So this was one of the two highly likely outcomes, wasn’t it? It was.
And was it the correct outcome? Well that depends on which context you’re looking at it through – the context of a nation choosing its favourite song, or the context of a nation choosing a song to represent them at an international song contest.
Let’s go with the first one. Last night Norway voted for its favourite song of the evening. A fun pastiche of the cheeseball boyband ballads of the ’90s – the kind of song that was always so beloved in the Nordics, and which nine times out of ten had one or two Nordics involved in the songwriting of it, too. ‘Fallen Angel’ was delivered by TIX – an artist who has been serving up hit after hit after hit in Norway over the last couple of years, and a man who has truly charmed the nation by revealing the vulnerable human under the facade of the TIX character. It was unsurprising that they would award ‘Fallen Angel’ with the win.
And looking at it through the second context? Seeing it through the context of the Eurovision Song Contest, it does seem like Norway have overlooked another potential high-table finish (by an act who won the televote in the final the last time they entered), in favour of choosing what could possibly be a likely non-qualifier. Europe is going to have three minutes to form an opinion on ‘Fallen Angel’ and its performance. And it’s a big ask that a large volume of voters are going to be viewing it through the same lens that Norway did last night. Where Norway saw a good-humoured song performed by an endearing character, Europe might well be left wondering what exactly it is that it’s looking at. However, once you strip away the angel wings, the chains, the shades and the sense of parody, under all of that is a good pop song. And perhaps that will be Europe’s main takeaway once the circus rolls around again in May. We’ll see.
And the other songs last night? Honestly, we’ve seen every Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix final since 2006. And last night’s final was the strongest line-up we’ve ever seen in Norway. 12 well-produced performances, and not a bad song amongst them. We’d recommend watching it if you didn’t last night. It’s still available on NRK’s MGP website.
Anything else of note? Last year’s winner Ulrikke was invited back to perform not once, but twice, and very nearly stole the show with both her opening number and her interval act. And another interval act that almost stole the show in an entirely different way, was the emotional set-up of Helene Bøksle singing Ina Wroldsen’s ‘Einn‘ – a performance and video that was produced to show Norway uniting to come out through the other side of darkness.
You can find ‘Fallen Angel’ on our Best New Pop playlist.