20 February 2022
An infectious beat and silly lines like “before that wolf eats your grandma, give that wolf a banana” was enough to propel Subwoolfer to victory in the final of Melodi Grand Prix 2022. Beyond those characteristics, Give That Wolf A Banana didn’t yield much more, as Subwoolfer head to Turin in May to represent Norway at the Eurovision Song Contest. Perhaps you can point to the equally silly costumes and dance moves adding to the ap-peel, otherwise it’s very limited, especially when NorthKid was the other option in the gold duel (super final).
NorthKid impressed in the semi finals with Someone, and raised their intensity during the MGP final, and then in the gold duel, to make them a compelling alternative for those that valued a fully furnished song than something superficial. Indeed, it proved quite close in the end with Subwoolfer winning by less that 56,000 votes – 368,106 to 312,223.
The one big curiosity about Sufwoolfer is their identity. They are only known as “Keith” and “Jim”, while “DJ Astronaut” is included with them in the songwriting credits and on stage. It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s something to do with Jowst, who represented Norway at Kyiv 2017 with a similar electro-style of song, albeit, not at all silly and far more conventional. The official MGP report list suspects as the Ylvis brothers, Gaute Ormåsen, Ben Adams and Erik and Kriss.
Earlier in the night, Sofie Fjellvang with Made Of Glass and Elsie Bay with Death Of Us made the gold final. The value of this became trivial given the immediate next stage was the announcement of the two super finalists. In previous years there was a round of voting to cut the four to two, whereas in 2022 the only value seems to be officially recognised as a Top 4 finisher. Vote totals aren’t released so real places from third to last aren’t known.
Subwoolfer – Give That Wolf a Banana (Winner)
NorthKid – Someone (Second)
Sofie Fjellvang – Made of Glass (Top 4)
Elsie Bay – Death of Us (Top 4)
01 Oda Gondrosen – Hammer of Thor
I started to like this a little despite its simplistic and repetitive “stole the Hammer of Thor” line. It gets really good through the bridge section. 6/10
02 NorthKid – Someone
As mentioned early, NorthKid really raised the intensity of this very likeable song in the final, and became my main preference to win. Unlucky to slip on a banana peel at the end. 9/10
03 Anna-Lisa Kumoji – Queen Bees
Again, as is often the case, the more you hear them, the more buzz you get from them. It had an infectious beat and the whole bee-thing was cute. I didn’t like the presentation performance at all during the semi finals. 5/10
04 Farida – Dangerous
Unlike her semi final performance, this lacked passion and seemed flat. Perhaps it’s one of those songs that impresses on first listen and then fades away. Or it could be the competition around Farida made her song look weak. Either way, a disappointing finale for someone I hoped would at least reach the gold final. 6/10
05 Sofie Fjellvang – Made Of Glass
Now the exact contrast to Farida. Sofie was full of passion and energy, hit the big notes, and got her song a well deserved top 4 place. The slight weakness is the song itself is not as strong NorthKid’s. Good to see Kjetil Mørland with her in the green room. He co-wrote the song with her and was Norway’s Eurovision with Debrah Scarlett in 2015 with A Monster Like Me. 8/10
06 Frode – Black Flowers
Another that improved from the semi final stage. More energy and very strong vocals. The song, being too repetitive, was the letdown. 6/10
07 Christian Ingebrigtsen – Wonder Of The World
Didn’t do anything wrong. Great song and vocals, and a genuine and accomplished performer. Christian just wasn’t wearing a yellow wolf outfit. 8/10
08 Maria Mohn – Fly
One that has really grown on me through the rounds. First the semi final, then the last chance round, and now the final. A minor surprise that Maria didn’t finish top 4 because it had many strong elements that you’d think would ordinarily appeal to Norwegians. Perhaps the Norse mythology vote got split between her and Oda Gondrosen.
09 Subwoolfer – Give That Wolf A Banana
I’ve mentioned the infectious beat, wolf outfits, dance moves and silly lyrics. That’s all there is to it! The most interest from now is learning their identities. 6/10
10 Elsie Bay – Death Of Us
Didn’t come alive until too late, and while Elsie can clearly sing, her voice is a bit whiny for my liking. Reaching top 4 was good in that sense. 7/10
With an average score of 6.8, it was a very strong final, even if there weren’t too many spectacular entries. Online reaction has been very favourable to the winner, so let’s see how Subwoolfer go in Turin.
Last year’s MGP winner Tix made an emotional reprisal of Fallen Angel, which can be seen on the official NRK MGP report, along with videos of all performances (just in case the non-official ones above from Sofie and Elsie get deleted).
My Top 4
I will add some objectivity to the equation and say Norway got it right. While I personally would prefer Maria Mohn to Subwoolfer, realistically, this would never happen. So I’ll just quibble with the final result and say it should have been NorthKid.