Lise Karlsnes, former lead singer in a band that once toured with the legendary Norwegian rock group a-ha, will be competing to represent Norway at the Eurovision Song Contest after all. She won a coveted wildcard spot for Saturday’s final in Oslo.
Karlsnes was among the performers competing in Norway’s third semi-final for Eurovision, called Melodi Grand Prix, in the west-coast town of Florø over the weekend. Two earlier semi-finals in Ørland and Larvik had already produced six contenders for the final round at the Oslo Spektrum Arena in Oslo.
Karlsnes failed to win enough votes from viewers to be among the next three finalists but on Monday, state broadcaster NRK announced that she’d won the Melodi Grand Prix jury’s wildcard slot to be the 10th and last finalist at Melodi Grand Prix 2012.
She’ll once again be up against the duo of Petter Øien & Bobby Bare (the 76-year-old American country music singer), who won the most votes in Florø. Tooji Keshtkar, who came to Norway at the age of one with his refugee family from Iran, won the second-place spot over the weekend while the duo of Yaseen & Julie Maria won third place with a song that hails both Norway and Oslo after last year’s terrorist attacks.
Karlsnes, originally from Tønsberg, gained national fame in Norway as lead singer for the popular band Briskeby, which toured with a-ha in 2000. She later launched into sunglass design and performed on her own, and just released a new album that contains her Eurovision entry, “Sailors.”
The line-up for the run-up to Eurovision on February 11 now includes (in order of appearance, according to Eurovision’s own website):
Tooji, singing “Stay”
Reidun Sæther, singing “High on Love”
Lise Karlsnes, singing “Sailors”
The rock band Plumbo performing “Ola Nordmann”
Malin Reitan, singing “Crush”
Nora Foss Al-Jabri, singing “Somewhere Beautiful”
The rock band Carburetors performing “Don’t Touch the Flame”
Petter Øien & Bobby Bare singing “Things Change”
Yaseen & Julie Maria singing “Sammen” (which means “Together” in Norwegian)
Tommy Fredvang, singing “Make it Better”
NRK will broadcast Melodi Grand Prix live on national TV from Oslo Spektrum Saturday evening. The Eurovision Song Contest itself will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan at the end of May.
Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
Please support our stories by clicking on the “Donate” button now: