MGP Heat 2 Run Down
With the 2nd heat of Melodi Grand Prix taking place this Saturday, let’s have a run down of the 4 acts competing for one place in the 12 song Norwegian final.
Firstly there’s a couple of bits I learnt from last week’s first heat, won by Blåsemafian. Of the three I had last week ‘in the mix’ they were the one that drifted most in the betting markets and were available at 7.5 before the show began. This drifted because, musically, there’s not very much going on, but on stage a couple of well directed gimmicks gave it all the joy it needed to get the public on board. The lack of press coverage in these pandemic times meant we didn’t hear about this beforehand (note made to try and glean more from social media beforehand to see if that can help), as surely rehearsal reviews would have picked this up as being far more lively live than on the recording.
Secondly, it’s a reminder that in these post pandemic times fun loving songs are just going to connect so much better. Live in-play betting on this had it being matched below 1.5 - it was a shock beforehand but was no shock watching the live show.
Onto this week, and the hot favourite is Raylee. She returns with another uptempo track from the Wrethov, Barker and friends stable of Eurovision writing pedigree composers. This is more 80’s themed than Raylee’s previous attempt but it still feels accessible enough to the mainstream. Most bookies and the Smarkets exchange have this well odds on - yet again it is Scandinavian bookmaker ComeOn that is holding out at 2.1 at the time of publishing. I think even the fans most against Raylee’s style and song would accept that she is more likely to win than not, making this crazy value. I was also impressed by her performance of Wild, her entry last year, and expect her to deliver a full on stage show.
Also promising a full on stage show is Daniel Owen, with the RnB flavoured Psycho. The title is a huge worry, and I’d be concerned for a dark performance which isn’t going to appeal to the mass audience. That’s really important with Norway’s voting system of free online votes, meaning you have to appeal more to the casual viewer. Daniel’s odds are all over the place, but generally he is available at 5.0.
There’s also Maria Solheim who is generally available as second favourite. Nordlyset is a tender ballad yet, outside the reaches where her dialect is spoken, I’m not sure this again has enough for the casual viewer. The wildcard in this heat is Ketil Stokkan, the representative for Norway back in 1986 and 1990. This song pokes fun at himself and could be humorous, but it would need to be very self-deprecating to work - and I do significantly doubt if Ketil is that kind of performer.
In short, one of the other three are going to have to do something exceptional to beat Raylee this week.