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Melodi Grand Prix Semi 1 Tips

MGP Semi 1 is tomorrow and here is a quick run down of the first betting event of the year.

Firstly this is a poor heat to start off with. MGP may not have stunning standouts but the general level across all four weeks is an improvement on last year and there are few no hopers.

TrollfesT and Eline Noelia both flit around as favourites/second favourites with the bookies. TrollfesT are best priced at 3.5 with Betsson which is brilliant value for any Scandis looking opening day value.

But. The problem that we have in Melodi Grand Prix is that we have a duel system - each heat of four is divided into two semi finals, with two songs competing for one spot in the final. Duels are a danger because it means popularity isn’t just the thing that is important. Anti-popularity is as well.

TrollfesT as you may guess are on the spectrum of Eurovision novelty, and, flavoured with a spice of punk, ‘Dance Like A Pink Flamingo’ will get people voting against them as much as for them.

That could be even more precarious in this MGP set up where people don’t need to pay for voting, and get to vote through NRK’s website. Uptake of this is high…and TrollfesT lie on that hill of high standard deviation - they could be hilariously fun or devastatingly unfunny.

I like it - and think it should be the winner this time out despite my reservations. ‘Ecstasy’ by Eline is a pop song that requires a huge live range but doesn’t have the obvious jury notes and has a production that alienates and needs staging to make sense of it. I also think Eline’s bold look might make her struggle and the best odds of 2.55 (CoolBet) don’t entice - especially in the duel she has.

Last year they drew the duels for MGP live on the show. This year they are not being as transparent and informing us of the duels the day before. We know now Eline is against Mira Craig, the writer of Norway’s 5th place entry from 2008 ‘Hold On Be Strong’. Mira’s known if not super famous in Norway (10k Instagram subscribers, despite apparently having a fashion label) but is bringing, as another BetEurovision team member said, “the type of Eurotrash Armenia would usually bring”. And while the falsetto in the last minute is overly frantic - it may be the more conventional of the two performances.

Past form for Mira Craig indicates some support. She entered in 2010, finishing behind A1 and Didrik Solli-Tangen in the heat to go to the second chance round, where she won the first duel and lost to a favourite of mine ‘Jealous ‘cause I love you’. And that 2010 song was pretty woeful - even compared to this 2022 one. Mira is 7.5 on Unibet and if you think TrollfesT will struggle this could be a good alternative.

I’ve ignored Frode Vassel and the rather anonymous ‘Black Flowers’ that is 11s with CoolBet, because 11s is probably not long enough to invest in this one - too anonymous for even the anti-vote to get it through.

Final tips are

Trollfest 3 pts at 3.5

Mira Craig 1 pt at 7.5

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