Eagerly awaiting a decent betting opportunity to get stuck into this year, the rumours suggested Norway might be that golden nugget.
Their broadcaster, NRK, has presented this year’s lineup to the expectant media and by jove they didn’t disappoint: a 100% improvement on recent years, bearing in mind the last few years were terrible, but winners? Nope!
1. Stella Mwangi & Alexandra Rotan – You Got Me
A happy pill to start the show. The infectious, foot-tapping, Swingfly-esque arrangement could be incredibly popular provided Mwangi & Rotan are able to deliver it live and maintain vocal clarity during what will be a frenetic 3-minutes. You Got Me, though!
Unibet offering 7s. That’s a bit low now the running order has been finalised.
2. Alexander Walmann – Talk To The Hand
I can’t work out if I’m on the wrong side of public opinion here, because all I can hear is lightweight pop. Talk To The Hand, Alex, because my face definitely ain’t listening! Maybe this will come alive in the arena, or maybe it’ll be overshadowed by the bolder, grab-you-by-the-balls pop later in the running order. I’m with the latter at the moment and slot-2 will be difficult to standout from.
Unibet are 9s.
3. Ida Maria – Scandilove
Ida’s Scandilove was available in preview form a week or so prior to Monday’s reveal, and while fun and playful in approach, I worry about its transition to the live stage. Ida’s vocals are fine, but it’s so easy for a song like this to have the energy sucked out of it with poor staging. Having said that, it’s a real fan favourite and surprisingly good value in the odds, given how memorable it is. If a song is the to challenge from this point in the running order, this could be it.
Unibet are currently offering 15s.
4. Nicoline – Light Me Up
It incredibly difficult to standout in the middle of this run of up-beat songs. Nicoline sort of manages this on song alone, with Unibet’s 75s confirming my own suspicion that Light Me Up will fail to spark any sort of voting momentum to reach the super-final.
5. Tom Hugo – I Like I Like I Like
Tom Hugo is an unfortunate example of a song not fitting the face singing it. It’s like the local school caretaker was given a song written for Basim. As a song, I Like I Like I Like is as much a non-event as Talk To The Hand.
It’s no surprise to see both Unibet and Betsafe price Hugo at over 60s.
6. Charla K – Stop the Music
Charla’s Stop the Music is a perfectly nice, gentle pop-ballad that has the potential to look and sound quite slick on stage. It’s the sort of song Denmark voted for in 2012; Should’ve Known Better that only just scraped into the Eurovision final. At this point in the running order, Charla could be a dark horse.
The 15s available at Unibet looks about right, but Charla could definitely make the super-final, ultimately losing out to one of the bigger fan favourites.
7. Alejandro Fuentes – Tengo Otra
Just at the point when Spanish-language pop is in vogue, you can bet your life it doesn’t come from Spain as they blindly miss every chance of success in their quest to occupy the bottom-half of the Eurovision scoreboard. Even so, Norway would fail to qualify with this anodyne example of the genre.
Unibet have priced him at 7s which looks a tad low regardless of the running order announcement.
8. Vidar Villa – Moren Din
Time for a cool-down filler-song. Moren Din ticks the foot-tapping box popular in the Nordic regions, but it’s probably a tad too uneventful to standout despite the fruity video content – the novelty has probably worn off by now and international juries will tend to overlook it.
Bookmakers are currently offering around 15s.
9. Rebecca Thorsen – Who We Are
A fan who listened to the songs before release suggested Rebecca could win Eurovision with Who We Are. It has the positive feel of Erland Bratland’s Thunderstruck from 2015, which was, in my opinion, far superior. Both songs fit the lazy ‘it sounds Eurovision-y’ description, yet the Contest has moved on from these nauseating, feel-good Disney pop-ballads. In terms of production, it’s one of the better entries, but it’s far from being a certain winner.
Current prices range from 2.0-3.0.
10. Alexander Rybak – That’s How You Write A Song
Strictly speaking, Rybak hasn’t fallen foul of Trade Descriptions here: he has written a song. Opinion on his contribution ranges from “it’s memorable” to “what effing hell was he thinking?” How much goodwill for Rybak still exists in Norway? Surely Norewgians can spot a dud in the same way Swedes rejected Loreen’s pontifical Statements. It will depend if the live version of this ego-driven, Love Love Peace Peace-wannabe pastiche can break from its démodé, Siegal-cum-Waterman mould. Add to that accusations of plagiarism from an old Anne Gadegaard song and it’s hard to see why NRK gave the song such prominence other than to garner cheap PR.
Unibet has Rybak second-favourite at 4s. It looks a lay to me.
The four-act super-final remains. At this point, I expect to see Rebecca as the main challenger for the win with Charla K and one of Ida and Stella & Alexandra making the super-final. To fulfil the XY chromosome allocation, I would pick one of Vidar or Alejandro to take up the last super-final spot. The public and juries need their hearing checking if Rybak gets in.
Once the four super-final acts are chosen, the public will decide the outcome. And given the quality on offer, I reckon any of the four could take the win. All will before clearer once we see staging and rehearsal reports.
UPDATE 07/03/2018 [super-final change]
After all finalists have performed, the top-4 favourite of each international jury member will be announced. The juries account for 50% of the vote. The actual top-4 will then announced in random order.
Following that, the top-2 will be announced and phone lines will reopen. Votes will be carried over from the previous super-final round.