Third time’s a charm? MGP semi-final in Skien tonight!

Oh well, we finally managed to dig us back up from that hole we fell into after last Saturday’s travesty in Florø. And it’s picking up. We could actually listen to most of the songs in tonight’s line-up, without getting the urge of throwing the MacBook out the window even once, which is not bad at all.

Susperia is this year’s rock alibi, and it makes sense for Norway to send an act like this to the international ESC final. Much more than salsa/latino rhythms or balkan beats which just appears as a phony way of getting votes from countries which would not normally vote for Norway. That’s just embarrassing and it ain’t working either. But Nothing Remains is the kinda song that folks would vote for regardless of nationality. It’s a strong melody with powerful vocals and it feels real. We didn’t care much for Turkey’s polished family rock last year, nor the Finnish orks or the Norwegian glam rockers from a few years back for that sake, but this is something else. As GEE rock chicks we can definitely see ourselves having a beer with these blokes in a dodgy basement kneipe in Düsseldorf in a few months. Hell yeah!

Next up is Nora Noor and she is one cool, funky soul sister, that’s for sure. Teamed up with one of our favorite song writers, Simone Larsen, it’s off to an extremely positive start before we’ve even heard the first cord. Gone With The Wind has a rather cheesy title we must say, but Nora seems to pull it off, this is groove, feel and flow to the rim. We are much in favor of her soulful, sexy, credible performance over let’s say Åste&Rikke from the first semi-final who operate in the same musical landscape. Looking forward to watching the live performance and we hope Nora doesn’t go all overboard with the vocal improvisations. Sometimes less is more, baby.

There’s been much talk about the group Girl Happy this week. Supposedly they are the Alexander Stenerud replacements this year. And if that’s a fact we might as well coin them as the poor man’s Alexander Stenerud straight away. We’re sorry guys, thanks for trying, but there’s no way you can live up to our MGP God.

We wish we could have said something clever and funny about the next soul chick coming up, but unfortunately we fell asleep about three seconds into Grethe Svendsen’s Like Dreamers Do.

The BlackSheeps should wake us up quite quickly, and this is one of the acts we had highest hopes to right from the moment the participants were announced. However, we must admit we’re disappointed. How much can one expect from a bunch of youngsters half our age, we guess we ought to cut them some slack, they have the future ahead of them. We would be happy to welcome them back at a later stage, with a stronger song than this year’s Dance Tonight which is nowhere near the same league as the smashing JMGP Nordic winner “Oro Jaska Beana”.

Stella Mwangi got us back on our feet alright, and got our groove back in a flash. Just having a corny song title such as Haba Haba is basically sufficient to keep us on our toes and wonder WTF this is all about. We can’t stop thinking about France from 1990 and Guadeloupean Joëlle and her Caribbean oil barrel drums. Of course she had the svengali and French legend Serge Gainsbourg behind her, so it would be a shame to compare the two. But this is a happy go lucky song in the “Guilty Pleasure” department, and it can’t be ignored. The Hakuna Matata vibes are about as subtle as a kick in the teeth and that’s just too much to our taste.

The award to best dressed act, it there had been such a thing, would probably go to The Lucky Bullets. We love their sharply dressed Don Draper look, which is more than enough to set Fire Below. They’re keeping it real musically also, no compromises, just honest straight forward rockabilly. We think that’s cool, but in MGP, no thank you, we’re afraid.

Finally some decent competition for Helene Bøksle. During the couple of last years the MGP winner came out of the semi-final in Skien. We’re guessing that would probably happen this year as well. Third time’s the charm and so on and so forth…

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