Norwegian candidates for MGP 2014 presented today

Months of speculation came to an end in Norway, as broadcaster NRK presented all songwriters and fifteen acts participating in this year’s Melodi Grand Prix. A conference was held today, where press were able to meet all of the acts and to hear a teaser of their entries. Complete versions of all entries will not be released until later next month.

The Norwegian preselection finally got underway today, when broadcaster NRK confirmed the entire line up of Melodi Grand Prix 2014. Names of all fifteen acts, their song titles and of course the names of all songwriters and composers were revealed at the press conference which NRK held at 12:00 today by programme hosts Erik Solbakken and Jenny Skavlan. For all members of the press present, a short snippet of each entry was played – just enough to give them an idea of the song each act is going to perform. All fifteen entries will be made available in their entirety later next month, on the 19th of February.

Musical director Vivi Stenberg has spent months sifting through the approximately 600 entries submitted to NRK together with a dedicated team made up of people with a broad background from the music industry. Marie Kommisar (from radio station P3), Gisle G. Stokland (editor of music website, musician Tarjei Strøm and Kathrine Synnes Finskog (manager of Music Norway) have aided Stenberg in selecting all the acts and entries presented today. As Stenberg has previously told media, the idea behind this year’s Melodi Grand Prix is to make it a week long festival of music. The quality of the songs in the competition is surprisngly high; perhaps less variation in style and genre compared to last year, but nevertheless, the vast majority have a highly contemporary sound. Looking at the line-up, it’s evident that NRK has prioritised quality of material rather than attracting big names to the contest. Big names come with no guarantee of success at the contest, with last year’s UK entrant Bonnie Tyler being a case in point.

The fifteen acts that will participate in Melodi Grand Prix 2014 are as follows (Act/Song Title/Composers):

First semi final (07. March)

01: Hilda & Thea Leora Best Friend’s Boyfriend (T & M: Martin Kleveland, Lisa Desmond Linder og Jesper Jakobsen)
02: MoHeal (T & M: Laila Samuelsen)
03: Dina MisundNeeds (T: Frode Bjørgmo Strømvik / M: Dina Misund)
04: Linnea DaleHigh Hopes (T & M: Linnea Dale, Kim Bergseth)
05: Timbre & Frikk Heide-Steen feat. Ida SteinFrozen by Your Love (T & M: Anders Bratterud)

Second semi final (08. March)

01: Cir.CuzHele Verden (The Whole World) (T & M: Cir.Cuz)
02: Martine MarbelRight Now (T: Martine Marbel / M: Martine Marbel, Goran Obad)
03: Oda & WulffSing (T & M: Christer Wulff)
04: Knut Kippersund NesdalTaste of You (T: Jenny Moe / M: Magnus Hængsle, Jenny Moe)
05: CharlieHit Me Up (T & M: Melanie Fontana, John Asher, Lars Hustoft)

Third semi final (09. March)

01: Moi Bensin (Petrol) (T & M: Ingjerd Østrem Omland)
02: El CueroAin’t no Love in This City no More (T: Brynjar Takle Ohr, Øyvind Blomstrøm, Håvard Takle Ohr / M: Brynjar Takle Ohr og B.L. Rolland)
03: IlebekWho Needs the Universe (T & M: Andreas Ihlebæk)
04: Elisabeth CarewSole Survivor (T & M: Elisabeth Carew, David Eriksen, Simon Climie, Mats Skåre Lie)
05: Carl EspenSilent Storm (T & M: Josefin Winther)

As you can see from the list of artists, there aren’t that many major names in the running this year. Artist Elisabeth Carew is back for another shot at representing Norway, after having tried in MGP 2010 with the song Rocketfuel. NRK have managed to get one of Norway’s most promising live bands to participate, namely El Cuero. Their live shows and melodic rock sound have had music critics reaching for the superlatives since they started performing in back in 2005. Mo or Mohamed Abdi Farah made quite an impression with his unique look when he participated in the talent show X Factor in 2010, finishing fourth. 

A nice turn up for the books among the names of the composers is that of Simon Climie, whom many will no doubt recognise from the succesful 80’s duo Climie Fisher. In addition to writing their own material, he has quite the pedigree in penning hits for other artists such as Louise, George Michael, Eric Clapton, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart and Milli Vanilli. Another reputable name among the songwriters is that of Laila Samuelsen, former member of girl group The Tuesdays who experienced some fame in the late nineties. Since then, she too has made quite a name for herself as a songwriter for other artists including Venke Knutson, Alejandro Fuentes, Maria Arredondo and Erlend Bratland. 

There are only two entries in Norwegian this year, compared to last year’s four and surprisingly enough only one ballad, which may help Mo’s chances of standing out from the rest of the pack. His poignant ballad Heal  will no doubt pluck at the heartstrings of many viewers as Mo survived the shooting massacre at Utøya in 2011. Teasers of all fifteen entries can be heard on the official NRK Melodi Grand Prix website.

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