Initial Review: “Give That Wolf a Banana” by Subwoolfer (Norway)

So, there are people who say Eurovision shouldn’t have entries like this, that it’s a serious contest, not some kind of circus. Well, as someone who has “seriously” in my blog title, I disagree. Novelty acts with hilarious staging have been around in the contest for a while now. If you want serious, go watch the first 10 years of the contest. Eurovision has evolved over the years, and while I agree in the 2000s the number of novelty acts overshot the mark at times, we’ve reached a good balance now so that there’s something for everyone. Remember, this is a television show as much as it is a song contest. You need variety, and my goodness do these wolves give it to us.

Part of the appeal of Subwoolfer is the mystery: the two wolves are only ever seen in their yellow costumes, and refuse to disclose their identity. Most guesses point to Ylvis, who achieved worldwide fame with “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)” some years ago, but we’ll probably only know after the contest (if ever). The song itself is a fun bit of EDM which doesn’t do anything groundbreaking: it’s all about the amusing theme, catchy lyrics and out-there staging. It this makes it through the final — and I think it’s a strong chance — the televoters will be the ones to thank: I doubt many jury members will want to touch this.

My major concern with this song I’m not sure how all the vocal effects are going to be recreated on the Eurovision stage, which has strict rules around this. I guess Subwoolfer could keep switching between between live vocals and the backing ones already on track. One of their six people on stage is a DJ in spacesuit at a mixing desk, which might suggest they plan to follow in the footsteps of fellow Norwegians Jowst, who managed to convince the EBU to allow them to use synthesizer sounds which mimicked vocal samples. But on the assumption that they’ve already planned this out and the staging won’t change too much from what we saw at the MGP final, I see no reason why this won’t be heading to the Eurovision final, and ending up on the left-hand side of the scoreboard. It’s memorable, and there’s a good chunk of the Eurovision audience who live for these kinds of entries. Pack your bananas, these wolves are coming to town and they plan to hang around for a while.