Preview: Norway 2011 – Melodi Grand Prix Final

Saturday, February 12th, in Oslo.

A coronation. “Haba Haba,” by Stella Mwangi, is the closest thing we will see this year to a sure thing.

Songs we’ll be looking for:

Haba Haba. Africa via Disney — think “Hakuna Matata.” Cute as hell, choreography we all relate to, and so darned catchy you can hum the chorus and the verse after hearing it only once. Even more dangerous, it’s a tune that grows on you. Not only will it be Norway’s pick, we anticipate a Top 10 overall finish in the ESC. Top 5 overall if it continues to gain momentum.

Vardlokk. With a name like frikkin’ “VARDLOKK,” who cares what it means in English. Norway has precident for sending the mythological entry, musings on Musak at Valhalla (see also “Alvedansen,” Norway 2006). Helene Bøksle has a bell-like soprano that fits this song like a glove, and the bridge raises the stakes by introducing attractive Scandanavian girls pounding on drums. Vardlokk has drama and a soaring hook, it succeeds. It might have had a chance, but the Norwegian organizers gave it the kiss-of-death opening spot in the National Final. We like this entry and hope she makes it to the Superfinal.

Dance Tonight. The Black Sheeps won the Nordic Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2008. Will they have success again now that they’re all grown up? We find their song rather bland and repetitive, but they sailed out of the semifinals.

Not that Easy. Other Eurovision observers seem to like Åste og Rikke, but we here at EuroLemur don’t get their appeal. The song is early 1990s empowerment soul evocative of TLC or En Vogue. In short, they’re white girls trying to sound like black girls. You know what? It’s not that easy. <GROAN>

You’re like a Melody. An engaging pop confection with proper Swedish-style backing harmonies from the singer/songwriter who gave us “Shine” (Georgia 2010) and My Heart Will Go On “My Heart is Yours” (Norway 2010).  For the national final,  we hope Hanne Sørvaag rethinks the hot pink dress and figures out how to tame her nerves. She goes last and will probably make it through to the Superfinal.