Interview: Sarah Dawn Finer

She's a lady.

Sarah Dawn Finer is a Swedish singer, songwriter and actress with British and American heritage. For those of you who were too pissed to remember that night in May, she performed at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest final as herself (with a stunning “naked” rendition of ABBA’s Winner Takes It All) as well as playing the English comedy-character ‘Lynda Woodruff’, a scatty half-tour guide/half-admin assistant, representative from the EBU [the European Broadcasting Union].

Push The Button caught up with the European super-star to chat about Ibiza Uncovered, “cosy” Malmö, the United Kingdom’s chances at Eurovision, and popping over to Vauxhall.

PUSH THE BUTTON: We absolutely adored your rendition of ABBA’s The Winner Takes It All – an apt song choice for the pre-voting bit of the show. How did that come about?

SARAH DAWN FINER: SVT [the Swedish equivalent of the BBC] asked me to make a demo version of The Winner Takes it All back in February. They had an idea to have a very “stripped down” version of the song in the finale right before the voting began, as a contrast to the glitzy show-numbers and big songs. I made a new version of the song three weeks before the show and recorded it with strings and a piano, which we then had to shorten to fit the two and a half minute slot we had to perform it in.

Were you nervous? You know, singing an ABBA song at Eurovision… in Sweden.

I was so nervous to perform it as the original is so loved. SVT wanted me to make my own take of it and yet I wanted to stay true as much as I could to the original.

The original is amazing. What do you think Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Björn and Benny made of it?

Well, I performed Summer Night City at the ABBA Museum opening in Stockholm in early-May, and Benny Andersson spoke to me about it! He said kind words of support which gave me confidence because he said he liked the version when he heard it – so that felt nice. I wanted to make sure he was OK with it, and listened to his comments.

…and, as we all know, it went down well on the night…
I had never sung for an audience that big, so I was more nervous than I had been for years, but the crowd was so loving and after the two and a half minutes I could finally breathe a sigh of relief that I hadn’t fucked it up too bad [laughs.]

Click here to read the full interview over at the Gay Times…

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