Elisabeth Andreassen wasn't just anybody, though. She had taken part three times before, she was well established and thoroughly experienced, and she had won the whole contest together with Hanne Krogh and then toured the world as part of Bobbysocks.
Also, Norwegian papers were quite moderate in their predictions. They seemed to agree that the home entry was elegant but not exciting enough to carry particularly far in the voting. This would be an easy ride for Bettan.
And yet she didn't sing as well as she could. Nowhere near as well as in the national final and she even gets her lyrics slightly wrong. Almost like she didn't really focus. Like this was yet another rehearsal and not the big thing.
She wasn't the only one, however. Disappointingly many of the acts under-perform in the 1996 final. They don't sing outright badly, they just don't fully deliver. Turkey, Greece, Croatia, UK, Slovenia, Belgium, Finland, Estonia - they could all have done better.
When Bettan sings a bit disappointingly she is still better than most. And when you lean against a song as good as this one, you can apparently afford not to deliver fully.
A deserved 2nd place?
Yes. This is a lovely song and - as Bettan said herself given the recent run of Irish victories - it isn't really polite to win on home ground. (I would have preferred somebody else to win, but that's a different story altogether.)
Elisabeth Andreassen - I evighet (Norway 1996)