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‘Nobody Believed In It’: Loreen Reflects On The Performance That Changed Eurovision 10 Years On

5 17 18
14.05.2022

Loreen performing Euphoria at Eurovision in 2012

A dark, empty stage. Sudden flashing lights. Then, from nowhere, an ear-splitting siren that was heard around the globe. That’s how Swedish singer Loreen began her performance at the Eurovision Song Contest a decade ago.

The first time viewers saw Loreen, she was almost completely in darkness, barefoot and with her thick fringe down to her eyes, singing the opening lines of her song Euphoria.

Over the next three minutes, her performance would incorporate strobe effects, a fake snowstorm and choreography reminiscent of martial arts.

All of this helped make Euphoria an immediately-iconic performance, and gave Sweden the runaway win at the competition that year. It also changed Eurovision in ways that are still being felt in 2022.

Before she became one of Eurovision’s most recognisable contestants, Loreen freely admits she didn’t have much of a grasp of what the competition was about.

“I was a hippie,” she tells HuffPost UK. “I wasn’t aware of Eurovision, I didn’t even own a television at that time.

“My life was basically about being in a spiritual place where I could meditate and work on that at that time. Media, television and everything, that was not even in my sphere, and especially not competitions.”

When Eurovision entered her world, Loreen had already had a few brushes with the music industry. After finishing in fourth place in her native Sweden’s version of Pop Idol in 2004, she competed in Melodifestivalen – the Swedish selection show, which is watched by around half of the population – for the first time in 2011, the year before her actual win

However, Loreen notes that these past experiences had left her feeling a little dissatisfied.

“A lot of things I did before Eurovision were a compromise, basically,” she explains. “People having ideas and thoughts about how I should be, and me trying to satisfy that. ‘We see you like this’, ‘we see you like that’, and I was just like, ‘OK, OK, OK’. And it was painful to do that.”

That’s why, she says, when Eurovision came along, it was imperative that she took on creative control and create the performance herself – without having to present to anyone before it was fully realised.

As she puts it: “Nobody knew anything. They didn’t know what I’d created. And they were scared as fuck.

“Basically, this was my first performance that was actually a reflection of something that was really me. I wanted to prove that if you create something authentic, no matter what it is, if it comes from a real place,........

© HuffPost


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