Glossy wave icon. Free flag icons from NorwayNORWAY
BROADCASTER
SONG   "Stay"
SINGER    Tooji
MUSIC & LYRICS  Tooji, Peter Boström & Figge Boström
DRAW   #16 in the second semi-final

 

THIS YEAR'S ENTRY

Norwegian broadcaster NRK was one of the first to confirm participation in Baku, when on June 30th they opened a call for songs. Over 800 potential Eurovision entries were submitted by the deadline of September 2nd  and in October, the schedule and format of the Norwegian selection was confirmed. Three semi-finals were staged on held on January 21st and 28th and on February 4th, with three acts advancing to the final from each semi-final. The "second chance" semi-final was done away with, but a "wild card" was given to one of the semi-finalists that didn't qualify automatically.

The Norwegian Final was held on February 11th at the Spektrum Arena in Oslo and hosted by Marte Stokstad and Per Sundnes. The winner was chosen over two rounds of voting; the first to select the Top 4, and the second to choose the winner. In the first round, televoting alone was used, while in the second round the winner was chosen by three regional juries and televoting. The surprise winner was the uptempo song "Stay" by model turned singer Tooji, which had only finished second in its semi-final.

BIOGRAPHY

Iranian-Norwegian Tooji comes from a close-knit family with a strong passion for music and the creative arts. In May he will represent Norway in Baku with the song Stay, something that he says can provide him with a chance to be heard.

Tooji was born in Shiraz in Iran in 1988. He had his first birthday whilst fleeing to Norway. The family’s Persian traditions and roots have given Tooji strong references, both musically and personally. A good life with a close-knit family in a new country has influenced his upbringing and life choices since.

With a strong wish to express impressions and feelings Tooji has gone his own creative ways, and after art school and theatre school, it was finally music that became closest to Tooji’s heart.

In addition to devoting himself to his passions, the experience of working in kindergartens and with after-school-activities, young people and asylum seekers, has given Tooji an even more important mission in life: To give a voice to those who would otherwise not have been heard.

Some choices have been more important than others, and working with refugees in asylum centres has made its mark on him.

-“I was incredibly happy that I had my family here, a comfy bed, food and a roof over my head. At the same time it made me very sad too see all these people, children and youngsters, with so much misery and sadness in their eyes. It put things into perspective.”

Tooji completed his studies in child protection, and he now works as a child protection consultant in the department of after-care, a job he finds intense and socially important, challenging and vital. In encounters with youngsters the problems are often similar, regardless of where they come from.

-“When I dedicated myself to causes and people I wanted to help, I knew the political arguments, the rules and regulations – but nobody listened. It was so frustrating! My devotion alone wasn’t enough, and that became an important motivational factor in my burning wish to get a voice that someone would listen to.”

To Tooji it’s all about music making it possible. Music is the driving force. Music can provide Tooji with a chance to be heard.

On February the 11th Tooji wins Melodi Grand Prix, to represent Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest. The people have spoken. His song “Stay” immediately tops iTunes, and Tooji becomes an overnight sensation. Tooji has found his arena, and we want to listen.

REACTION

On the day the songs in the Norwegian selection were made public "Stay" became an instant favourite with many fans. However after a poor performance in the semi-final, most people gave up on seeing Tooji in Baku. After its surprise victory, "Stay" went to the top of many internet polls, but slipped slightly down the rankings as later songs were selected, but still holds a Top 10 place in most rankings.

"Stay" became a big hit in Norway after winning the Eurovision ticket. Bookmakers have the song as one of the three biggest favourites to qualify from the semi-final and rate it as 25/1 to win in Baku.

TOOJI TALKS TO EUROVISION.TV

REHEARSAL SCHEDULE (BAKU TIME)*
Date Rehearsal Press Conference
Wednesday May 16th 17:25 - 18:05 18:50 - 19:30
Sunday May 19th 12:30 - 13:00 13:45 - 14:15
*Baku is four hours ahead of Ireland.

 

 

FORM GUIDE

 

OVERALL RATING

  Bookmakers
  History
  Running Order
  Fan Polls
  Webmaster

PREVIEW VIDEO

LAUNCH PAD

 

NORWAY  AT EUROVISION

  • First entry: 1960
  • Number of previous entries: 50
  • Best result: Winners (1985,1995,2009)
  • Worst result: Last (10 times), failed to qualify (twice)
  • Qualification record: 3-2 (60% success)

 

TEN YEAR FORM GUIDE

 

 

WEBMASTER REVIEW

"The studio version of this is really strong, but live is very shaky. Tooji is  an unreliable singer, if his performance in the Norwegian semi-final is anything to go by and we still have to hear the song without pre-recorded backing vocal. On paper and based on the rankings this should be a certain qualifier as it comes latte in the draw and it's sandwiched between a very non-Eurovision rock song and a ballad, but a little voice in my head says that Norway could be the surprise non-qualifier for the second year in a row."- Keith Mills

 

YOUR REVIEWS

"Magnificent! Tooji is a strong performer, he has a great stage presence, and his song is something we have never heard before in the ESC… Well done Norway." - Athan  (Greece)

"This could be the dark horse this year. Very catchy, very memorable, the only drawback is that many will find it similar to Sweden 2011 (as if Saade invented the jacket) I predict the live audience going crazy when this is performed." - Paschalis Barmpoutis(Greece)

A sort of a repeat of the Swedish shtick of last year. A pretty boy who sings a very catchy song. Only he has a better voice and he can sing. He doesn't seem to need an act to cover his inability to sing, like the Swedish guy from 2011." - Shai Dagoni (Netherlands)

"Not sure if its a co-incidence or clever planning but the underlying Eastern influences in this track make it a sure fire top 10 although perhaps not quite enough to win." - Philip Stuart  (U.K.)

"Perhaps it's my Northern European ears, but I though that the song by Plumbo in the Norwegian final was the best song not to get to Baku this year. Had Norway chosen that, I think we would be heading back to Oslo in 2013. Instead we get Eric Saade II and Sweden had a far more memorable performance last year. Norway will qualify, but I don't see this finishing in the top three." - Sean O'Brien (Ireland)