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Norway: Carl Espen – Silent Storm

    Norway have delivered the predicted result and sent the only song capable of delivering a respectable result in Copenhagen. Ladies and gentlemen, pray silence for Carl Espen's Silent Storm! If Carl Espen’s performance in the MGP final told us one thing, it was that Eurovision will finally escape the clutches of the Nordic bloc. I remember when I first heard Silent Storm, it was the first time this year I had listened to a song that moved me enough to reach into my pocket and latch onto the 16/1 odds for Carl to win MGP. Over a month…

Review Overview

Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Historical Support Strength


User Rating: 3.18 ( 44 votes)

Norway have delivered the predicted result and sent the only song capable of delivering a respectable result in Copenhagen. Ladies and gentlemen, pray silence for Carl Espen’s Silent Storm!

If Carl Espen’s performance in the MGP final told us one thing, it was that Eurovision will finally escape the clutches of the Nordic bloc.

I remember when I first heard Silent Storm, it was the first time this year I had listened to a song that moved me enough to reach into my pocket and latch onto the 16/1 odds for Carl to win MGP.

Over a month later, the storm appears to have blown over as I found it remarkable how indifferent I was to Carl’s performance at the final. It appears I wasn’t in the minority, as upon Carl being crowned the MGP champion, Norway’s odds began to lengthen.  At the time of writing, Norway is available at 6/1, which is still too low.

Silent Storm is a beautifully written song, and despite the lack any significant climax, Carl Espen’s silky smooth vocal and vulnerable demeanour hooks you from start to finish. Moreover, Carl’s average-guy appearance makes his performance more believable.

My main concern for Copenhagen is that Carl looked as if he was on the verge of a heart attack during both of his live performances, which doesn’t bode well for the pressure cooker atmosphere of Eurovision’s jury rehearsal and subsequent live final broadcast to 170-million global viewers.  He seemed to snatch at a few notes and lose control of his breathing at times, so Norway are ones to keep an eye on for jury rehearsal.

As Rob at EntertainmentOdds would suggest, Carl needs to give good camera during this song.  He has improved since his semi-final performance, but I would like to see more confidence in his expressions, rather than the blank and vacant looks we’re current getting.

The Norwegian staging is perfect for the song.  If Copenhagen features LCD screens, I expect stormy clouds that eventually clear to reveal sunny blue skies. Nevertheless, it’s Carl, rather than the staging, that will make or break Norway’s 2014 result.

Will Norway threaten the top of the scoreboard?

  • Qualification History
  • Final Performance
  • Allies
Since the introduction of the new semi-final format, Norway have failed to qualify twice in seven attempts. 72% qualification success.

Highest semi-final score: 201 (2009: Alexander Rybak – Fairytale)
Lowest semi-final score: 30 (2011: Stella Mwangi – Haba Haba)
Average semi-final finishing position: 8th (8.4)
Average semi-final score: 102 points

Norway has finished in the top-10 four times since 2004.

Highest score (since 2004): 387 (2009: Alexander Rybak – Fairytale)
Lowest score (since 2004): 3 (2004: Knut Anders Sørum – High)
Average final position: 11th
Average final score: 120 points

Average Points Received

Iceland – 5.8
Latvia – 5.3
Sweden – 5.1
San Marino – 8.6
Estonia – 5.0
Denmark – 4.6
Azerbaijan – 4.4
San Marino – 4.3
Poland – 4.3
Armenia – 4.2
Ukraine – 4.1

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  1. tis a a beautiful song, beautifully sung.

  2. It is a great song.Watch the ticker tape come down though and then wonder if you can see it as the winners refrain at ESC.I cant see it.3-6th probably but not a winner IMO.

  3. Who let off a squeaky fart at 2:56 in the above video?

  4. It’s a great song for radio, but not live and not for Eurovision. He wasn’t great tonight and His look isn’t doing the song any favor’s either as far as I’m concerned. Have it very red and at the prices it’s at won’t be making it green. Think the prices on this and Armenia are both crazy

    • I agree, I find it hard to believe Armenia and Norway are the two rather clear frontrunners. Both are solid songs for sure, but especially Norway I just cant see winning. Armenia has a better shot I think, but the song has very slow build-up and it’s super repetitive. Armenia also has a song which has a lot of potential to make an excellent who by staging it right.

      I myself feel like Hungary and Sweden are most likely to take it down. And if I had to chose one I guess I’d go with Hungary. He has to stop making faces though.

      • Carl lost in two of the regions voting.His votes are the same as Adelens last year.
        The market cant see a winner so have priced in the 3 songs that are probably most friendly at the moment.There is some massive value on the win market on BF right now and some ludicrous prices im getting matched on in the top 10 market as well.
        We need to be on the ball and watch for songs that grow.
        Id expect some huge price swings as we move to Copenhagen and rehearsals.

        • Excellent point Durham – if Carl really was a Eurovision winner in waiting, the vote would have been more unanimous. However the final vote was supporting him in an overwhelming majority. It appears to go on an exact number of phone calls, (which I love,) so you have to bear the population of each region in mind. Obviously Oslo is going to decide it.

          It should be noted though – and don’t quote me on exact numbers – the voting figures were rather low this year compared to last. I know that in the past, we’ve had the scores of regional juries added to the grand totals, but a winner usually gets tens of thousands more phone calls than Carl did tonight. This might just be MGP as a show and its promo rather than having any bearing on Carl himself, but it’s worth keeping in mind.

  5. Musically dull, lyrically dull. Doubt I’ll be able to watch Eurovision this year without the aid of something more mind-altering (and less legal) than alcohol. It’s all shite.

    • Yes, this year is turning up very dull. I’m having what you’re having. It looks like one of the worst contests during the last decade or so :/ I dont see Carl in top4 even without majot improvement..

    • It really is incredible Andy how bad this year is.Its not just a poor year its the worst iv ever seen going back 40 years.
      However on a plus side it makes the final wide open.That means for punters there will be some big price shocks in places.
      Still a top 10,top 4,winner out there whatever the quality.

      There are several songs getting new versions with potential as well and they are sitting in the 100s+ region and 10s+ top 10.This isnt a year for getting everything right,its a year for getting some big prices landed i think.

  6. This is a typical “gem”, just like ‘Birds’ from Anouk last year. It will qualify…..and it has a great shot of ending in the Top 10. But within the TOP 10, I can only see it ending in the bottom 5 of the TOP 10. Like so many other “Gems”. Ukraine 2010, Belgium 2010, Germany 2011, Estonia 2012, Germany 2012, Italy 2013, Hungary 2013 and Netherlands 2013.

    Yes, it won’t be unnoticed in Copenhagen. And I am happy fans can pick up quality entries up as well. But it’s not a winner. It’s a typical “Bottom 5 of the TOP 10”-er.

  7. Bottom 5 of the TOP 10 should be a term.

  8. It’s worth nothing that he was put 2nd in the running order in the Gullfinalen, while the previous two MGP winners performed 4th (last). One might suspect that he might’ve had a more commanding lead in the first voting round and NRK thought that putting him 2nd would make the result more close and exciting.

    Also, Sweden had their lowest voting numbers in years as well and many people don’t seem to be panicking too much about their chances.

  9. nervous and shaky vocals which may get worse on the big night……8th/9th….

  10. There’s a lot of potential here, but the presentation needs to be a lot better. At the moment it’s going down the ‘intense’ avenue rather than the ‘tender’ one and while it’s a very fine line Iceland 2013 showed the perils of falling on the wrong side of it.

    Still I’ll watch rehearsals with interest – I don’t think it can win but based on the presentation it is going to present good value either way. Poor presentation and it can bomb, good presentation and it can top 5 imo.

    • But he can’t sing in tune, that;s the problem. Especially when he gets louder and passionate the intonation is really bad. Either he does therapy with a tuning fork before May 10th or it will bomb. Would like to have heard Johnny Logan do this…now he COULD sing.

      • I don’t think the vocals are that bad early on, but yes as the intensity ramps up it gets messier and messier. One i’ll be interested in for rehearsals nonetheless.

  11. Oh ello Beanie. You can tell it’s Easter bank holiday weekend. Got your 2014 picks sorted?

    • I’m nothing if not predictable…I think I post at the exact same day/hour/minute every year 😉

      The contrasting fortunes of Malta and Iceland last year have been playing on my mind a lot over the past 12 months. Other than the English language aspect Iceland was by far the the better song, odds on for top ten, yet was squarely trounced by Gianluca and his monstrous ears, even in the jury vote.

      I’d hooked onto it during the semi final based on my girlfriends reaction to the opening 30 seconds of Malta – she couldn’t stop smiling and saying how much she loved him and I realised she was barely even listening to the song. The lyrics didn’t matter at all, the vocals didn’t matter, the smile and the upbeat song had made an unbreakable connection and secured Malta’s best finish for the best part of a decade within the first 30 seconds. So simple, so obvious, yet in the depths of our analysis we can sometimes miss it.

      So this year for the best bits of value i’m focusing on the good(and bad) examples of engaging with the viewer. A lot of eurovision analysis looks at how much they look down the camera and stops there. Thats undoubtedly important, yet Iceland looked straight down the camera more than anyone and failed to make any sort of connection. I’ll need to wait till rehearsals to uncover the real gems, but based on all aspects of viewer engagement from styling to smiling there will be some out there.

      • Well Iceland last year struggled against the other ballads. Plus the Scandie vote was stretched between Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

        Gianluca and ByeAlex only jumped out to us in the press centre during the semi-finals too. I found that every artist raised them game for the live shows. Both Gianluca and ByeAlex were underwhelming during rehearsals.

        • Yes, there’s certainly a myriad of other factors at play in the results of the two countries, I just think the viewer connection angle is one that receives too little attention (and therefore represents significant value.) Factors such as song strength, vocal ability, friendly votes etc are typically well considered before the off.

  12. Here’s another copy of the rehearsal video:

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