Is Carl Espen enough of a “Silent Storm” to bring Norway another Eurovision victory?
Song Title: “Silent Storm”
Artist: Carl Espen
Semi-Final: Second, Position 3
Last year’s entry: “I Feed You My Love” – Margaret Berger (3rd Place)
Norway is a little harder to predict performance-wise than their neighbor, Sweden. While Sweden remains a powerhouse1, Norway is willing to take risks (and incorporate influences from African and Middle Eastern music) in ways that sometimes fall flat when on a EBU-wide stage. Last year’s entry seemed like a potential dark horse – Margaret Berger’s “I Feed You My Love” sounded so unlike the rest of the competition that I saw it potentially taking the crown from Denmark. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Norway return to that well, but they found another entry in Carl Espen’s “Silent Storm” that, while not identical, could pull off another strong performance.
I’m not sure I’d call this song my favorite in the competition (and I know Mike wouldn’t, based on his First Listen), but I see why it could go over big. Carl Espen’s performance in the Norwegian final definitely had what I’d call the Susan Boyle Effect2 – that voice is coming out of him? There’s a quiet power to the ballad, and it builds nicely without needing a crazy amount of vocal gymnastics3. This entry seems ready to please the juries from a musicianship standpoint, although I agree with Mike that spicing up the performance with a few extra people on stage couldn’t hurt. This song is crying out for some contemporary dancers interpreting the lyrics in the background, Norway – don’t disappoint us.
What might hurt Norway in the semifinals is the way voting pots have fallen this year. Of Norway’s nordic voting buddies, Denmark, Sweden, and Iceland are all in the first semi-final, leaving only Finland to give some guaranteed points. Depending on how the staging and performance of the song goes, if there’s not enough support from the remainder of Europe, this could surprise me by just missing the finals.
My forecast for the Grand Final looks stormy, but that’s not a 100% chance.