Oh Norway, what have you done?

It is all a matter of taste. That much I know, but last night I saw one of my favourite countries sink down to a level I could never have imagined. The Norwegians started their selection with a bunch of bad songs – and the single one worth listen to, kicked out. 

For many Eurovision fans the season haven’t really started before the Scandinavians kick off their selections – I must admit that I have a bit of the same feeling. Mainly because it is from the Scandinavian countries I usually find the songs I love the most. 

I was lined up in the sofa with a few people around, candy and drinks on the table, ready to hear at least a bunch of good songs from Norway. I was also prepared for an interesting voting where only half of my favourites make it through, simply because I know that the Norwegian viewers always give me a few surprises along the way. But I was not prepared for listening to seven songs with only one of them not making me feel like I was wasting my time. I wasn’t prepared either for that only song not making it among the three qualifiers.

What happened? Today I am still asking myself the same question as last night. I simply do not get it. In the period from 2003, where Jostein Hasselgård represented the country with the song I’m Not Afraid To Move On to 2006’s Christina Guldbrandsen‘s Alvedansen, Norway each year came with the song that ended up being my favourite song. Four years in a row where I was waving the Norwegian flag and my friends kept searching for my, to my knowledge, non existing Norwegian roots. I haven’t had Norway as my favourite since, but in their national selection they have still had songs in it, which could have been that. They all made it to the finals where they were beaten by songs I personally didn’t prefer, but where I could see what might have attracted others to vote for it.

What the Norwegians did last night I however still don’t understand. They kicked off their national selection with 7 songs. 5 of them directly bad, one half decent and one song which I liked. The three best songs would qualify for the final, according to the rules. These 7 songs were actually selected among many hundreds submitted entries. I must admit that I don’t know who is in that group of people selecting the songs, but in many countries it is so-called experts. I can’t imagine anyone with some kind of music expertise to select many of these songs. That is the first mystery. The second is that I can’t imagine how the three worst of the lots from last night ended up qualifying. Did they mess up when they calculated the points so they accidentally took the bottom three instead of the top3? Or has the cold weather caused most of the Norwegians to get hit by a bad flue that affects the music taste?

I really don’t get what happened, but I am looking forward to hearing the songs for next Saturday and to see the result. Hopefully that will give me the answers to whether or not this was just something temporary or if I really need to accept that what use to be my favourite Eurovision country doesn’t exist anymore. 

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