‘The lovely Lena’ stole the show

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Alexander Rybak, Norway’s landslide winner from last year’s Eurovision Song Contest, demanded a kiss from this year’s winner, Lena Meyer-Landrut of Germany, before he handed over her trophy in Oslo Saturday night. Norway’s own candidate, meanwhile, ended in a lowly 20th place.

Lena Meyer-Landrut of Germany won the Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo Saturday night. PHOTO: Views and News

The slender, elegantly dressed 19-year-old winner has been repeatedly referred to as “the lovely Lena.” She hails from Hannover and had been dubbed a favorite by the odds-makers, but she nonetheless seemed so stunned by her victory that she barely smiled in front of the 18,000 cheering fans in Oslo and the millions watching on TV all over Europe. It was the first time Germany had won the wildly popular song contest for 28 years.

“This is so absolutely awesome,” Lena finally managed to say. And as stage hands hooked her up with new microphones, for the traditional repeat performance by the winner, she blurted out, “Do I have to sing now?”

Yes, she did, and out came another rendition of her song “Satellite,” which critics have described as “charming soul pop.” It earned her 246 points, far ahead of the next-best finishers in this year’s Eurovision spectacle.

That was clearly more appealing than the ballads belted out by other participants, or the pop-opera song delivered by Norway’s own Didrik Solli-Tangen. Despite high expectations, after Rybak’s record win for Norway last year, he only managed to attract 35 points, and finished close to the bottom of the 25 countries that made it to the final.

Even Norway itself had given its own highest score, 12 points, to Lena, as had a host of other countries. Denmark got off to a strong start, winning the coveted 12-point top score from the first two countries voting, but Germany quickly burst into the lead, and stayed there.

Turkey ended up in second place and Romania in third. The UK was last, with just 10 points.

Solli-Tangen insisted he wasn’t disappointed with his poor placement, and claimed he’d win the partying after the show. At Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), charged with putting on the huge production this year, there was bound to be some stern discussions in addition to any partying.

Not only did NRK run afoul of some sponsorship regulations again, its security proved less than ideal after a stuntman managed to hop on stage during Spain’s performance. The publicity monger failed to disrupt Daniel Diges’ song “Something tiny” but NRK apologized and Spain was invited to perform a second time, after the 25 countries were finished with their run-through.

Otherwise, broacasters phoning in their votes from all over Europe generally praised NRK for “a great show,” which cost around NOK 200 million to produce and has been dominating the local news for weeks, if not months. It brought thousands of performers, technicians, fans and journalists to Oslo and is widely considered one of the largest television productions in the world.

Saturday night’s live broadcast was attended by, among others, Prime Minster Jens Stoltenberg and his daughter Catharina, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and her son Marius, Princess Martha Louise and her husband Ari Behn and a long list of celebrities from Norway and abroad.

For the full results of the Eurovision Song Contest 2010, click here. (external link)

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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