A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Runner-up: Norway 1989

Tor Endresen was for many years a neverending story in the Norweigan finals, and in 1989 he has his first real success. The final had a most sophisticated set-up, where all songs were presented partially live, partially as video clip. Very inspired and groundbreaking back then - if the experiment feels less fresh today, then that is beside the point.

Tor didn't only get to hit some impressively high notes, he also got to play Bogart in a take on classic movie "Casablanca" in the video clip of his entry.

Tor Endresen - Til det gryr av dag (Norway NF 1989)

Beforehand, most people would have thought this final to be a one-horse-race as ESC-legend Jahn Teigen entered with an Abba-inspired piece deemed unbeatable.

Jahn Teigen - Optimist (Norway NF 1989)

Then the juries did what juries do best - they surprised everyone and didn't select Jahn to be one of the three super finalists. More than a moment of chaos followed, but at least the juries left the field wide open.

In the end, Tor was beaten by Britt Synnøve Johansen who went to Lausanne with her ballad and was rewarded with a 17th place.

Britt Synnøve - Venners nærhet (Norway 1989)

The question here is not so much whether Tor would have scored higher than Britt Synnøve - probably his song is a bit too introvert, suggestive and slow to really stand out in the 1989 line-up - but would it have changed Tor's eurovision fate altogether?

Tor kept taking part and taking part in the Norweigan finals until, in 1997, he finally won. With the weakest song he ever entered, may I add. The Dublin result was a disaster - shared last place, nul points - and a career disadvantage he could have done without.

Would Tor have been spared the zero (and would the world had been spared "San Francisco"?) had "Til det gryr av dag" won in 1989?

Tor Endresen - San Francisco (Norway 1997)

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