Esctoday.com's Tom Espen Hansen was right there inside Kongsvingerhallen to talk with the contestants of the first Norwegian semi final which took place last night. The night saw Velvet and Thomas Brondo to the final and Surferosa as well as Espen Hana to the Second Chance contest.
Esctoday.com met with finalist Thomas Brondbo just before the show. He is a rising star in Namsos, and the younger brother of well known Bjarne Brondbo from the popular band DDE. He told us that his ballad is very stripped down, reminding him of a retroballad from the eighties. When he first saw the lyrics, which are in the Norwegian dialect 'trondersk' from Mid-Norway, he said that they fitted him perfectly. Thomas has previously entered a talent show in NRK, where he came second. So he has been in a competition-setting before, and knows how it is to be voted in or out. Thomas was also amongst the favourites, being the only bona fide ballad, and only one of three songs sung in Norwegian. In the end of the interview, Thomas stated that if he would be given the honour of representing Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest, he would still sing in Norwegian, as that is the only language he feels comfortable singing in. Thomas went directly to the final, and he said that now he is very happy, and tonight he will celebrate his 35th birthday.
The four girls in the group Velvet appeared together in the musical Evita in Oslo, and decided to form the band. They met with manager Mads Rogde, manager of Maria Haukaas Storeng last year, and he told esctoday.com that they decided to enter this year's Melodi Grand Prix. Their song 'Tricky' is written by Hanne Sorvaag, who has written songs for Britney Spears as well as last years German entry Disappear. Velvet have been amongst the favourites, and their modern sound really hit Norway as they are directly through to the final.
When talking to Surferosa the band said to esctoday.com that they have been thinking about entering MGP for several years, but this year they actually had the time. The song is written especially for Eurovision, but they have tried to write a tune as typically Surferosa as possible, doing their best. Surferosa said that they really want to go to Moscow to represent Norway. Now that they are going through second chance in Εlesund, they see this as a good oportunity to get even more publicity before the final the Oslo Spektrum.
Many of the people esctoday.com talked to in Kongsvinger also tipped Chacas del Choro through to the final, but now they are out, giving the last place for the second chance to Espen Hana's tune in the very style of the 60ies.