Last week the automatic qualifiers stole the show in Norway, but this Saturday an act that really should have had the AQ final spot, garnered all the attention. After hearing Hero for the first time, it became clear that 2020 MGP finalist Raylee was adhering to the emerging theme of 80s bangers for the 2021 Contest. However the live staging went even further with an electric purple colour palette; Raylee sporting full on Scouser perm and a recreation of the Flashdance water scene. Tubular!

Given the whole vibe it was a surprise Raylee didn’t come out with a can of “New Coke” in one hand and a huge mobile phone in the other, chanting about the Poll Tax & Thatcher. The 80s theme worked a charm, as she won the second heat joining Blåsemafian & Hazel and the automatic qualifiers in the grand final. Raylee firstly had to beat Maria Solheim with the beguiling Nordlyset in the first duel and then standard issue pop boy Daniel Owen in the final. The other song of the night saw Ketil Stokkan with My Life is OK. Good for him, but in the immediate aftermath of his performance my life was definitely anything but.

What if Willy Wonka…but evil?

If Keiino somewhat overshadowed the other acts in the first show of MGP, The Roop managed to create a full solar eclipse over the other artists during Saturday’s Pabandom iš Naujo!. This wasn’t helped by the fact that most of the entries were so laid back, the playlist is now being used by parents to help babies who can’t sleep. Any memory of the competitive entries were destroyed by the time The Roop performed as the interval act. I’ll be honest, I struggle with the live performance of Discoteque as I did with On Fire. They land on the irritating side of wacky for me…but the song? Discoteque is a proper banger with a message of “dancing alone” we can all get on board with after the last year. Who knows? I may yet be won round. 

And then tonight will see the Israeli selection for Eden Alene’s 2021 entry. We’ve seen a fair few convoluted national final formats in recent years. Be it the withdrawal-athon of Greece 2017 or basically anything Lithuania did up until last year, there’s some odd routes down which broadcasters have trodden. The original plan was to have Eden complete a series of mental, physical, skill and mystery challenges through a succession of four themed zones collecting time pieces that can be used to collect tokens in some kind of dome structure…actually I might be thinking of something else. Well either way they’ve now they’ve settled on a three song online vote that’ll be revealed tonight. WILL YOU START THE SONGS PLEASE!

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