Two Goofy Wolves on Their Road to Turin:
Norway`s Eurovision Song Contest 2022 Entry
Only a bit left until Europe’s biggest music-competition, the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), will keep millions of spectators glued to their TV-screens.
Norway has already participated sixty times since 1960. However, it cannot really brag with success, even though it brought the trophy back three times already. Rather, the Scandinavian country defends its place as record-holder in finishing last (11 times since its first ever participation) as well as being the country that received zero points the most often, alongside Austria. Can this dubious streak be broken by the duo “Subwoolfer” with their song “Give This Wolf A Banana” this year?
Last year the Italian rock-band Måneskin reaped in the prestigious prize, bringing the competition to their home-country of Italy. There the placid city of Turin will turn into a buzzing festival-hotspot in the late weeks of May. The host-city is, even in human terms, comparatively young: it is said to have been founded mere 28 years B.C. by the Romans.
Norway’s entry to this year’s ESC allegedly has some years more on its clock. The duo “Subwoolfer”, according to their own statements, started their career no shorter than 4.5 billion (that is 4.5 with nine zeroes behind it) in a place far, but not too far away: on the Moon. The band’s main vocalists, who apparently go by the names of Keith and Jim, are to be easily distinguished from the other participants of the ESC, as they are sporting the looks of two “intergalactic space wolves” with facemasks resembling a hybrid of foxes and robots. Whether this is their true appearance or just a clever PR-stunt riding the wave of the in recent years ever more successful TV-format “The Masked Singer” is left to everyone’s own judgment.
Some even speculate that Subwoolfer could be nothing more than part of a marketing campaign for a new series in Norway. Given that science has not (yet) found any evidence of intergalactic felines to possibly exist, Norway is abuzz with speculating about whose faces are behind the brightly yellow masks of the “greatest band in the universe” (quote: Subwoolfer). ESC-superfans, feuilletonist and many more have up until now brought forward two theories of who won the Norwegian predecision “Melodi Grand Prix” by 56 thousand votes before the second-placed “North Kid”.
The basis for the first theory needs us to dive into memory and go back some years. Not 4.5 billion, but still some time that feels like ages. Back in 2013, two brothers under the artist-name Ylvis took over the dancefloors around the world with their one-hit wonder “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)”. Subwoolfer is believed to be the latest reincarnation of the Norwegian comedy-duo consisting of Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker. Sense of humor of the brothers fits one on one with the song-lyrics of Norway’s ESC-contribution “Give That Wolf a Banana”. Moreover, both the style of rhymes as well as the rhythm of the song remind the listener strongly of the “Fox Song”. The upbeat electro-hit with a strong bass-foundation not only has the potential for becoming the successor of Ylvis’ former hit, but also to go viral on social media. “Give That Wolf a Banana” has already taken off on TikTok, as the choreography is easy to grasp and certainly to be rehearsed in a matter of minutes by dance enthusiastic TikTok users.
Whereas “The Fox” caught off by “just” having a catchy tune, “The Wolf” convinces on top of that also with its choreo, which is performed on stage by dancers, whose costumes seem to be a weird hybrid of the movie-hits “The Minions” and “Men in Black”. It may seem odd to combine these two, yet upon closer inspection certain similarities can be made out. The storylines of both movies center around crimes that were to be solved by comically helpless main characters with the help of trusty friends and gadgets from out of this world. Jumping off the movie-screen back into the music industry now and coming to the last hint that could be the evidence of Ylvis being the mastermind behind “Give That Wolf a Banana”. No, it is not the zoological family-ties between foxes and wolves or Ylvis’ affiliation for animal songs. This would be too farfetched (or maybe not?). What got the attention is the fact that Subwoolfer is signed to Universal Music Norway, which happens to be the record label of, you guessed correctly, Ylvis.
The second theory of who might try their chance for Norway at the ESC semi-final on May 10th is based on attentive observers having spotted two cars in front of a record-studio in Bærum near Oslo at the same time that Subwoolfer and NRK recorded the backup performance for the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest. The vehicles are registered to the names of Ben Adams and Gaute Ormåsen. The names might not ring a bell instantly, as they are known to a rather particular and small audience. The latter of the two artists mentioned, Ormåsen, already has some experience with TV-music-shows as he already participated in the Music Grand Prix two times. Prior to that, he took part in the second season of “Norwegian Idol”, where he placed second and which made him rise to fame in 2003.
British singer Ben Adams is said to be the owner of the second car that has been spotted in front of the recording-studio. What connects those two is their relation to songwriter Carl-Henrik Wahl. Not only did he write hits for each of the two singers individually, but also for the 1990s boyband A1, which Adams was a member of. Furthermore, Wahl is listed as contact at the bottom of Subwoolfer’s official homepage, that is spare of any further information about the duo. [The songwriter is described to have “an affinity for upbeat and energic (ibid.) music”](aa). Accumulating those facts makes this second theory ever more plausible.
Notwithstanding all the wild speculations about the background of Norway’s 2022 ESC entry: the duo “Subwoolfer” knows how to market itself, not only by its admittedly catchy song. They have understood how to tap into any possibility to stir up some discussion about them and their music, with interviews that could very well also be comedy-slams and a presence across social media platforms that clearly has their stamp on it - with wordplays, cross-references to other pop-culture phenomenons and by questioning the necessity of clearly distinguishing between the art-formats of music and comedy.
One question, that the two cannot answer yet, however: Who will win the Eurovision Song Contest 2022?