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 Best backing performers category.
1. Jorunn Hauge, Karianne Kjærnes, Hallgrim Hansegård, Sigbjørn Rua and Torkjell Lunde Børsheim (Norway)
Norway's Alexander Rybak was supported by three dancers, who were Hallgrim Hansegård, Sigbjørn Rua and Torkjell Lunde Børsheim and two backing singers, who were Jorunn Hauge and Karianne Kjærnes. The dancers are all members of the Frikar dance company whose choreographer is Hallgrim Hansegård. They picked up the folk-inspired choreography from the Norwegian national final showing their ability of performing acrobatic dance styles. Jorunn Hauge and Karianne Kjærnes returned as backing singers for Norway the fourth and fifth time in a row respectively and they have therefore already helped Maria Haukaas Storeng achieving a fifth place in 2008.
2. Erna Hrönn Ólafsdóttir, Hera Björk, Friðrik Ómar, Hallgrímur Jensson and Börkur Birgisson (Iceland)
Yohanna from Iceland was supported by three backing singers, who were Erna Hrönn Ólafsdóttir, Hera Björk Þórhallsdóttir and Friðrik Ómar as well as cellist Hallgrímur Jensson and guitarist Börkur Birgisson. Erna Hrönn Ólafsdóttir had already tried to represent Iceland as a lead singer twice. In the 2007 Icelandic selection, she did not make it past the semi finals with Örlagadís and the same happened in 2009, when she was eliminated in the second semi final with Glópagull. Hera Björk took part in the second semi final of the 2007 Icelandic selection with Mig dreymdi and in 2009, she finished second in the Danish national final with Someday. She was also a backing singer for Euroband in Eurovision 2008. Friðrik Ómar was one half of that duo and he had already finished third in the 2006 Icelandic national final with Það sem verður and second in 2007 with Eldur.
3. Eva Smeenk, Steve Kashala, Svetlana Nikitayeva, Olga Potapova and Ugur Yildirim (Turkey)
Hadise was supported by an international team of five backing performers. Dutch Eva Smeenk along with Steve Kashala, who is of Belgian and Congolese ancestry, provided backing vocals. Svetlana Nikitayeva and Olga Potapova are from Russia and they performed the main choreography along with Hadise throughout the song. Dancer Ugur Yildirim joined them on stage later during the performance proving his acrobatic skills.
Many thanks to Serkan Boga for submitting the missing names.
4. Irina Krestinina, Eva Bushmina and dancers (Ukraine)
Svetlana Loboda was supported by singers Irina Krestinina and Eva Bushmina who appeared as tall ladies (all in silver) on the left and right side of the stage. The backing choreography was performed by three dancers, who had already been part of the team that helped during the promotion of the Ukrainian entry.
5. Andrea Norberg, Jessica Marberger, Tine Matulessy, Anna-Maria Hallgarn and Malin Nilsson (Sweden)
Malena Ernman was supported by five backing vocalists: Andrea Norberg, Jessica Marberger, Tine Matulessy, Anna-Maria Hallgarn and Malin Nilsson. Andrea Norberg is no stranger to the Eurovision Song Contest. She was a backing vocalist for Sweden on six previous occasions (for Charlotte Nilsson/Perrelli in 1999 and 2008, Fame in 2003, Lena Pahilipsson in 2004, Martin Stenmarck in 2005 and Carola in 2006). She was also a backing singer for Malta's Claudette Pace in 2000.