Eurovision 2016 Entry: Norway — Agnete — “Icebreaker”

Semifinal 2 is packed with solo female performances - can Agnete break through to the final for Norway with "Icebreaker"?

Country: Norway
Song Title: “Icebreaker”
Artist: Agnete
Second Semi-Final: Position 16
Last year’s entry: “A Monster Like Me” -Mørland & Debrah Scarlett (8th Place)

Norway has been pretty consistent since winning the competition in 2009, only missing the finals in 20111 and missing the final top 10 once in the past five years2.  Recently, they seem to be stuck at #8 – both Carl Epsen’s “Silent Storm” and last year’s “A Monster Like Me” ended the competition in that position.  Is Agnete’s “Icebreaker” what’s needed to break through to another win (or at least the top 5)?

I can’t detect any changes to the song structure or the mix, but the tempo difference between the verses and chorus feels smoother than when I first heard the song, which is a plus.  I’m still digging the charming literalism of the lyrics3) as well.  If there’s one thing I can criticism of the song, it’s that like Moldova’s entry, it feels a little by-the-numbers for Eurovision.  The stuff that truly excites me tends to be entries that build on that and push it to new places at the same time.

Staging-wise, I like what they’re doing with this.  It has the same level of presence that previous winners like “Euphoria” and “Heroes” have had, even if it does seem to be copying them more directly that it should.  Agnete’s live vocals seem competent, so I don’t foresee any problems in winning over juries or televoters.  As far as the lineup (which we now have!), “Icebreaker” is coming right after Ukraine’s “1944” (which has some strong supporters over here) and right before Georgia’s “Midnight Gold”.  This seems fine to me – Ukraine’s entry is a bit stronger, but both this and “1944” seem like they’ll outshine Georgia4.  There’s a lot of solo female performances in this semi-final, but I think “Icebreaker” has what it takes to break through the pack and secure a spot in the finals.

Eurovision Song Contest Second Semi-Final
May 12, 2016

AlbaniaAustraliaBelarusBelgiumBulgariaDenmarkFYR MacedoniaGeorgiaIrelandIsraelLatviaLithuaniaNorwayPolandRomaniaSerbiaSloveniaSwitzerlandUkraine

  1. which I still argue was a miss on the audience’s part  
  2. Tooji’s “Stay”, which I fully agree on rating low  
  3. write what you know, and if you know the difficulties of the shipping industry in Norwegian waters…  
  4. Sorry, Georgia, but not really.  

A Word from Google Ads

  • When I first heard those “charmingly literal” lyrics (“I’ll be your icebreaker / when you’re stuck in frozen water”), it made me laugh out loud, and not in a kind way. This song has really grown on me though, and these days I’m more inclined to think “well, why ELSE would you need an icebreaker?”

    In addition to copying elements from Euphoria and Heroes, I also appreciate the visual callback to Azerbajian 2013’s Hold Me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN3d_V7KVLE

    • I will *always* appreciate the visual of Azerbaijan 2013. So dreamy….