First Listen: Agnete is Norway’s Pick for Stockholm

Does Norway have what it takes to break through to the Eurovision final with Agnete's "Icebreaker"?

Chalk it up to my Scandinavian heritage, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the Nordic nations in Eurovision.  There’s something so well crafted about Scandi-pop that it’s hard not to root for it in a contest dedicated to songcraft.  Norway and Sweden in particular always seem to be good about taking what’s going on in pop and giving it enough of a Eurovision twist to stand out (even if the crowd isn’t quite ready for it – I still thought “Haba Haba” was top 10 material).  This year, after “A Monster Like Me”‘s okay showing in the final, they’re going with something slightly more uptempo in Agnete’s “Icebreaker”:

Norway had a few great entries in the MGP this year, but I’m not sure I would have initially pegged “Icebreaker” to win.  I find the tempo shift between verses and chorus a little too jarring for my taste, but Agnete does a great job with the song, and I like how literal the metaphor is used here, especially for a country with a major shipping port like Norway.  It’s very on brand.

I’d maybe be concerned about the similarity between this song and something like Loreen’s “Euphoria” (which I hear major echoes of throughout the song), but the staging here feels different enough from that (and from every other country that’s shamelessly copying the “interact with on-screen elements” approach Sweden used last year) that I think there’s enough to stand out in this performance and take Norway to the finals, if not the top 10.

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