While the voting for the fourth annual esctoday.com Awards is taking place, we take the time to introduce the nominees in the 21 categories. Today, we take a look at the Performance of the year category.
- You can vote in the 2009 esctoday.com awards here.
1. Alexander Rybak (Norway)
Alexander Rybak was born in Minsk,Belarus, but he grew up in Norway. He started playing the violin and the guitar at the age of fiveand he also bebgan singing and writing his own songs. He hit the stage soon andperformed with famous artists like Morten Harket of a-ha (Eurovision Song Contest 1996 host), Hanne Krogh (Norway 1971, 1985, 1991) and Arve Tellefsen. Having already taken part in Norwegian Pop Idol in 2005,Alexander took part in the second edition of the talent search Kjempesjansen, a Norwegian TV showthat is looking for young talents in music and dance, in 2006.He could win this show with his own composition Foolin'. In 2007, he starredas fiddler in the Jerry Bock/Sheldon Harnick musical Fiddler on the roof in Oslo.
In Moscow, Alexander Rybak was accompanied by three dancers. Hallgrim Hansegård, Sigbjørn Ruabacking and Torkjell Lunde Børsheim performed a choreography with elementsof traditional folk dance in the background. Furthermore, the lead singer was supported by two backing singers: Jarunn Hauge and Karianne Kjærnes. Alexander himself was performing at the microphone but also played the violin.
2. Yohanna (Iceland)
Jóhanna was born in Denmark, but her family moved to Reykjavik when she was two years old. Having successfully taken part in a singing competition, she entered a music school for children. Her talent was spotted early and she released her first album when she was only ten years old. The record turned out to be a success and a second album followed in 2001. Her last album for a few years, which included a collection of Christmas songs, was released in 2003 and she then took a break from the music business. After years of training, in 2008 the singer launched her fourth album Butterflies and Elvis, which was a collaboration with British songwriter Lee Horrocks.
As the Icelandic entry was a classic ballad, the stage performance was also kept very classy. Yohanna mainly faced on her vocal performance and she was supported by the backing singers who were Erna Hrönn Ólafsdóttir, Hera Björk and Friðrik Ómar. In the background, there were also cellist Hallgrimur Jensson and guitarist Börkur Birgisson. The stage was turned into a scene of clouds as illustrated by the background images and the fog.
3. Hadise (Turkey)
Hadise was born in Belgium in 1985 and she became famous, when she took part in the first season ofthe talent search Idool in 2003. Although she did not even reach the top ten, she got her first record contract shortly after. In 2005, her first album Sweat was released. In 2007, the single A good kiss was released. While it peaked at number 28 in the Flemish single charts, it became Hadise's first top ten hit in Turkey, where it peaked at number six. Her Eurovision Song Contest entry Düm tek tek would become her first number one hit in Belgium.
The Turkish performance featured a choreography mixing folkloristic dance with modern elements, which was also reflected in the outfits. On stage, Hadise was supported by five singers and dancers, among them Eva Smeenk and Steve Kashala.
4. Patricia Kaas (France)
Patricia Kaas is one of the most successful French singers ever. She was discoverd by actor Gérard Depardieu at the age of 19 and released a first single in 1985, but her first major success came in1988 with the release of the album Mademoiselle chante….She has sold more than 15 million records since. All of her seven studio albums had managed to reach the top ten of the French album charts when she decided to take a major break from the music business in 2005. In 2009, she returned with the release of her eighth studio album Kabaret and the announcement that she would represent France in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow.
The French performance was kept simple and static, but even more dramatic, which was also reflected in the dark atmoshere created on stage. However, in the end, Patricia Kaas even included some dance movements. She was one of the very few performers to appear all alone on stage.
5. Svetlana Loboda (Ukraine)
Svetlana Loboda attended a music school when she was a teenager and shegraduated as a jazz singer and conductor. At that time, she founded her first band Cappuccino, which managed to obtain a record contract. She left the band in 2002 and performed as a soloist in Ukraine under the name Alisiya Gorn.After shehad performed in a musical for a while, she founded the music project Ketch. In 2004, she successfully took part in an audition for the replacement of one of the members of the girl group VIA Gra (known as Nu Virgos outside the country). However, she left the band again shortly after. After some cntroversy caused by her criticism regarding the record company, she kicked off her solo career in 2004 and founded her own production company with Alexander Shirkov.
The Ukrainian performance was one of the most complex ones in 2009, probably most notably for the use of the especially created "Hell machine" on stage. Svetlana Loboda was accompanied by three male dancers dressed as futuristic Romans and the choreography was always described as "sexy and powerful". The lead singer also played the drums at one point during the performance. She was supported by backing singer Irina Krestinina.
Previously, this award went to Ukraine on all three occasions. The winners are therefore Tina Karol in 2006, Verka Serduchka in 2007 and Ani Lorak in 2008. The complete results were as follows:
The hall of fame:
Tomorrow, we will introduce the nominees for Composer of the year.