Norway is just a few days away from choosing its entry for Baku from a pretty impressive bunch of songs (more on that this weekend), so it’s time for another country profile. The country has had its fair share of ups and downs in the contest (let’s be honest, mostly downs) but with the highest ever winning score to its name, Norway has something to show off about when things don’t go so well. Here’s a look back at their time in the ESC so far…
NORWAY: THE STATS
ESC debut: 1960
No. of entries: 50
Gold medals: 3
Silver medals: 1
Bronze medals: 1
Top 10 finishes: 19
Top 10 success rate: 38%
Top 5 finishes: 10
Top 5 success rate: 20%
Wooden spoons (last places!): 8
Semi final qualifications: 3/4
Qualification success rate: 75%
My favourite entry: Nocturne by Secret Garden (1995), for the most successful use of violins in a Eurovision – until 2009 that is. And because it gives me goosebumps (and not because the violin is out of tune).
My least favourite entry: On My Own by Haldor Laegrid (2001). Not even their nul-pointers make me as depressed as this non-zero-but-still-unsurprisingly-last entry, or as averse to green pants. Not that I was particularly fond of green pants pre-Copenhagen.
More of the memorable: Mil Etter Mil by Jahn Teigen (1978); La Det Swinge by Bobbysocks (1985); I’m Not Afraid to Move On by Jostein Hasselgård (2003); In My Dreams by Wig Wam (2005); Fairytale by Alexander Rybak (2009).
Their best stage show: Fairytale. Disagree? Why don’t you try kicking a hat off a stand like that (HANDY HINT: try it outside of the hallway. I accept no responsibility for injuries caused by you falling through a wall).
Their best costume/s: Jahn Teigen/ Christine Guldbrandsen. I can’t choose between the world’s stretchiest braces, and a dress made out of a shredded bed sheet. Did that make it sound like I don’t actually like these costumes at all? Well let me tell you something; I wore braces AND a bed sheet to my school ball and got quite the reception.
Their best vocalist/s: Didrik Solli-Tangen. His epically long note at the end of My Heart is Yours more than made up for any “I’m 22 but somehow my voice is breaking” vocal fails that may or may not have occurred earlier on.
What I love about Norway in the ESC: It’s often hard to predict what Norway are going to come up with – look at the last few years. Who would have assumed that 2011 would be their year for afro-schlager (term not coined by moi)? Not that anyone would expect that from any country in Eurovision. But that’s the beauty of it. They don’t win very often, but when they do, there’s always something about the win – e.g. a record-breaking score – that keeps people talking.
COMING UP: It’s three more songs and a Swedish semi on another Super Saturday!