So technically 10 days of this wretched year have already passed. However, it wasn’t until NRK’s press conference today, giving us our automatic qualifiers and first semi final songs, that it felt like 2021 had finally kicked into gear.

THANK YOU NORWAY!!!

The biggest reveal of the lot was a return to MGP for everyone’s favourite joiking televote winner, Keiino. A return for Alexandra Rotan had been rumoured and technically that was correct. Only she’ll be joined by her bandmates Tom Hugo and, serotonin in human form, Fred Buljo. With a tour and album under their belts since Tel Aviv, Keiino have been amongst the busier former Eurovision successes (busier than many winners!). Only time will tell if their entry Monument will live up the glory of Spirit in the Sky.

Nothing to see here, just Keiino hanging out with one of their best pals.

Also returning to Melodi Grand Prix was last year’s dance anthem based Game of Thrones-agram, Rein Alexander. It’s no secret that his song last year was my favourite to win MGP and one of my favourites across the whole 2020 season. In fact given the shittery of what followed it was probably one of my highlights of the year full stop. His song, Eyes Wide Open, is co-written by the ever so mysterious Mørland so given the pedigree there, I would bet on Rein being the main challenger to the crown.

Capt. Firehand hath returned!

Of the songs to look forward to in the first semi…it’s a mixed bunch. Grace Dent lookalike Beady Belle’s song Playing With Fire in no way lives up to such an interesting title. Stina Talling’s Elevate is the most sensible one of the four. It’s a decent listen that may be elevated (sorry!) with a captivating stage show. Then there’s The Sunstroke Project ft. Olia Tira Blåsemafian ft. Hazel with their entry Let Loose, a fun three minute brass bop-alonga bonanza. It’s lots of fun and will go down will in front of a live au…oh yeah, the thing. Then lastly there’s Jorn who has the look of a sort of midlife-crisis Johnny Logan, or Johnny Logan as he’s known.

With a title like Faith Bloody Faith you get all the lyrics you’d expect…

” we follow like flocks of sheep to the bitter end”

“WILL THE HUMAN RACE EVER LEARN!”

“God versus God versus man versus life, faith bloody faith”

It’s a song of two halves. I like all the heavy metal trappings but the lyrics do sound a little bit like one of the those men with a loud haler and a sandwich board proclaiming it’s the end of days. Apologies to Jorn if I’ve prematurely revealed your staging for Saturday’s semi-final.

Either way, it finally feels like we’re under way with this year and this season (sorry, FiKmas). ROLL ON SATURDAY!

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