Anyway, everything is (almost) alright in the world again as my favourite-national-final-that-isn't-Melodifestivalen got under way in Stavanger last night with the first six songs.
Firstly, nice opening title sequence, same kind of idea as 2007 but with different music to last year. But oh nooooo....where's Synnove Svabo and Stian Barsnes Simonsen? They're gone, and in their place is some bloke called Per Sundnes. I want Stian back. MGP is not the same without him.
1. Lystgass - Podium: Norsk rock. Now I like rock music but I have to say this washed over me. In Eurovision terms it's still quite daring to select a song like this for a semi-final though, but I can't remember it.
2. Andagassii - Ann-Mari Andersen: Sami trad. Floaty sleeves and a wind machine - check. Think Vanessa Chinitor meets Kathy Barnes from Hollyoaks, with "Hey Ya!"-type hand movements from the backing singers.
3. Colliding - Nicholas Carlie: Swaying rock ballad. My favourite of the night. Good singer, apparently half-Swedish and rather nice. I liked this, even if it wouldn't ever be that successful in Eurovision terms.
4. Baby Don't Stop The Music - Michelle: formulaic 'modern-pop'. A tall girl in a sequinned frock. A bit too deja vu I reckon, but it was OK I guess.
5. Hold On - Tinkerbells: country-flavoured girlie pop. Unfortunately the Shania ship sailed some time ago, but this is ESC and had the right amount of schlagery undertones.
6. Am I Supposed To Love Again - Veronica Akselsen: simple ballad. Strong but old-fashioned melody with traditional accompaniment.
Result: Veronica Akselsen and Ann-Mari Andersen go directly to the final at Oslo Spektrum, and sadly the rather nice Nicholas misses out. Here he is: