Norway 2021: Raylee wins second Melodi Grand Prix heat

After a bit of a surprise in the first heat, a lot of attention was again on Norway this evening. Three battles resulted in Raylee winning the spot in the final to be held on the 20th of February.

Not everyone had seen it coming that Blåsemafian feat. Hazel would win the first heat. Being up against Jorn in the first battle, it wasn’t obvious that they would even make it that far. But they did, and after beating Stina Talling in the ‘guld duel’, they secured themselves a spot in the Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix final this year.

Tonight, four more acts took the stage in duels hoping to do the same; win the heat and as such reach the final. The ‘losers’ however knew that the later wild card stage will give them one more chance.

For Melodi Grand Prix and Eurovision fans, in particular two of tonight’s competitors stood out for Eurovision fans: One of last year’s fan favourites Raylee and double Eurovision participant Ketil Stokkan (Norway 1986 and Norway 1990). To read more about all four participants, please check out in our Get To Know – article.

Results of the second heat

Through the 1 hours and 15 minutes long show, all acts competed in duels. To secure fairness, the two first duels were decided via a draw that took place in the beginning of the show. Voting was done online with NRK login. It is possible to vote from abroad as well, and your writer used that to vote the maximum three times for the act that stole her heart.

  • First duel: Ketil StokkanMy Life Is Ok – Daniel Owen – Psycho
    Winner: Daniel Owen
  • Second duel: RayleeHero Maria SolheimNordlyset
    Winner: Raylee

The third and last duel – guld duel – was then a battle between Daniel Owen and Raylee. Many young girls probably voted for Daniel. Many men probably voted for Raylee and her water show. The question was just; who could attract the ones who preferred Ketil and Maria? Raylee could and as such she won.

The show

With many shows starting at 20:00, Norway is a bit untraditional. They kicked off the show at 19:50 CET. Kåre Magnus Bergh, Ingrid Gjessing Linhave and Ronny Brede Aase hosted the show. All three also hosted the Norwegian shows last year.

In every one of these preliminary heats, one of the pre-qualified acts performs. Tonight, it was Stavangerkameratene with their Norwegian language entry Barndomsgater. The title translates to ‘childhood’s streets’. It’s a pop song which reflects over life, getting back to where you once belonged, where you find the answers you are looking for. These four guys are together one of Norway’s more popular live bands. While this song probably won’t have much chance at the Eurovision Song Contest, the band can deliver a great show as they also provided tonight. Dear readers, don’t rule this out as a potential winner of Melodi Grand Prix. This is the entry that gives KEiiNO competition.

As interval act Norway also served us two guys in a glamorous box on the street commenting on people walking by, giving them nicknames. I don’t know how much of this is set up, but I personally don’t like it. This is a part of Norwegian humour, I just don’t get.

Norway at the Eurovision Song Contest

With three Eurovision victories, Norway is on track with fellow Scandinavian neighbour Denmark, although both countries are three behind Sweden. Norway first won in 1985, the year after Sweden’s second win. Bobbysocks’ La Det Swinge has since become a classic hit, which most fans can sing a long to. Ten years later, Secret Garden gave Norway their second win with the song Nocturne, which only contained 24 words, and the rest was instrumental, mainly violin. In 2009, Norway would once again bring the violin to Eurovision – and win by no other than Rybak.

Since the last Norwegian victory, by Alexander Rybak in 2009, Norway have scored rather decent in Eurovision. Stella Mwangi (2011) and Agnete (2016) both failed to reach the final, but of the remaining six entries that did make it, four of them ended in top 10.

In my view

My heart was with Ketil Stokkan tonight. And it wasn’t lack of votes from me or my friends that didn’t send Ketil Stokkan through. I got so many screenshots from friends showing me that they also voted for him. I am so sad that he didn’t make it through… 🙁

I also must admit that it was damn hard to focus on the rest of the article when he lost first duel. Maybe I should stay away from covering shows where I am that much engaged in one song? Of course, I usually have my own favourites, but this time it was different. I was engaged in Ketil’s song to a level I haven’t experienced in many years.

The opinion expressed in "In my view" are those of the author and are not necessarily the one of
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