Unlike many countries, Norway’s broadcaster did not automatically reselect their 2020 entry and opted for a national final. Perhaps not surprising given Melodi Grand Prix has taken place since 1960. Ulrikke, who won the final last year with fan favourite “Attention“, was offered a place in the 2021 final but declined, leaving the path free for TIX, otherwise know as Andreas Haukeland, to win through, beating Keiino in the two song super final.
Andreas has Tourette’s syndrome, and when younger (and sadly when bullied at school), he was nicknamed “tics” but chose that name as a stage name and persona to take ownership of it. Before he hit big success in Norway as an artist in his own right, he had cowritten the big international hit “Sweet but Psycho” by Ava Max. His victory over fan favourite Keiino perhaps shouldn’t have been surprising given just how popular he is in Norway. There was a lot of nastiness about the time which is was most unfortunate and unfair – but he won fair and square.
As for the song itself, it’s about being rejected by a girl (or girlfriend) and feelings of depression (from which he has often suffered). It’s clearly a very personal song to him and he is the songwriter and co-composer. While I appreciate that, personally, I’m not a fan of the chorus in particular – underpinned by autotune (deliberately) it grates when stretched over a whole chorus and at mid-tempo. Overall I find it quite a generic Nordic national final type song and somewhat clichéd.
I may be in a minority though – at the time of writing it’s into the top 10 in the betting. Both he and the song have a lot of popular support in Norway – what I don’t know at this stage is if it will translate to pan-European popularity. I think this will need the televote to boost it over jury scores, but at the moment wisdom seems to be it will qualify for the final (but I won’t be too shocked either if it does not).
Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1960
Appearances (excluding 2020 and this year): 58
Best result: Winner 1957, 1959, 1969, 1975
2019’s result: 6th