KEiiNO sang wrong – went onto the final in the Eurovision Song Contest

By Rano Tahseen, Stein Østbø and Thomas Talseth
Translated by Linda Karina Rasmussen

Click the picture above to see the video-clip on VG Norway

Tel Aviv/Oslo (VG) Tom Hugo Hermansen failed the lyrics in first chorus, but KEiiNO secured their finale spot in Tel Aviv.

Thursday ten new countries continued to the finale of Eurovision Song Contest. Tom Hugo, Alexandra Rotan and Fred Buljo, earned Norway a spot in the finale Saturday.

Hermansen’s two lyric lines in the beginning of the chorus of “Spirit in the sky” are “I hear you calling me at night” and “I see your spirit in the sky”. The order of those change through the song.

But during the semi-finale in Tel Aviv Thursday evening, it got botched. In first chorus, the 39-year old sang “I hear you calling me at night” twice after one another.

  • Yes, it’s correct. We have something to do better for the finale, says Hermansen to VG through NRK’s press contact.

But the band was still pleased with their own performance:

  • What an experience! The entire hall danced and sang along, and what a cheer. We had the time of our lives and would really love to do so again. Now we cross our fingers for a finale spot, Alexandra Rotan said, right after KEiiNO was finished singing “Spirit in the sky”, on behalf of the band.

Norway was number 15 on the stage and among the last of the 18 artists who performed in Thursday’s semi-finale. Morten Thomassen, president of the Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix-club, was optimistic that Norway would continue to the finale:

  • I am 99,73 sure, he said right after the performance – before the votes were all counted.

And he was right. Therefore Norway are still battling countries like Sweden, Denmark and Russia during the finale Saturday in Tel Aviv. In the finale, 26 countries are participating in the contest.

Controversial music party
There has been a rare run-up to this year’s Eurovision-party in Israel. Two weeks before Eurovision Song Contest there were still a lot of tickets left for the music party in Israel. In Tel Aviv the hotels lowered their prices.

Eurovision has got a lot of attention the past year, but mostly because it is taking place in Israel. Artists from all of Europe have wanted to boycot the music party. 

The boycott-shoutout from both artists and cultural workers say that the arrangement shouldn’t be held in a country which refuses others basic human rights.

In April, Dagsavisen wrote about 75 Norwegian artists who support the boycot of Eurovision. Since then, 70 more Norwegian artists have signed themselves on. Thursday the rappduo Karpe threw themselves into the debate on Instagram, and supports the boycot of the music party and urges to have black screens.