COUNTDOWN TO (CANCELLED) EUROVISION: #23 – NORWAY
eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica has begun its Countdown To the now-cancelled Eurovision Song Contest 2020! Over 41 days I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such. Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary. As of the official announcement on March 20 2020, ALL of this year’s songs are now officially “lost”; Eurovision’s executive committee has stated that all songs in the ESC 2021 contest MUST be new, so there will never be an “Official” winner of ESC 2020 thanks to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak causing the contest’s first-ever cancellation. So this is my only chance to rank them. The songs will all be spotlighted on a special called Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light, which will air LIVE on May 16, when the Grand Final should have been held, so that’s at least SOMETHING…
ANNOUNCEMENT: FANS IN THE USA AND AROUND THE WORLD, GET READY! BEGINNING MONDAY 4/13, COME VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE 2020 EUROVISION SONGS IN THE “TKRUROVISION 2020 CONTEST”! Watch for full details this SUNDAY, and then click the link to vote on all the ESC 2020 Semi Finalists ALL NEXT WEEK!
In at #23 this year is the official entry from Norway, “Attention“ by Ulrikke. It is performed in English, and was scheduled to be performed 15th at the first semifinal on May 12th. The countries’ national final is called Melodi Grand Prix 2020“, the finals of which were held on February 15. Although she was offered a direct slot of next years’ final as a performer/songwriter, Ulrikke has so far declined the invitation, meaning Norway will likely have a new performer representing them at ESC 2021.
Like Cher, Bono, Madonna and others, Ulrikke Brandstorp has always used just her first name since entering the music business full-time after appearances on Norway’s “Idol” franchise in 2013, where she was eliminated before the finals, and the Norwegian “Voice” franchise in 2015. She also has stage experience, co-starring as Liesl in an Oslo production of “The Sound Of Music” in 2019.
What I’m thinking about this song…I think the best thing I can say about this song is that it’s just…so…very…EUROVISION. This song SCREAMS “Eurovision” in every nook and cranny. Is that a good thing? Not necessarily. I have to admit, i originally had this song waaaay down my list, simply because I find the lyrics incredibly self-centered and whiny, one of those “it’s all about ME! ME ME ME ME!” kind of songs. I generally LOATHE those kind of lyrics. Strike one for me. Second, It’s sound and staging are incredibly bombastic. I generally don’t mine bombast if it’s not pretentious, but unfortunately, the song has quite a bit of pretentiousness about it as well. See the aforementioned “It’s All ABOUT ME!” lyrics. Strike Two. I also don’t understand the massive love for this number (or most of Norway’s entries over the last few years, in all honesty) from the ESC fan base in Europe; many fans have it in their top 10 at least, and top 5 from quite a few of those. Uh, NO. But the song DOES have some really good things going for it to, and the reasons it moved up where it now is come directly from Ulrikke – she is a strikingly beautiful woman who rocks that national final dress with style and the sheer power her vocals have is absolutely BREATHTAKING. I just wish she had come up with a better number to showcase that killer voice she has. I think she would have done well despite my personal feelings, probably a top 15 finisher, possibly top ten. But I can tell you one other really good thing about this year’s entry….it’s not LAST YEARS’ entry, “Spirit In The Sky” by KEiNO, which was so monstrously OVERRATED it was sad..it definitely did NOT deserve the top ten finish it got…it didn’t even deserve to make the finals, one of the reasons being its blatant DIRECT copying of the key six notes from Saara Aalto‘s Finnish entry “Monsters” the previous year for its chorus hook…
Norway made its EuroVision debut in 1960, and according to Wikipedia, 2020 would have marked their 60th anniversary in the contest, missing the contest only twice (which means either their math is wrong or someone BADLY needs to update their page – no matter what way you slice it, their participation information on their Wiki page CANNOT be correct because if they missed the contest twice, that would make this their 58th year, not their 60th…hey, I didn’t write the Wikipedia page, blame them, heh heh); in 1970, they boycotted the contest to protest voting procedures, and in 2006, according to Wikipedia, they were ‘relegated’ out for a year for a poor performance the previous year, the way they kept things in check with a growing number of countries competing before the introduction of the semifinals. They have won the contest three times, with 1985’s “La det swingle!” by Bobbysocks!, in 1995 with “Nocturne” by Secret Garden, and in 2009 with “Fairytales” by Alexander Rybak. But they’ve set two lower records as well – as I’ve mentioned in past years, Norway’s track record is not good dating way back, getting “Nul” (zero) points FOUR times – in 1963, 1978, 1981, and 1997, a record that was tied in 2015 by Austria. And Norway has finished dead last more times – ELEVEN – than any other country. So they’ve seen both ends of the horse, so to speak….so it’s not just the math for participation calculation (or lack of update) in the Wiki that doesn’t add up, heh heh heh
Here’s the official music video – check it out…
Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica throughout the next 41 days as I bring you the 2020 entries, and also updates on the status of the songs and artists for this year. Hopefully the EBU will find a way to salvage this year’s contest – and if you want them to do so, use the hashtag #SaveEurovision2020 in all your social media posts!
Beginning later this week, I will have a status list up over at The Kirkham Report site, with listings of what artists have had their fate decided for next year’s contest – I am diligently trying to find the full status of each act so we can keep track of it.
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