It’s the time of year when the Post-Eurovision depression is in full swing, but there’s no better cure than to reminisce! Together with ESCDaily Editor, Dennis Van Eersel, we will be discussing each of this year’s competing nations – from their results to how we think they could improve in the future!
Predictions, Personal Scores and Results
Results: 18th place, Final
Did Norway live up to expectations?
D: I think Norway lived up to the expectations, since their performance was pretty much as we could expect. Almost an exact copy of TIX winning performance in the Norwegian final. He added some details, like taking off his sunglasses and showing his actual tics. The song deserved a better placing, but because of the gimmick nature of the presentation, it was expected that Norway would be pulled down by the jury this year.
A: I know you considered the fact that the jury would pull Norway down, but I certainly didn’t think it was going to be that pronounced. Thank god for the public vote, because I would have been lost without Norway in the final. This was everything I could have asked for, from the vocal to visual performance. TIX performed the song incredibly well, and the staging was elevated from the MGP performance. One of my highlights from the contest for sure, however I was disappointed with the final result.
How do you personally feel about the song for Norway at Eurovision 2021?
D: Andreas is a very gifted songwriter and I think the song ‘Fallen Angel’ did not always get the appreciation it deserved, because at first people might not have picked up on the high quality because of the angels and demons and visual power on screen. Not justly, because I think Norway had one of the stronger songs of the year. Andreas wrote some other great Norwegian songs for himself, as well as the big hit for Ava Max of course, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise he penned down something great for Eurovision as well.
A: While I think the visual package may have been lost on Eurovision audiences, I do think the song was one of the better entries this year. This is currently the only song from this year’s contest I still listen to, and the spark just doesn’t seem to be dimming at all. I love both the Norwegian and English language versions, and while it could be too early to say, I’m still going to say it – this is one of my favourite Eurovision entries of all time.
Could Norway have done anything different?
D: Since this style of presentation gave TIX the victory at the Norwegian final, to the surprise of many (except for Anita), it is perfectly understandable he kept this game plan for Rotterdam as well. Yes, TIX could have done things differently and tune down the performance a bit, because Norway should know that juries tend to vote down acts close to gimmicks. But they decided not to, and I understand why. The act matched the theme of the song and helped it stand out.
A: While Norway could have reduced the gimmick factor of the performance, at that point, it would have lost the essence of TIX. During the Eurovision season we began to learn more about the character of TIX, and Andreas, the real person behind the glasses. I think taking off his glasses during the performance would have touched many people watching, and that for me was the subtle but powerful moment to really secure a strong public vote. Ok yes, the results weren’t as strong as what Norway could have delivered, but I personally don’t think anything needed to be changed about this performance.
What can Norway do to ensure success in future years?
D: I think Norway is on the right track in recent years and can easily stick to the way they approach Eurovision currently with a national final where the strongest acts already have a place in, and some others get the chance to qualify in diverse semi finals. However, they could look into their connection with the jury vote. Norway could lend something from the Swedes, and the other way around. It’s amazing to see that Norway has connected to the televote so well in recent years, whilst Sweden always does well in the jury vote.
A: The selection format certainly seems to be working for Norway. A large selection format gives the public a real range of songs, and the nation knows how to pick the better songs. The song quality for Norway has been high in recent years, and because of that, I think the nation is in a good position for future years.
I think that the difference between Norway and Sweden is that Melodifestivalen feels much more produced. Melodifestivalen is there to deliver the best of the best, and the winners always have a super slick performance. Norway can also deliver the same music quality, but the performances never feel as calculated.
Which was better, the live-on-tape performance or the actual performance?
D: There was not a lot of difference, which makes sense. TIX already had his work cut out for the Norwegian final. The live performance wins it for me, just because of that one tiny detail where TIX takes off his glasses and actually connects with the audience at home and showing just what the song and his message is about. A very strong move.
A: While I enjoyed the MGP performance, and it would have been a strong stand-in if TIX could not perform on the Eurovision stage, I still think the nuances of his live performance were much appreciated. The lighting and backing screens at Eurovision added more depth to the performance, and of course, the move with the glasses was the cherry on top.