Eurovision hopeful ‘loves the madness’

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Margaret Berger, Norway’s candidate in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, is ready to sing her heart out in Malmö, Sweden on Thursday when it will finally be her turn to compete for a place in the finals on Saturday. “I love the madness of all this,” she told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) as the Eurovision circus got underway this week.

Margaret Berger is among the favorites to win the Eurovision Song Contest this weekend, but the Norwegian media often ranks their own contestants quite high. PHOTO: NRK screen grab/newsinenglish.no

Margaret Berger is among the favorites to win the Eurovision Song Contest this weekend, but the Norwegian media often ranks their own contestants quite high. PHOTO: NRK screen grab/newsinenglish.no

Berger, age 27 from Trøndelag, won Norway’s version of Eurovision earlier this year with the new song “I feed you my love.” Some commentators and betting firms have placed her as a top candidate to win the annual European song contest, but Norwegian commentators have been known to be overly optimistic. Norway has only won Eurovision three times but quite famously in 2009 when Alexander Rybak chalked up the most points from ecstatic voters ever in the history of the 57-year-old song contest.

Berger has said she just wants Norway to end up in the top 10, even though she’d love to win like everyone else. This year’s event is being held just south of Norway in Malmö because Swedish singer Loreen won last year’s Eurovision. That obligates the winning country’s national broadcaster to host the next show, so singers from all over Europe have flocked to the multi-cultural city on the southern tip of Sweden for the week’s semi-finals and final on May 18.

“This is crazy, it’s like what you only see in the movies or huge events like the Oscars,” Berger told NRK. “This is a much bigger circus than I even thought.”

She was enjoying all the hype and attention, though. “I love the madness of all this,” she said. “I’m not used to it, but I can certainly get used to it.”

Berger was born on the island of Hitra just west of Trondheim in the county of Sør-Trøndelag. She first sprang to fame in Norway when she placed second in an Idol competition and debuted with her first album in 2004. She later has worked as a songwriter and as a music producer for NRK P3 and currently is working on her third album.

She told newspaper Aftenposten last week that she felt “a certain amount of responsibility” to be representing Norway at Eurovision, “but it’s a responsibility I have no problems living with. I rely on myself and have faith that I can do well.” Her song has been described as “hard-driving elektro-pop” and her form-fitting white dress has caught just as much attention. It gives new meaning to the term “slinky” and was ridiculed by one Swedish commentator, much to the fury of Norwegian fans who claimed the Swedes were “just jealous.”

Dress rehearsals were held Monday before the first of two semi-finals on Tuesday. Berger will sing in the second semi-final on Thursday, and if all goes well, again in the finals on Saturday.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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