Norway has Decided: it’s Tooji!
A night in Norway that seemed to be coasting towards a predictable finish suddenly veered away from the expected outcome as the 2012 Melodi Grand Prix came to its close on Saturday night. Ever since the songs were released, a nearly-deafening buzz was coming from popular folk-rockers Plumbo and their song “Ola Nordmann”, and most fans were bracing themselves for a tinwhistle solo in Baku. When the time had come for the ten songs in the Final to be winnowed down to a four-song Golden Final, the three first-placed songs from the Semi had all qualified (“Ola Nordmann“, “Somewhere Beautiful“, and “Things Change“), along with one second-place finisher…But when the dust had settled in Oslo’s Spektrum Arena after a jury vote and nationwide televote, it was Tooji’s “Stay” that took a commanding victory, especially in the public’s eye, where he captured nearly 45% of the total vote.
Tooji Keshtkar was born in Shiraz, Iran, but moved to Norway as a toddler. By the age of 16, he was modeling (some referred to him as the “Prince of Persia”), and he eventually found his way to MTV Norway, where he was hosting programs like “Super Saturday” and “Tooji’s Top Ten”. This is his first serious foray into the performance aspect of the music scene, but he’s got a great team supporting him. Tooji co-wrote the song with Figge Boström and Peter Boström (both Swedish, both prolific, but not actually related!). Figge has worked with acts like Carola, Afro-Dite, and No Angels, among others, while Peter composed “In the Club” for Danny Saucedo, “Euphoria” for Loreen, and “Manboy” for Eric Saade, to whom Tooji has been instantly compared.