If there is one song from this year that is going to go viral on TikTok and elsewhere, it is “Give That Wolf a Banana” by Subwoolfer. I would also say that this has the potential to be a controversial ranking place, but a song like this is bound to be polarising and I’ve certainly seen plenty of people place this lower. To no-one’s real surprise, given that it was public vote only, it romped to the win in the Norwegian national final.
The identities of “Jim” and “Keith”, who along with “DJ Astronaut” make up Subwoolfer, have to date been kept secret from the public though the fandom has of course been doing some detective work and there has been both rumour and possible evidence (that I have seen first hand) that Ben Adams, former member of British-Norwegian band A1, might be one of the disguised front men. That intrigue inside, what we have here is a very catchy, social media friendly pop track complete with dance routine – and well, you get the picture!
This clearly is and will go down a storm with many members of the public, both within in the fandom and for the casual watcher of the Saturday grand final. The costumes, the dance, the earworm tune, the nonsensical but easy to remember lyrics, all will make people notice and remember. It’s a fun song, and I don’t skip over it in my Spotify list.
With that all said, why you may ask, do I have this rather low? Well, I’m not against fun, frivolous or pure novelty entries, but this does feel quite cynical, contrived and controlled. The social media content they are making connected with the other acts/entries is appreciated but it all feels very planned and very deliberate rather than spontaneous. I prefer it when the fun/novelty/frivolous ones become popular through by accident or organically and/or have at least some message behind the frivolity (e.g. Latvia this year on both those points).
There seems little doubt that this will qualify for the final and it is quite possible it will be in the top two or three in terms of public vote. I doubt the jury vote will be substantial, but it will still end up high in the final scoreboard. Fair play to them, though I would feel a bit less begrudging if it didn’t all feel quite so predictable…
Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1960
Appearances (excluding this year): 59
Best result: Winner 1957, 1959, 1969, 1975
2021’s result: 18th