So, it’s official: Stella Mwangi is representing Norway at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. And with an overwhelming amount of televotes, not even the close-run jury section of the voting could dent her landslide victory.
It’s no surprise, really. Having dominated the Norwegian iTunes chart for a couple of weeks – even surviving the onslaught of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way that has trounced the competition in other countries – there was little chance of any upset for Haba Haba. Not that it couldn’t have happened, of course. But Stella had something few of the other acts possessed: true star quality. Melodi Grand Prix got an umph as soon as she strode onto the stage – and it could be heard in the ecstatic reaction from the crowd. She’s a deserving winner and will hopefully make it all the way to the Eurovision final.
It did seem that Stella’s main competition would be Helene Bøksle’s traditional-style Vardlokk, but after last year’s relative failure of My Heart Is Yours to attract any attention at Eurovision, perhaps it was inevitable that a change in direction would be taken. Sadly for her, she didn’t make it into the top four, ceding to The BlackSheeps (who looked as though they might challenge Stella at one point), The Lucky Bullets and Sie Gubba.
But it could have been anyone else up there – everyone gave their all, and it was a fabulous show.
Also falling out of the top four was the delightful Hanne Sørvaag, the most schlager entry of the evening. She was a confident performer, and had fun on stage, which is what we want, I think. I did hope that she and Helene would fare better in the voting, but that’s the way things go. Hanne’s a talented songwriter, and I expect to see her around again soon.
It was lovely to see Didrik Solli-Tangen performing My Heart Is Yours again, although I did spend a little too much time laughing at the name of the gay choir (Fagottkor) who joined him on stage. I’m very ungrateful, sometimes.
Just a final note to those naughty Schlagerboys, who got themselves interviewed: Sweden has most definitely not “gone rubbish”. I’m going to tell Christer Björkman what you said when I see him and he’s going to ban you both, not just from Melodifestivalen, but from Sweden itself. That’ll learn you.