Tooji takes the Norwegian flag to Baku11 February 2012 at 23:44 CET
It has been decided. After a close fought competition with 10 wonderful songs the winner of Melodi Grand Prix 2012 is Tooji with Stay who has now won the right to represent Norway in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku on the 24th of May.
Your Eurovision.tv team were live at the Oslo Spektrum arena to soak up the atmosphere, talk with some of the acts and to bring you the best coverage of Norway's popular national final.
With 155,480 votes Tooji took the top prize but not without a battle!
Four acts through to a "Super Final"
In order to get to the winners' podium the 10 acts had to make it through to a second round where there were only four places available. These were (winner in bold):
- Plumbo - Ola Nordmann
- Nora Foss Al-Jabri - Somewhere Beautiful
- Petter Øien & Bobby Bare - Things Change
- Tooji - Stay
From here a mixture of jury and regional tele and SMS voting decided the final winner.
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Top quality acts and performances
The Eurovision.tv team was lucky enough to have a sneak preview of each of the 10 acts earlier this evening in the dress rehearsal and we have written short reviews of each performance. We also managed to interview some of the artists who discussed their performance and how it feels to be on stage.
Check out our exclusive video from Melodi Grand Prix 2012 below:
Tooji - Stay
Smoke on the stage and some interesting acrobatics start the performance. Tooji then moves forward and starts singing this incredibly uptempo song. The colour scheme for the song is black, green and orange to bring across the heat of the performance. His passion shows through really well. When speaking to Eurovision.tv he says he wants to "start (his) career off with a bang", which is why he decided to take part in Melodi Grand Prix.
Reidun Sæther - High on love
Very red start with a red dress and red stage with white and red LED lighting moving to the beat of the song. Incredibly strong vocal performance by Reidun with excellent stage presence. No one else on the stage with her and in typical Schlager fashion her performance ended with a wind machine and pyros so as to finish with a bang. She told us that she has "the best song and will win in Baku" if she won the competition.
Lise Karlsnes - Sailors
Two large screens mark the start of the performance with Lise standing in front of them. On the screens are silhouettes of two women dancing. As the song progresses the screens change colour and two dancers appear from behind joining Lise on stage. The song has a very 80s sound but with a very contemporary feel, especially the dancing!
Plumbo - Ola Nordmann
Decribed by many as one of the favourites, Plumbo's folk rock song, starts off with a stage in shades of orange and green with the band members wielding their instruments and getting the audience to clap along to the beat of the song. In the corner, one of the band members plays a penny whistle adding a bit more of a folk tone to the performance.
Malin - Crush
Previous Junior participant Malin starts her performance sitting on a box on the stage with dancers standing on steps further back. The colours dominating this song are definitely different shades of pink. This uptempo pop song has a very catchy chorus and the dance moves are very ballerina-esque reflecting Malin's young age somewhat. She participated in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2005 with the song Sommer og skolefri. We asked her how different it was performing now as an adult to which she said, "As a child performing I didn't really understand how big it was and just enjoyed it. Now there is a little more pressure as I am aware of the enormity of it all".
Nora Foss Al-Jabri - Somewhere Beautiful
Smoke covers the stage and Nora in a purple stands under a spotlight in a dress of the same colour. For someone who has not yet celebrated her 16th birthday, she has a very impressive voice. As the song progresses Nora is joined by two girls playing the guitars and the lighting becomes brighter on the stage. The final touch was when glitter fell from above to help the song reach a gentle conclusion. Nora told us that the song means a lot to her and that she really can relate to the text. She also said, "I am not nervous actually but I probably will be before going on stage" when talking about her peformance. She also spoke about the friendship between her and the other artists. "There are three of us young acts and we really get on very well", she said.
The Carburators - Don't Touch The Flame
This heavy rock song started with a huge bang. Lots of pyros on stage and flashing greens and dark colours started the performance. On stage are the band members with the drum kit elevated over a big sign with the band's name. Near the end of the performance more pyros explode from the stage and the song comes to a big finish in typical Rock'n'roll style.
Petter Øien & Bobby Bare - Things Change
Petter Øien from Trøndelag and Bobby Bare from Texas are joined on stage with a violinist, drum kit and two men with guitars. The song is a very American sounding country and western song and the audience enjoy clapping along to the beat. The colours on stage are cool shades of blue and really work well with the song. Bobby Bare is a well known country singer and loves the fact he can bring his music to Norway.
Yaseen & Julia Marie - Sammen
This rap number sung by two young people is all about the 22nd of July terrorist attacks in Norway last year. The song has a very significant message and is performed with passion. Orange is the colour that dominates this performance. The camera angles are lots of close up shots. The end of the song involves a big choir of young people standing at the back of the stage singing along to the chorus, thus creating a powerful atmosphere.
Tommy Fredvang - Make It Better
The last man out his Tommy Fredvang with his pop song Make It Better. The performance starts with him singing in front of two screens which are removed to reveal the stage and audience behind him. The performance is very strong with lots of flashing lights and pyros livening up the performance. He was very popular in the hall and as the last act, he finished off 10 great performances with a bang.
A surprise and a well known face
This year's Melodi Grand Prix was full of suprises. In addition to the 10 high-quality individual performances, all the acts came together to peform a very special interval act in honour of Norway's first ever Eurovision Song Contest contestant, Nora Brockstedt. Appropriately this year's Nora started the tribute and subsequently all the acts performed in what was a very fitting interval act to remember the lady who started Norway's Eurovision Song Contest adventure.
There was not one but two interval acts this year. The latter was supposed to be Stella Mwangi who won Melodi Grand Prix in 2011 with Haba Haba. However, for personal reasons she was unable to make and instead Alexander Rybak took her place to perform a medley of Eurovision Song Contest hits including his own blockbuster winner, Fairytale that broke records in Moscow in 2009.
Norway will take part in the second Semi-Final of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku on the 24th of May. The final takes place on the 26th of May.
We hope you enjoyed our coverage!