Tonight, Norway will select its entry to the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, via its gargantuan Melodi Grand Prix final.
After five weeks of heats, song duels, a second-chance round and pre-qualified finalists, the rather convoluted process comes to a head. Whatever one may think of the journey here, however, it’s undeniable that it’s resulted in an incredibly strong line-up for the final – so bravo to NRK for that.
For those of us that tune in, we have a superb evening of entertainment lined up. There ain’t one bad song amongst the 12, and we’re looking forward to seeing each and every one of them perform again. Your pee breaks will have to be during any possible glance of what you may deem to be a slight intermission or extended introduction!
Below, we’ve put together a quick Q&A regarding how you can join in. And then below that, we’ve included the running order and our own comments and predictions under each entry.
When is it? At 19.55 CET this evening.
How do I watch? Wherever you are in the world, you can stream the show at nrk.no/mgp.
How does it work? 12 acts perform. Norwegian people vote. That voting decides a top four – the super final. And then Norwegians will vote again on those four. From that, we end up with a top two – the gold duel. Both artists perform again, Norwegians vote. We have a winner.
And the jury? No jury. This year it’s 100% down to the public!
Can I listen to the songs now? Head over the NRK’s Melodi Grand Prix playlist on Spotify. The first 12 songs are tonight’s finalists.
What else have NRK got planned? Last year’s winner Ulrikke has been invited back to perform not once, but twice. She’ll perform the song she won with, ‘Attention’, as the opening number. And then she’ll perform new single ‘Falling Apart’ as the interval act.
01. Atle Pettersen – World on Fire
A possible contender in perhaps any other year, but tonight it will serve as nothing more than a particularly delightful opening number to get the party started. Or set the world on fire, as it were.
02. Raylee – Hero
If anything is going to upset the two odds favourites, it’s this little firecracker. The most straight-up pop song of the bunch. And if Norwegian voters end up favouring a ready-made radio hit to be sent to Europe to represent them, this song is the most obvious choice.
03. Stavangerkameratene – Who I Am
Melodi Grand Prix is a family show, let’s remember. And we gotta have something here to keep the Mums happy. Stavangerkameratene will be using tonight as an opportunity to sell more tickets for their next tour to those very Mums. Nothing more.
04. KIIM – My Lonely Voice
A striking, atmospheric ballad. Which unfortunately suffers from having a more striking and more atmospheric ballad later in the line-up.
05. Blåsemafian feat. Hazel – Let Loose
A much-needed raiser of spirits after the last two performances, they definitely serve that purpose well in this evening’s show. But a contender for the win? Not really.
06. Emmy – Witch Woods
The bizarre little song that could. It’s a joy that it’s made it to the final, and it will be a welcome bit of pop diversity, placed well in the middle of the line-up. But it can also expect little more than ending up in the middle of the results table, too.
07. TIX – Fallen Angel
One of the two big favourites of the evening. The song is the biggest streaming hit of the 12, by far. And TIX is arguably the biggest name, domestically, scoring huge hits in Norway throughout last year. The song being translated into English for the final won’t harm its chances at all. As it stands, the only thing that will harm its chances is if Norwegian voters are open-eyed enough to see that sending this to represent them at Eurovision could – most likely – backfire on them completely. The gag of the entire set-up – the staging, the song being a cheesy ’90s pop pastiche, TIX himself – is a very local one. And the chances of that gag translating well to the Eurovision stage are slim. Neighbouring Sweden would never dream of sending Samir & Victor to Eurovision, despite knowing what a great addition they make to their own Melodifestivalen final. ‘Fallen Angel’ is undoubtedly going to be a big highlight tonight, but what exactly would Eurovision voters make of it in Rotterdam in May? If we had to predict, we’d say not a lot.
08. Kaja Rode – Feel Again
A song that has definitely charmed a lot of people as the weeks have gone on, and gained much appreciation amongst fans. But in such a strong line-up, it’s somewhat smothered.
09. Rein Alexander – Eyes Wide Open
We had pinned a lot of hope on Rein after last year’s superb ‘One Last Time’. And as a result, ‘Eyes Wide Open’ feels like little more than a disappointment, in that respect. And if it can’t even compete with its predecessor, it doesn’t really have any hope of competing against this lot tonight.
10. IMERIKA – I Can’t Escape
Truly the dark horse of the evening. And if Norway ends up exhausted by all the angel wings, the Flashdance shower, the joik, the thunder and gloria, and the schlager-metal, it may well end up seeking solace in the beautiful ballad that is ‘I Can’t Escape’.
11. KEiiNO – Monument
The odds favourite, the international fan favourite and the already proven Eurovision televote favourite. This competition was always going to be KEiiNO’s to lose. But in such a competitive final, it turns out that there are more windows of opportunity for it to lose than we’d have hoped for. If it seems like ‘Monument’ is the obvious choice to win, it’s because it is. It’s an undeniably strong song, the band have a proven track record of being internationally adored (for they are adorable), and they represent Norway sporting enormous badges of national identity with great pride. We hope that being the obvious choice won’t go too much against them. There are others in this line-up who would do a great job of representing Norway on that stage in Rotterdam. But truly, nobody would do it quite like KEiiNO can.
12. Jorn – Faith Bloody Faith
And closing the show is the large and loud schlager-metal song by the nationally adored rock legend, Jorn. ‘Faith Bloody Faith’ is genuinely a brilliant tune with a super-catchy chorus. Is it competitive? Absolutely. And we imagine he’ll have a lot of people rooting for him after the final burst of energy that artist and song brings to the competition. Another real contender, for sure.
So who is progressing to the super final then? TIX and KEiiNO, followed by any two of Raylee, IMERIKA and Jorn.
And then the gold duel? Yeah, it’s gonna be TIX versus KEiiNO.
And who is winning? Well despite the fact that one choice is pretty much risk-free, and another choice would be taking a massive risk, it’s actually much too close to call. Norway could really go either way. And we can’t call it. Enjoy the show this evening!