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MGP Heat 5 Run Down

The final heat of Melodi Grand Prix has now been revealed. We are still waiting for one song to emerge; the much anticipated Ktejil Mørland track for Rein Alexander, but otherwise we have now heard every competing song.

It seems unlikely that there is a winner in Heat 5, but there’s a betting market available so we will talk through the 4 songs in the mix for a final placing.

There are two general favourites out of the four songs selected. IMERIKA with the song I Can’t Escape is best priced at 2.5 (CoolBet) and there’s certainly a package here that’s highly intriguing. IMERIKA is striking with her multi-coloured hair and in-but-still-conventionally-anti-pop-star look, and as far as I can make out this is the 24-year-old’s first time as a lead artist rather than as a songwriter. It’s a solid ballad quite in my style, but I have reservations about the quite annoying piano beat (especially in the chorus) and the bridge, which grows but doesn’t hover on the top note long enough for attention and wow factor.

I Can’t Escape has double the YouTube views of its nearest rivals, but I recognise that this is likely a small catchment of the voting audience and the general family and online voting public may be put off IMERIKA’s image unless it becomes particularly engaging and emotional. Without any presence that I can find online of her performing, I don’t know if IMERIKA can pull this off and bring in the neutrals. I was impressed by how NRK staged the ballad winner from last week (KiiM with My Lonely Voice), and something in the same spectrum would work well.

Failing that, the door would be left open for River with Coming Home. The comparison to Victor Crone that I’ve seen made is an obvious one - there’s a certain clap-along fake country element to this that revolves around the lead singer’s charm. 29-year-old Thomas Heiland certainly looks plenty attractive enough to hoover up those neutral votes. The success of this is likely to come down more to IMERIKA though - she has the song that is most popular, but in this duel system it may all come down to whether people want to vote for or against a more alternative character. So the world can be, and it’s not a pleasure to write about it. River are a tasty looking 4s with Betsson if you want to get on.

I’ve ruled out TuVeia (10s with CoolBet) with a ridiculous song about working on a farm which, as far as my Swedish-listening-to-Norwegian goes, is quite unfunny, and Ane.Fin’s Walking In My Sleep (best 7.5 with Norsk Tipping) seems made for radio without anything to latch a performance onto. The two favourites should both shorten to run closer to evens as we get towards Saturday.

It’s worth saying again that it’s prudent for you to be on the ball early on these markets if you want to guarantee a few quid in these selections. ComeOn had bucked the trend this morning (and not for the first time) in having TuVeia as even money favourite and IMERIKA out at 4s. Their odds have now been taken down now (and I suspect some odds maker is getting whatever the 21st century equivalent is of a kick up the arse) but it’s clear that the odds setters for these markets don’t always agree with each other, especially early on before money is placed. KiiM, last week’s winner, is a good example, coming in all the way to under evens on the exchange when he was first listed as the 7.0 rank outsider.

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