Daði Freyr, Iceland’s 2021 Eurovision representative, delighted fans a couple of weeks ago when he announced that wife Árný was expecting the couple’s second child.
We here at Aussievision thought it would be fun to look back at other Eurovision stars who took part in the contest whilst pregnant.
Kirsten Siggard Andersen – Denmark - 1984 & 1988
Danish duo Kirsten Siggard Andersen and Søren Bundgaard Nielsen performed as ‘Hot Eyes’ at the 1984 Eurovision Song Contest with ‘Det’ lige det’. At the time, Kirsten, 29, was pregnant with her first son to husband Jorgen Andersen although this is not immediately obvious as she was in the earlier stages of her pregnancy at the time. If you look closely you can just see the beginnings of a baby bump when she is shown from side angles but most of the focus is on the three backup singers who also manage to pull off an intricate dance routine. The duo went on to finish fourth behind Sweden, Ireland and Spain.
It was a different story in 1988, when the duo returned to Eurovision for a third time with Ka' du se hva' jeg sa'?’ after also representing Denmark in 1985. This time 33-year-old Kirsten was heavily pregnant with her second son whom she gave birth to only three weeks after the contest. On this occasion, Kirsten wore a flowing green dress with plenty of room for her baby bump which becomes particularly obvious during some mid-performance close-ups.
Whilst Kirsten manages a small stage walk during the second verse, she mostly stays in the same position for the majority of the song. And why not – she has Søren and four dancers to do all the moves for her and move they do! This time the duo finished third behind Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Keep an eye out for the particularly exuberant guitar playing ballet dancer who takes out the conductor with her guitar throw at the end of the performance (all planned of course)!
Romina Power – Italy – 1985
American actor/singer Romina Power and her Italian husband Al Bano (Albano Carrisi) represented Italy twice at Eurovision, finishing seventh in both 1976 and 1985.
By the time they competed for the second time with ‘Magic Oh Magic’, the couple had two children aged 14 and 12. Keeping it in the family, their oldest daughter Ylenia was one of their backing singers during the performance...that’s her in the white dress singing the introduction to the song.
Little did we know that during this performance on 4 May 1985, Romina, 33, was in the very early stages of pregnancy with the couple’s third child, a daughter named Cristèl who was born in December that year. The couple went on to have another daughter in 1987. Tragically Ylenia went missing in 1994 at the age of 23 whilst visiting New Orleans and was declared dead in absentia in 2014.
Romina and Al divorced in 1999 but still occasionally perform together. Ironically, a concert special celebrating Al's career featuring Romina and the couple's other three children will be aired on Italian television in direct competition to the Eurovision Grand Final this year.
Kikki Danielsson – Sweden – 1985
Another artist in the early weeks of pregnancy at the 1985 contest was Sweden’s Kikki Danielsson, 32.
Having already competed for Sweden in 1982 as part of the group ‘Chips’, this time Kikki returned as a solo artist where she finished third with ‘Bra vibrationer’. She had married musician Kjell Roos a few months prior and the couple gave birth to daughter Emma in December of that year.
Son Viktor was born six years later but the couple separated in 1999. Kikki went on to compete at Sweden's national final 'Melodifestivalen' a further four times and also made an unsuccessful attempt to represent Norway in 2003. She was elected in to the Melodifestivalen Hall of Fame in 2020 in recognition of her ten appearances in the competition.
Regina – Slovenia – 1996
Slovenian singer Regina (Irena Jalšovec), 30, wore a high waisted green dress with flowing skirt to accommodate her baby bump during her 1996 performance of 'Dan najlepših sanj'.
This was the second year that she had attempted to represent Slovenia at Eurovision as she had finished fourth in the national final in 1993. Given the song was an up-tempo ballad, there was no dancing required and Regina was able to perform all of her movements from the one stage position. In an interview with ESC Bubble in 2016, Regina commented on her performance:
“Two amazing things were happening to me at that time – being pregnant and performing on Eurovision. It was a coincidence that they were happening at the same time and I would rather experience them separately. Performing on Eurovision is fantastic, but it is also full of responsibility and stress which does not have a good effect on the baby and the other way around.”
Regina was only able to manage 21st position but she did go on to compete at the Slovenian national final EMA a further six times, the most recent being in 2016.
Anna Wisniewska (Świątczak) – Poland – 2006
Anna Świątczak joined Polish group Ich Troje just after they competed at Eurovision for the first time in 2003.
In 2006, the group represented Poland again with ‘Follow My Heart’ joined by rapper Olaf Jeglitza (O-Jay) from German band Real McCoy.
Anna, 29, was five months pregnant at the time with lead singer Michał Wiśniewski’s baby, the couple having married in Las Vegas three months earlier. The group wore gold coloured masquerade themed outfits complete with masks for the girls.
Several times during the performance, Michał knelt in front of Anna and placed his hand on her stomach, as if he was singing to their unborn child. Towards the end of the song, the couple shared a passionate kiss before Michał ripped off Anna's cloak to reveal her pregnant belly to the cheers of the audience. The group just missed out on making it through to the Grand Final, finishing in 11th place by a mere six points. Anna went on to give birth to a daughter in September of that year followed by another daughter in 2008. She left the group in 2010 and her and Michał divorced the following year.
Aurela Gaçe – Albania – 2011
Aurela Gaçe, 36, was pregnant when she represented Albania in 2011 with ‘Feel The Passion’. Little information is known about her pregnancy but it was reported that she didn’t reveal the news publicly until after the contest was over.
Aurela wears a flowing beige winged dress during her performance but if you look carefully during the few close-up shots there are of her, you can distinctly see a small baby bump. Sadly Aurela’s soaring rock styled vocals were not enough to progress to the Grand Final. The song finished 14th in Semi Final 1.
Birgit – Estonia – 2013
24-year-old Birgit Õigemeel represented Estonia in 2013 whilst four months pregnant with her first child. Wearing a strapless floaty white dress which hid her baby bump from view, Birgit managed to walk around the stage with ease throughout the performance of which the first fifty seconds was shown in black and white.
'Et uus saaks alguse' just scraped through to the Grand Final, finishing tenth in Semi Final 1. In the Grand Final she finished in 20th place.
She gave birth to a boy in October of that year. Birgit and her manager husband Indrek Sarrap had a second child, a daughter, in 2016. Since her Eurovision performance, Birgit has continued with her theatre career and also appeared in the Estonian production of Mamma Mia.
Trijntje Oosterhuis – Netherlands – 2015
Trijntje Oosterhuis, 41, (Judith Katrijntje Oosterhuis) sang ‘Walk Along’ for the Netherlands in 2015. At the time, the viewing public was none the wiser that she was pregnant as she was only two months along and had not publicly revealed the news. She finally announced the pregnancy on her website in late June and went on to give birth to her third child, a girl, in December of that year.
Trijntje finished 14th in the first semi final and did not progress to the Grand Final. She did however win the Barbara Dex Award for the worst dressed artist in the competition that year. We'll cut Trijntje some slack on this one...it has been speculated that her pregnancy may have been behind a change in costume from the figure-hugging dress she wore in rehearsals to the black 'parachute' style dress she ultimately performed in. A pregnant lady's gotta be comfortable on stage after all!
Ira Losco – Malta – 2016
Malta's Ira Losco almost took out the Eurovision Song Contest in 2002, losing out to Latvia’s Marie N by a mere 12 points. After winning Malta's national final again in 2016, Ira, 34, returned with ‘Walk on Water’. This time she was six months pregnant with her first child, a fact she only confirmed just two days before the competition. Her black and gold jewelled dress with thigh high split was designed by Australian Alex Zabotto-Bentley and the song finished 12th with Ira giving her baby bump a rub at the conclusion of her performance.
In a later interview on Maltese television in 2018 about her Eurovision experience, Ira said,
“I wanted to send a message that women can do whatever they want, even when they are pregnant”.
Admitting that finding out she was pregnant just before the national final had complicated matters, she didn't want to disappoint her supporters by pulling out and wanted to give it a shot. Ira and husband Sean Gravina welcomed baby Harry in August of 2016 and had their second child, a daughter Gigi, in November last year.
Jana Burceska – Macedonia – 2017
Jana Burceska, 23, was not dancing alone when she sang ‘Dance Alone’ for Macedonia in 2017, she was in fact four months pregnant! Her pregnancy was announced by way of her Eurovision postcard just before she took to the stage in Semi Final 2. Footage of her having an ultrasound had been discretely included amidst scenes of her enjoying the sights of host city Kiev in Ukraine. Jana wore a short legged black cat suit and knee high boots where her baby bump was just noticeable, particularly from side on, and she had no trouble keeping up with the dance moves.
In an interview with Wiwibloggs after the surprise reveal, Jana said
"I was already in the good condition with the promo tours and all the interviews I did on those long days in London and Amsterdam especially…so I think I did pretty well...sometimes while hanging out with the delegation I always wanted to make these pregnant women jokes, but I was like, ‘no one knows, so you better control yourself."
Unfortunately despite being one of the favourites to qualify, ‘Dance Alone’ finished 15th in its semi final and did not go through to the Grand Final. All was not lost though, as Jana’s boyfriend proposed to her live on air during her green room interview with host Timur Miroshnychenko. Fortunately she said yes and the couple gave birth to a daughter named Dona in October that year.
Árný Fjóla Ásmundsdóttir – Iceland – 2021
There will be seven people on stage when Iceland’s Daði og Gagnamagnið perform in Rotterdam this year. Árný Fjóla Ásmundsdóttir, wife of lead singer Daði Freyr, is expecting the couple’s second child, as announced on their Instagram pages in late April. Ironically, their song “10 Years” is an ode from Daði to Árný celebrating their ten year relationship. Footage from Iceland's first rehearsal in Rotterdam shows the group in black pants and their trademark green tops featuring personalised avatars. Árný's top is more of a knee length dress, much longer than the rest of the group's and no doubt designed to accommodate her growing belly. Árný will be 23 weeks pregnant by the time the group perform in the second semi final on 20 May and is due in September. The couple already have a daughter, Áróra, born in 2019 who was the inspiration for their 2020 entry “Think About Things”.
Vanna – Croatia - 2001
An honourable mention goes to Vanna (Ivana Ranilović-Vrdoljak) who represented Croatia in 2001 after taking out national final DORA on her second attempt. Vanna, 30, was heavily pregnant with her second child during her national final performance of ‘Strune ljubavi’ on 4 March that year. Wearing a strapless black dress with plenty of room for her baby bump, Vanna was able to stay in the one position throughout her song, leaving most of the action to her two dancers.
Just two months later, Vanna performed at Eurovision having given birth to daughter Jana, her second child, just weeks earlier. Dressed in a gold top and pants, you would never have known she had just become a mum for the second time. Her song, which had been renamed ‘Strings of My Heart’, finished tenth.