Tonight the final of the Norwegian, Melodi Grand Prix took place at the Oslo Spektrum arena, where Stella Mwangi with Haba Haba took the trophy with a landslide number of votes and will represent Norway in the first semi final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf on the 10th of May.
Tonight's show was a spectacular party of colours, rhythm and included some very well known faces. Last year's host broadcaster of Europe's favourite TV show once again showed off their talent to make impressive television.
Video and Photo
Copyright: Jan Demulder & Wim Dehandschutter (EBU).
WINNER INTERVIEW WITH STELLA MWANGI
PREVIEW OF HABA HABA
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The show opening was quite unusual. It included a film with presenter Per Sundnes trying to catch Alexander Rybak and remove him from the arena, accusing him of being "so 2009". Through this many well known faces appeared including last year's Norwegian entrant, Didrik Solli-Tangen, 2008 entrant Maria Haukaas Mittet (née Storeng) and a whole host of other famous faces. All this to the tune of last year's winner, Satellite. Some red wine also made an appearance on Maria Haukaas Mittet's dress!
We then entered the arena where Satellite was sung by Guri Schanke (2007 Norwegian entrant), Nadia Hasnaoui (2010 Eurovision Song Contest host), Tor Endresen (1997 Norwegian entrant), Åge Sten Nielsen (lead singer of Wigwam who represented Norway in 2005), Bjørn Johan Muri (2010 Melodi Grand Prix finalist), Benedicte Adrian (member of Dollie De Luxe who represented Norway in 1984) and Maria Haukaas Mittet (2008 Norwegian entrant).
This year's final of eight songs was varied, with different styles of music, performances, colours, each creating its own atmosphere in the arena. Below is a small description of each performance:
Artist: Helene Bøksle
Music/Lyrics: Helene Bøksle, Sindre Hotvedt, Knut Avenstroup Haugen, Cecilie Larsen
The stage for Helene's performance was dressed simply. Helene wore a beautiful white dress whilst another performer, also dressed in white, played a traditional Norwegian instrument called the langeleik. The background colours of the stage were shades of green and blue creating a very visual and almost dreamy atmosphere.
Helene's performance was flawless, her beautiful voice piercing through the arena. Towards the end of the performance, the song built up and four drummers appeared during the "bridge", giving the song an incredibly powerful finish. A green laser also appeared towards the end, helping to accentuate the song.
Ahead of the show, Eurovision.tv spoke to Helene Bøksle, where she said, "the song is inspired by thousands of years of Norwegian history and tells us that it doesn't matter what language you sing in, as long as you sing from your heart".
2: ALT DU VIL HA
Artist: Sie Gubba
Music/Lyrics: Magne Almås, Petter Øien
Sie Gubba took to the stage wearing dark colours and equipped with a drum kit, piano, guitars and a violin. This very Norwegian band from Sør-Trøndelag were prepared to wow the audience with a folk-inspired number sung in their local dialect.
The band has enjoyed a massive hit with Alt Du Vil Ha and the audience enjoyed the performance. The stage colours matched the tempo of the song, with purple, red and orange colours appearing in the background. Their vocals were very good and their performance was enthusiastic, going down well in the hall.
3: DEPEND ON ME
Artist: Babel Fish
Music/Lyrics: Halvor Holter, Tarjei Van Ravens
This band of family men, who spent their introduction video talking about their children came onto the stage where their instruments (including a harpsichord!) were awaiting them. The colours of the stage were light shades of blue that turned into flashing lights towards the end of the performance.
Babel Fish's performance was very special with a camera very cleverly panning through a model of a house at the beginning of the song. This almost emphasised the family element of this entry. The end of the performance was very powerful, receiving a good reaction from the public.
4: FIRE BELOW
Artist: The Lucky Bullets
Music/Lyrics: Knud Kleppe
One of the more unique entries tonight, The Lucky Bullets pride themselves on fighting against heavy metal and preserving a style of music that was popular in the 1950s and 60s, namely rock and roll! The performance begins with a black and white screen and from the word go the performance was energetic with a lot of dance and running around.
In terms of the stage, red and yellow was the order of the day to underline the firey-ness of this song. The leader seemed to spend most of his time running around the stage, jumping onto the floor and running around near the audience. A unique yet very atmosphere inducing entry that caused waves of applause from the audience.
5: DANCE TONIGHT
Artist: The BlackSheeps
Music/Lyrics: Agnete Johnsen, Emelie Nilsen
This band, made up of some of the youngest performers tonight were not strangers to music competitions having participated in and won Melodi Grand Prix Junior in 2008.
From the outset, this is a band of contrasts and you can see that from their stage performance. They appear with dark dresses, which give a contrast to the blond hair and blue flashing lights in the background. This rock band sang in both Norwegian and English and give a good and lively performance, which went down with the audience.
6: HABA HABA
Artist: Stella Mwangi
Music/Lyrics: Beyond51, Big City, Stella Mwangi
This song was all about smiling, vibrant colours and party and boy did it deliver! Stella is a very outgoing individual who isn't ashamed of wanting to express her African heritage. As soon as Stella in her brilliantly red dress entered the stage, shades of red, orange and yellow appeared in the background.
The performance was very fun, with five backing singers and dancers on stage, doing a well choreographed performance, that many of Stella's fans also have learnt. The chorus was very catchy and the audience were up and dancing through it all.
Before Stella went on stage, Eurovision.tv took the opportunity to have a few words, asking what inspired her what the song is about. Stella said, "the song is about how taking one small step can lead to many bigger steps". She also explained how Norway was the place where she discovered her talents and her want to make music. She also said that when she is in Kenya, she feels Kenyan, and when she is in Norway she feels completely Norwegian.
7: NOT THAT EASY (AH-ÅH AH-ÅH)
Artist: Åste & Rikke
Music/Lyrics: Rikke Normann
Åste and RIkke are a very close team, something you realise when you see how they gel together on stage. In addition to having a deep friendship, they are gifted with incredibly powerful and impressive voices, being able to portray their songs in perfect harmony and evoking applause and cheers from an audience. This is exactly what they achieved in Oslo Spektrum.
Åste was wearing a dark and glittery dress whilst Rikke contrasted in a white dress. Backing singers and dancers sat on black chairs in the background, mimicking the rhythm of the song. The colours of the stage were purple and blue before transforming into greens and blues as the song picked up pace. Their vocals were flawless.
8: YOU'RE LIKE A MELODY
Artist: Hanne Sørvaag
Music/Lyrics: Hanne Sørvaag, Martin Hansen
Hanne was no stranger to the Eurovision Song Contest, having written the Georgian and Norwegian entries in 2010 and the German entry in 2008. However, tonight she performed a self-penned entry that went down a storm in arena.
The performances was very Scandinavian, a formula that has produced results for countries like Sweden and Denmark before. Hanne started her performance in a purple dress, with a glitter-covered guitar and a purple background on the stage. As the song progressed, Hanne's guitar disappeared and she was joined by a group of backing sings, performing perfectly synchronised dance moves across the stage. Green colours also help the song to a good finished with good vocals from Hanne.
Ahead of Hanne's performance, Eurovision.tv had a quick word with her where amongst others her previous entries were discussed. When asked about the songs she told us that she wrote it a while ago "to describe the feelings of falling in love".
The final of Melodi Grand Prix involved four of the eight songs being voted on to a "Gold-Final" where they performed again and from here the juries and public voted for the final winner.
The acts that made it to the gold-final are:
- The BlackSheeps - Dance Tonight
- Sie Gubba - Alt du vil ha
- Stella Mwangi - Haba Haba
- The Lucky Bullets - Fire Below
Whilst the final voting was underway, the audience at home and in the arena were in for a very special treat.
The interval act started in quite a surreal way with Didrik Solli-Tangen standing on the stage wearing what can only be described as a monk's robe, singing something similar to a gregorian chant. After a while Didrik was joined by the Oslo Fagottkor who were wearing similar robes and sang this mesmerising chant alongside him.
After this Didrik removed his robe revealing a rather smart suit. With some help from the choir in the background, the familiar sounds of his 2010 entry for Norway, My Heart Is Yours could be heard. The choir and Didrik sang a very powerful and almost inspiring version of the song... and the choir had a secret in store: they removed their robes to reveal white costumes with similarly coloured scarfs!
This went down a treat in the hall!
In the end only one person could win and with votes, this honour befell Stella Mwangi with Haba Haba.
The final voting results are as follows:
- The BlackSheeps - Dance Tonight - 2nd Place
- Sie Gubba - Alt du vil ha - 4th Place
- Stella Mwangi - Haba Haba - 1st place
- The Lucky Bullets - Fire Below - 3rd Place
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