The MGP Winner

Article produced in collaboration with “Her og nå”
Tom Hugo fra Keiino trodde aldri han ville gifte seg med en mann: – Kjente jeg skammet meg

The Eurovision-winner, Tom Hugo, never thought he would marry a man:  – I felt ashamed

For 27 years, Tom Hugo suppressed that he was gay. When he met his future husband, Alex Olsson, all pieces of the puzzle fell into place.

KEiiNO, consisting of Fred Buljo (31), Alexandra Rotan (22) and Tom Hugo (40) were clear favorites before Saturday’s Eurovision Finale in Oslo Spectrum and ran off with the victory in this very popular music competition.

To “Here and Now”, Tom tells that the song, “Spirit in the sky” has a special meaning. The song is inspired by historical battles for equality, across ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation.

  • As gay from the South, I have always felt that I’m not quite like all the others. I recall this feeling all the way back to public school. I felt a lot of shame for liking guys and suppressed that part of me, tells the 40-year old to “Here and Now”.
MUSIKK MED MENING: Alexandra Rotan, Fred Buljo og Tom Hugo fremførte sangen «Spirit in the Sky» i lørdagens Melodi Grand Prix-finale.

Music with a purpose: Alexandra Rotan, Fred Buljo and Tom Hugo, performed the song, “Spirit in the sky” in Saturday’s national song contest finale (Melodi Grand Prix).
Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen/NTB Scanpix

Amazing liberation
Came out of the closet as 27 year old

Tom Hugo tells that he during his teens knew he had feelings for guys, but the Kristiansander still had a girlfriend until the end of his 20s.

It took him a long time to accept his orientation, and because of this, he didn’t come out of the closes until he was 27 years old. The singer tells that the meeting with his current husband, Alexander Olsson, was the turning point.

  • I had never imagined I would be with, and definitely nor marry, a man. But in 2008 I met the man of my life. All pieces of the puzzle fell into place when I met Alex. It was love at first sight. The barriers I had put up myself, fell, tells Tom Hugo, who at that point only had told his closest friends that he preferred guys to girls.

Being able to talk openly about who he is, has been a turning point, the pop-artist explains, who has participated in the Norwegian ESC-finale twice earlier.

  • It was an amazing liberation, and I felt 1000 kilos lighter when I finally dared to be myself. To me it has been an internal battle. My Parents would have accepted completely if I had come out earlier, but the battle was inside myself. “I wasn’t supposed to be like this,” Tom Hugo remembers.
  • If there is something I really want today, it is to be visible for who I am. I have spent much of my life suppressing who I am, and it has ruined a lot for me.
ÅRETS DELTAKERE: F.v.: Kim Ofstad, Mirjam Johanne Omdahl og Jonny Sjo i D'Sound, Chris Medina, Hank von Hell, Ingrid Berg Mehus, Erlend Bratland, Carina Dahl, Kjetil Mørland, Tom Hugo, Alexandra Rotan og Fred Buljo i Keiino, Adrian Jørgensen og Anna-Lisa Kumoji.

The participants of this year: From the left: Kom Ofstad, Mirjam Johanne Omdahl and Jonny Sjo i D’Sound, Chris Medina, Hank von Hel,, Ingrid Berg Mehus, erlend Bratland, Carina Dahl, Kjetil Mørland, Tom Hugo, Alexandra Rotan and Fred Buljo in KEiiNO, Adrian Jørgensen and Anna-Lisa Kumoji.
Photo: Morten Bendiksen/Here and Now