This year Norway sends its 58th entry to the ESC in Tel Aviv. In the Norwegian national final “Melodi Grand Prix” the clear favourite was also the one which got the majority of the votes in both rounds in the Gold Final and Gold Duel. Out of ten competitors KEiiNO could convince the international jury as well as the Norwegian audience with “Spirit In The Sky”.
The group KEiiNo consist of three group members, who has just been assembled for the Melodi Grand Prix in the year 2018, these are Tom Hugo Hermansen, Fred-René Buljo and Alexandra Rotan. The group name was inspired by the hometown of Buljo Kautokeini, it represents the road that brought us together.
Tom Hugo Hermansen was born in Kristiansand in 1979. He used to be part in several pop and rock bands. With his debut single “Open Your Eyes” he received a lot of attention as a solo artist. His album “Sundry Tales” he even reached #23 in the Norwegian VG charts. In parallel he also worked as composer for various artists also in Germany, China and Japan. In 2013 he entered the Norwegian national final with “It Is You”, but did not reach the final.
Fred-René Buljo was born in Kautokeino, Northern Norway in 1988. He has been working as performer and songwriter and toured in all Nordic countries and Russia. Interesting to know is that he also represented the Sami Parliament of Norway for a couple of years.
Alexandra Rotan, born in Råholt in 1996 is the third member of the group KEiiNO. She has also been in the Norwegian national final last year, together with Stella Mwangi and the song “You Got Me” and made a 3rd place.
This interesting Norwegian-Sámi collaboration is about equality, to be accepted for who you are regardless of ethnicity, gender or orientation. In 1980 Norway has already had a Sámi on stage with Sverre Kjellsberg and Mattis Hætta with “Sámiid Ædnan”, who made a 16th place in The Hague. This quite an interesting topic for very tolerant city of Tel Aviv and its open lifestyle.
The song has been composed by an international team: Tom Hugo (Norway), Fred Buljo (Norway), Henrik Tala (Finland) and Rüdiger Schramm (Germany). The Swede Alexander Olsson was also responsible for the lyrics.
The song is a modern pop song with ethnic Sámi elements – the Joik chant. Everything is underlined by strong beat and a very clear and catchy chorus, which reminds of last year’s “Monsters” by Sara Aalto, who came last in Lisbon. The Swedes had these kind of Sami songs in their national finals a couple of times, just this year with Jon Henrik Fjällgren, who could not win. This kind of music was often heard in the 1990’s, when Ireland could win so often. But is this enough to win Eurovision this year? In the bettings Norway is in the top 10 right now.
Finals: 54 (12 since 2005)
Top 10: 23
Chances for Top 10: 40%
Chances for Final: 75%
Norway has joined the Eurovision Song Contest in 1960. The first entry “Voi-voi” by Nora Brocksted made a good 4th place. Norway is the record holder in getting last at the ESC when it comes to the voting. In the 56 years old history, Norway has been last for 11 times, and four times Norway has not received a single point! Even if the Scandinavian countries have a similar taste of music and singers are mostly known all over Scandinavia, Norway and Sweden battle out their own competition, but like all Nordic countries are generally very generous exchanging points with each other, which can also be noticed in the Balkan countries, Greece and Cyprus and in other neighbouring countries.
On the other hand, Norway has won three times and has been in the Grand Final for 54 times and reached the Top10 for 23 times, that’s a 40% chance for Top10 position for Norway. So that’s quite a success. There are stronger periods e.g. the 1990’s where Norway made a top 10 position for five times! In some years it seems that Norway has not such a lucky hand to send a song with hit potential. But some Norwegian entries have become real evergreens over the years in Norway and beyond.
In recent years Norway has been quite successful again, since 2012 Norway could mostly qualify for the Grand Final, that’s mainly due to the good quality songs on a very good international level. Last year Alexander Rybak tried to make a second victory, but he only came 15th with “That’s How To Write A Song”.
3x 1st place
Bobbysocks - "La Det Swinge" (1985)
Secret Garden - "Nocturne" (1995)
Alexander Rybak - "Fairytale" (2009)
1x 2nd place
Elisabeth Andreasson - "I Evighet" (1996)
1x 3rd place
Åse Kleveland - "Intet Er Nytt Under Solen" (1966)