Thursday, 23 June 2011

a non-crappy non-housewife speaks

Regular visitors will know that I've lately become rather fixated on the musical stylings emanating from the little Norwegian town of Holmestrand and the pretty mouth of one Ms. Tonje  Langeteig.

Tonje, who had achieved some small degree of fame purely on the domestic scene in Norway earlier this year as a contestant on the country's version of the Dating in the Dark TV show, caused a much bigger stir in early June. Switching her attention from reality TV romancing to belting out a catchy Europop number, she caught the imagination of an international audience with her debut song I Don't Wanna Be a Crappy Housewife. Crazy title. But musically at least, it sounds like pretty standard continental fare. That tune and that arrangement wouldn't really sound out of place as a Eurovision entry.

But songs with the word 'crappy' in the title are not exactly two-a-penny, and some of the lyrics stand out as pretty unusual, even in the context of having been written by folks whose first language is not English.

As the platinum blonde chanteuse clambers slightly inelegantly from the back of a black Mercedes in the video, we hear her charmingly accented voice deliver the spoken line "Hi, my name is Tonje. I'm a little pretty girl trapped inside a grownup's body."

For this is my england everything about what follows screamed 'spoof': the hilariously bad dancing and rapping of Tonje's pals; the lingering shots of the trappings of a wannabe bling lifestyle. On its own, I'd find this pretty funny. But my bigger belly laughs rang out on seeing article after article taking the song and video to be a serious but poorly executed pop offering rather than a well planned, low budget parody. The negative comments, all missing the joke, it seemed to me, became so numerous that someone (I'd guess it was Jitse Buitnik of Stalker Management) decided to set up a Tonje Langeteig Music Video Comments Hall of Fame on Facebook. Highlights from said Hall of Fame include: "parents walked in so I quickly switched to porn" and "there are levels of retardation that most people don't even know about - until now."

Hoping to be confirmed in the belief that this is my england had understood a joke that countless others had missed, I jumped at the chance to join an online Q&A session with Tonje, kindly organised yesterday by the good people of, the entertainment portal of Norwegian tabloid newspaper Dagbladet. Time was limited, and I was the only one asking questions in English. So I missed a lot of what was going on. I did, however, manage to get a few answers from Ms.  Langeteig:

this is my england: The words of the song, the outfits and the dancing in the video: it's clearly a parody, right? Was the main intention for it to be funny?

Tonje Langeteig: Yes, no doubt about it. Catchy and funny. Me and my boys are the winners!

t.i.m.e.: I think it's hilarious that so many people around the world have bothered to give you negative feedback. It seems they don't get the joke. How do you feel about that?

TL: [They have] too much time and too little self-esteem!

t.i.m.e.: Stalker Management Norway - are they a real company or is that all part of the same joke? Did it exsist before your song was recorded?

TL: Stalker is a new company with many other artists and models. How else could I be promoted this much?

(with all the respect so clearly due to the lovely Tonje, Stalker's website kinda gives lie to this claim)

t.i.m.e.: Dating in the Dark - What was that like? Did you find true love?

TL: No, but someone found me! 

t.i.m.e.: Being on that show and then releasing the song in the same year. Does this mean you're actively trying to be famous? 

TL: I AM FAMOUS!!!!!!! 

t.i.m.e.: Do you think you'll never be a crappy housewife? Or could you be a crappy housewife for the right man? 

TL: If I'm ever a housewife, I'll be the best housewife ever. 

t.i.m.e.: As well as being a sudden internet sensation, we know you're a student now and that you're in your late twenties. So what else have you done since leaving school? 

TL: I've worked as a riding instructor. I love my horses!

So there you have it. Parody pop is what it is - and this is my england maintains the Tonje's debut effort is a very fine example of the genre. I look forward to the rumoured follow up single and to more from Holmestrand's most famous equestrian-cum-good-humoured pop diva.


  1. Even if this "interview" with TL is real, she's pulling the old Tommy Wiseau on you. When his serious drama movie failed completely, he changed it to a "black comedy" movie and then it was successful. Her song bombed, so UH OH it was all a surprise at the end.

  2. It's real. Did it myself via a Norwegian entertainment site that had her field a few questions. It's all a gag. Really.