Tonight, the host country of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, Norway, choose the song to carry the hopes of the nation of a second successive victory. Eight songs had been chosen from three semi-finals and a ‘second chance’ heat.
Opening the show were members of the Norwegian public singing Fairytale. After that, Alexander Rybak performed the real thing on the stage of the Oslo Spektrum, the venue for tonight’s proceedings. He then introduced the hosts, Marte Stoksstad and Per Sundnes, who were dressed in traditional Norwegian clothes.
A1 – Don’t Wanna Lose You Again – Starting the contest was one of the favourites to win. A1 were probably the best known act internationally. The song is in the style of the boy band they used to be, but has a bit more maturity than in their days as pop stars. It was a confident performance and they were well received by the audience.
Maria Haukaas Storeng – You Make My Day – Maria was fifth in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest with Hold On, Be Strong, and she also competed in last year’s Swedish Melodifestivalen. Her performance of her gentle, pleasant ballad was relaxed, but it didn’t sound like a winner.
Venke Knutson – Jealous Cause I Love You – This is the first of the two songs which had qualified for the final via the ‘second chance’ round last week. Because of this, it was difficult to see her winning, although she had her fans in audience. Her voice is slightly twee and there is a hint towards Diana Ross and the Supremes in her song.
Bjørn Johan Muri – Yes Man. This is the other qualifier from the ‘second chance’ round and there was the same feeling that it was just there to make up the numbers that there was on the previous song. He was supported on stage by two male dancers. After his performance there was a short interview with himself and Venke.
Maria Arredondo – The Touch – This song was written by two time winner Rolf Lovland. She is a typical Scandinavian blonde and wore a long blue dress. The Touch is a classy ballad. On stage with her were a pianist and a cellist.
Alexander Stenerud – Give It To Me – Musically, this is one of the strongest songs competing tonight. He had been in the 2008 MGP and his song this year is in a similar style. There is a steady paced melody with high tempo arrangement. It’s unusual but works very well. He wrote the song himself and his performance at the end of song was a bit OTT. There then followed an interview with Alexander and Maria Arredondo.
Didrik Solli-Tangen – My Heart Is Yours – This is the song the Irish have been searching for for years. It was one of the favourites and received an enthusiastic reception even before song started. His vocals were strong and the presentation simple and effective, with a five piece string section moving around the stage. My Heart is Yours has Celtic influences and is co-written by Fredrik Kempe, who has written many Melodifestivalen songs, including some that have gone on to represent Sweden in the contest, such as La Voix last year.
Keep Of Kalessin – Dragontower – And now for something completely different! Heavy metal music was made acceptable by Lordi’s victory. Unlike many songs of this genre, Dragontower is quite melodic and there is lots of flashing lights and some fire on stage. This is another of the favourites and would certainly wake up a few people.
After the last song had finished, all the contenders were recapped and the phone numbers for voting shown. While the public were casting their votes, previous Norwegian winners Bobbysocks, Rolf Lovland form Secret Garden and Alexander Rybak came on to the stage. In case you’d forgotten their songs, there was a short video excerpt from each one, followed by an interview. Then there was a compilation of clips of past Norwegian entries and some of the MGP also-rans.
When the phone lines closed, the four most popular songs performed again in a new round of voting. The four songs were:
Bjørn Johan Muri – Yes Man
Didrik Solli-Tangen – My Heart Is Yours
Keep Of Kalessin – Dragontower
A1 – Don’t Wanna Lose You Again
At the end of the voting, the winner by a considerable margin was…..
Didrik Solli-Tangen with My Heart Is Yours, which will perform in the final of the Eurovision on 29th May, and could well do the double.