Who will Norway choose?

by Charlotte Jensen 101 views

The first 12 participants for the 2007 Norwegian selection have been announced, but what can we expect? As many of these names are unfamiliar to fans outside Norway esctoday.com has taken a closer look at the participants.

Norway will this year have three semi-finals to select the best and most popular songs for their final. The first semi-final in Alta takes place on 20th of January and the following six artists will perform their entries:

Song nr. 1: Torhild Sivertsen & Funky Family – Love on the dance floor
Torhild became a singer by a coincidence. In 1984 at the age of 18 she was more or less was forced on stage when a female singer was needed for the band Tomboy. It all went so fast that the poster announcing it used Carola’s silhouette in the lack of a picture of Torhild. Torhild has always watched the Melodi Grand Prix, but never saw herself as a part of it due to the competition in it. However she says that she change her mind when she realised that recording a record is a kind of a competition also and then she likes the new profile the semi-finals add to it. On stage Funky Family – twins, Taiwo Kehinde Karlsen – will join her. They have previously sent in songs for the Norwegian final, but until this year never had the luck to be chosen. “We always watch the show, but there is so often irritating bad songs in it”, they say. The song Love On The Dance floor is about letting go of the worries, go on the dance floor and just let go.

Song nr. 2: Blue Moon Band – Goodbye to yesterday
Blue Moon Band has members from both Norway and Sweden, but its two lead singers, Tore Sergei Myklebust and Helle Grankel are both Norwegians. Both have previously sung in the Norwegian final as back-up singers . Tore sang with Birgitte Einarsen’s on Good evening europe in 2003; Helle was a part of the standard back-up choir for the Norwegians finals in both 2004 and 2005. Both define themselves as being big Eurovision fans, having grown up in families who always watched the show. The song, Goodbye to yesterday, which is about living right here and right now, is written by the duo Avalanche. They have previously had a European hit with the song Johnny, Johnny come home.

Song nr. 3: Marika Lejon – Perfect sin
Marika’s non-Norwegian name comes from the fact that she is half Czech. She also defines herself as being a fan of the Contest. As she can’t imagine a life without being on stage this is a dream coming true for her. Marika has been on stage since the age of 12 mostly singing roc. She writes a lot of songs on her own. The song, Perfect sin, is however written by Swede Adam Alvermark. The song is about s girl who can’t resist being with a guy, his magic is the" perfect sin" for her. Marika should know a bit about these things as she is studying sexuality and feminism.

Song nr. 4: Marianne Solberg – Livet’s små stjerner
Marianne, who in 2003 took the final step to be a full time singer, is a soprano in Oslo Gospel Choir. She has been singing back-up for artists such as Carola, Christer Sjögren and Jan Werner and she also took part in the Norwegian final in 2005, although she doesn’t want to talk about it: “I don’t remember the placement, but I fear that it was last – next subject”. Kirsti Carr who also took part in Melodi Grand Prix last year with the song Misled has written Livet’s små stjerner. The song is about enjoying the little moments in life.

Song nr. 5: Stian Joneid – Are you ready
Stian didn’t sing on a stage before he was 22 years old, but he hasn’t regretted it since. Over the past 4 years he has been able to entirely support himself thorugh singing. He loves being on stage, but complains that he still has too few girls chasing him! Maybe that will change once he's on stage in the first semi-final singing the song Are you ready. Kim A.Hagen and Hans Petter Moen who have been in the Norwegian final several times and came second in 2006 with the song I hear music wrote the song.

Song nr. 6: Infinity – Hooked on you
The band Infinity contains of lead singers Birgitte Moe and Kjell G. They are both very big Eurovision fans and Kjell is proud to announce that he "is a geek who knows every little bit there is to know about the show." The band was formed in 1994, although thier debut single, Happy, wasn’t released until 1998. It was worth the wait, hoever, as it became the best selling single in Norway that year. Hooked on you is written by Birgitte and her boyfriend Rune Linde and is a song about simple love. Birgitte defines it as “a pathetic love song” and add that they are not exactly known for their deep and meaningful lyrics.

The second Norwegian final takes place in Bodø on 27th of January and the following 6 artists will perform their entry here:

Song nr. 1: Guri Schanke – Ven a bailar conmigo
Guri didn’t want to be a singer and actually at one time refused to sing. Though she has tried things like musicals, cabarets, TV series and put voice to cartoons it is still dance that means most to her. The song Ven a bailar conmigo is written by the Swedish veteran Thomas G:Son who simply can’t stay away from national Eurovision finals. He has previously had 5 songs for Norway, 21 for Sweden, 4 for Finland and one of Latvia. The song is described as being a happy Latino song with a lot of rhythm and Guri looks forward to dancing in the second Norwegian semi-final.

Song nr. 2: Hazen – Better than this
The band Hazen is a rather new band. It is named after the drummer Morten Hazen who is also considered being the spiritual guide for the band. Stine Magnussen is in front and though she has been singing in various bands music has always just a bit of a free time fun for her which is due to the fact that she has 4 children in the age 3- 15 years old.
Morten define himself as a fan and Stine adds that she has been dancing in front of the mirror knowing all the steps in each song since she was a child. Morten, Mikael Jensen, who plays guitar in the band, and Eivind Skovdahl has written the song which is an encouragement to do things better, to become a better person. Eivind has his own studio in Moss and has worked with names such as A-Ha, WigWam and Ace of Base.

Song number 3: Malin Schavenius – Under stjernerne
Malin took part in the Norwegian final in 2004 with the song Sunshine. Unfortunately she came last, but being thehuge Eurovision fan she is she is ready to try again. Her biggest idol is Carola about whom she says: “As a child I always wished that she would pop out of the tape recorder and become my big sister”.
Malin consider herself being blessed with the opportunity to work as a singer although she admits that it is important with friends outside show business to keep her in contact with the real world.
The song Under stjernerne is originally written in English, but has been translated into Norwegian for the national selection. It is about love and believing that even when life seems darkest it can always turn light again.

Song nr. 4: Andrea – I wanna be with you
Andrea came 5th in the Norwegian final in 2005 with the song Kingdom come, when she was only 16 years old. Despite her youth she is quite experienced, having performed since the age of 10. She has previously turned down an offer from an American music producer and is now in high school which she wants to finish before taking the final step in becoming professional. She is hoping to be accepted to the Paul McCartney School in Liverpool, but for now she is concentrating on her second try to reach the Eurovision Song Contest of which she is a fan. Her idols are Eurovision winners like Helena Paparizou, ABBA, Secret Garden, the Olsen Brothers and Bobbysocks. The song I wanna be with you is written by Maria Marcus and is about fighting for love even in difficult times.

Song nr. 5: Amelia – Unbelievable
Amelia has been dancing since the age of 11 and was dancer for Stig Van Eijk on the song Living my life without you, a song which came 13th for Norway in the 1999 Eurovision Song Contest. Through several musicals she however has come to love singing and is hoping to be able to combine the dance and the song in the future, maybe as a part of the musical life in London which she is dreaming of.
The song Unbelievable is about achieving a goal you have been fighting for, something Amelia can relate to. “It is also about being on your own and that is what I am now”, she says while she describes the song as being a happy song which gives you a good kick.

Song nr. 6: Dusty Cowshit – Chicken rodeo
Behind the special name are ten Norwegian cowboy guys. As the rules state that only 6 must be on stage they have had to make a draw deciding which 4 are left in Green Room. Although they say that this draw is only for the semi-final. If they continue to the final the audience will have to decide which six are in the final. This is unusual and so is everything about the band. None of them plays any instruments; they just take whatever is near, make a sound of it and put together it almost sounds as music, as they say. They haven’t been in Melodi Grand Prix before, but as the crazy humour band it is they have of course made cover versions in their own very special way. The song Chicken rodeo is about a neighbour who was living a sad life until he discovered Chicken Rodeo and got addicted to it. This has given him the spirit of life back.

The third Norwegian semi-final will take place in Stokke on 3rd of February. Stay tuned, as we will soon be able to present you for the six remaining artists. Two of the six songs in each semi-final will qualify directly for the final, two more will go to a so-called Second Chance held on the 8th of February. They final, two days later in Oslo, will include the six songs directly chosen plus two from the Second Chance and the final winner will of course represent Norway for the Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki where they will take part in the semi-final hoping to bring Norway into the final.

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