Eurovision.tv: For how long has your music career lasted to date? What was your background before becoming involved with the Eurovision Song Contest?
Maria: "Well, i've been singing for about as long as I can remember. I think I was singing before I was talking even!. My first professional job was when I was 11 years old. I played Annie in a musical. I moved from Northern Norway to Oslo to enable me to further my career. I then got the part of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. I've done other musicals like Fame and Hair. A lot of shows, I have one album, which was released after I featured in the Norwegian Idol series."
Eurovision.tv: Do you feel that your experience of singing live every week on a show like Norwegian Idol helps you prepare for a live event like the Eurovision Song Contest?
Maria: "Well, i'd actually say that being in the musicals has helped me more than that. That's what real performances are about. Five times a week in Norway, and in the United Kingdom it can be seven times a week, and twice a day. I have done shows like that myself. Thats how showbiz is for me. Ilike to do 100% more every day!"
Eurovision.tv: How was the Hold On Be Strong project started? Who's idea was it to enter the Norwegian selection for the Eurovision Song Contest?
Mira: "Well, I wrote the song actually ten years ago, when I was only 15 years old. It was the first song I ever wrote, and now Maria is putting it to life here, and doing a very nice job!. A friend of ours from Norwegian television called me personally, as I am an artist myself in Norway too. He asked if I had any song that I could enter for the selection. I said I would think about it, and then five minutes later I called him back and said I had a perfect song!. They were pleased as they had been trying to persuade Maria to enter for a long time!."
Maria: "When I heard the song, I just thought wow, I really need to sing this song!. I am delighted to be here singing Mira's song."
Eurovision.tv: Since winning the Norwegian national selection, have you done any promotion outside of Norway?
Maria: "No, it has been mostly concentrating on the home audience, as I have released a new album, so it was an ideal time to promote it with the Eurovision Song Contest coming up."
Eurovision.tv: Finally, last night in the First Semi-Final, you were the last country to be announced as a qualifier, and then you drew last position in the final. Can you begin to try and explain how all of that emotion felt?.
Maria: "It was so emotional, I say how would you feel if it happened to you! When the last envelope was there, we had our fingers crossed, we were thinking it has to be us it has to be us, it's gonna be us!. And then when we drew position number 25 you saw our reaction. We are delighted with that. There were so many SMS messages coming through on the phone from Norway last night. We'd like to thank everyone who sent the messages, and for their support."
Eurovision.tv would like to thank Maria and Mira Craig for their interview. Check out the YouTube link below where Maria & Mira have a message for the viewers and readers.