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Eurovision 2024: More “flexibility” for the producers to determine the Grand Final running order!

The 68th Eurovision Song Contest introduces a significant change in how the Grand Final running order is determined. Artists now have more options, with a new category introduced to give producers greater flexibility in shaping the lineup.

In March, it was announced that Malmö would see some major changes to enhance the Eurovision Song Contest‘s excitement. Following the revelation that the “Big 5” would perform their songs in full during the Semi-Finals and that fans could start voting as soon as the first artist hits the stage in the Grand Final, another significant change has emerged!

In recent years, qualifying countries from the Semi-Finals and the Big 5 have randomly selected which half of the Grand Final they will perform in. Subsequently, the show’s producers decided where within the First Half (songs 1 to 13) or Second Half (songs 14 to 26) of the Grand Final those acts would perform.

This year, a new category called “Producer’s Choice” will be introduced.

Host broadcaster SVT revealed that 25 of the 26 artists in the Grand Final (Sweden already has position 1) will have the option to choose First Half, Second Half, or Producer’s Choice through a random draw.

If an artist selects Producer’s Choice, the show producers will have the discretion to place that song anywhere in either the First or Second Half of the running order.

This change means there will be 6 slots available to pick in the First Half of the running order, 6 slots in the Second Half, and 13 Producer’s Choice slots.

The purpose of this change is to provide producers with more opportunities to ensure all songs in the Grand Final stand out and to create the most dynamic running order possible.

Christer Björkman, this year’s Contest Producer, elaborated on the rationale behind the change:

“It’s all about creating the best TV show possible and giving all artists a chance to shine. Adding the flexibility of Producer’s Choice allows me to create an even better flow of different tempos and an even more thrilling Grand Final.”

The Big 5 will select either First Half, Second Half, or Producer’s Choice after their second Rehearsal on Saturday, May 4, live during a Reddit AMA. Then, each of the 10 qualifiers from the First Semi-Final on Tuesday, May 7, will draw one of those three options live on the Official Eurovision Song Contest TikTok channel immediately after the show.

The 10 qualifying artists from the Second Semi-Final will draw from the remaining options live on TikTok after the show ends on Thursday, May 9.

Once all 25 options are chosen, producers will compile the running order for the Grand Final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest in the early hours of Friday, May 10. It will then be revealed on the Contest’s website and social media channels.

The last time such a change to the running order was made was also in Malmö, in 2013.

Before 2013, the running order of the Grand Final was determined via a random draw. However, in 2013, host broadcaster SVT initiated a change to create a more entertaining evening of television for viewers. This format has remained in place every year since, with the introduction of the Producer’s Choice element in 2024 being the first major change in over a decade.

Stay tuned to Eurovisionfun for all the latest developments!

Source: Eurovision.tv

Christer Björkman: “We will be effective and we will be able to shorten the show!” | Exclusive Interview

Andreas Papayiannakis and EurovisionFun was invited along with a limited number of media by SVT, to attend the official hand-over ceremony of the contest hosting, from the City of Liverpool to the City of Malmö and the Eurovision Allocation Draw which was broadcast live on eurovision.tv and Ertflix tonight.

There we had the chance to meet several of the people involved in the production of the contest, the Mayor of the City of Malmö Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, the Program Executive of the City of Malmö Karin Karlsson, Eurovision Executive Producer Ebba Adielsson, and Show Producer Christer Björkman.

Christer Björkman spoke exclusively to us about his comeback and more. Christer has been a show producer for five times, now he’s coming back for the sixth time. But how does it feel to be back? Was he planning on his return? Christer said:

“No, I mean to me it was something that I have left behind me and I felt I was done with it. But then when they called and said, you know, we want you, we need you, it’s very hard to say no to Eurovision. You know that, we all know that, we’re fans, you know, in the back of our bones we’re fans. And I’m very proud to be back.”

SVT has always been a trendsetter throughout the years and now with the help of Christer, they are planning on cutting down on the show for up to one hour this year. Christer clarifies:

“Well, we’re trying to be effective. We set up a goal for ourselves to have a show that is 3.30, which is roughly what it was in Malmo last time. That’s sort of the national ego that makes us do that and having done this in Sweden quite recently, you know, in 2016 and we did 2013, so we don’t have to do all that over and over again. So we will be effective and we will be able to shorten it. Maybe not all the way to 3.30, but not far from it.”

Christer has done so many great shows in the past, so his opinion on competing songs and staging matters a lot. So we asked him what he thinks of the Cypriot entry “Liar” and Silia Kapsis! Christer admitted he has listened to the song of Cyprus and got really enthusiastic about telling us his opinion about it:

“Oh my God, I have. I think it’s a very good song. I have not seen Silia live, so I cannot judge the artist’s ability when it comes to a live performance. But the recording is great and I love the song. And it will definitely be one of the songs that I will be very keen on to work with because I think it can be a really good stage performance as well. So that one is good.”

The last time there has been a comment like this about a Greek or Cypriot entry, was back in 2018 with the participation of Cyprus with Eleni Foureira and the song “Fuego“.

You can watch our exclusive interview with Christer Björkman at the video down below:

Special thanks to SVT for inviting us and the City of Malmö for the great hosting at this lovely ceremony, but also many many more that are about to come.

Stay tuned at Eurovisionfun and don’t miss out on anything regarding our most loved contest!

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Christer Björkman: “I’m here to make the greatest TV show in the world, SVT can answer on Israel’s participation!”

On Monday, more than 1.000 Swedish artists, sent a petition to the EBU and the public broadcaster of Sweden, SVT, in order to ask for Israel’s exclusion from Eurovision, as we’ve previously informed you.

Read more

Luxembourg: These are the eight finalists of Luxembourg Song Contest!

Luxembourg will return to the Eurovision Song Contest after thirty years of absence. The Duchy returns to the contest aiming to repeat its glorious Eurovision past, counting five wins, and is now ready to compete and win for one more time.

For its return, Luxembourg has decided to host a national final in order to select its Eurovision 2024 act. Following the closing of the submission window and the end of the “castings” stage, RTL underwent an evaluation process, coming down to a longlist of around 70 songs and 50 artists.

The selection of the finalists for the televised competition was then left to an international jury. The jury evaluated the longlisted artists after three days of auditions and has now reached a decision.

Today and via “Today Radio“, RTL announced the eight finalists of “Luxembourg Song Contest“.  Hence, the finalists of the Luxembourgish national selection for Eurovision 2024 are the following:

Joel Marques

He is a 25-year-old singer from Differdange and previously worked as a teacher.

This year he made it to the Battles of The Voice of Germany. On 8 December, he released his first single with the title “Stranger”.

Naomi Ayé

The student is only 15 years old, but has already made a name for herself as a singer, composer and pianist.

In 2020, she took part in the 7th season of “The Voice Kids” and reached the final in France with her interpretation of the Queen classic “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

In February 2022, the video “Turn My Back On Light”, co-financed by the Ministry of Culture, was released. In March 2022, the student, whose full name is Naomi Ayé Vajdovics Suárez, was a guest on the RTL show Live! Planet People.

EDSUN

Edson Pires Domingos, as he is known by his real name, already has a lot of experience in the music business, having released his first EP “N.O.” in 2015. In 2016, the video for his song “Apologee” won an award at the Luxembourg Music Awards.

In 2018, he released a new EP with the release of “You Are Not Just One Thing”. A good year, as he was also named Artist of the Year at the Luxembourg Music Awards. This was followed by a tour entitled “The Platonic Touch”.

In 2022, he released two singles: “Just Text” and “Carter”.

Krick

Christine Heitz, 26, works as a nurse. That hasn’t stopped her from already having several great moments in the world of music. In 2014, she founded the cover band “The Daydreamer”.

In 2017, she took part in the German version of “The Voice”. The following year, her first single “Face Cake” was released!

One Last Time

With a resolute pop-rock style, their first EP was released in 2022.

Here are the members of One Last Time:

  • Andrea Galleti – lead singer, 30 years old, works as an advertising agent
  • Jonathan Fersino – bass, 31 years old, works as advertising agent & sound engineer
  • Barbara Salvi – keyboard, 26 years old, works as a French teacher
  • Tom Sagramola – guitar, 34 years old, works as a civil servant
  • Alessandro Sorbelli (Lalo) – drums, 24 years old, is self-employed

TALI

Real name Tali Golergant, she’s an accomplished artist despite being only 23. She wrote her first single when she was 16. She also has a band which is currently on tour in New York.

She works as a music and singing teacher.

https://twitter.com/rtleurovision/status/1734179664732553463

Angy & Rafa Ela
The duo consists of the 39 year-old Angy Sciacqua, a self-employed singer-songwriter and Rafaela Teixeira Fernandes, a 26 year-old who works for the state.

Angy took part in the 2013 edition of “The Voice Belgium” while Rafaela won “Luxembourg’s Next Popstar” in 2016, and subsequently won “Top Voice Luxembourg” in 2018.

CHAiLD

At 25, Adriano Lopes Da Silva is a singer and songwriter, who has been a musician for four years. He lives and works in Brussels, the world of electro-pop.

The international jury

As it was mentioned before, the Luxembourgish line-up was decided by a five-member international jury, ensuring the greatest possible neutrality in a small country as Luxembourg. The jury consisted of the following five members, strongly associated with Eurovision:

  • Christer Björkmann, who is a Swedish producer and TV host as well as a former Eurovision participant(Sweden 1992). Björkmann has also served as a Head of Delegation for Sweden, has produced the 2013 and 2016 editions of Eurovision Song Contest held in Sweden and the only and only to date American Song Contest.
  • Jan Bors, who has served as a Head of Delegation for Czechia.
  • Cesár Sampson, who has represented Austria in the 2018 edition of Εurovision and was crowned as the jury winner. Sampson will also play an active role in the Czech preselection this year, serving as an artistic director and the presenter of the national final.
  • Alex Panayi, who is also considered as a Eurovision expert. Panayi has represented Cyprus in Eurovision on two occasions, in 1995 and 2000. In recent years, he has served as a vocal coach for several Eurovision participants and was also the backing vocalist of the 2005 winner, Helena Paparizou.
  • Tali Eshkoli, which an Israeli television producer. Eshkoli has been the producer of the 2019 edition of Eurovision, has also contributed to the 2021 edition of the Miss Universe competition held in Israel and has served as a jury member in various Eurovision preselections.

The Luxembourgish national final

The Luxembourgish national final will take place on January 27, 2024 in a major live show broadcast on RTL Télé. Viewers will be able to vote for the person they want to see represent Luxembourg at the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 in Malmö. More details are expected soon.

Stay tuned to EurovisionFun for all news!

Source: RTL

Luxembourg: How its representative for Malmö is chosen!

Luxembourg is returning to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2024 after 30 years. As such, the Duchy’s public broadcaster decision-makers have the difficult task ahead of them of finding the delegate and the song that will represent Luxembourg in Malmö.

Thus, the day before yesterday, Wednesday 22 November, the live auditions for the selection of Luxembourg’s representative at Eurovision 2024 started. These auditions will serve to select the finalists for the national final from which the artist representing the Duchy at the 68th edition of our favourite competition will emerge.

The auditions process

It has been more than three decades since Luxembourg, the small Western European duchy with five wins under its belt, last took part in the Eurovision Song Contest. As it goes without saying, the music industry has changed dramatically compared to the early 1990s.

This was the reason why Luxembourg’s public broadcaster, RTL, turned to a panel of five experts who will have the first and last word in choosing the finalists of the national final, as the expectations and interest of the people of the Duchy exceeded all expectations.

In total, 459 artists expressed their interest to participate in the process of selecting the Luxembourg representative in the 68th Eurovision Song Contest. Then there was the pre-selection stage from which RTL‘s decision-makers singled out some 70 songs and 50 artists to be judged by the international panel. All the artists are either Luxembourg citizens, residents or closely linked to the cultural scene of the Duchy.

Source:RTL/Steve Müller

As a reminder, the panel of five Eurovision experts in charge of selecting the finalists for the Luxembourg national final is made up of the following:

Christer Björkmann, who is a Swedish producer and TV presenter as well as a former Eurovision participant (Sweden 1992). Björkmann has also served as Head of Delegation for Sweden, has produced the Contest in 2013 and 2015, where it was hosted in Sweden, as well as the only American Song Contest to date in 2022.

Jan Bors, who has served as Head of Delegation for the Czech Republic.

Cesár Sampson, who has represented Austria at Eurovision in 2018, taking first place in the jury vote. Sampson will also play an active role in the Czech national selection this year, as artistic director and presenter of the national final.

Alex Panayi, who is considered a Eurovision expert. Panagi has represented Cyprus at Eurovision twice, in 1995 and 2000. In recent years, he has acted as Vocal Coach for many Eurovision entries and was also the vocal coach for Helena Paparizou in 2005.

Tali Eshkoli, who is an Israeli television producer. Eshkoli was a producer for Eurovision 2019, has also worked on the Miss Universe 2021 contest held in Israel and has been a jury member for national selections of various countries over the years.

Source: RTL/Steve Müller

Contestants’ impressions

The process has caught the attention of the Luxembourg media, as enthusiasm is widespread in the small Western European country for its return to Eurovision after 1993.

“It has without doubt shaken up the industry in Luxembourg,” says Edsun, one of the artists present at the Rockhal, where auditions started yesterday and will run until Friday. “It has given everyone a lot of hope as to what our country can accomplish and where we can take our music. No matter what happens, Eurovision will open doors for our artists and serve as a springboard.”

“The whole experience has been incredibly exciting,” explains Shirley from the Luxembourgish band The Spaceminers, who auditioned Wednesday. “For artists, Eurovision acts as an incomparable creative prompt and the way the process in Luxembourg has been, artists have not only been motivated to write and propose new songs but have also had the opportunity to work with renowned composers.”

Jury’s impressions

Relying on an international jury at this point is crucial in order to ensure impartiality in the selection process.

“The musical industry in Luxembourg is blossoming, but it is small, as is our country,” points out Eric Lehmann, the head of the Luxembourgish delegation to Eurovision.

“By bringing in international juries, none of which are familiar with our music scene or know any of the artists, we ensure that everyone gets the same attention and treatment. Furthermore, these experts bring invaluable knowhow to the table. They know what Eurovision requires. And let’s not forget that the Luxembourgish entry won’t be judged by anyone in Luxembourg in the Eurovision Song Contest, but by the other countries, which is also why this outside view is important to us.”

The five jury members seem acutely aware of what’s at stake and are fully invested in finding the right song for Luxembourg.

“Luxembourg has such an incredible Eurovision heritage, and we’ve waited a very long time for a return – it’s important to work really hard on making it successful,” underlines Tali Eshkoli. “It’s not easy to find the best song, the best singer, and the best performance, but I need all three. We need an entry that can create that magical moment and a unique staging.”

Jan Bors is no less demanding: “I’m looking for perfection, for talent and for a great song of course. I’m looking for a Eurovision winner, not just a song that will qualify for the final. The song and the artist need to be an impeccable match.”

Meanwhile, for Alex Panayi, the most important thing is: “Originality and honesty! And you know it when you hear it. As a vocal coach I’m obviously also very attentive to the voice and what can be done to make it even better. When I listen to each song here, I also imagine what it would sound and look like on the Eurovision scene. There’s a lot to consider.”

How the act will look and sound in context is equally vital for César Sampson: “I’m looking for a song that translates well to Eurovision. It needs to be a hybrid, something that would work as well on television as it would in a stadium. So, a stageable song and a solid performer. I want to find a winner, someone who can fill a stage. You don’t need a specific music genre to succeed in Eurovision, and that’s the beauty of it. But you need a song with a vibrant range, with a ‘beat’ like in theatre.”

“As a group, our jury has very different starting points, but it makes a great dynamic,” concludes Christer Björkman. “For me, it’s important to find a song that can connect contemporary music with Luxembourg’s Eurovision legacy. What I’m looking for is a contemporary hit with a touch of Luxembourg, and I have no doubt that we will find a great selection of songs to fit the criteria for the national selection in January!”

The auditions continue until the beginning of December, when the list of candidates who will compete in the national final in Luxembourg will be announced. The Duchy’s national final will take place on 27 January and will give the people of Luxembourg the chance to choose the song and artist who will represent them at the 68th Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö in May, 31 years after their last performance in 1993.

Will Luxembourg continue its successful run at Eurovision?Stay tuned to EurovisionFun for all the news!

Source: RTL

Luxembourg: The live auditions ahead of Eurovision 2024 have begun!

Luxembourg is returning to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2024 after 30 years. As such, the Duchy’s public broadcaster decision-makers have the difficult task ahead of them of finding the delegate and the song that will represent Luxembourg in Malmö.

Thus, yesterday, Wednesday 22 November, the live auditions for the selection of Luxembourg’s representative at Eurovision 2024 started. These auditions will serve to select the finalists for the national final from which the artist representing the Duchy at the 68th edition of our favourite competition will emerge.

Jury Committee

A panel of five people with experience of the Eurovision Song Contest has the first and last say in the selection of the artists who will compete in the national final in Luxembourg. This panel is made up of the following:

Christer Björkmann, who is a Swedish producer and TV presenter as well as a former Eurovision participant (Sweden 1992). Björkmann has also served as Head of Delegation for Sweden, has produced the Contest in 2013 and 2015, where it was hosted in Sweden, as well as the only American Song Contest to date in 2022.

Jan Bors, who has served as Head of Delegation for the Czech Republic.

Cesár Sampson, who has represented Austria at Eurovision in 2018, taking first place in the jury vote. Sampson will also play an active role in the Czech national selection this year, as artistic director and presenter of the national final.

Alex Panayi, who is considered a Eurovision expert. Panagi has represented Cyprus at Eurovision twice, in 1995 and 2000. In recent years, he has acted as Vocal Coach for many Eurovision entries and was also the vocal coach for Helena Paparizou in 2005.

Tali Eshkoli, who is an Israeli television producer. Eshkoli was a producer for Eurovision 2019, has also worked on the Miss Universe 2021 contest held in Israel and has been a jury member for national selections of various countries over the years.

Source: RTL/Steve Muller

The auditions

During these auditions, candidates have just ten minutes on stage to convince the jury that they are the right act to represent Luxembourg. Several performers struggled with anxiety, to the point where they had to restart the audition several times.

Speaking about the process, ESC producer and jury member Tali Eshkoli described the excitement as “huge”, while her colleague Christer Björkmann agreed that Luxembourg had waited too long to return to the competition. The jury now has a “big responsibility and a huge challenge” to find the right candidate and get the best possible performance from each artist who takes to the stage during the auditions.

Source: RTL/Steve Muller

The auditions continue until the beginning of December, when the list of candidates who will compete in the national final in Luxembourg will be announced. The Duchy’s national final will take place on 27 January and will give the people of Luxembourg the chance to choose the song and artist who will represent them at the 68th Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö in May, 31 years after their last performance in 1993.

Will Luxembourg continue its successful run at Eurovision?Stay tuned to EurovisionFun for all the news!

Source: RTL

Luxembourg: The preselection’s final line-up will be decided by an international expert jury!

Luxembourg’s return to Eurovision after thirty years of absence is expected to be epic. A national selection will be held in order to choose the next Luxembourgish act and the preparations are on fire. The preselection was open to

  • either singers who already had a maximum of three songs to submit
  • or singers who did not have a song but they would like to represent Luxembourg in Eurovision and would therefore be contacted via RTL with a team of songwriters.

Following the closing of the submission window for the first category and the finish of the “castings” stage for the second category, RTL underwent an evaluation process, coming down to a shortlist of around 70 songs and 50 artists.

Now, it is up to an international jury to decide the final line-up.

The international jury

The choice of an international jury was made in order to achieve the greatest possible neutrality in a small country as Luxembourg. Hence, this jury consists of the following five members, strongly associated with Eurovision:

Christer Björkmann, who is a Swedish producer and TV host as well as a former Eurovision participant(Sweden 1992). Björkmann has also served as a Head of Delegation for Sweden, has produced the 2013 and 2016 editions of Eurovision Song Contest held in Sweden and the only and only to date American Song Contest.

Jan Bors, who has served as a Head of Delegation for Czechia.

Cesár Sampson, who has represented Austria in the 2018 edition of Εurovision and was crowned as the jury winner. Sampson will also play an active role in the Czech preselection this year, serving as an artistic director and the presenter of the national final.

Alex Panayi, who is also considered as a Eurovision expertise. Panayi has represented Cyprus in Eurovision on two occasions, in 1995 and 2000. In recent years, he has served as a vocal coach for several Eurovision participants and was also the backing vocalist of the 2005 winner, Helena Paparizou.

Tali Eshkoli, which an Israeli television producer. Eshkoli has been the producer of the 2019 edition of Eurovision, has also contributed to the 2021 edition of the Miss Universe competition held in Israel and has served as a jury member in various Eurovision preselections.

What’s next for the Luxembourgish preselection?

The names of the finalists who have managed to convince the jury will be revealed at the beginning of December.

The Luxembourgish national final will take place on January 27, 2024 in a major live show broadcast on RTL Télé. Viewers will be able to vote for the person they want to see represent Luxembourg at the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 in Malmö.

The former Eurovision powerhouse will return to the contest after thirty years of absence. During its almost fourty years participation, Luxembourg was crowned as the winner five times in total.

Will Luxembourg mantain its glorious Eurovision course? Stay tuned to EurovisionFun for all news!

Source: RTL

Eurovision Latin America: Preparations continue!

Through one of the biggest Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet it became known that the preparations for Eurovision Song Contest Latin America continue.

In more detail, upon the announcement that Christer Björkman will be the producer of the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 in Malmö, he also referred to the Latin American version of the contest, commenting that he works simultaneously for both projects.

At this point we remind you that the very first announcement for the Eurovision Song Contest Latin America took place in July 2022 (here) and the project is carried out by Voxovation with which Christer Björkman and Anders Lenhoff, Ola Melzig, Peter Settman and Greg Lipstone, who also worked on the American Song Contest and the Eurovision Song Contest Canada, collaborate with.

Source: Aftonbladet

Stay tuned on Eurovisionfun for all the updates around the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest!


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American Song Contest: Second season is cancelled!

The U.S adaptation of Eurovision Song Contest took place from the 29th of March to 9th of May 2022, including five qualifying rounds, two semi-finals and a grand final which was won by AleXa from Oklahoma. All shows were hosted by Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg and were aired from NBC. You can watch the winner’s performance below:

Ratings were lower than expected and there were several rumors online regarding the show not returning for a second season. Despite sources from NBC stating in November that the planning of the second season has started, Christer Bjorkman who was one of the producers of the show, confirmed while being in Spain for Benidorm Fest 2023, that the American Song Contest will not return in 2023.

He praised the production team of the show for their hard work while he stated his hope that the show will return in 2024. He also mentioned that five years are needed for the contest to be established in the U.S market.

While there is no official announcement from NBC regarding the cancellation of the show, by Mr Bjorkman’s statements it seems unlikely that the American version of Eurovision will return for a second season.

Stay tuned to Eurovisionfun for all the updates on American Song Contest and of course, Eurovision!

Source: Eurovoix

 

American Song Contest: Christer Björkman “upset” with the ratings!

Swedish producer Christer Björman worked last year with Peter Settman , Anders Lenhoff and Ola Melzig to bring Eurovision to the United States.  They were the men behind the American Song Contest which premiered in 2022.

However, the rating results were far from perfect.  The season premiere got only 2.9 million viewers.  The number dropped to just 1.6 million viewers.  This means that the American Song Contest got a smaller audience than Melodifestivalen despite the United States having a population 30 times bigger than Sweden!

In spite of this upset, Björkman considers that the final responsibility lies in the broadcaster in charge of the project, NBC.

That’s really a question for them to answer. Are they satisfied with how they got the message out? No, I do not think so. Are they happy with the viewership? No, I don’t think so either. Are they happy that they moved four weeks so they ended up on the same start date as Idol? No, I don’t think they’re happy with that either.

American Song Contest: second season?

After the show aired a number of NBC executives have been replaced.  At this point, the Swedish quartet is in contact with the new executives to discuss a second season.  According to Björkman, negotiations are still going on.  There is a 50/50 chance we will see a second season of the American Song Contest.  The team has sent a proposal to NBC executives that is pending for their approval.  In the end, the result will depend “on the money”.

AleXa won the American Song Contest 2022 representing the state of Oklahoma.

Source: Aftonbladet