WORTH A LOOK?: ****
Sweden may have beaten Norway at the last Eurovision – John Lundvik 5th to KEiiNO’s 6th in 2019 – but the quality of Norwegian’s selection show Melodi Grand Prix means it’s hot on the heels of greatest show on earth Melodifestivalen.
- Read on for reasons including how Raylee has stiff competition on her hands in Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix in 2021
Raylee won Melodi Grand Prix’s 2nd semi final in January with the Flashdance-esque Hero which shares 1 of its co-writers, Anderz Wrethov, with Lundvik’s 2019 entry Too Late For Love. He’s also co-written 4 songs in this year’s Melodifestivalen including the Heat 1 opener.
Hero reminds us very much of Michael Sembello’s Maniac mashed up with The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights and the iconic pose Raylee pulls towards the end of the performance evokes the 1983 film as well as probably only being quite so successful in this Covid-19 affected year without a live audience.
Raylee gives a supple and athletic performance that is only occasionally let down a little by a vocal that cannot quite keep up with the quality of the physical dexterity on display.
It would make a quality addition to this year’s already-aired 4 of 41 Eurovision entries but it a far from certain winner. Indeed Raylee was top 4 in last year’s final with the fine entry Wild which drew some misguided criticism for cultural appropriation (see below) when it actually seemed more Lion King tribute.
She’s on safer, 80s-inspired ground with Hero but she’s up against 2019 victors KEiiNO, a song of the week for us last month, TIX’s Ut av mørket (Out Of The Darkness), already a hit in Norway, and Kaja Rode’s impressive Feel Again.
The MGP final takes place 20/2 and there are still some new songs to be aired from it on Monday (8/2/21).