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Saturday, 11 February 2012 18:40

Norway: Final of the Melodi Grand Prix - LIVE

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The Melodi Grand Prix has always been one of the most entertaining selections for the fans of the Eurovision Song Contest and this is due to the fact that ti is presented in a sublime manner with a strong production and entries of a high quality. Over the past three weeks, the respective broadcaster being NRK put up semi-finals out of which the public had to pick a total of three (3) acts each time and the various genres seem to have been represented in the best possible way but then the Jury stepped in and selection one (1) act which did not make it and thought that it has merit to be in the final.

The showcase which is looked after by veteran Per Sundnes who will also be acting as the male host is set to kick off round about 19:55 CET and you can follow it through either the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest, or through the broadcasters' official website. The Melodi Grand Prix has always been an entertaining showcase to watch and divulge noting that it tends to pick up quite the pace relatively in good time and this evening should definitely be interesting especially due to the fact that Alexander Rybak will be headlining for a guest performance as the evening comes to a close. ESCflashmalta has been keeping tabs on this selection this year and encourages people to follow the live report as it unfolds with the latest on the attire, the vocal performance and the choreography amongst others things. The show is soon set to begin so therefore enjoy and let us know your thoughts below.

The Show (Part 1)

A classic show opening from Norway actually with all of the acts being introduced by an orchestra it seems which is playing the beautiful overture used throughout this years' edition of the annual Melodi Grand Prix. Some history is also mentioned, that when Norway was successful including the last time they won the Eurovision Song Contest. Huge audience in the hall and this looks to be a great evening. Marthe, the female host is now on stage clad in a shimmering black dress. The man of the hour is introduced, as Per comes out in a dapper red blazer with some lovely ladies carrying off a beautiful choreography which the people enjoy. Here we go with the postcards, best of luck to everyonw.

Running Order

Tooji - Stay (Tooji, Peter Boström, Figge Boström)

The male performer reminds us a lot of Eric Saade and that has proven to be a successful formula for the Eurovision Song Contest. The song itself is quite impressive incorporating a typical pop beat with some beautiful ethnic influences. The singer is wearing a dark teal shirt which he collaborates with a black leather jacket and matching black pants. He is joined on stage by four dancers who are dressed differently yet look awesome. Their choreography is just spot on and better than the one in the semi-final. Considering the singing, the vocal performance does not dwindle and he hits all of the high notes accordingly. The song makes use of pyrotechnics and a wind-machine, great opening this evening.

Reidun Sæther – High on love (Thomas G:Son, Tommy Berre, Ovi)

Reidhun comes on stage in a fiery red dress which shows how much passion she is putting in this song. The first thing which one notes is that she seems to be perfectly healthy this evening hence the vocal performance is much better but at times, I can still see her stuggling. It might not have been a great idea to take this song without any dancing because the comparison with Sarah Dawn Finer is just too much at times. The song is powerful without a doubt and stands a good chance to win this evening. The wind machine is used throughout the whole performance but what makes the pop/schlager song stand out is the effective shots used by the camera and the lighting. Here comes the pyrotechnics at the end. This is a very strong performance and it looks like she has already won.

Lise Karlsnes - Sailors (Lise Karlsnes, Thomas Eriksen)

This is one of the more modern tracks in the Melodi Grand Prix for the year 2012 and it was the one chosen by the judges to get through to this phase of the competition. Lise is wearing an interesting black ensemble with feathers on the shoulders. She is joined on stage by two dancers who are very similarly dressed to her. The stage is bathing in black and white lighting but it is quite effective as the spotlights are going in different directions. The pop track which features some dance music in it is performed quite well but the problem is that the song is very repetitive. Nevertheless, she is enjoying herself out there as she calls out to the crowd. The radio like backing vocals are very good as well and another sublime performance.

Plumbo – Ola Nordmann (Lars Erik Blokkhus, Glenn Hauger)

The main favourite this evening is a group known as Plumbo who have the only song to have charted at all in Norway this year even though many entries are expected in next weeks' charts. The song is a mixture of pop, rock and folk and the sound is actually very much Irish in the vein of 'Et Cetera' at times. The opening with the flute is very beautiful yet the guy stend to go with a look which is too metal for my liking. The vocals are stronger than the semi-final and I still believe that this will be the one to beat because it is extremely catchy. Some very minor pyrotechnics in this one but what makes it stand out is the music unlike the others who have made use of astonishing choreographies and stage tricks. Well done guys, a brilliant performance and still the ones to beat this evening as they present the only track which shows the best of the Scandinavian nation.

Malin Reitan - Crush (Beyond51 - Marcus Ulstad Nilsen, Andreas Sjo Engen, Kjetil Helgesen)

Malin has grown into an extremely beautiful teenager and the dress does not really do  her justice but it seems that she would like to keep it quite fresh and young. The problem with the whole package that she is presenting is that she just cannot sing well live and this shows when she goes into a slightly higher tone. The performance is stunning because she is joined on stage by a multi-tude of ballerinas wearing black tutus. The stage is bathed in beautiful pink lights actually and she does her best to co-ordinate with the dancers without doing too much strain. She is a master of the strut though as she goes down the stage perfectly. The middle section features an amazing choreography and she comes in looking very much like Hillary Duff. It is a catchy track which is performed well apart from the vocals.

Nora Foss Al-Jabri – Somewhere beautiful (Christian Ingebrigtsen, Eivind Rølles)

Honestly, I am one to adore ballads and this is one of the those songs which make me stop and listen and why not when you have the impressive vocals of Nora. She is wearing a purple dress although I must say that the hair was much better in the semi-final as it expressed vulnerability. The ballad is performed well and it is very enchanting, one which the juries will eat up in Azerbaijan. She is joined by six violinists who circle around her mid-way through the performance. There is nothing to fault and well done to the broadcaster; NRK for the beautiful use of the smoke machine throughout this performance. It seems that Nora is very nervous this evening and holds onto her place on the stage instead of doing the turn at the climax. She smiles at the end and if I had been living in Norway, this would get my vote tonight!

Carburetors – Don't touch the flame (Stian Krogh, Christopher Lindahl, Per Gunnar Lund-Vang)

This is the seventh song of the evening and it seems that we are soon coming to an end to what has been a beautiful showcase. Each national final in Scandinavia is known to have a rock song and this is the one in Norway although cheers for it actually being bearable unlike one which the same country presented two years ago known as the 'Dragontower'. The music is quite entertaining and I am here bobbing my head along with this performance. The vocals are strong and even though they are supposedly singing in English, one would barely understand a word. Once more there is the use of pyrotechnics, something which has become quite normal abroad and one which we have not really become use used to in Malta.

Petter Øien & Bobby Bare – Things Change (Bobby Bare)

This is the second song in the country genre to be presented in Europe this year although this one is being done in a much more typical method. The song features two lead vocalists actually noting the inclusion of one of the leading singers in country coming from the United States of America. The song is actually very beautiful and the main focus is definitely being put on the lyrics which speak on the fact that one has to notice changes in life. They are joined on stage by a violinist, a bassist and also a drummer and the riffs in the middle of the song are beautiful. The vocals are just perfect and this is the dark horse this evening it seems just for being so different from the rest of the competing entries this evening.

Yaseen & Julie Maria - Sammen (Sigve Bull, El Axel)

The ninth performance of the evening takes the people from country to rap and r'n'b and it might not go down well with the rest of the people after having been so calm. The male performer stars singing from the catwalk which is attached to the stage amidst the people and with a blue shirt and black jacket he does his part well. He is closely followed in the song by a female counterpart who is clas in black attire and a green jacket. The dancing is just ridiculous and this is the very first song which makes me realize that any country can get it wrong. The inclusion of an orchestra in the backing track is ludicious seriously! The vocals are good but does anyone really call this signing. In order to make this as cheesy as it could be, a Simon Cowell-esque choir is brought on stage!

Tommy Fredvang – Make it better (Tommy Fredvang, Hanne Sørvaag, Tommy Berre)

Some great music to end this showcase this evening. Tommy comes out to the stage in the most unconventional way but then again his song is very typical of that of a rockstar hence he does keep his looks even in performing. The singer is wearing a dark military like suit which is really well inclined to this performance. The song is pop at the very best but there is the inclusion of some schlager and rock which suit it even more. The pyrotechnics are used at each refrain creating a show of fireworks. He takes to the stage alone and relies on the camera shots, vocals and also the lighting used and one to watch out for this evening as well because it is right up there along with some of the most amazing ones played. There is only one song which does not really fit in and I think that was made obvious.

The Show (Part 2)

The voice of the Melodi Grand Prix is announcing the tele-voting numbers although a recap is not being shown at the moment. There has been huge response to Nora Foss Al Jabri and Plumbo it seems as well as Petter Øien & Bobby Bare which is quite interesting. Well, after introducing them with just postcards, here comes the real recap with the videos of the performances now being shown on screen. The male host, Per has now changed into a violet suit but then again Marthe is still in the shimmering gown. Some old clips from the Melodi Grand Prix are now being played. All of the participants in this years' Melodi Grand Prix group up for a performance starting with Nora Foss Al-Jabri and followed by Tommy Fredvang along with all of the others. We are back, another recap and the announcement of the finalists.

  1. Plumbo – Ola Nordmann
  2. Nora Foss Al-Jabri - Somewhere Beautiful
  3. Petter Øien & Bobby Bare – Things Change
  4. Tooji - Stay
The astonishing Alexander Rybak is now on stage for the interval act and he is performing the song 'My Heart Is Yours' by Didrik before he just bursts out singing a medley of Eurovision Songs including 'Fly On The Wings of Love', 'Hold Me Now', 'Haba Haba' and 'Hard Rock Hallelujah' to utter perfection. This is just a brilliant interval and considering he got it together so quickly, it is even stronger. Here come the votes from the regional juries. Participants from the Melodi Grand Prix are giving the votes.

Orland is voting ... Somewhere Beautiful gets the maximum points

Larvik is voting ... Somewhere Beautiful gets the maximum points

Floro is voting ... Somewhere Beautiful gets the maximum points

North Norway is voting ... Stay gets the maximum points

West Norway is voting ... Stay gets the maximum points

East Norway is voting ... Stay gets the maximum points

Mid Norway is voting ... Stay gets the maximum points

South Norway is voting ... Stay gets the maximum points

... and the winner is 'Stay' by Tooji

Last modified on Saturday, 11 February 2012 22:00