Lockdowns across the world may have stopped people from moving about during 2020, but Fred Buljo found another way to stay active over the past few weeks. The Sámi rapper – one third of Norway’s Eurovision 2019 act KEiiNO – has been participating in the sixteenth season of television dancing contest Skal vi danse (Shall we dance). Sadly, his dancing journey is now over after becoming the latest contestant to be eliminated.
KEiiNO’s Fred Buljo eliminated from Skal vi danse
The Norwegian version of UK television show Strictly Come Dancing (known as Dancing With The Stars elsewhere), Skal vi danse sees various Norwegian stars attempt to master the art of ballroom and Latin dancing.
KEiiNO’s Buljo was partnered with professional dancer Lillian Aasebø. The duo put their best moves on show for the judges and audience at home. Unfortunately, it wasn’t set to be a long journey as the pair became the second couple to be eliminated from the show on Saturday.
Consistently receiving the lowest score from the judges in each of the three shows he was a part of, it seems that ballroom and Latin dancing didn’t turn out to be Buljo’s forte. However, while KEiiNO may not be adding intricate dance routines to their shows anytime soon, the Sámi star still managed to prove that he’s capable of stepping out of his comfort zone and giving his all to the challenges before him.
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Artig dag! I dag er det premiere i «Skal vi danse», og for bare 3 måneder siden hadde jeg aldri kunne forestilt meg å være akkurat her. Jeg har bestandig jaget utfordringer, men å havne så langt utenfor komfortsonen min har jeg aldri gjort før. Samtidig føler jeg meg så sykt levende og I øyeblikket.?For noen uker siden hadde jeg aldri vært borti dans, men på bare den korte tiden har jeg lært utrolig masse av @lillianaasebo . I kveld er det en kveld med masse nerver, men jeg har bestemt meg for å danse med hele hjertet. ? Vi er ut som nr. 7 i dag! ?? Snakkes! ?
Although a show like Skal vi danse naturally involves close contact between dance partners, precautions were taken this year in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
All contestants had to undergo quarantine before they were allowed to begin training. During the live shows, they had to remain backstage when they weren’t performing.
There was also a reduced audience capacity in the studio, with 200 spectators sat at socially distanced intervals (the capacity is usually 1,200). Meanwhile, most crew members were required to wear face coverings.
Fred Buljo’s Skal vi danse journey
Fred took on three very different dance styles during his time on Skal vi danse – Viennese waltz, samba and tango. Sadly, there don’t appear to be any widely available videos of the Eurovision alum’s three performances on the show. But, here’s a rundown of how Buljo fared, along with some photos of the routines.
Week 1: Viennese Waltz
In the premiere episode of the show, Buljo and Aasebø performed the Viennesse waltz. While it’s sometimes seen as a classical dance, the pair added a bit of edge to the routine by dancing to “Hjerteknuser” (“Heartbraker”) by Norwegian alternative rock band Kaizers Orchestra.
Sadly, their interpretation of the dance didn’t score particularly highly with the judges. Trine Dehli Cleve, Egor Filipenko and Merete Lingjærde all awarded Buljo a four out of ten. Fellow judge and Melodi Grand Prix 2020 contestant Tore Petterson was slightly more generous, scoring a five. A total score of 17, out of a maximum of 40, gave Buljo and Aasebø the joint lowest score of the night. However, since it was the first show, no one was eliminated and the pair were able to move onto the second week.
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Week 2: Samba
Week two allowed Buljo to let loose a bit and have a party with the samba. The Sámi artist performed to the song “Seriøst” (“Seriously”), a recent hit by Norwegian singer Morgan Sulele and rapper Admiral P. Buljo strutted his stuff in an amber-coloured vest and bright pink shirt that coordinated with Aasebø’s skirt.
Although the pair may had hoped to improve on their score form the previous week, this wasn’t to be. The pair only managed to earn a score of three from Cleve, Filipenko and Lingjærde. Petterson again went one higher, awarding the couple a four. This score of 13 was once again the lowest of night, and also meant Buljo and Aasebø had the lowest combined score when the results of week one and two were added together. However, the Norwegian public weren’t ready to see Fred waltz off their screens just yet. Although the duo landed in the bottom three, they were saved and survived to dance again another week.
Photo taken from an album on the Skal vi danse Instagram account
Week 3: Tango
Week three was movie week. Buljo and Aasebø were given the task of dancing the feisty tango in the style of The Matrix. The chosen song was “Spybreak!” by Propellerheads – used in the film’s lobby shootout scene.
The hard work that Fred had been putting into rehearsals seemed to somehwat pay off, as the couple achieved their highest score so far. Five from Cleve, Filipenko and Petterson, plus a six from Lingjærde, giving 21 in total. Unfortunately, this improvement wasn’t enough to see the duo rise up the leader board, and they once again finished in last place. In the end, the public vote wasn’t enough to save the pair this time and the Eurovision star’s Skal vi danse journey came to an end.
Eurovision and Skal vi danse
Fred Buljo isn’t the first Eurovision or Melodi Grand Prix star to compete on Skal vi danse. In fact, the show has a long history of showcasing the dancing talent of their Eurovision stars. Eurovision 2011 performer Stella Mwangi took to the dance floor for season seven of the show, finishing in fourth place.
Adelén and Staysman, who competed in Melodi Grand Prix in 2013 and 2015 respectively, both made it to the final of the show’s eleventh season. Ultimately, it was “Bombo” hitmaker Adelén that came out on top.
Eurovision 2016 singer Agnete won the show two years before in 2014. Elisabeth Andreassen, one half of Eurovision 1985 winning duo Bobbysocks, placed fifth in the second season of Skal vi danse. Melodi Grand Prix alumni Ida Maria and Rein Alexander have also both given the show a try. Meanwhile, Eurovision 2010 participant Didrik Solli-Tangen hosted the show for a time.
No doubt we’ll see some of Norway’s future Eurovision stars taking to the dance floor as well. We’ll just have to wait and see if they’re able to unleash their inner dancing queen, or if they have two left feet.
What do you make of Fred Buljo’s Skal vi danse journey? Do you want to see either of his fellow KEiiNO members Tom Hugo or Alexandra Rotan take to the dance floor? Let us know in the comments below!