A warm welcome to Oslo…

Sunday in the Telanor arena saw the last of the individual rehearsals for each of the 39 delegations. From Monday afternoon we enter the dress rehearsal phase with the first full run-through of the first semi-final, which you can see on BBC 3 on Tuesday 25 May at 8.00pm.

Karen, Toni and myself spent most of the day in the press centre working on our preparations for the launch of the Eurovision Research Network, of which we are the executive members (and founders) – more of that later in the week. I did manage to see Ireland’s Niamh Kavanagh rehearse the strong ballad It’s For You, which she performs very well.  As a former winner back in 1993 she has proven Eurovision pedigree – beating the UK’s Sonia in what went down to the very last score. 

Josh continues his progress with a more confident performance – although as you will see from the footage in a later post, he was saving his voice.

At the end of the day it was time for the delegations and invited guests to walk the pink carpet (no really – black, silver and pink are the logo colours) to the opening reception which was held at Oslo City Hall.  We arrived too late for the festivities when in Moscow last year, so I think I made-up for it this year, as you will see from my pictures!

Me + Eurovision celebs + pink champage = …

 

Moments after arriving on the pink carpet I bumped into Swedish singer Anna – who is seen by some commentators as a good tip this year.  I’ve liked the song since the Melodifestivalen, so I wouldn’t mind a trip to Sweden next year…

The scene outside City Hall…

The building is stunning, and this is where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded each year…

As the Euovision anthem Te Deum was played to the invited guests, Karen and fellow Eurovision scholar Dr. Irving Wolther take their pledge of Eurovision allegiance…

The reason why we are all here – Alexander Rybak – reprises the winning song from last year…

And then I think my British reserve abandoned me!  The pink champagne was flowing freely, and what’s a boy to do if not to make the most of that opportunity.  Here are some of my new best friends.  The boys from Lithuania were great fun – and their trousers merit special mention – although my photo does nothing to tell you why…

For my friend and colleague Ruxandra, I just had to say hello to Romania…

Chanée & N’Evergreen  sing my favourite song of the Contest, and even though it is fifth in the betting odds, some pundits think that they will not survive the semi-finals.  They look rather like a married couple who are on this trip to save their relationship!  He looked very grumpy (and off his head), but she was lovely.  I gushed a lot about how much I loved the song, grabbed a photo opp and then moved on before I said something unkind about N’Evergren’s specs (about as stupid as his name I’d say?)

The French have sent a World Cup song as their entry this year.  Jessy Matador will sing Allez Ola Ole on Saturday night. Real men wear pink you know… 

Norway could very well do the double and become the hosts of Eurovision in 2010. It is one of the few songs this year that gives me what we called last year ‘a Euro-tingle’. The Norweigan crew have certainly pulled a blinder with how it is presented on television (as you will see from the footage in a later post)…

Hera Björk was lovely.  Although how many votes will the Icelandic singer receive.  That volcano wasn’t her fault!  Hera is the one on the left…

And finally it’s ‘our Josh’ with your Phil!  He is a *lovely* chap.  And I tell you something – his hair won’t move when they turn the wind machine on…

After all that excitement we left the party, heading out into a lovely night in Oslo…

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “A warm welcome to Oslo…

  1. Is that the Lithuanian ‘Bay City Rollers’ then?

    No comment on those specs! ;0)

  2. Sounds wonderful already Phil – you tell it so well and show it so well too. Big time shmoosing is going well I see – lucky boy. Pardon the phrase but I hope you manage to knock up all the celebs this year and get a full set of phil n whoever photos.

    Looking forward to the next installment

    Rachel

  3. Looks fab! He clearly DID go to you know where to get his specs. Me and the student that loves Eurvish have drawn a Norwegian flag on our class whiteboard and the dates of the semis to hopefully convert the Eurovirgins!

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