Four acts sang in competition during Semi-Final 1 of Melodi Grand Prix 2022. But only one could advance to the grand final. And tonight that singer was Frode Vassel with “Black Flowers”.

Frode Vassel wins Semi-Final 1 of Melodi Grand Prix 2022

Duel 1

Eline Noelia — “Ecstasy” vs Mira Craig — “We Still Here”

Eline served sultriness in a black and silver-rhinestone number. Supported by blue and purple rays of light and four dancers, she bobbed and swayed on a white triangle. The overhead shots were particularly effective when that shape came into focus. During the song’s instrumental section, she really put her back into it, striking a swervy pose. “I’m ecstasy,” she sang repeatedly. On some of the high notes I wasn’t quite sure — it got a bit screechy — but on the whole she definitely delivered vocally. Her left index finger wagged and waved — it deserves its own choreographer!

Mira Craig made an impression from the very first frame — she and her girls appeared to be waking up inside some fabulous harem or throne room bathed in golden light. When the lights cranked up we saw pure pink fantasy with Mira wearing a bejewelled bra with a sort of pink fringe and a pink flower crown. When she sang, “We’re still here” it felt like a proper chant and when she raised her hand in the air at the end you just wanted to shout, “You go girl!”

Result: Eline wins

Duel 2

TrollfesT — “Dance Like a Pink Flamingo” vs Frode Vassel — “Black Flowers”

TrollfesT call on their fans to “walk on the wildlife side” and they did exactly that, working what are sure to become iconic flamingo headpieces, replete with pink feather-like trim. Their pink tights and dirty white sneakers had a homespun feel, adding warmth to their completely wackadoodle number. This improved significantly with the fun visuals, which include some psycedelic dance moments.

Frode’s performance of “Black Flowers” was heavy on the black and he emerged from behind a metallic screen. He stared straight into the camera and seemed to sing from the heart as he described man’s indifference to his fellow man through the growth of black flowers. He was last in the betting odds tonight, but proved everybody wrong with his strong vocal and sober performance. 

Result: Frode wins

Gold duel

Frode beats Eline to secure the ticket to the final. 

Elsie Bay performs “Death of Us” live

Elsie Bay, one of the five pre-qualified artists, performed her song “Death of Us” live and in exhibition. 

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Edu
Edu
4 months ago

Really?? This is TERRIBLE

Quinn
Quinn
4 months ago

While the staging was a bit lackluster, I still fully believe Death of Us can win not only MGP, but Eurovision. This production, quality, and her voice put this over the edge for me. People vote for goose bump moments and she quite a few of them. Especially that “wow” moment at the bridge. A more impressive gown with more emotional staging that fills the room, and it’s hers to lose in my opinion.

Stephanie
Stephanie
4 months ago

I do hope for Norway that there are better songs to come. Cause this… No…

baili Atha gloo
baili Atha gloo
4 months ago

I love the fact that Frode won the duels.I dont exactly love his song (i just like it) but his song was the only winning type in all of those duels. And what the heck heck was Mira and her dancers wearing?

Sabrina
Sabrina
4 months ago

All the debate about Elsie’s poor staging (the fact there wasn’t a single positive comment about it say they have a problem there) made me revisit some of the successful ballads competing in recent editions of MGP and… they really have a problem staging this kind of music. Rebecca had basically a bunch of her pics of her in the led behind her and that was just it. It wasn’t that empty just because the stage allowed her to get to the middle of the audience. Ulrikke did all the heavylifting herself, she was the total focus on the performance… Read more »

Thanos
Thanos
4 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

The biggest problem imo with that staging was that the stage seemed too big and too empty: even with all the musical instruments that were behind Elsie. Perhaps the camera angles also didn’t do it any favours. I believe that the concept with the empty orchestra can work but they need to find a way to make the performance more intimate and less empty. Perhaps with better camera angles and less long shots it can be much better without ditching their staging concept. Victoria is a good example as you said: camera angles focused mostly on her and the long… Read more »

Sabrina
Sabrina
4 months ago
Reply to  Thanos

I agree, the camera angles aren’t helping. Many shots are repeated also. How many times we see Elsie from the side while she bends her head and puts the hand in her chest? There’s basically a variation between this and the empty orchestra coming back over and over. And as Benedict pointed, sometimes the spotlights are in front of it, when the silhouettes worked better. Even the multiple spotlights reacting to the changes of melody, that in my opinion are a nice touch, at times seem random. I wouldn’t mind if they tried a different concept, but I still believe… Read more »

Thanos
Thanos
4 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Yes at times it felt as if everything was in a loop. I still think Elsie is likely gonna win MGP (up to now only Subwoolfer seem to have chances to win apart from her but of course it’s too early to make definite predictions since we haven’t seen most live performances). As a result even if the staging isn’t fully fixed in these 5 weeks, they can definitely make the necessary corrections until May. But she is losing ground due to the staging mistakes so at least the race has become more exciting.

Sabrina
Sabrina
4 months ago
Reply to  Thanos

Though I can totally envision Elsie x Subwoolfer in the final duet of MGP, I believe someone can still come “out of nowhere” to compete for it. Part of the fun of a national final is be surprised by things we weren’t paying much attention to based solely on the studio version.

And yes, if she happens to win, they’ll have 2 whole months more to figure things out. They have a good example right there in Norway: KEiiNO’s performance was messy on MGP and in the end everything worked perfectly in Eurovision.

Thanos
Thanos
4 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Exactly. Someone can always become an unexpected contender in NFs. Looking forward to the rest of the shows!

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
4 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Just to quickly point out: The repeated camera angles could have been due to a technical glitch rather than the intended outcome. Either way, there are indeed things to “iron out,” as it were.

Forrest Dezso
Forrest Dezso
4 months ago

TrollfesT did good, but Frode desevedly won the duel. I was rooting for TrollfesT but was not unhappy when frode won. Eline deserved to win her duel. I was honestly happy to see frode win the semi. Eline really did do well vocally. Frode did as well. I was shocked with elines vocals but preferred frodes song

Apollo
Apollo
4 months ago

Eline Noelia’s vocals are INSANE, I was so shocked that she lost to Frode Vassel.

Elsie Bay needs to change her staging for the final, it’s not winning quality yet. More needs to be done with lighting and costume, white lighting and an H&M outfit won’t win.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
4 months ago

Frode surprised us all with his stunning voice, but I don’t really understand what “Black Flowers” is supposed to be about. Is it political? My personal favourite was actually Eline Noelia – I hope she’s able to get through via a second chance round. Trollfest were surprisingly entertaining and light-hearted – they too could get through a second chance round. Mira Craig… I don’t want to bring performers down, so instead I’d encourage her to watch it back and take down notes for the future. We also got to hear Elsie Bay. I felt the song more than I felt… Read more »

Thanos
Thanos
4 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

I agree with most of your points. I really can’t understand the meaning of Black flowers as well. Nevertheless he surprised me with his great live and as a result I think he was a deserved qualifier. TrollfesT have my favourite song of the heat and I really wish they win SC but their staging was perhaps a bit too much to take in xD. Still they are very entertaining and I love the message of their song as well. Eline’s song is not my taste at all (too screamy) but it was a decent live performance. And I am… Read more »

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

I’m not if I was the only one who noticed but I think the song would have been more impactful if they really amped up the backing vocals (much better if it’s live). I wasn’t getting the oomph from the sound mix.

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  James

Darn autocorrect. Meant to say in my first sentence: “I’m not sure if I was the only one…”

AlexC
AlexC
4 months ago

I think pink flamingo was the best last night and the most appropriate for ESC. Now looking forward for Maria Mohn and her song Fly.

Benedict
Benedict
4 months ago

Death of Us is an amazing song in studio version, but in the live yesterday it sounded like a million other songs. The voice of Elsie was just ok (although I noticed some problems with her “s” pronunciation). But the big problem wasn’t there, but in the horrible staging, which reminded of some bad Moldovan national finals. She was moving her upper part here and there in the same move for 3 minutes, the set was a disaster and the lights so random, one time showing the silhouette of the instruments and the other lighting them from the front, for… Read more »

KLINE
KLINE
4 months ago

Someone described Elsie’s effort as decent which is spot-on. It’s ok but not amazing. It’s ordinary and not extraordinary. Presentable but not a triumph. In short – the song should have been sung by someone else. A vocalist whose voice is better prepared to take the solo spot!

Rafs
Rafs
4 months ago
Reply to  KLINE

For me the biggest issue is not her voice, it is the lack of emotion when she sings.
Just a cute song that meant nothing when she sang it. I hope she’s able to connect and control her nerves on the final.
And please Elsie, stop moving your leg while you sing. It’s quite distracting.

Yush
Yush
4 months ago

I can see why Eline lost the duel, but her song was the best out of the 4. I mean just like Deban (idk how to spell his name, sorry) said “her higher register is” so “uncomfortable to listen to” she gotta take the key down towards the second chance cause it is really a mess but the song is so good at the same time

Jake
Jake
4 months ago

Was it just my feed Or was the audio on all the songs a bit off. Everyone seemed to be filtered through some kinda echo audio thing. At some point I could understand the lyrics on the flamingo song. The hosts sounded normal but the singers didn’t sound like they were singing live.

Ril
Ril
4 months ago

Elsie need to change the staging. And I hope Eline win SC

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
4 months ago

Trollfest was a disappointment and Mira had a weak song in the first place so don’t really mind the choices made there. I would’ve went with Elina over Frode but both performed well and neither’s a real contender for the win so don’t mind the result too much. Elsie’s live performance does need work if it’s to live up to the high expectations people have of it. The staging concept was not right for me but to be honest, every song’s staging was quite low effort and a lot cheaper looking than last year… I still think it’s the best… Read more »

Charles
Charles
4 months ago

Not a very exciting semi-final from a musical standpoint.
Someone needs to explain to Billie Eilish that belting out her own range is not gonna let you win Eurovision, no matter how much hype you get …

Yush
Yush
4 months ago
Reply to  Charles

hahaha 🙂 so true. Don’t get me wrong what she did was impressing, spectacular. However specifically her higher range, sounds so uncomfortable and irritating. I mean if Alexandra Rotan ( my queen ) did that it was a SLAY because she is a much more professional singer. But with Eline it is a different thing

Last edited 4 months ago by Yush
Teddie
Teddie
4 months ago
Reply to  Yush

You got it all mixed up. Billie Eilish is Elsie, not Eline

Teddy
Teddy
4 months ago

What the HELL was Mira wearing??? I’m 99% sure she was wearing wigs on her shoulders and as a skirt???

I’m rather sad for Elsie Bay. I feel the song may have been overhyped and has now come crashing back to earth with a big thud. I hope she’s better in the finals…

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 months ago
Reply to  Teddy

“the song may have been overhyped and has now come crashing back to earth with a big thud.” That was the point I was trying to make in my comment, but I think I came across too harsh and haughty.

Pearli
Pearli
4 months ago

Ugh…Elsie’s performance is disappointing. It lost its magic when it’s sung live. There’s gotta be something to fix this or I don’t think it’s worthy of a winner of this selection.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 months ago

Wow, you were all praising Elsie Bay to high heaven as the winner of Eurovision 2022, but now you turn on her because her first live performance didn’t live up to your expectations? This is why I try to resist hype bandwagons.

Jerome
Jerome
4 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

It’s called responding to reality. People love the studio version. But then the live performance was not as amazing. It’s understandable and it’s being honest. Anyway, she still has time to adjust staging!

Escfan
4 months ago

My thoughts on tonights performances I’m going to start off talking about Elsie’s performance. Vocally, for the most part I thought it was decent, I hope in the final she sings the choir parts because it would make the performance more engaging and tonight it felt awkward when it came to those parts because you could tell that she didn’t sing them. I do think its doable to improve those things for the final so I’m not too worried about that aspect. Staging, if I’m honest, I think most of it needs to change. Firstly I don’t understand the msucial… Read more »

James
James
4 months ago

The producers who placed Trollfest and Frode Vassel in the same duel in the same semifinal must have been massive Blackpink fans. Haha

Shix
Shix
4 months ago
Reply to  James

The duels are drawn randomly.

Mr X
Mr X
4 months ago

Elsie Bay is gorgeous !

zach
zach
4 months ago

frode does have an amazing voice. i remember first seeing him during his audition on the voice norway, absolutely insane. i just wish he had a better song bc the voice is all there

Last edited 4 months ago by zach
Rich
Rich
4 months ago

Finally got to watch. I hadn’t heard any of the songs beforehand.

Eline had a much better overall package than Frode. His song is veeeeery dated, although his vocal is undeniably good. However, the song sounds like an early Alcazar reject.

I don’t get all the hype over Elsie. At all.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 months ago
Reply to  Rich

Honestly, I wasn’t really boarding the hype train Elsie as a Eurovision winner. I could see her winning MGP and representing Norway, but I wasn’t feeling the winner vibes from her. I think the reason her first live performance didn’t get praised was that she was so overhyped it didn’t live up to expectations. Hopefully there is time to adjust and change by the final, but we’ll see.

Roro31
4 months ago

I loved Elsie’s performance, she has a wonderful voice!!
but will she win? I’m not sure with such a staging … I hope we will be surprised on the day of the final with a sumptuous staging! Anyway, I’m crossing my fingers!!

I am for the moment for a victory of the Subwoofer!

Elle
Elle
4 months ago

I hope Elise Bay and her team take the criticism as constructive because the performance and the staging was such a disappointment. They have time to develop, improve or change the presentation til the final

Last edited 4 months ago by Elle
esc1234
esc1234
4 months ago

From now on, when someone says that staging doesnt matter i will show them Elsie’s perfomance.They literally destroyed every singe of her chances. She needs to change clothes, staging, lighting, camera angles and improve her singing.

p.s the playback high note is super cringe. Just because sweden wanted recorded backing vocals doesnt mean singers should fake it lol

Last edited 4 months ago by esc1234
Zlatko
4 months ago

Eline is this year’s Raylee.

Whisker
Whisker
4 months ago

Congrats to Frode! I had a wow reaction and I love wow reactions. Also, Eline Noelia’s performance was great, she has a great attitude and I hope she doesn’t take her non-qualification as a failure. She’s talented, she loves performing, her vocals are fabulous and she can only do better. I hope people that don’t go thru the duels don’t lose self-confidence. If anyone thinks fashion isn’t important, they are mistaken. The whole look in “We Still Here” was wrong, I wish people kept the song on mind and understood proportions and fabrics and aestetitics. Participation in MGP is a… Read more »

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 months ago

I’ve liked Black Flowers from the start, but I didn’t expect it to win this semi final so well done! Don’t worry about Eline yet. She’s got the second chance round to do.

Polegend Godgarina
4 months ago

not really a fan of any of tonight’s four songs so i’m glad the underdog won haha

Addie
Addie
4 months ago

Wow wow wow, I’m so happy and shocked!!! Never did I think in a million years that Frode would win the semifinal! I’m so glad that my favorite actually won. I seriously thought it was gonna be Eline. The staging really elevated both Ecstasy and Black Flowers. While, Mira Craig, on the other hand, what in the world was that dress? (Sorry if I’m rude) I feel sorry for her. Trollfest was a camp extravaganza! I mean, I seriously never expected that kind of a staging… (It was so pink that I thought I was gonna be blind, JK) Then,… Read more »

Alex
Alex
4 months ago

very mediocre (to say the least) songs in this semifinal, Norway used to have much stronger semifinals.

Anyway, i ‘m looking forward to the next shows.

I love Death of Us, i hope for a big staging in the final.

Sabrina
Sabrina
4 months ago

Fair enough, Frode gave it all and the whole performance looked very polished. Eline did a great job too, but as I commented in another post, I think the chorus gets a little noisy with her high pitched voice joined by equally high pitched backing vocals. Mira has a cool deep voice, hope to see her again with a better song. And Trollfest was fun, but just fun. I’m sold on Elsie’s vocal delivery and the quality of “Death of Us”. The staging needs work. The use of lights is good, but some open shots aren’t helping, especially the one… Read more »

Grftn
Grftn
4 months ago

Elsie is not winning MGP with that staging. They shouldnt just « improve it »; they should just look for a completely different idea. This empty orchestra concept is not working at all.

Alex
Alex
4 months ago
Reply to  Grftn

And she needs to transmit or convey much more.
Staging could’ve been better but It’s a ballad and it depends on her.
Something didn’t click as it should.

Last edited 4 months ago by Alex
Sabrina
Sabrina
4 months ago
Reply to  Grftn

Maybe they weren’t expecting the song to become a frontrunner and will come up with something more impressive for the final. But yeah, I agree the staging can hurt her chances.

Ellie
Ellie
4 months ago
Reply to  Grftn

It’s unfortunate, but viewers should not be struggling to understand what the staging is trying to convey. Right now it’s a random assortment of instruments disconnected from her and her performance. The bigger problem though was Elsie, both vocally and with her stage presence. Her nervous swaying, the mistimed glances to the camera, but mostly that I didn’t feel the emotion of what she was singing about. I didn’t believe her. If we look at the similar staging of Barbara Pravi (a lone performer standing in the dark with minimal movement having to sell an emotional ballad to the camera),… Read more »

Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
4 months ago
Reply to  Ellie

I’m sorry, but I think it’s much easier to convey an emotion in Voila, than Death Of Us. It’s just type of song that works well mostly in audio version.

eurana
eurana
4 months ago

Eline Noelia has an excelent power vocal. But, Frode had the best stage for Eurovision. He deserved pass to final.
Anyway, I think that Elsie Bay will represent Norway in Turin.

KLINE
KLINE
4 months ago

Elsie’s live vocals this evening were ok … but not reassuring. Which was somewhat surprising!

ffgbndn
ffgbndn
4 months ago

*sheds in tears of happiness*

NickC
NickC
4 months ago

The chorus of the Black flowers reminds me of the disqualified Lithuanian song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HLBPwLDirw

Nevertheless, it was the worthy winner of the night.

Jack Popfield
Jack Popfield
4 months ago

I agreed with both duel winners and was neutral between Eline & Frode as I love both songs but I did think “Black Flowers” had the edge at the end, Frode himself was absolutely gobsmacked! I’m sure “Ecstscy” has a shot winning the wildcard in the 5th semifinal though. Mira Craig was also pretty good but Trollfest were absolutely ridiculous (I usually love Metal entries in MGP)

Really enjoyed the opening semi tonight, can’t wait for next week!

Ethan1994
Ethan1994
4 months ago

In all seriousness though, I’m kind of happy, but really shocked. Did not see these results coming at all. Frode was my 2nd favourite tonight behind TrollfesT, and I so shocked when he beat them in the first round. Even more so when he won against Eline in the next round. Overall, I think that song-quality-wise, the entries were all pretty close to each other, so I felt going in that it was going to have mostly to do with the staging and performances. And I think Black Flowers was elevated the most with its presentation. I would say Ecstasy… Read more »

Jake
Jake
4 months ago

Let’s face it…Frode’s song: “eh”…Frode’s voice: “impressed”…Frode’s arms: “everything!”

Salem
Salem
4 months ago

What a great show tonight! 🙂 Congrats to Frode! I gotta say, though, that Eline Noelia was definitely the one who impressed me the most. Wow, she delivered! The studio cut didn’t do much for me, but her song was certainly elevated live. The other artist were all worth a watch too. Elsie Bay… Do I dare to say this? I was a little underwhelmed. It’s possibly the best song in this year’s MGP Norge, but that live performance felt a little …empty? Sadly, it didn’t give me the same winner vibes that I got from the studio version 🙁… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Salem
Campbell Grace
Campbell Grace
4 months ago
Reply to  Salem

Completely agree with Elsie tbh, it’s her staging that’s letting her down. I like the idea of the instruments but it just feels empty? She needs a haunting atmosphere to go with the song.

Yankee
Yankee
4 months ago

Ecstasy was my favorite and Frode was my 2nd favorite. In the end, my favorites overall are Titans and Death of Us.

Lolek
Lolek
4 months ago

I don’t think many of us saw Frode winning this semi before the performances. Personally speaking I did prefer Eline and Trollfest’s songs, but I can’t deny that Frode is a fantastic performer and he seems like a very likeable person. Congrats on the win!

Only downside is we won’t be seeing both Eline and Trollfest in the finals.

Fefe
Fefe
4 months ago

He was last in the betting odds and won. Interesting and I like it that the betting odds were wrong.

Ethan1994
Ethan1994
4 months ago
Reply to  Fefe

Indeed. Although it’s not the first time they’ve been wrong in Melodi Grand Prix. Kristin Husøy was last in the semifinal-3 odds in 2020, and Blåsemafian were next-to-last in the semi final-1 odds last year.

Rich
Rich
4 months ago

Well, that was unexpected.

Ethan1994
Ethan1994
4 months ago

*THUD*
*THUD*
*THUD*

That noise is the stampede of angry Eline stans coming here to say how “ELINE SHOULD HAVE WON!!! NORWAY WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!!!! MEEERRGGHH!!”

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 months ago
Reply to  Ethan1994

There’s always the second chance round. She’s not completely out.

aksel kankanraanta's husband
aksel kankanraanta's husband
4 months ago
Reply to  Ethan1994

they are right tho