Tonight, the final of one of Europe's most popular national selections was held at the Spektrum Arena in the centre Oslo, where eight artists competed for the right to represent Norway in the Final of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest.
The spectacular show was full of excitement with a special focus on the history of the Norwegian selection (or Melodi Grand Prix as it's known). After Alexander Rybak's astounding victory in Moscow last year tonight's selection was even more special! Artists such as 1985 winners Elisabeth Andreassen & Hanne Krough (Bobbysocks) and 1985 and 1995 winning composer Rolf Løvland were in the hall. Also, the man himself, mister Rybak was in Spektrum to give his support! By the way - did you notice who he was cheering for?
In order to choose Norway's song, three semi-finals were held in the towns of Ørland, Bodø and Skien, where two songs qualified directly to the final and a further two qualified to a second chance round. This round was held in the town of Sarpsborg where two songs qualified to the final.
Of the eight songs on stage tonight, four qualified via televote to a so-called Super-Final. From here four expert juries from the four semi-final host cities casted their votes followed by the regional televoting results. This wielded a landslide victory for Didrik Solli-Tangen and his song My Heart Heart Is Yours. However, Didrik's victory wasn't as big as Alexander Rybak's in 2009 who attracted a record number of votes, both at the Norwegian final and at the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow.
The following acts qualified for the second round (or superfinale). The winner is in bold:
Didrik Solli-Tangen's song had been one of the favourites to win Melodi Grand Prix since he appeared on stage in Skien two weeks ago. Other acts such as A1, Keep of Kalessin and Maria Haukaas Storeng were also in the running. Now Didrik has the huge task of representing his native Norway on home turf, where expectations will be running high!
As the host country, Norway is directly qualified to the Final of Europe's favourite television show to be held on the 29th of May at the Telenor Arena in Oslo. Will this be another victory for them? Time will tell.