Norway 2019: KEiiNO
Photo: Andres Putting / EBU

KEiiNO from Norway: "Strange that a few people decide"

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

This year Norway was represented by the group KEiiNO with the song "Spirit In The Sky" in Eurovision Song Contest 2019. As one might recall, Norway won the televote in the Grand Final but a noticeable difference between the televote and jury vote was revealed after the split of results published.

KEiiNO won the televote both in Semi-final 2 and Grand Final but if it was up to the juries, this band wouldn't even have qualified and also placed it as 15th in the Grand Final. A few days after the Saturday night event, Tom Hugo spoke to the Norwegian media VG about his reactions towards the results:

– 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.

No longer a fan of jury in Eurovision

Tom has admitted that he is no longer a fan of the jury votes in the Eurovision Song Contest after the split results were published:

– An email was sent to the jury that they should not be influenced by the fact that the screen went in black. But music is about creating a feeling, and when you don't get continuity in the experience you can be unconsciously influenced.

Tom also stated that there have always been lots of rumors about jury members being bribed and such, and that is so stupid. He also thinks that maybe this will be a real debate now.

Screen went black at Jury Show

KEiiNO's performance at the Jury Rehearsal (the day before the final, where the juries cast their votes) was also disrupted with the EBU rejecting the appeal to perform again. 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. Jan was responsible for the Norwegian artists during Eurovision from 2015 to 2017. He believes the jury rehearsal during Eurovision is not just a test, but an exam:

– 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.

NRK's head of delegation for the Eurovision Song Contest, Stig Karlsen, was among those who had to say into the fact that KEiiNO's jury performance was hit:

– The thing with technical problems along the way is that it puts the jury a bit out of play. It can affect the overall impression. That said, we are now focusing only on the good result, and the fact that KEiiNO won the televote is amazing.

Norway 2019: KEiiNO - "Spirit in the Sky"

Per Sundnes who was responsible for previous artists in the Meldi Grand Prix also has a say in this matter and states that he does not believe that the error during the jury trial necessarily cost KEiiNO victory:

– The juries must be professional, they know that it can techinical problems can arise and get notified if such problems arise. I think it has more to say who actually is in the jury. I find it strange that the perception of the jury is so different from the people's opinion. The interesting thing here is who is sitting in the jury and how well they represent the people.

Having said this, Norway is now looking forward for the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest season. As we previously reported, the Norwegian broadcaster, NRK, announced that Melodi Grand Prix 2020 will be a big event: A total of six shows and will be broadcast live from Oslo during six Saturdays.

Norway in Eurovision Song Contest

Norway 1995: Secret Garden - "Nocturne"

Since the debut in 1960 Norway has participated 57 times in Eurovision. They have won the competition three times:

Norway 1995: Secret Garden - "Nocturne"

In 2009, Alexander Rybak's Fairytale was the song that has received most points with the old voting system: 387 points – got 12 points from 16 countries. But Norway holds another Eurovision record: The country that ended last most times – 10 last places!

Since the introduction of Semi-finals in 2004, Norway has been very successful with qualification to the Grand Final 13 out of 15 times.

Source: VG

About the author: Steven Spiteri (Malta)

authorSteven has been a huge Eurovision fan since 1995. He comes from a small town called Birkirkara located in Malta and graduated in Business & Administration. Steven follows all the national finals and Eurovision Song Contests every year especially Melodifestivalen and Eesti Laul. He has an endless list of favorites but the all time favorite entry would be Italy's 2016 entry "Nessun grado di separazione" by Francesca Michielin whilst Lisbon 2018 is his favorite Eurovision edition.

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