top of page

My journey on The Voice

Arthur Stulien

Jun 11, 2024

I haven't been able to give updates here during the live rounds, so I'll just sum it up in one and the same article. Before I start saying anything else: THANK YOU all for cheering me on, and giving me great feedback as the show went on. And last but not least, from the bottom of my heart – thank you for voting me all the way to the final!

The first live broadcast

This one was a "tough nut to crack". It was something I hadn't come across before, new and exciting, but all in all – a lot of fun! I realized quite early on in my The Voice participation that I was going to be placed "in the outskirts" compared to the rest of the contestants, but that didn't necessarily have to be a negative thing. Together with my coach Ina, we chose to strap on the boots, and let the country stamp be a strength.

The song "The More I Drink" is a great tune I've been singing along to for literally years, and it was really fun that it was the song I got to do in the first live round. I'll admit that I was a bit nervous about the song choice. I was eliminated just before the live rounds on Norwegian Idol in 2016 with a Blake Shelton song, and that did enter the back of my mind. But I chose not to tell anyone - in fact, not until I'm writing it here!

Watch the performance here, the article continues below the video

When the votes had been counted, and the result was clear, I felt that I had performed at a level I could be satisfied with. If I were to fail, my thoughts would have been that "I couldn't actually have done it any better, or differently", and if I were to advance, it would give a feeling of reward for the effort. When three names had been called up, and only one spot remained, the thought was that "it's all right, I'm actually satisfied".

Then, when my name was "pulled out of the hat" as the last participant, my whole body was filled with many different emotions, all at once. A joy over the fact that I (1) was advancing, (2) was getting to see the other participants again, (3) was getting to work with the wonderful Ina Wroldsen at least one more week, and last but not least (4), felt a gratitude for all those who voted. I also thought about the four contestants who were left standing – because with two previous participations and eliminations on Norwegian Idol, I know exactly how it feels. Because being eliminated sucks, don't let there be any doubt about that. But I of course hope they were also left with a feeling of having made a good figure and performed well through the program – because they have every right to so!

The article continues below the image


For those of us who took part in the first live broadcast, there was a week off when the remaining eight had to compete for a place in the quarter-finals, and I was back in Oslo for preparations on Sunday, May 5th.

The days in Oslo vary a bit. Mondays are spent recording the Spotify version of the performance, interviews, filming together with the coach, practicing with the coach, soundchecks, and most of all – waiting. The positive thing is that we get plenty of time to socialize with the production, the crew and the other participants. There will always be someone you connect with better than others, and for me it was my two new "brothers" – Eirik Zakariassen and Tor Vidar Rennestraum. The latter and yours truly have several times in recent months been confused with each other, and in several contexts have only been referred to as actual brothers. Eirik and myself also had great fun during the first week with "Eirik & Arthur Show", which went on a small victory lap on social media.

On to the competition. I went on to perform a tune that is not known as a typical country song, but as a songwriter, I have always had a taste for good songs – regardless of genre. "Wake Me Up" is without a doubt in that category. The theme for the quarter-final was adolescence, and as the pre-performance interview revealed, I wasn't always doing so well in my youth, struggling to figure out what and who I was supposed to be. To be honest, I didn't have the best feeling after the performance, but got to lower my shoulders with the feedback from the other participants and coaches.

Watch the performance here, the article continues below the video

Once again, I was to experience standing on stage when there was only one name left to call out. This time the feeling was "here I should've, and could've done better, so I understand if I'm being eliminated now". I also thought that TV2 wasn't going to use the "same trick" on me twice in a row, so when Lavrans was called out as the penultimate name, I prepared a brave smile and got ready to give goodbye hugs to those who had advanced.

When Siri (the host) said my name, I reacted with disbelief, and believe me – it actually came as a shock to me! I disappeared into another realm, and didn't even catch Ina's amazing reaction in the moment (but I've seen it countless times afterwards), and very much felt the same joys, compassion and gratitude as in the previous broadcast. The semi-final place was a fact, and after a week off, celebrating May 17th (national celebration of Norway's constitution), preparations had to be made for another live round.


The run-up to the semi-finals brought with it a few twists and turns that had to be manoeuvred. First of all, we had chosen to change the song, and despite the fact that everyone agreed that it was for the best, there was also a feeling that it could turn out to be a decision on impulse that could be fatal for the result . But I did feel strongly that we'd made the right decision. I didn't think I'd make it to the semi-finals, which I think the next words will certainly substantiate. I booked gigs on the weekends both before and after the semi-finals, and also the day before the live broadcast itself. So when I say "I didn't think I'd make it this far", I can actually prove it, haha! But as in the first live broadcast – it was just a matter of strapping on the boots, and showing that the will and desire for the dream of making it as an artist lives so strongly in me.

The song we chose to go for after changing the original plan was "Always On My Mind". One of the greatest songs, not only in the country world, but perhaps in music history. When the Monday schedule was completed, and the "days off from The Voice" (Tuesday and Wednesday) were over, it was time for the camera tests on Thursday as usual. I actually had a good feeling. Not in a way that I was necessarily going to advance, but that I was going to perform at my best – and in my head, that is a feeling that weighs equally as much. During the gig on Thursday night, I kind of disconnected a bit, but these weeks consisted of walking around and thinking about The Voice anyways. Fortunately for me, that good feeling from Thursday returned to me when I arrived at H3 Arena on Friday, and I felt satisfied with the performance when I went backstage to wait for the result.

Watch the performance here, the article continues below the video

As we climbed the stairs backstage, and took the last few steps out onto the "dreaded" stage to hear the vote, my mind went back to the first live broadcast. I was satisfied, regardless of which of the two destinies I was facing. Just before the first name was called out, I remember that the last thought that struck me was "if I advance today, at least I won't be the last name called up".

The Voice chooses to give me the completely opposite experience, and it is my name that is called up first, and the joy literally bursts out of me. Roars of jubilation, euphoria, wild atmosphere among "my attendees", and a coach who almost falls out of her chair. CAN I GET A YEEHAW. My dear hometown Byremo, the supportive citizens of Lyngdal municipality, and Norway's country fans had a representative in the actual final of The Voice 2024. It gave me a sense of pride and humility – something I feel even after the program has finished.


If someone had told me before the Blind Audition that "don't worry, you'll be in the final", I actually think I wouldn't have been able to go out and sing the first song. As I said in some interviews before the live rounds, you obviously don't accept the invitation or sign up for these programs without having a hope or a dream of being able to stand in a final, or to go all the way to the top. But when it actually comes to it, it's incredibly difficult to say that you had faith in it all along – because I certainly did not!

My journey was, in a way, already over in the battle rounds! In the few seconds where I was actually eliminated from the competition, I pretty much already started planning how I was going to try and make the best of it. The fact that Ina Wroldsen chose to steal me, perhaps even in record speed, and to have such faith in me all the way, has given me a newfound love for the dream of making it as an artist, and it was almost poetic that it was the two of us who were to be in a final.

We got the message about the duet with our coaches shortly after the quarter-finals, and it was probably a huge and driving force for me in the semi-finals. Imagine singing together with Ina Wroldsen?! At the meeting where we were to decide songs for the potential final and super final, we quickly agreed. And believe it or not – the duet we performed together was actually Ina's proposal! The song we chose to go for is one of the biggest in the genre, and was created by one of the most iconic married couples in country, if not the entire music industry. And it burns, burns, burns... The ring of fire.

Watch the performance here, the article continues below the video

I think, or at least hope, that the performance shows how much fun we had on stage. I also feel that the duet shows how great and fun the collaboration with Ina has been throughout this spring. The song was very different compared to what the others did in the final – but when my "The Voice chapter" was going to end during that night anyway, why not use it the same way as we agreed before the first live broadcast; use it to our strength.

I honestly believe that there are no other songs that would have changed my result in the final – for me this was the perfect song. And with that in mind, I'm not actually left with a feeling that I've lost or missed out on anything. The song I was supposed to potentially perform in a super final has been released anyway, and I'm really proud of what I recorded on it, but I don't feel any resentment over the fact that I didn't get to show it. For all I know, I may feel that way eventually, but now that I'm starting to realize what I've been a part of, I don't feel it, and that's actually pretty good. "Going out" with Ring of Fire was going out with a bang, and I'm extremely proud and delighted with the performance and the "show" we made – same thing goes for the whole The Voice adventure.

Hopefully, during my journey on The Voice, you've enjoyed the music I've performed. It is available on all streaming platforms, find it on the button below.

To my co-finalists

Inger Lise Hope – you are a star, and your victory is of the deserved kind. Your voice belongs in the music industry, and I can't wait to see what you will accomplish!

Lavrans Svendsen – what an artist you are. The Voice stage has probably never seen such a "complete artist" among the contestants, and for all we know, you're going to go down in history as the most complete artist to ever participate. You've already gained international attention, and the world is at your feet - go get 'em!

Nola Kvarme – it's amazing how brave you are. 16 years old, and amongst the finalists in a season that has been referred to as the season with the very highest level. It shows an incredible strength! When I was 16 myself, I wouldn't have been nowhere near you when it comes to courage and talent, and I think you can have just the career you want if you put your mind to it!

Siri and the other coaches

Our dear host is just awesome, and absolutely fantastic. The audience and viewers don't get to see half of what Siri does for us, and how she supports absolutely all participants in the entire process. I have so much respect for what you do, and I think everyone, tv-hosts or not, has something to learn from your kindness.

I was lucky enough to work with Espen Lind at the start of the show, and even though my "stay" at Team Espen was short, it was very important for me to get to know and be part of the team of such a great artist and songwriter. I've really, really appreciated all the great feedback and well wishes throughout these months!

I didn't get to work closely with Jarle and Yosef, but meeting them in the hallways, chatting during the breaks, and getting to perform in front of two artists of such high rank has helped make this whole experience the surreal journey it has been. It has been a pleasure.

Team Yeehaw

Then there is my dear coach, Ina Wroldsen. Team Worlds – Team Yeehaw. What a supporter, what a commitment to her participants, what an honor it has been to work closely with such a role model from the Knockout rounds and all the way to the final. She has been very firm in answering every time I have said that I feel lucky to work with her, that she is the lucky one. Let me emphasize once and for all that it is me, it is all the participants who are lucky to work with her. Yes, she chooses (and steals) contestants who are good at what they do, but that is by no means a given. It is she who makes the choice to work with us, and it is we who have the greatest honor and pleasure from the collaboration.

Thank you

If you have come this far in the article, I can gladly announce that you have now reached the last paragraph, and I will try to keep it short. The participation, the journey, the adventure, the experience that is "The Voice" has been a time of my life, cliché as it is. I have appreciated, enjoyed, dreaded, yes, felt the whole range of emotions, and I am left with only good memories. I have thanked many people throughout the article, and choose to finally thank what is most important to me. My family who have supported, cheered and voted like crazy, and even though I can be a little embarrassed at times by some of the things they do, I love them with all my heart, and I am incredibly grateful for everything they do, and have done these last months.

The Voice 2024 – thanks for everything ❤️

bottom of page