Norway have been involved in Eurovision since 1960, and they have won it three times; in 1985, 1995 and 2009, which puts them joint eighth with Denmark in the list of national winners.
But those successes have been rare highlights amid a string of failures. Norway has the distinction of having finished last in the competition on twelve occasions; more than any other nation. They also share the record for ‘nul points’, having failed to register a single point in 1963, 1978, 1981 and 1997.
Since the introduction of the semi-finals in 2004, they’ve fared better and have made the top ten in four of the last six editions, but this year’s entrant could struggle to make an impact, at least, according to the bookmakers. Betfred rate the Norwegian entry, Spirit In The Sky sung by KEiiNO as a 100/1 shot, putting it in the middle of the pack, and some way behind the front-runners.
KEiiNO is a Norwegian super group that was put together for the purpose of winning the Melodi Grand Prix, Norway’s Eurovision qualification competition. They duly earned their ticket to Tel Aviv, with an unusual, up-beat song that incorporates an element of Sami folk singing, and the message of struggling for equality within the nation state could be well-received.
Still, punters remain unconvinced, and some lacklustre performances at the Eurovision dress rehearsals, as well as a fairly uninspired staging, have not helped to shift their odds. It is also worth noting that KEiiNO were helped domestically by an effective promotional campaign and the high profile of the four members who make up the group. That may not translate into jury and audience popularity in the contest itself, and it is far from certain that KEiiNO will qualify from Thursday’s second semi-final, so at this stage, it isn’t hard to see why Norway are not attracting much support.