ESCountdown 2019: #25 – “Spirit In The Sky” by Keiino, Norway

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IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! Welcome to my ESCountdown 2019, presented by eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica! Between April 7 and May 10, I will countdown my picks of the entries in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019! There are 41 countries participating this year, and we’ll bring you each and every entry from them all!

Last year, when we first launched our ESC coverage, I did the songs in random order. This year, I’m changing things up a bit. Due to copyright issues with the way I did my TKR videos on YouTube, my ESC show last year never made it to public consumption. So this year, rather than just cover the songs, I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

In at #25 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Norway, “Spirit In The Sky” by Keiino, written by Tom Hugo Hermansen, Fred-René Buljo, Alexandra Rotan, Henrik Tala, Alexander N Olsson, and Rüdiger Schramm (phew!). The song is performed in English, and will be performed 15th on the second semi-final on May 16.

Keiino (stylized as KEiiNO) is basically a supergroup made up of three popular pop performers who have all had success on their own, Fred Buljo, Alexandra Rotan, and Tom Hugo.

This song is one of the fan favorites, despite a bit of controversy – the song’s chorus uses the same exact progression on the first six notes as Finland’s 2018 entry “Monsters” by Saara Aalto. Said progression was easily and nearly instantly noticeable and a number of fans have accused the songwriters of plagiarism of the previous entry. Although it seems a little ridiculous, it is hard to deny that the note progression is EXACTLY the same, and even harder to try and justify it being totally accidental. That progression was one of the hooks that made “Monsters” popular with the fans. Despite this little blip, the song has huge fan support, it’s a catchy if average little ditty, and is expected to easily pass through to the finals. But if someone can make a plagiarism charge stick, it could upset the whole apple cart so to speak…

Norway made its EuroVision debut in 1960, and has appeared 57 times since then, missing the contest only twice; in 1970, they boycotted the contest to protest voting procedures, and in 2006, according to Wikipedia,  they were ‘relegated’ out for a year for a poor performance the previous year, the way they kept things in check with a growing number of countries competing before the introduction of the semifinals. They have won the contest three times, with 1985’s  “La det swingle!” by Bobbysocks!,  in 1995 with “Nocturne” by Secret Garden, and in 2009 with “Fairytales” by Alexander Rybak. But they’ve set two lower records as well – I mentioned last year that Norway’s track record is not good dating way back, getting “Nul” (zero) points FOUR times – in 1963, 1978, 1981, and 1997, a record that was tied in 2015 by Austria. And Norway has finished dead last more times – ELEVEN – than any other country. So they’ve seen both ends of the horse, so to speak….

Here’s the official music video…listen and see if you can spot the progression mentioned above…

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through this year’s finals on May 18 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! My daily song countdown will appear on all three sites, with some additional material coming to both Planet BM and TKR in the days and weeks’  ahead.

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Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And hopefully, we’ll get to see the finals again this year somewhere – American fans, with Logo dropping coverage this year, let’s let AXS know we want to see it become the American home of EuroVision!

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