What a schlagerfiasko! Fortsätt läsa
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.
Photo: Hege Bakken Riise/NRK
It’s a huge night for schlager, with contest finals taking place in Iceland, Norway and Finland, and the second week of Melodifestivalen in Sweden. There is nothing happening in Denmark.
There’s been plenty of comment about all the finals in the past few weeks on Schlagerfiasko, so we’re just going to briefly discuss each one and then reserve analysis for the morning after. Assuming there’s no drinking involved in tonight’s proceedings. I had plenty of refreshment yesterday at lunchtime. Which started at 1pm and ended at 8. I think. I can’t remember.
ANYWAY, there’s much anticipation in Oslo this evening about friend of Schlagerfiasko Stella Mwangi. Can she win? Her song has been at the top of Norway’s iTunes chart since it won in Skien, and would be fantastic on the stage at Düsseldorf. Other songs to to look out for is the marvellous friend of Schlagerfiasko, Hanne Sørvaag, who has a great chance of success this evening. Babel Fish will also provide competition, and Helena Bøksle is also in with an outsider opportunity… Hopefully, Åste of Åste & Rikke will be on good form – she had to miss a rehearsal this week because of illness, so Schlagerfiasko sends its best wishes.
Helene Bøksle – Vardlokk
Sie Gubba – Alt du vil ha
Babel Fish – Depend On Me
The Lucky Bullets – Fire Below
The BlackSheeps – Dance Tonight
Stella Mwangi – Haba Haba
Åste & Rikke – Not That Easy (Ah-åh-ah-åh)
Hanne Sørvaag – You’re Like A Melody
Across the sea in Iceland, another friend of Schlagerfiasko, Erna Hrönn, will be hoping for success. She faces stiff competition from past winner Jóhanna, while Jógvan Hansen and Matti Matts could also break through. Sjónni Brink’s song is also getting a lot of attention, and could finish at the top. This is definitely a wide-open competition, and I’m not sure that Jóhanna can be assured of victory as many fans outside Iceland assume.
Haraldur Reynisson – Ef ég hefði vængi
Erna Hrönn Ólafsdóttir – Ástin mín eina
Yohanna – Nótt
Matthías Matthíasson & Erla Björg Káradóttir – Eldgos
Jógvan Hansen – Ég lofa
Magni Ásgeirsson – Ég trúi á betra líf
Sigurjón’s friends – Aftur heim
Finland’s final selection comes down to ten songs from a very un-schlager selection. The bookie’s favourite is Paradise Oskar (friend of… etc etc), with his gentle ballad. I’m also hoping that (friend of…) Saara Aalto will attract attention as well.
Eveliina Määttä – Dancing In The Dark
Sami Hintsanen – Täältä maailmaan
Milana Misic – Sydämeni kaksi maata
Paradise Oskar – Da da dam
Cardiant – Rapture In Time
Johanna Iivanainen – Luojani mun
Father McKenzie – Good Enough
Marko Maunuksela – Synkän maan tango
Saara Aalto – Blessed With Love
Stala & So – Pamela
It’s Wednesday afternoon, so it must be time for another Friday Five…
Hanne Sørvaag should be called Frøken Eurovision. Not only does she perform (you might recall her days as Paris), she’s also a songwriter. And not just any songwriter. Her schlager CV include’s No Angels’ Disappear, Velvet Inc’s Tricky, Do It Again for Foxy, Shine for Georgia’s Sopho Nizharadze, and a little-known song called My Heart Is Yours that was sung by Didrik Solli-Tangen. But she didn’t write that one herself. She had some help from someone called Fredrik Kempe. No, me neither…
So she dabbles in music, as you can see.
This year, Hanne has reached the Melodi Grand Prix final with You’re Like A Melody. The consummate professional, Hanne dazzled us with her performance and surprised no one with her ticket direkt to Oslo. But there’s a few things that Schlagerfiasko was wondering. Five things, actually…
Hei Hanne! Choose one word to describe You’re Like A Melody. And don’t say ‘melody’.
Who are your musical heroes?
Sheryl Crow and The Bangles.
Yes, I can definitely hear them in your sound. Tell us one thing we would never know about you…
I love to bake – on Sundays.
What are you most excited about for Saturday night?
Performing in Spektrum! It’s an opportunity to create a memory for life – I never thought I’d ever see the day!
Teach us a phrase in Norwegian…
Du er nydelig. It means ”You’re beautiful”.
Am I? Thanks, Hanne!
Here she is:
Direkt fra Sarpsborg tomorrow night is the Sistesjansen round of Melodi Grand Prix – and there’s quite a varied selection battling it out to secure a place in next week’s final at Oslo Spektrum.
The round features the six acts that came in third and fourth places in each of the three semi-finals, as well as the two acts that took in the most viewer votes to achieve a fifth place in their respective semi-final. Simple.
It may be a cliché, but it really is all to play for. We love Endre, Mimi Blix and Pernille & Marius, but any of the acts could triumph.
The full line-up:
Daisy Use Me vs Pernille & Marius I’ll Be Yours
Sie Gubba Alt du vil ha vs Mimi Blix Allergic
Gatas Parlament Jobbe litt mindre og tjene litt mer vs The Lucky Bullets Fire Below
Endre Oh, Oh (Puppy love) vs Susperia Nothing Remains
The contest between Endre and Susperia may actually be the most ridiculous competition ever in the history Eurovision pre-selections. Seriously, how can you compare ‘puppy love’ with metal?
The Melodi Grand Prix stage has been stolen! Just days before the final takes place at Oslo Spektrum, the stage has vanished.
VG reports that the trailer containing the set furniture was parked up in Vestby overnight when the raid happened. The lorry’s GPS unit indicates that it has been driven across the border into Sweden.
”The stage floor has gone, along with part of the upper section” says MGP producer Dag Hvarring. ”If we don’t recover it, we’ll just have to set up the stage as best we can on Saturday.”
Police from both Norway and Sweden are investigating.
For more information, see www.vg.no/musikk/grand-prix/artikkel.php?artid=10013749
UPDATE: Part of the trailer has been located in the southern Swedish region of Skåne. Swedish police were on their way to assess the situation.
MORE: Helsingborgs Dagblad is reporting that a 25-year-old driver has been arrested where the trailer was found. It had been fitted with false registration plates, and has been secured by the local police in Helsingborg.
The condition of the stage is unknown at the moment, and it won’t be released until the Norwegian and Swedish police are satisfied that their investigations can proceed without it.
The theft echoes a similar crime last year, where the stage was removed to southern Sweden. Schlagerfiasko…
FURTHER: In yet another bizarre development, the cab that was hooked up to the trailer has also been found – in Denmark. International crimefiasko.
POSTSCRIPT: It looks like all will end well and the stage will be returned to Norway in time for the final. The prize for the best comment on the whole affair must go to Norwegian schlagerdames Astrid Foldal and Guri Idsø Viken, however. When trying to work out who’d done the crime on their blog, Good Evening Europe, there was only one person at the top of their suspect list:
Alexander Stenerud took it home. He suddenly remembered he is the only one in this country who totally owns the MGP stage. So why would anyone else drag it around?
We couldn’t agree more.
Photo: Trond Reidar Teigen/Scanpix
And to the southern Norwegian town of Skien (pronounced a little bit like ”shine”, which explains the oh-so-clever headline – if you say the ‘i’ like an ‘e’ and – oh, you get the idea) for the final semi-final of Melodi Grand Prix. Stress was minimised by watching it on playback (when we could get it to work). And here’s what we thought.
Noora Noor was fabulous, but the song is a bit too relaxed to make any great impact. She’s through to the Sistesjansen round, and it’ll be interesting to see if she gets into the final. We reckon she might.
Girl Happy had great potential, but a terrible vocal performance from both lead singer and back-up meant that it didn’t result in much. Having the band so far apart from each other on the stage wasn’t the best of ideas either. It’s a shame, because the band could be really good.
Grethe Svensen is an accomplished performer, and it showed. A seamless show of how it’s done, she deserved to do much better. Like Noora, though, perhaps the song just wasn’t enough to make an impact. The money note was great.
Second-placed The BlackSheeps were much better live than their studio recording suggested. The song is actually a lot more traditional than their outfits and hair would suggest – good old-fashioned rock’n'roll rather than edgy. One that mama and papa would like just as much as the kids. They won Junior Melodi Grand Prix in 2008, so have a stage confidence that shows.
The highlight of the evening was, not surprisingly, Stella Mwangi. Like an injection of adrenaline into proceedings, Stella swaggered on and got the crowd behind her right away. Haba Haba has got winner written all over it, and would go down a storm in Düsseldorf. Not that we’re choosing a favourite. (This is our favourite.) She topped the vote, of course.
Funnily enough, we went to the hairdressers this weekend, and the stylist said we (OK, I – I’m still trying to work out if the first or third person is the best tone for Schlagerfiasko…) had hair like this lot. We’ve said before that the song isn’t the most original, but following Stella’s tour de force, they pulled out an energetic three minutes. All that was missing was a few wedding guests…
And then there was Susperia. We’re schlager, not metal, but can appreciate the great vocal and strings, as we said before. This was a good performance – and the only surprise is that it won’t be appearing in the final.
We’ve been moaning about styling in Finland, and we’re going to do the same for Norway. Specifically, the state of Didrik Solli-Tangen. The usually well-groomed tenor looked a bloody state in a white jacket, black T-shirt and YELLOW jeans. Seriously, YELLOW JEANS. Is Benetton making a comeback? At least he had the sense to ditch the jacket after the first few lines.
He teamed up with Bjørn Johan Muri to perform Bjørn Johan’s Yes Man from a couple of years ago, and it was fantastic. Apart from the floor manager managing to time his collection of the aforementioned ditched jacket in time to be caught on a tracking camera shot. Their very different voices worked brilliantly together. A new direction for Didrik to consider, perhaps?