On the night of Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix Final 2011, it was 16 degrees below zero in Oslo. But it felt a lot warmer inside the Spektrum Arena, if only because Stella Mwangi was radiating so much warmth. The 24-year old Kenyan immigrant brought African rhythms and a huge smile to the stage, making even the most robotic Norwegians get up and dance. In the end she won by a landslide, securing 280,217 votes. Runners-up the Blacksheep could only muster 155,059.

Stella tears up as it becomes clear she will win
Confirmation: Stella and her dancers react as the final points are announced

Here’s how Wiwi called it, and videos from the semi-finals (he will upload videos from the final as they become available).

Helene Bøksle – “Vardlokk”:
If Enya got lost in the North Pole she’d probably look and sound a lot like Helene. This song would go down well with New Europe—it has the ethnic sound popularized by acts like Armenia’s Inga and Anush, and the mystery embodied by Estonia’s Rändajad. And surely this would secure the votes of indigenous people like the Sami who are scattered all over the Nordic region (Wiwi wonders: do they have cell phones to televote with?). If it doesn’t work out for Helene tonight, she should consider selling the rights to SAS: this would work well in an airline commercial.

Åste & Rikke – “Not That Easy (Ah-Åh-Ah-Åh)”:

These ladies can sing, but the song doesn’t suit them. It’s like Bette Midler performing rap, or Snoop Dog singing a ballad. The gaggle of back-up dancers who occasionally spread their legs in unison are distracting to boot. Norway, please don’t vote for this.

Babel Fish – “Depend on Me”:
I may be diabetic. I’m feeling seriously ill after listening to these saccharine lyrics: “I’ll be your rock/ I’ll have your back / If you go off the beaten track.” Puh-leaze. Do you remember Didrik Solli-Tangen, Norway’s rep from last year? He compared his imaginary lover to a sunset, Europe gagged and he finished 20th.

Hanne Sørvaag – “You’re Like a Melody”:

Whenever the camera pans in on Hanne’s face you’re tricked into thinking that she’s wearing a neon pink bikini. Then it zooms out and you realize that she basically is. And when she took to the stage standing front and center with her guitar and blond locks, Wiwi immediately thought of Sweden’s ill-fated 2010 contestant Anna Bergendahl, the only Swedish Eurovision contestant ever eliminated during the semi-finals. Even with the generous flashes of cleavage and her glittering guitar, this act is too generic and bland to give Norway a fighting chance in Dusseldorf. Think of Anna, Norway!

The BlackSheeps – “Dance Tonight”:

The BlackSheeps won Nordic Grand Prix (the Scandinavian version of Junior Eurovision) in 2008, but they still haven’t shed their teeny bopper sound. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing—this song is seriously catchy and gets stuck in your head—but Norway probably needs a more grown-up song to contend at Eurovision. Of course, the bookies listed them as the favorites ahead of MGP 2011, so maybe they’ll surprise us at night’s end. But probably not.

Stella Mwangi – “Haba Haba”:

It’s a feel-good song sung in crisp English with simple but entertaining choreography, and it’s sung by a beautiful woman who writes songs about the immigrant experience. Wiwi can’t get enough of Stella—you can click here to see videos of her greatest hits—and he has his fingers crossed that the Norwegians can’t either! The song is totally original and takes Eurovision outside of Europe—a nice interlude amid the incessant drone of nondescript electronica.  The bookies have her listed as the runaway favorite. Fingers crossed they are right!

Sie Gubba – “Alt du vil ha”:

This is Oslo, not Nashville. The song is inoffensive, and the singers are easy on the eyes. But when it’s over it’s over, and you don’t remember what was said (and it’s not because you don’t speak Norwegian).

The Lucky Bullets – “Fire Below”:

This is probably the finest honky tonk in  a nation that isn’t known for honky tonk. And while that should give the Lucky Bullets a degree of pride, it shouldn’t give them a ticket to Eurovision. But Wiwi likes the song’s central premise of a woman with “a fire down below.” I believe Vagisil or some other feminine hygiene product can sort that out.

STELLA MWANGI – HABA HABA lyrics
WHEN I’S A LITTLE GIRL MY GRANDMA TOLD ME
THAT I COULD BE JUST ANYTHING I WANTED TO
WHEN I’S A LITTLE GIRL MY GRANDMA TOLD ME
THAT I COULD BE JUST ANYTHING I WANTED TO
SHE SAID THAT
EVERYTHING I WORK FOR
EVERYTHING I WISH FOR
EVERYTHING I LOOK FOR IT IS RIGHT INFRONT OF ME
EVERYTHING I WORK FOR
EVERYTHING I WISH FOR
EVERYTHING I LOOK FOR IT IS RIGHT INFRONT OF ME
AND SHE SAID AH..

HABA HABA, HUJAZA KIBABA

WHEN I’S A LITTLE GIRL MY GRANDMA TOLD ME
THAT IS THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE THAT’S GONE MAKE ME HAPPY
WHEN I’S A LITTLE GIRL MY GRANDMA TOLD ME
THAT IS THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE THAT’S GONE MAKE ME HAPPY
SHE SAID THAT
LITTLE BY LITTLE
FILLS UP THE MEASURE
DON’T EVER GIVE UP
KEEP ON MOVING
LITTLE BY LITTLE
FILLS UP THE MEASURE
DON’T EVER GIVE UP
KEEP ON MOVING

HABA HABA, HUJAZA KIBABA

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ludonet
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The device is also very light, weighing slightly less than 3 oz.
You can use your jammer to prevent them from sending and
getting communication by suggests of their cell phones.

Waiting until the park is about to close is one way to get some privacy,
as is visiting the park during Disneyland’s less busy times.

having hemorrhoids
Guest

Howdy outstanding blog! Does running a blog like this take a lot of work?
I’ve virtually no understanding of coding but I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyhow, if you have any suggestions or tips for new blog owners please share. I know this is off topic but I just had to ask. Thanks a lot!

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[…] the votes were announced at Melodi Grand Prix you looked seriously overwhelmed. What was going through your […]

jamaica man
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jamaica man

(1) I LOVE STELLA MWANGI! she’s beautiful.
(2) wiwi: i just saw your photo and you’re hot. 

samuel
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samuel

12 points from britain. i LOVE this woman. haba haba!