Interview: KEiiNO swipes the embassy floor with the Norwegian press

This is how we look like when we pretend we didn’t celebrate Norway all night, but instead had plenty of sleep and are ready to celebrate like proper grown-ups. Pic by the fabulous Morten Hegseth, who really should have been in the picture instead.

Hooray, today is the 17th of May – our national day, where we celebrate getting rid of Denmark and, eventually, Sweden. How very appropriate, then, that KEiiNO kicked it off right around midnight here in Tel Aviv by MAKING IT TO THE FINAL. Unfortunately, they had to bring aforementioned Scandinavian countries, but that’s of no concern to a group of three extremely talented people that can sing and joik Växsjö tabernacle choir’s socks off any day.

After 12,7 minutes of sleep, the Norwegian press headed to the Royal Norwegian Embassy for a glass of cava and a major piece of humble pie, since they all finished their stories yesterday about Norway NOT making it to the final.

Oh, don’t mind us. We’re just standing around in our national costumes eating our words

Negative press in Norway

We beg our pardon, but we have never seen so much negative press in one day as the Norwegian media managed to come up with yesterday, so we wonder if they all ate at a shady restaurant in Jaffa and had collective food poisoning. There were stories of “statistics” saying they wouldn’t make it. The usual stories of Sweden not liking us and that Europe would perceive Fred’s beautiful joik as squalling. And stories of the so-called “Eurovision expert” Per Sundnes saying Norway didn’t stand a chance. If they are so interested in investigative journalism, maybe next time they can write a story about Per Sundnes working for the betting company Betsson, that has a huge financial interest in him influencing people to vote for certain countries over others, instead of giving him an open microphone to do exactly that?

Could be interesting to read. But we were more interested in talking to Tom Hugo about KEiiNO’s fantastic work at entertaining fans all over Europe from January right up until now, so we found him and had a chat.

KEiiNO did sing the whole national song, but we arrived a bit late for the “Yes, we love Norway” part.

– We are fan fueled

– The whole idea of Eurovision is to unite Europe with song and music for a couple of weeks every year. To be able to travel and meet fans and journalists from all over Europe and the world, has been very valuable to us and has enabled us to share Norwegian and Sami culture, Tom Hugo says.

KEiiNO have gotten a lot of help from their fans traveling around to fan events and preparties, which Tom Hugo thought it was important to attend even though they had to finance quite a lot of it themselves.

– We are fan fueled. Fans have helped us reach the press. They took our pictures, held our bags while we talked to the press and even fundraised our travels. NRK doesn’t have a tradition of sponsoring trips to preparties, but we think they saw the value of it now. It is getting so much more important to be in people’s social media feeds, he says gratefully.

Looks like KEiiNO still has our Sami flag and even brought it backstage. How very exciting for our flag! Pic by NRK

Not affected by negative press

Tom Hugo is not concerned about the negative storm blowing KEiiNO’s way yesterday.

– It didn’t affect us at all. We’re in our own bubble now. We felt we did a good job in the jury final and we’re good at upping our effort a little extra when it really counts. We had a good feeling, he ends, before rushing off to his next dress rehearsal.

As Sami spice, Female Spice and Gay spice went to change out of their beautiful national costumes, we raised our cava glasses to Norway’s constitution, that fortunately includes the freedom of press. Then we hitched a kind, free ride with Aftenposten’s reporters, before heading home to trash them a little. See you later for more extravaganza.

Congratulations, Norway. Let’s all joik the love!

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