A dress rehearsal is often a useful and accurate indication of how things are shaping up ahead of a major event, and Melodi Grand Prix is no exception. Having sat through and studied all eight performances, here is Eurovisionary’s verdict of the acts and their songs so far.
Is of a similar design as in previous years, with large LED screens which change in colour to suit the performer on stage. These screens are surrounded by blocks of floodlights whose bulbs light up giving a dripping effect. The stage consists of various platforms, with two flights of steps, one on either side leading down to the centre of the stage. The green room is directly to the right of the stage.
Song 1: Helene Bøksle – Vardlokk (Cecilie Larsen/Helene Bøksle/Sindre Hotvedt/Knut Avenstroup Haugen)
Wearing the same costume as in her qualifying heat, a flowing white gown with plain blue silk belt, Helene stands only with an accompanying musician on stage. A very competent, powerful performance, where she manages to make intense eye contact with the camera. Not a note wrong, this has got to be the best vocal performance of the night without a doubt. Blues flow across the screens, providing the backdrop to her act.
Song 2: Sie Gubba – Alt Du Vil Ha (Magne Almås/Petter Øien)
Entirely dressed in black, the group have scrubbed up quite well in comparison to what they normally wear. The screens for Sie Gubba are a stripey effect consisting of black and orange hues. The two guitarists and violinist stand up front, drummer, pianist and guitarist at the back. Very confident, reassured performance with the lead singer sounding in fine form. Can definitely understand why this gets everyone’s feet tapping.
Song 3: Babel Fish – Depend On Me (Tarjei Van Ravens/Halvor Holter)
Darkened stage with single beams of light and subdued blues on the LED screens behind the group. The opening effect looks as if we’re looking through the window of a house at the lead singer while he sings the opening lines. The lead singer shows he has done this hundreds of times before with another convincing performance of this gentle number. He manages the crossover into falsetto extremely well.
Song 4: The Lucky Bullets – Fire Below (Knud Kleppe)
Next up, the bad boys of the contest, The Lucky Bullets, whos rockabilly number springs to life with psychedelic coloured LED screens and they have a marine themed female dancer with saxophone accompanying them on stage. Dressed in outfits matching the period of their music (1950’s). There energy knows no bounds, with a great performance, the last weeks partying clearly not having had any effect on the voice of the lead singer.
Song 5: The Blacksheeps – Dance Tonight (Agnete Johnsen/Emelie Nilsen)
Dressed in rock outfits, with lead singer Agnete in a thigh high figure black and white dress with a black leather jacket over the top. Hair sat up in a cropped style. Thundering opening with crunching guitars. Despite their young age, the experience can be heard in their performance with yet another good solid set of vocals. If this keeps up, the result could indeed be very close tonight. Led screens change between reds and blues, with flashing stripes at the sides of the stage.
Song 6: Stella Mwangi – Haba Haba (Stella Mwangi/Beyond51/Big City)
Can’t really see how this can be beat! With an instant party atmosphere, the sounds and rhythms translate regardless of country. The energy coming from the stage was amazing to feel and Stella had obviously rested her voice, delivering the goods when she was supposed to. Ethnic patterns on the backdrop. This just has to be up there, fighting for victory. Would be extremely dangerous in Düsseldorf, getting everyone up on their feet. Got the biggest response in the hall, in fact it went HUGE!
Song 7: Åste & Rikke – Not That Easy (Ah-Åh Ah-Åh) (Rikke Normann)
Åste was back on her feet thankfully, looking as if she was in fine form. Ble, bubbling effect on the screens as only thei silhouettes are seen at the beginning of the song. Rikke wearing a ruffled thigh high figure hugging shoulderless dress, Åste in a much more glamouorus flowing black creation. The opening lines sound as though they are just out of range for the ladies, but they soon turn the song around, making themselves sound like the Norwegian Destiny’s Child. Impressively soulful, but maybe too slick to make a great impact. Screens change to a swirling mix of pinks, whites and blues.
Song 8: Hanne Sørvaag – You’re Like A Melody (Hanne Sørvaag)
hanne sports the same shocking pink dress as in her qualifying heat, also carrying the same silver guitar. Completely alone on a dark stage, with blackened screens before spotlights gradually begin to turn on in a colour matching her outfit. A rippling effect then appears on the screens. She loses the guitar halfway through, an is also sounding in fine voice. Her backing singers come in from the sides of the stage as the screens behind burst into colour, before they dissappear up the side steps once more. Evident that she enjoys being on the stage, playfully looking into the camera.
In my view
The performances of every single artist have been nothing but a positive suprise in more ways than one – the way things are looking, the result is not going to be as cut and dried as first anticipated, although Stella will take some beating, What can be said about tonight’s show is that it’s going to have something for everyone and we’re all guaranteed a brilliant show. Enjoy yourselves tonight!The opinion expressed in "In my view" are those of the author and are not necessarily the one of EuroVisionary.com.