an entry that can be staged in creative ways. The other songs, as it happened in the first semi, are all walking into familiar territory, though “One Last Time” is surprisingly enjoyable. Anyway, I’m still hoping the best from Norway is yet to come.

Emilia Løseth
Emilia Løseth
8 months ago

My favorite is Anna Jæger? Her Song is so out of THIS WORLD?? It’s different and cathy? and Rein Alexander is like when you blend higher grounds and symphony?

Bigger
Bigger
8 months ago

Hmm How about Mars has a really Britney Spears 2005 sound. Catchy, but it sounds a little bit fifteen years late with those random sound effects (bombs, weird laser sounds, spaceship sounds) Fool for love could be beautiful. The instrumental part at the beginning reminds of a James Bond song. But the singing part is not impactful enough, it fades away. In a theater context it is beautiful but in Eurovision it would be dated, especially with the guitar part. Nonetheless I do like it, but not as the 2020 entry. One last time is suprisingly my favourite. The beginning… Read more »

Noah
Noah
8 months ago

Who else thinks that Semi final 1 was waaayyy stronger than this?

Rasmus
Rasmus
8 months ago
Reply to  Noah

No. But i liked 2 in the first and 2 in this so the same i feel:)

Kris
Kris
8 months ago
Reply to  Noah

Me agrees
Right now my ranking would be
1) Talking about us (though wild was better live)
2)Wild
3)How about Mars
4)Take my time
5)One last time
6)Come alive
7)Rainbow
8)Fool of love
9)The start

RoboESC
RoboESC
8 months ago

Rein Alexander – “One Last Time” Maybe in a guilty pleasure kinda way, but I like it. I can see this becomming a fan favourite

Marios
Marios
8 months ago

Jesus Christ

Ashton
Ashton
8 months ago

How about mars is the only option here, but it isn’t even that great. This selection so far has been rly disappointing.

Rijad
Rijad
8 months ago

How about mars is decent, the rest are outdated, like is it 2020 or 2008?

...
...
8 months ago
Reply to  Rijad

I totally agree!

filipko54
filipko54
8 months ago

Czech finalists are out –
Olga Lounová
Barbora Mochowa
Ben Cristovao
Pam Rabbit
Karelll
Elis Mraz & ?is T
We All Poop

Wayne
Wayne
8 months ago

How About Mars should win this semi

Azaad
Azaad
8 months ago

Anna, Kim & Maria and Rein are all really good. How About Mars is very similar to Billie Eilish’s discography- slick but with personality, however it may be underwhelming live. Kim & Maria is good old fashioned musical theatre, which I really enjoy. And Rein is pulling off a schlager rock combo that could be epic live.

Ricky Gervais
Ricky Gervais
8 months ago

‘How About Mars’ – Oh yes, I hear those ‘Bad Guy’ comparisons.
‘Fool For Love’ – Can’t get Skin’s ‘Faithfulness’ out of my head.
‘One Last Time’ – Surprisingly okay, even though we’ve heard songs like that before. Could be a repeat of Keiino at ESC.
‘The Start of Something New’ – No. Michael Buble like. Good for ‘Dancing With The Stars’ but not ESC.

Overall, pretty weak semi.

Rasmus
Rasmus
8 months ago
Reply to  Ricky Gervais

when you say: heard that before: You are aware that all songs in the selections we all have heard before right?
To be 100% original its not easy you know. Duncan was not original but still good

Ricky Gervais
Ricky Gervais
8 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus

I didn’t mean it in a bad way. I love a good throwback. However I’m aware that some readers here crave originality.

Tibor
Tibor
8 months ago

To be fair, in this semi, at least I can distinguish one song from the next. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make any of them any more interesting. Norway, you can do better, prove it in the last two remaining semis. I mean, honestly, “One more time” sounds like it’s straight from the 90s, “The start of something new” sounds like a filler song taken from one of the many swing albums in the early 2000s, “Fool for love” is musical theatre by numbers and “What about Mars” is pop off the rack.

Catriona Colville
Catriona Colville
8 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

You say “straight from the 90s” like it’s a bad thing. I’d rather that than modern mainstream pop.

Tibor
Tibor
8 months ago

For me it doesn’t make a difference if it’s tired mainstream pop from 25 years ago or tired mainstream pop from today. My critique is almost never that it’s “dated”, but that it sounds like I’ve heard it a thousand times before and that I forget it as soon as it’s over. The “it sounds like the 90s” was more to underscore the point I made, that at least in this semi I could distinguish the songs from one another. In the first one they all kind of blurred together. But to be fair, the 90s saw the blooming of… Read more »

Anita
Anita
8 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

Yeah- it’s the “start nothing new” selection so far. Although I like that in this semi final they have different genres, what I am really longing for at Eurovision.

Loin dici
8 months ago

Most of this is something I’ve longed to see from a Scandi. At least the vintage entries are something I would love to hear more.

Ugna
Ugna
8 months ago
Reply to  Loin dici

There‘s a difference between vintage and dated

Loin dici
8 months ago
Reply to  Ugna

And I seemed to have caught a big fish.

Hyunwoo
Hyunwoo
8 months ago

1. Anna Jæger
2. Rein Alexander

Ricky Gervais
Ricky Gervais
8 months ago

So it was possible to split Wild from Talking About Us then? 😛

Colin
Colin
8 months ago

Let’s be honest here – only one of these songs ticks the boxes needed for being popular in 2020 and that’s How About Mars. It’s cute, modern and has a drop that fits the structure. Personally, I have a soft spot for 90s ballads, so I do like the duo as well. However, I’d be surprised if they win most of the audience votes. One Last Time wants to emulate songs like Higher Ground and All For Victory, a genre I usually like. Still, I just don’t feel it here and something feels mismatched. Tore’s song just goes all over… Read more »

Sabrina
Sabrina
8 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Tore’s song structure seems so messy that would make Michael Bublé dizzy.

Colin
Colin
8 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

The song sounds like a total mess. It makes Tautasdziesma sound coherent in comparison. Whichever song ends-up dueling it has a gold duel on a silver platter.

finnished
finnished
8 months ago

“How about Mars” is a really cool song I think. The problem of many Scandinavian entries is that they lack personality, but this one has character.

Colin
Colin
8 months ago

Let’s be honest here – only one of these songs ticks the boxes needed for being popular in 2020 and that’s How About Mars. It’s cute, modern and has a drop that fits the structure. Personally, I have a soft spot for 90s ballads, so I do like the duo as well. However, I’d be surprised if they win most of the audience votes. One Last Time wants to emulate songs like Higher Ground and All For Victory, a genre I usually like. Still, I just don’t feel it here and something feels mismatched. Tore’s song just goes all over… Read more »

Paul
Paul
8 months ago

Rein Alexander is giving me Norwegian Serhat vibes!

Paul
Paul
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul

It’s also a tune!

Azaad
Azaad
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Umm, Rein can clearly sing…don’t think the comparison is that apt. Rein brings a rock sensibility mixed with schlager.

Tom
Tom
8 months ago

How about Mars or better Bad guy 2.0

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
8 months ago
Reply to  Tom

better than the 2.0 version of several 2016 songs like wild

Wayne
Wayne
8 months ago

Are the songs out now?