And the winner is…

Photo: Emma Kongevold Amanda Berntsen of Chatham, N.J. (center), was crowned Miss Norway of Greater New York on March 30. She is pictured here with first runner-up Erika Lawson (left) and last year’s Miss Norway Jennifer Egeberg.


Amanda Berntsen crowned as Miss Norway of Greater New York 2012

Lynn Kongevold Anderson

Brooklyn, N.Y.

The 57th Miss Norway Contest of Greater New York, sponsored by the Norwegian Immigration Association Inc., was a huge success. There were 16 young women who were competing for the chance to represent her Norwegian heritage at the annual event, which was held at the Norwegian Christian Home and Health Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Throughout the day, music was played by Jeanne Eriksson Widman Andersson and SmorgasBandet. This annual event is highly anticipated in the Norwegian-American community, and this year did not disappoint.

There were five judges: Steve Danna from Den Norske Bank, Joyce Abrahamsen from the Norwegian Christian Home and Health Center, Lena Barnes from SAS, Senator Martin J. Golden from the New York State Senate and Ingeborg Vidringstad from Verrazano Travel, Inc. The judges were all in awe of how accomplished these young women were, and in the age range of 17 – 24. They receive a book of the contestants’ photos and biographies prior to the event, which is assembled by long-standing committee member Barbara Govertsen.

Rolf Kristian Stang was our Master of ceremonies. He entertained us all with his life experiences and passed them along to the young women. One question he asks every year is “Do you speak Norwegian?” Some will say yes and some will say no.  The person that says no to him will get this response: “Your answer should be ‘Not yet.’”

This year the interviews were done differently. The judges, who normally interview the contestants prior to the event starting at 2 p.m., now would interview all of them in front of the whole crowd.  The number of people attending the event as spectators this year was close to 260. Every year we get a bigger crowd, which is terrific. (Remember to reserve a seat once tickets are available for next year’s event – the seats sell out fast! Visit for information.)

The people who attended this year could then see the response to each question asked by the judge and see that it is a very difficult contest to judge. Each contestant was given five minutes to answer questions asked of them by the judges, and all the contestants had such poise and grace with answers from the heart. The Miss Norway of Greater New York contest is not focused on looks or talent – it’s all about individuality, intelligence and integrity. Above all, contestants must have knowledge about their Norwegian heritage and present themselves before an audience and articulate their heritage.

As in the past, there have been Little Miss Norway and Junior cadets who are invited to be part of the celebration at the contest. This year, 13 young Norwegians participated and they were all winners! The Little Miss Norway and Junior Cadets also get to ride on the float with their parents at the 17th of May Parade which will be held on May 20 on Third Avenue in Bay Ridge Brooklyn at 1:30 p.m. Please visit for more information.

While the judges left the room to decide who would be named Miss Norway of Greater New York, the committee announced raffle winners. Local merchants and individuals donated items for this fun event.

After much deliberation by the judges, Erika Lawson, the Shipman from the Kings Point Military Academy, was named first runner-up. Amanda Berntsen of Chatham, N.J. was crowned the 57th annual Miss Norway of Greater New York. She is a very gifted basketball player and will be attending Princeton University in the fall. Congratulations to Amanda!

Lynn Kongevold Anderson is the co-chair of the Miss Norway of Greater New York event, and Emma Kongevold is the teen photographer.

This article originally appeared in the April 20, 2012 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.