I heaped a lot of scorn onto Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix format last year, so I was a bit skeptical when they kept the same format for this year. But I have to admit that the 2021 edition of MGP was an absolute blast. I even liked the second chance show, probably because I was the only Eurovision fan who seemed to like Jorn’s “Faith Bloody Faith” and also still uses Skype.
And MGP’s overall result isn’t too shabby either.
Andreas “TIX” Haukeland is a pop star who, before “Fallen Angel,” already had 11 top five hits in the Norwegian singles charts, including the number one hits “Jeg vil ikke leve,””Kaller på deg,” and “Karantene.” He also co-wrote Ava Max’s “Sweet but Psycho” and Flo Rida’s “Game Time.” TIX’s stage name references his Tourette syndrome and he has been open about addressing mental health stigmas.
I’ll start with the demerits. “Fallen Angel” is overproduced to a fault. There are so many overdubs and so many random noises punctuating the song. The arrangement is thick and ornate and over the top. TIX’s stage picture at MGP only underlines that.
But you know what? It bloody works. Underneath all that rococo bling is an charmingly achy love song full of melancholy melodies that flow together beautifully. The lyrics to “Fallen Angel” remind me of ’80s hair metal ballads, yet TIX seems to be able to infuse them with a forlorn sincerity.
I haven’t been talking about staging in my reviews thus far, but knowing that TIX has already filmed his live-on-tape version for Scenario C/D allows me to unzip my lips a bit. As ridiculous as the angel wings are, this is Eurovision and TIX knows it. Go big or go home. The demonic backing dancers provide effective movement and striking imagery that make up for the fact that TIX stands in place the entire time.
Were there better songs at MGP? Sure, although my pick for better songs is probably not the same as yours. But no other entry offered the total package that TIX did, and his tearful reaction to winning showed how much he wanted this. I’m happy he’s a part of the Eurovision family now.