Last night Norway selected tattooed bear Carl Espen as this year’s Eurovision entry. Espen’s song, which was written by his openly lesbian cousin Josephin Winther, is thus far is the only ballad in the competition. Unlike many other Eurovision acts, which often are local or international pop stars, Espen is an unknown glass salesman.
“I’m feeling a lot right now, both relief and joy,” Carl Espen told state broadcaster NRK’s program hosts Jenny Skavlan and Erik Solbakken. “It feels just completely fantastic.” He admitted to also feeling pressure from all the hype about his song, which is a ballad that starts off slowly and quietly but builds up along the way and allows his voice to boom towards the end. “I just focused on what I needed to do,” he told NRK, which aired the show live from the Oslo Spectrum Arena. “And I’m just so incredibly grateful that Vestlandet managed to mobilize so many votes.”
I can’t find any mention of Espen being gay, but the cover photo on his Facebook page might be a clue.