Eurovision First Listen: Carl Espen’s “Silent Storm” is Coming in from Norway

Norway's "Silent Storm" by Carl Espen is considered one of the favorites for the Eurovision Song Contest. Really?

Norway’s recent history in the Eurovision Song Contest has some high highs and low lows. The country still holds the record for highest score for a winning song, thanks to 2009’s “Fairytale”. The country finished in 20th place when it hosted in 2010, failed to qualify in 2011, barely qualified in 2012 where it finished in last place, and bounced back to the Top 5 with “I Feed You My Love” last year.1 Where does “Silent Storm” by Carl Espen fit on Norway’s continuum?

Of the entries of the last five years, “Silent Storm” matches most closely with 2010’s effort.2 Unlike the 2010 entry, this song is considered a favorite to win. Huh? Yes, dude singing a ballad is a bit of a novelty at Eurovision, particularly this year, but the sentiment of this song rings hollow. I suppose there may be a backstory here that is filled with all the feels, but a general audience isn’t going to know that when they watch the semi-final and/or the final.

The push for this as a favorite reminds me of how everyone thought France was going to win in 2011 because “Sognu” was opera and the juries were going to eat it up. Aside from the fact that particular theory completely ignores televoting, an underwhelming performance sunk the entry. If the staging in Copenhagen matches what Norway voted for, audiences will not respond. Just because Slow TV works for one country doesn’t mean it will work for the rest of Europe. This would be where I would suggest the Norwegian delegation focuses its energy.

  1. For the record, I still loathe last year’s entry.  
  2. Though, real talk, Espen doesn’t hold a candle to teh pretty of Didrik Solli-Tangen. I’m not sure anyone does.  

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