Magne appeared on stage in front of 80.000 people at Rådhusplassen in Oslo last night, to hand out 1 million kroner to the first winner of the a-ha talent grant.
The jazz/metal band Shining and singer-songwriter Hanne Hukkelberg were the two finalists in Oslo at VG and NRK’s annual free summer show (where a-ha headlined in 2009), which also featured performances by Madcon, Scouting For Girls, Jason Castro and Scissor Sisters, among others.
After Shining and Hukkelberg had performed one song each early in the show, the audience in Oslo (and TV audiences around the country) could vote for their favorite by SMS.
Near the end of the show Magne came on stage to open the envelope revealing the winner.
“We considered quite a lot of artists, together with an international jury, and both these artists have a unique style. We think they have a good chance to have further success within their genres“, Magne said when asked why a-ha had chosen these two finalists.
Afterwards he revealed the winner: “It’s a great honour, on behalf of a-ha, to present the very first of our talent grants to…Shining!”
Shining had been active prior to tonight’s concert, urging their fans to vote for them, as can be seen in this YouTube video.
The next a-ha talent grant will be presented in Stavanger on 30 June, where Susanne Sundfør and Pink Robots will compete for another 1 million kroner.
Update: VGTV has a video interview with Magne and Shining after the show.
“I am pretty sure that Shining has a real chance to leave a mark internationally. So we’re hoping that the money can help them to get heard, to get noticed by people. That’s what it takes, in our opinion.”
“They have something that’s quite unique for them at the moment, and there should be several filmmakers in Hollywood eager to work with these guys now.“