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Your Queen Is German, I Know That!

(From a Swedish magazine, OKEJ, in 1997.)

After many visits to Sweden and even a tour through the country, we guessed that Blümchen had become a Sweden expert. Forget it! The Little Flower doesn't seem to have watched TV, bought a soft drink or seen the star-decorated, blue EU-ring in the passport control. Is it Deutschland über alles that is everything for her?

We're sitting in the lobby in Hotel Freys in central Stockholm and we're waiting for our favorite German girl: Jasmin Wagner, or Blümchen as she's called. When she bounces in to us, she's eating a Daim ice cream.

"Mmm, this is good," she says on our way to the restaurant.

The little German flower recently released her new single Gib Mir Noch Zeit that surprisingly is a slow song. And we thought that Blümchen only made songs in express speed.

"You were wrong about that," she laughs. "People got to know me through dance music but I sing slow songs, too. That's another part of me. Gib Mir Noch Zeit is one of my older songs. It's a nice song and I wanted to see how people reacted when they heard pop-Blümchen with a slow song. The song became a hit in Germany, and I hope it will be successful here, too. It's a song about feelings, and it doesn't really feel right to sing a song about feelings in a dance song."

"The song isn't for someone special," she continues, "and it's not written from my own experiences. It's about things that people always think about. How would I react in that kind of situation? How would my friends react? Everyone has the same feelings. Everyone can feel hate, love, happiness, pain, and that's something every human has in common. I want people to recognize themselves and think 'but that's me!'"

Rumours have said that you're going to change your artist name Blümchen to your real name Jasmin...?

"My next album will definitely be a Blümchen album, but we will see what happens in the future. It is all about planning. I might change my name if I find one that I like. Maybe if I start or join a band. But everything has its time and everything needs to change. In Germany, they know me as "Jasmin Wagner, also known as Blümchen." I mean, they are both me. My real name and my artist name. We'll see what happens in the future."

There's not so much to say about the new album yet. It is still in the planning stage.

"People are writing songs right now. The CD will hopefully be even better than the last one! But right now there's a lot of work left."

Blümchen looks a little terrified when we tell her that we are going to give her a Sweden test. She doesn't think it will go too well, even if she has been here many times. But we'll give it a try anyway.

1. How many people live in Sweden?
"Well, around 7 million...?"
(Hmm, that's pretty close. She passed, even if it was really 1.5 million...)

2. How many Swedish TV channels do we have in Sweden - not including the cable channels?
"I never watch TV. I never have time when I'm out travelling.
(The answer should be three: Kanal 1, TV2 and TV4. We'll have to fail her.)

3. After Stockholm, wich cities are Sweden's biggest?
"Göteborg and Malmö!"
(Piece of cake! Malmö is also one of Jasmin's favorite cities in Sweden. She definitely passed.)

4. Let's move on. What is our prime minister called?
"Oooh, I don't know..."
(She failed. How has she been able to miss Sweden's sexiest hunk - Göran persson?! Well, well...)

5. Name a Swedish vodka or a Swedish beer.
"The only vodka I know is Vodka Gorbatjov but it's definitely not Swedish! I never drink any alcohol so I have no idea!"
(She failed. A few examples could have been Absolut Vodka, Spendrups and Pripps. May not be so easy for a teetotaller to know.)

6. Name three hotels in Stockholm.
"Grand, Sheraton and Freys."
(After a little help from one of her employees, she takes three points. She passed well.)

7. Name two Swedish car producers.
"Skoda...? Or maybe that's Danish?"
(Nope - Skoda is not Swedish and not Danish! Volvo and Saab is the right answer. She failed.)

8. A swedish airline?
"Sweeeeden..hehe. Sweden Airlines or Sweden Airways, maybe."
(SAS, that's short for Scandinavian Airlines. Close. I promised Jasmin to be nice so she can get one half point. She almost passed.)

9. Name three big Swedish artists.
"Ace of Base, Markoolio, Roxette, E-Type, A-Teens..."
(Good heavens, take it easy! She gets full points here. She has been a big fan of both Ace of Base and Roxette. She passed very well.)

10. Name a Swedish gas staion.
"Oh no. I don't remember, I never have to drive my own car or go in and refuel. People do that for me. I know that I've been to many gas stations in Sweden, but I can't remember a single one of them.
(Examples: OKQ8, Statoil, Preem or Shell. Heedless, we even have a OKEJ report with Blümchen in a gas station! She failed.)

11. What's worth more - the Danish mark or the Swedish crown?
"I know this! The Danish mark! Yes!"
(She definitely passed.)

12. Are we a part of the EU?
"No, that can't be possible, because I always have to show my passport when I go to Sweden. So no is my answer."
(Failed. Everyone has to show their passport inside of EU, but it's starting to change. Jasmin thinks that EU will be better when the Euro is starting to be used. But she thinks that crime will be bigger.)

13. Does Sweden have a king or a president?
"Hmmm... yeah, I mean, you have a king that is named Gustaf and a queen. Your queen is German, I know that! And there's someone named Victoria..."
(Passed)

14. How much does a Coca-Cola cost in a normal Swedish shop?
"I don't drink cola, but I drink apple and orange juice or water. I never need to buy anything myself so I have no idea."
(She failed. The right answer would be 10 crowns.)

15. How old is OKEJ this year?
"Ten or five years!"
(Shame on you, Jasmin! Even though she has recorded a birthday song to us (check it out at our homepage at www.okej.se), she still can't remember how old Sweden's best pop magazine is! 20 years of course! She failed.)

16. What is the airport in Stockholm named?
"Arlanda!"
(She is right on the last question and she passed.)

The results are: 8.5 failures, 5.5 passes, one passed well and one passed very well.


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