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.