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Norway: Former Eurovision winner supports Agnete

12 May 2016 at 19:00 CEST
Elisabeth Andreassen in Eurovision Song Contest's Greatest Hits event in London, 2015 Thomas Hanses (EBU)
Tonight Norway competes in the Second Semi-Final. Their participation in the competition has not been plain sailing, due to mental health problems that Agnete is currently experiencing. She has received great support from her team and fans. Other singers have also come forward to back her up, one of them is the former Eurovision Song Contest winner Elisabeth Andreassen from Bobbysocks.

Elisabeth ”Bettan” Andreassen is a legend in the Eurovision Song Contest scene. She has competed in the Swedish and Norwegian national selections 12 times, and four of them led her to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest. 

A lot has changed since her first participation in the competition. She thinks that the biggest difference is that the pressure for the artists is much bigger now than 34 years ago. ”It was not as much pressure. We had to do the rehearsals, press conferences, parties and meetings with the press. But not to the same extent as today, it was possible to overcome”, says Elisabeth Andreasson.

Her first national selection for Eurovision Song Contest was in 1981 for Sweden in the duo Sweets 'n Chips with Kikki Danielsson and the song God Morgon. Then she was only 21 years old, the same age as Agnete is now. ”I think it’s tougher to compete in Eurovision when you are young. You really need a great team behind you and it’s important to trust yourself.”

In 1985, Elisabeth ”Bettan” Andreassen was back for the third time in the Eurovision Song Contest. She competed for Norway, this time together with Hanne Krogh in the duo Bobbysocks. Their song won the whole competition and made Norwegian music history. ”To win for Norway was an explosion, both for the team and our audience. It was Norway’s first time and it was such a surprise.”

After many year’s of both national selections for Norway and Sweden and the Eurovision Song Contest, she has learned where the focus should be. ”I don’t think all of the press conferences and interviews will make the difference. When you have a talent and use your power on stage, it will show and that is what counts in the end.”

Elisabeth Andreassen supports Agnete in her choice to skip many of the interviews during Eurovision Song Contest. She is also impressed by her courage, not to hide her health problems. ”I think Agnete is a strong girl. She makes the right choices, being careful and save herself for the stage tonight. Agente is sending out such an important message for girls and boys to follow their dreams and not letting health get in the way.”

It’s important to have a solid foundation to stand on when you join the competition and it starts with the team and song. ”You really have to love your song. It’s like picking your husband. Because you have to live with the song for the rest of your life. Be true to yourself and say: Yes, I do. I have been singing La Det Swinge for 31 years and I still feel happy every time. It’s so important to love your song and I still love my husband.”

Elisabeth will cheer for Agnete tonight. ”Now it’s her turn to use her three minutes on stage. She will be great and I wish her good luck.”