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  • Writer's pictureSamuel Lee

Constitution Day: Norway's Top 5 unluckiest Eurovision entrants

Today May 17 is Constitutional Day in Norway. On this day in 1814 the Nordic nation attempt to declare its independence from Denmark, after the latter's disastrous defeat in the Napoleonic wars.

Despite a constitution being signed in Eidsvoll, it was to no avail, with Norway being ceded to Sweden under the Treaty of Kiel (the German city not our wonderful contributor). It would not be until 1905 that Norway would gain independence from the host country of this year's Eurovision.

We have decided to celebrate this date by looking at what we consider to be Norway's unluckiest Eurovision entrants.

Norway has had a tumultuous run at Eurovision. Despite the highs of three wins, it has also come last in the Eurovision final a record-breaking twelve times. The most recent of which came this year with folk rock band Gåte and their song 'Ulveham' ('Wolf Pelt' in English), which only managed to pick up 16 points.

However, if you think the Norwegians are embarrassed by this record, think again! They seem to have worn this last-place record as a badge of honour. When Norway last hosted the contest in 2010 there was even of a montage paying tribute to Eurovision acts which had finished in the bottom three.

So in honour of Norwegian Constitution day, let's look at the five entrants we at Aussievision think are the unluckiest Norwegian Eurovision entrants over the country's 64 year history.

5. Anita Thallaug (1963)

We start with the OG unlucky Norwegian Eurovision entrant. Anita Thallung represented her country in Eurovision 1963 in London with 'Solherv' ('Solstice' in English).

She broke new ground for Norway by being the first of the country's twelve wooden spoons and had the added indignity of gaining the infamous nul puan. Norway has received zero points in the Eurovision final a total of four times - again more than any other country.

1963 was a disastrous year for the Nordic nations, with Sweden and Finland also receiving nul puan, along with the Netherlands. However, it wasn't all doom and gloom for the north. Denmark managed their first win with 'Dansevise' ('Dance song' in English) performed by Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann.

Anita's result at the contest foreshadowed many iconic Norweigan Eurovision acts to follow.

4. Jahn Teign (1978)

Performing in the unlucky second slot in 1978, Jahn Teigan became not only the first Nowegian but also the first ever Eurovision entrant to score nul puan under the 12, 10, 8 to 1 points scoring system which had been introduced three years earlier.

He performed the song 'Mil etter mil' ('Mile after mile' in English). Nothing seemed to go Jahn's way in that infamous night in Paris. In the introductory postcard Jahn can be seen crashing into a wall on his way to the elevator that would take him to the stage.

He then delivered an off-key and eccentric performance, complete with a splits jump in the middle. See for yourself below.

Despite the seemingly humiliating experience, Jahn embodied the Norwegian self-mocking attitude towards Eurovision. His fellow countrymen were outraged with the result and turned 'Mil etter mil' into a massive hit in Norway.

Jahn competed for Norway twice more at Eurovision. In 1982 he performed 'Adieu' with Anita Skorgan, his girlfriend at the time, and finished 12th. The following year he returned with 'Do Re Mi', and despite performing in the unlucky second slot again, came in at ninth.

Anita was once again part of his backing choir in 1983. She herself had represented Norway as a soloist in 1977 and 1979. This meant from 1977 to 1983 the Eurovision power couple sang for their country an impressive five times in seven years.

Jahn's passion for Eurovision and successful musical career, despite a disastrous initial attempt, should serve as an inspiration to all competing Eurovision artists.

3. Kristi Sparboe (1965, 1967 & 1969)

Imagine being so iconic that your average score across three Eurovision attempts is 1.33 points?

Kristi Sparboe holds the record for the lowest average score for an entrant who has competed at Eurovision multiple times. To be fair less points were awarded in the Eurovision voting systems back in those days.

Kristi first competed at the contest in 1965 in Naples, at just 18 years old. Delivering a cute and chirpy performance of 'Karusell' ('Carousel' in English) she earned a single point from the Austrian jury and finished 13th.

She was back two years later in Vienna with 'Dukkemann' ('Our Own Little Dummy' in English), doubling her 1965 score by receiving two points, but going backwards in placement finishing 14th.

Eurovision 1969 in Madrid however proved to be Kristi's worst attempt. She sang 'Oj, oj, oj, så glad jeg skal bli' ('Oh, oh, oh, how happy I'll be' in English), which is one of this author's favourite Eurovision songs of all time.

Sadly we are not sure how happy Kristi was, given only Sweden gave her a point and she finished dead last.

Not the best result when 25% of the entries that year won. Kristi caused further controversy when it was suggested her Eurovision outfit may have been made with fur from Norway's seal hunting industry.

Norway did not recover well after this result, withdrawing from the 1970 contest, though this may have been more in protest of there being four joint winners in 1969.

Interestingly Kristi sought to represent Germany at Eurovision in 1970, but ultimately finished fourth in the national selection. Kristi may have only mustered four points in three Eurovision attempts, but at least she leaves us with the absolute banger of 'Oj, oj, oj, så glad jeg skal bli'.

2. Keiino (2019)

This group will be very familiar to Aussievision readers having won our National Final Countdown Top 100 three years in a row (2021 to 2023)!

Trio Fred Buljo, Alexandra Rotan and Tom Hugo participated in Eurovision 2019 and finished sixth overall. However, they actually topped the televote in the final with 291 points - 30 points more than overall winner Dutch Duncan Laurence.

Therefore if the voting system that had been in place from 1998 to 2008, which was 100% televote in the Eurovision final, had been implemented in 2019 Norway would have won.

To add insult to injury, 2019 marked the first year the televote results were read in a different order, so it wasn't even acknowledged that Keiino had received the highest televote in the Eurovision broadcast.

Keiino's Eurovision misfortune continues. In 2021 and 2024 they attempted to represent their country at the contest with 'Monument' and 'Damdiggida' respectively, however finished runners-up on both attempts.

The former song is our current National Final Countdown Top 100 reigning champion! They have also indicated 2024 may have been their last attempt to participate at Eurovision as a group.

1. Anne-Karine Strøm (1973, 1974 & 1976)

In the 68 years of Eurovision only one entrant has managed to come last on more that one occasion. That honour falls to Norweigan queen Anne-Karine Strøm.

Anne-Karine's Eurovision fortunes started off well. In 1973, as part of the group Bendik Singers, she represented Norway with 'It's Just a Game' which contained an impressive thirteen different languages.

Being a band consisting of two girls and two boys, Bendik Singers foreshadowed a more successful Eurovision act from their Nordic neighbour the following year.

The Norwegian act ultimately finished a respectable seventh in the contest in Luxembourg.

The group returned the following year, but with Anne-Karine as the lead singer and the others backing her.

Anne-Karine sang 'The First Day of Love', which was highly fancied by the British commentator that year.

However, in a contest containing ABBA, Olivia Newton-John and former winner Gigliola Cinquetti, Anne-Karine struggled, finishing joint last with three points.

In 1976 Anne-Karine returned for a third crack at the contest with 'Mata Hari' (Azerbaijan would have an entry with the same title in 2021). Though the song was once again well regarded in the lead up to the contest, Anne-Karine's over the top performance may have been her undoing (see for yourself) and she finished at the bottom of the table in the contest in The Hague.

There is something truly magical thought about finishing last at Eurovision twice, so we salute you Anne-Karine!

To all the entrants in this article, our Norwegian readers and Norway in general, we at Aussievision love your passion for Eurovision. So keep sending absolute bangers to the contest, and whether they come first or last, we will enjoy them nonetheless. Finally, we wish you all a happy Norwegian Constitution Day.

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