Having discussed Croatian backing singer Martina Majerle, and featured the Conchita before Conchita in our biographies, today we are moving up north, to Scandinavia, to meet three notable participants of Eurovision, who seem to have been forgotten in the mists of time. Let’s look at the competitive history of Hanne Krogh, Elisabeth Andreassen, and Kikki Danielsson.
Hanne was the first of our trio to compete in the contest, when she represented Norway in the 1971 contest. The fifteen-year-old sang “Lykken er…”, but did not see much success. She placed second-last, with only Malta coming behind.
Later on in the decade, Kikki began her attempt at Eurovision when she competed in Melodifestivalen 1978. She fronted the Swedish band Wizex in the song “Miss Decibel”, but the song only placed second, missing out on the chance to be in the Jerusalem contest.
That same year, Hanne decided to compete in Norsk Melodi Grand Prix with the song “Når vi er barn”, but the song ended in last place with two points.
Kikki was a founding member of the dansband Chips, which competed in the 1980 edition of Melfest. The song was “Mycke’ mycke’ mer”, and it placed fourth.
Elisabeth Andreassen started off her musical career in 1980. Shortly after Melfest, she joined Swedish dansband Chips. In 1981, the group competed in Melodifestivalen with the song “God morgen”. Kikki matched her prior result when the group came second, only behind Björn Skifs.
Chips has previously been a quartet, but only Elisabeth and Kikki were left when one member left and another decided to pursue songwriting for the group. They competed again in Melodifestivalen 1982, with the song “Dag efter dag”. In the end, they triumphed and won the right to represent Sweden in the contest. This led to them both making their Eurovision début in Harrogate, where they placed eighth.
Kikki competed in Melodifestivalen solo the following year, with the song “Varför är kärleken röd?”. She placed second.
Elisabeth then attempted to represent Sweden solo in 1984, with the song “Kärleksmagi”. This came in last place at Melodifestival.
Later that year, she and Hanne joined forces to create the duo Bobbysocks!. Under this new name, the pair competed in NMGP the next year and won the right to represent the country in Elisabeth’s hometown of Gothenburg. With the jazzy swing number “La Det Swinge”, the two brought Norway to it’s first-ever Eurovision victory.
At that time, Norway had not received the powerhouse status that it holds today, and their win was congratulated in a special manner by host Lill Lindfors:
“I must say I am honestly very happy that this happened because Norway has been last on so many times that you really deserve it!”
To which Krogh replied,
“You’re happy? What do you think we are?!”
However, there was also some friendly rivalry in Gothenburg. The host country’s entry was Kikki Danielsson’s song “Bra vibrationer”, which came in third.
The three Scandinavian singers went on a Eurovision hiatus after this, having been content with their most recent placings. None of them competed in either Norsk Melodi Grand Prix or Melodifestivalen for the rest of the decade. Hanne and Elisabeth ended the Bobbysocks! partnership in 1987.
The Scandinavian Gals Are Still Going Strong
As soon as the new decade started, Elisabeth was back on her feet and ready to return to the contest that catapulted her to fame. She competed once again in Melodifestivalen with the song “Jag ser en stjärna falla”, but fell flat and placed seventh.
In 1991 Norway experimentally ditched the national final format and internally selected Hanne’s new quartet, Just 4 Fun (which featured two-time Icelandic representative Eiríkur Hauksson), to represent them in Malmö. The broadcaster was overconfident in their decision, and “Mrs. Thompson” only placed 17th. This would be Hanne’s last attempt at the contest; she has not competed in Norsk Melodi Grand Prix since.
Elisabeth hosted Norsk Melodi Grand Prix the next year, while Kikki made her return to Melodifestivalen. She also had a disappointing comeback, as “En enda gång” came only fourth.
After taking a break in 1993, Elisabeth (under new moniker “Bettan”) and Norwegian teen star Jan Werner Danielsen won the Norwegian national final and sung “Duett” in Millstreet. The pair placed 6th.
She returned to the contest for, as of now, the last time in 1996. Her song “I evighet”, won Norway it’s first silver medal.
Her final solo attempt at Norsk Melodi Grand Prix, with the song “Winds of the Northern Sea”, placed second in 1998.
Move Aside For The Younger People
In 2002, Kikki and Elisabeth (now known as “Bettan”) joined together with 1987 Swedish entrant Lotta Engberg to form the trio Kikki, Bettan, & Lotta. They competed in Melodifestivalen that year, and although it was the first time they were not obligated to sing in Swedish, they continued tradition by doing so. “Vem é dé du vill ha” finished third that year. They tried again in 2003, but this time the three Swedes went to Norway. This was Lotta and Kikki’s first time in NMGP, although Elisabeth had become a pan-Scandinavian celebrity through it. They kept up the old-time schlager and placed fourth with “Din hand i min hand”.
Kikki had a falling out with the others in 2004. After going her own way, she tried Melodifestivalen one more time with “I dag och i morgen”. She placed a pathetic tenth.
Later that year, Elisabeth’s duet partner from 1994, Jan Werner Danielsen, was found dead in his flat. At his funeral, she made a special tribute to him by singing Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” along with Danielsen’s prerecorded voice.
Although this tribute wasn’t filmed out of respect for the family, we can show you Andreassen’s Swedish-language cover of the song from a 2012 episode of “Så ska det låta”, being accompanied by 2009’s Norwegian victor, Alexander Rybak.
Hanne, Elisabeth, and Kikki, we have one thing to say: “thank you for the music”!