One of the biggest surprises of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 is arguably the televote victory of KEiiNO from Norway. The 291 points from the viewers at home gave them a top-10 spot after all. Something the jury was not willing to give Norway.
In fact, if the professional jury has had it their way, ‘Spirirt in the sky’ would have been a non-qualifier in the second semi final! One of the biggest discrepancies of Eurovision 2019 was the result from Norway. But why?
Strong televote at MGP 2019
Yes, ‘Spirit in the sky’ won the televote at Melodi Grand Prix 2019. But that it would fare SO well in Tel Aviv as well? We did not read this prediction anywhere. If anything, the arguments for a potential non-qualification were stronger.
‘Spirit in the sky’ was delivered by three professional singers, strong and known for solo-performances, but the harmony on stage for the three artists needed to grow. They used pre-parties to do so, they told ESCDaily.
Too much a gimmick for juries?
Maybe, having a joiker, with ethnic regional chants, in the song, ruined the chances of a good jury score. If too many jury members took it for a gimmick entry, we know they see it as a so-called ‘red flag’. Something that makes an entry drop tot he bottom of their list. Despite good vocals from the other singers.
On the other hand, these acts sometimes stand out in the televote, if people pick up the humour of the gimmick. In hindsight, the divisive result for Norway can hardly be called a surprise.
Screen went black at the jury show
After the contest, Tom Hugo from the band KEiiNO, who represented Norway at Eurovision 2019, speaks out about their poor jury result despite winning the public televotes both in the semi final and in the Grand Final. “It is subjective what is good and bad, and then it is strange that a few people should sit and decide half of what a country should give off points,” says Tom Hugo to VG.
The dissatisfaction at KEiiNO’s result is being empowered because of the actual performance at the Jury Rehearsal, the day before the final, where the juries cast their votes. During their performance of “Spirit In The Sky” for the jury the screen went black on two occasions. When the picture came back, the camera operator was in the picture.
Jan Fredrik Karlsen, responsible for Melodi Grand Prix, stated that it is clear that better conditions during the jury rehearsal could have given KEiiNO another outcome in the final. But the EBU rejected the appeal to perform again. “Not having optimal conditions during this broadcast is not good, either for self-esteem or performance. If it had made the outcome different is impossible to say, but it is a matter of small margins,” says Jan Fredrik Karlsen.
Norway will be back in 2020 with a big show
Norway will organize a big series of preselection shows for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020. Broadcaster NRK will have five semi finals and one big final to pick their song.
The Norwegians will have such a big selection because their national final format Melodi Grand Prix is having its 60th anniversary.
All shows will be broadcast from Oslo, but each region or Norway will have their own show. Artists will represent North-Norway, Central-Norway, West-Nrway, East-Norway and South-Norway. From each region, the viewers at home will pick the winner that will advance to the grand final. A special jury will pick five other songs to take part.
The Aftermath 2019 series is made in collaboration with our Australian partner website Eurovision Union.