Review: “Melodi Grand Prix 2022” – Semi-Final 1 (Norway)

This Saturday, Norwegian broadcaster NRK will hold the first semi-final in “Melodi Grand Prix 2022″.
4 artists will compete for a certain spot in the grand final. The 3 elimianted acts will have the oppurtinity to fight for an additional spot (with all other eliminated acts).

So let’s dive into the 4 competing songs of this week!

#1. Eline Noelia – “Ecstasy”

It’s an electro dance-pop song, with some elements of 1990s music.
The song starts with electric keyboards playing, with a build-up of an electronic beat.
The introduction ends with a massive sound of something that’s heard like a digital illustration of a crush.
Eline opens the first verse with slow singing. She breaks each line with some vocal improvisations.
The pre-chorus includes wind instruments. She repeats some words in the lyrics.
The pre-chorus is a little bit faster. In the chorus, she opens her voice to a wide range. It is much more powerful. The electro-dance beat follows the melody and in some sense takes over it.
She cuts the pronunciation of the words. Sometimes it can sound shouty, but I still like it.
The chorus fades out with a low beat that’s composed of guitar stringing as well. She whispers before the second verse. The “low pitch” beat continues into the other parts of the song.
Therefore, it is a little faster compared to the first verse. We can hear some backing vocals as well.
At this time the pre-chorus is shortened, so we have the chorus again. It is a piece of radio-friendly dance-pop. In its second half, it sounded like a power ballad. She navigates her voice to a softer place. Then again, we get the powerful chorus with the dance beat. The song ends with a “cracky” beat.
In my opinion, this is a good song that is worth a spot in the selection. It is radio-friendly and can be something that Sia would like to write (in style). There are some “shouty” or too bombastic moments in the song, but personally I appreciate it. Eline sounds good in the studio, let’s hope for the same in the live show.

#2. Frode Vassel– “Black Flowers”

It’s a mid-tempo pop rock song.
The song starts with an instrumental part, composed of drums playing and synthesized guitar playing.
The first verse starts with the semi-smokey voice of Frode.
The electric guitar and drums pump the melody of the first verse.
For the pre-chorus, the rate is faster. The melody is a little bit basic and it seems like a connection section to the chorus and nothing more. In the chorus, another “channel” is added.
The energy increases as the chorus progresses. We can hear some backing vocals, and his voice reaches impressive heights.
The second verse has a more “rocky” vibe compared to the first one.
The second verse is similar to the first one and mostly based on drums.
The bridge includes a sampling of the choros’ first line with the other lines.
It is followed by a silent section with keyboards playing when Frode almost whispers the singing parts. He uses a high voice and creates a little bit of drama, until he shouts with a high voice.
Thereafter, we have the pre-chorus and the chorus once again.
The song ends with its name.
The style and arrangement sounds like a pop rock hymn from the middle of the 1990s.
It sounds like something we’ve heard a lot of times in the past.
It has some good moments, and I really like his voice. The lyrics are a little bit cliche.
To stand out, there should be an interesting staging, which won’t only be playing the guitar with a black leather outfit.

#3. Mira Craig – “We Still Here”

It’s a mid-tempo ethnic pop song.
The song starts with an instrumental part composed of wind instruments.
With an atmosphere of tribal-Latin music, the singer opens the song.
The wind instrument section repeats as part of the melody. The singer sings it with a lot of vibrations in her singing. The chorus arrives immediately after the verse . She gets the support of backing vocalists. The chorus itself is based on 2 lines that keep on repeating.
The oriental somehow beats pump all the way and are used as the instrumental section after the chorus. The second verse is based on the same form, but we can hear a more complex and wide structure of the instruments. Pre-chorus is short and it precedes the chorus.
This time, the chorus includes some opera singing which pushed it even more.
I’m not sure about the blend of Opera singing, this loud beat and her vocals in general align together.
The production and oriental beat reminded me a little bit of North Macedonia song in Junior Eurovision 2021
I must confess that the lyrics really bother me here, for some moments it felt like a batch of cliches – “we’re still here, have no fear” and etc.
I really wanted to enjoy the song, but I just couldn’t.

#4. TrollfesT – “Dance Like a Pink Flamingo”

It’s an upbeat metal folk song.
The first part is the chorus. The song starts with a rock flavour: powerful husky voice of the leas singer, electric and bass guitar that designs the sound. However, it is still accessible to non-metal fans. The first verse is namely based on growling and shouting. The lad singer uses his smoley voice at high speed which makes it hard to understand what the lyrics are. In the pre-chorus we can hear singing from other members of the band. The part that comes after it is much more festive.
However, very quickly, we are back in the chorus |(from the introduction). The chorus is repetitive and again focuses on guitars. The verse after it, has a stronger and louder melody. Nevertheless, this time we don’t have the exaggerated growlings. By changing the way they play the guitar, they create a short festive connection part. The bridge relies on deep bass guitar (sometimes as a solo).
The song ends in a glamour rock style with growlings and shoutings.
I’m sure the band knew what they wanted the song to be.
It is composed of many parts that are allocated lengthwise and crosswise.
I would have removed the majority of the growlings, which has nothing to do with a song that aims to cheer us up.
Moreover, it might be unpopular to say, but I’m tired of all the troll acts.
We should be pluralists to all music genres and styles, but C’mon it is a childish song.

My Personal Ranking

I’m not that satisfied with the line-up this time. Here is my ranking:

  1. Eline Noelia – “Ecstasy”
  2. Frode – “Black Flowers”
  3. Mira Craig – “We Still Here”
  4. TrollfesT – “Dance Like a Pink Flamingo”


I think the winner of the semi-final will be Eline Noelia or TrollfesT.

You can read all about “Melodi Grand Prix 2022” here

You’re welcome to read all about Eurovision 2022 on our homepage

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Doron Lahav is 30-year-old, who lives in Israel. Doron has been watching the Eurovision Song Contest since early 2000s. Doron works as a Data Scientist and shows interest in singing and writing.

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