Sweden: Head of Delegation talks about Frans and Eurovision

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Mari Ryberger is the new Swedish Head of Delegation. She is certainly no stranger to the world of Eurovision, and she will accompany Swedish representative Frans Jeppsson-Wall during his Eurovision-adventure.

Mari Ryberger, 47, is the successor of Christer Björkman as the Head of Delegation of the team accompanying the Swedish representative this year, Frans. Mari Ryberger started her career as a dancer, but she also has had many roles in musicals and theatres. She has also worked as a singer for many years.

Starting working as a choreographer in 2005, she became contributing producer of Melodifestivalen, the Swedish selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, in 2010. Since 2012, Mari Ryberger was Christer Björkman‘s assistant. Together with Lotta Furebäck, she created the staging for Frans’ song If I were sorry. Mari will accompany Frans on his Eurovision-adventure.

The stage performance will focus on Frans’ charm and authenticity, says Mari Ryberger:

Just as we did at Melodifestivalen, we’ll do it fairly small so that Frans stands out. For everyone who wants to get close to Frans, to experience his charm.

Mari Ryberger reveals that there will be no changes to the song, although she does not want to say too much about the performance:

We’ll make it a little more efficient and adapt it to the Eurovision stage, but that’s all I’m saying right now.

Sweden has done very well during the Eurovision Song Contest in the past years, winning in 2012 and 2015. Now the country hosts Eurovision, and Mari Ryberger hopes that Frans will do well:

It goes without saying, I hope that it will go great. They did not know how the international jury at Melodifestivalen would react, but they received him with open arms, and I hope that the rest of Europe will as well.

Frans is the youngest winner of Melodifestivalen since Carola won at age 16 with Främling in 1983. Mari Ryberger and other delegation members are trying to make his Eurovision-experience as comfortable as possible:

We work a lot to piece together Frans’ days, so that it does not become too overwhelming. He is still only 17 years, so you have to try to hold back a little, so that he is not astounded. We try to give him as much opportunity as we can to let him catch school. But of course he will miss some lessons when Eurovision kicks off in earnest. So it becomes a task for him to pick up after Eurovision.

Yet performing on home soil is a great support for Frans:

It gives you the feeling that you get greater support, to be backed up by all who really want Frans to do well. So it’s fun to do it at home, because so much freedom comes with it.

The main focus remains on Frans and his performance in Stockholm:

It’s about getting Frans safe, to calm him down so that he feels good.

Frans will perform If I were sorry during the grand final of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday May 14 2016, from position 9.

Enjoy the official videoclip of If I were sorry:

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