News - met with Alexander Rybak | Eurovision Song Contest News - 2009 Moscow, Russia 

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Written by

Tom Espen Hansen


9/Feb at 13:06



Alexander Rybak - © NRK

'Being a big favourite makes me nervous' met with Alexander Rybak exclusively met with Norwegian finalist Alexander Rybak in a silent cafe in Oslo, right after a normal day of music-studies, a bit before his appearence in the MGP. He was one of the two qualifiers in Saturday's third semi final. Being one of the favourites, this interwiev is a chance to know him a bit better.

Who is Alexander Rybak?

I was born in Belarus, but moved quickly to Norway and grew up here. I have always been very fond of music. I started playing instruments from the age of five and now I play the violin and I can cope at the piano. I always liked to entertain and somehow that is my vocation.

How was your experiences with the talent-shows Idol and Kjempesjansen (The big chance)?

Well, I decided to attend Idol and got through to the semifinals, without getting any airtime. Although "not getting through", I got a taste of attention. I got a lot of appriciative textmessages from people all over Norway. Kjempesjansen was my next competition , but on my first audition I tried to impress with doing too much (playing the piano, the violin AND trying to sing) at the same time. I wanted to show the jurors all my talents, but for them it just got too confusing. The second time around( three years later) I focused only on my violin and the singing, It paid off. Winning Kjempesjansen was unexpected, and a great opening for me as a musician. I got a part in Fiddler on the roof wich got me some acclaim and a major industry award (Hedda prisen).

How did you come up with the idea to compete in Melodi Grand Prix?

I have always loved Eurovision, and I enjoy a good competition, so for me it was no doubt. . Last summer I traveled around Ålesund (the host of next weekends televised Siste sjansE.) I was inspired by the monumental Norwegian nature, and I came up with a song that I thought would fit perfectly in Melodi Grand Prix. I was so in awe of the nature and had a story of an ex-girfriend in mind. it all came together.

What do you think about your chances in Norway, and if you would win MGP, internationally?

I really hope that the audience like my song, and I think that pop music mixed with the original Norwegian folk-tones from my violin can be a succesfull combination. On the stage in Grenland three dancers from the modern folk-dance company Frikar ( will join me in what I hope will be a spectacular show. I would love to win MGP, and I would be so proud to wear the Norwegian flag on my chest in Moscow. So far I have gotten a lot of positive attention because of my song, from friends and other musicians, but also from the media (I'm so excited, I got good reviews and even a 6 out of 6 from the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet). This actually makes me kind of nervous, because I've always loved beeing the underdog, suprising everyone by what I'm doing. But now that I am among the favourites I will get a new experience, and hopefully I will grow on that. 

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Agneta Jonsson [32717]
Wed 11 Feb 2009 23:10:50

Norway will be hard in Moskow to beat with this song, think it was the best I have heard for a very very long time.
I think he is fantastic

Africa Vision [29520]
Wed 11 Feb 2009 18:27:44

Ok song at the beginning but really average... Alvedansen only reached 14th place so there is no chance for this...

Sara Norway [43250]
Wed 11 Feb 2009 07:32:43

Sara Norway [43250]
Wed 11 Feb 2009 07:31:40

He sure can play the violin :) Here is another one of his composed songs..

Paul 89 [24143]
Tue 10 Feb 2009 23:12:20

w s [29210] wrote
Tue 10 Feb 2009 13:06:27:
I am sure Norway will win in Moscow with this song. Even with him pretending to play that violin.
The only reason he's not actually playing the violin is because of a stupid rule saying none of the instruments can be played live on stage. Believe me, he is one heck of a violin-player...

Sara Norway [43250]
Tue 10 Feb 2009 20:39:09

patte: For me it's the other way around. I like it even better when I saw it live on stage.

Eurovizz: Ovi is nice, but a bit boring. I've listen to it many times but can't remember much of it. Fairytale on the other hand, I remember VERY I disagree with you big time! Even if Fairytale wins (which I'm quite sure it will) or not, it will be a song remembered for a long time. If we send Ovi, I don't think we will have any chance at all!

PS! I don't understand why people complains about his facial expression (and the tounge-thing) still. He isn't cocky or full of himself because of that, seriously. Look at the guy, he is young, a bit insecure and very commited to his music. Seems like some people are just looking to find faults...

patte linouuu [52149]
Tue 10 Feb 2009 17:56:41

Sara norway you probobly are right but i just dident get that feeling of the song when i saw him as i did when i heard it without seeing him

Eurovizz - [52915]
Tue 10 Feb 2009 17:40:16

Alexander Rybaks song is more forgettable than Ovi's song. Ovi's voice is so nice and beautiful to hear! Reminds me of Westlife or something.
I actually didn't like Rybak's performance, because of the wierd things he made on his face. Even I of course will support my country what ever it takes, I only hope that Norway will be in top 10 or 5. If he wins the Eurovision, I have to admit that the song probably will be the most forgettable winner-song in all times. I'm just realistic!

It's OK and alright if my country sends Alexander Rybak to Moscow. But to be different, I don't expect him to win like the other Norwegians may think!

life is beautiful [52296]
Tue 10 Feb 2009 13:31:48

this song is forgettable i am with ovi like other fans

w s [29210]
Tue 10 Feb 2009 13:06:27

I am sure Norway will win in Moscow with this song. Even with him pretending to play that violin.

Mina Carnation [51405]
Tue 10 Feb 2009 12:48:07

I also think he has more chances than Ovi even though strictly as a song I prefer Ovi's song.

Ankara calling Leyla [52927]
Tue 10 Feb 2009 12:44:37

and still my fav is ovi but this song has a better chance to win in moscow than ovi's.

Ankara calling Leyla [52927]
Tue 10 Feb 2009 12:04:51

he will win in moscow

Vladimir P [31751]
Tue 10 Feb 2009 09:57:46

I think this is a very good song with a charismatic performer and it will become my favourite if Norway decides to send it to Moscow. Oslo 2010! :)

Sara Norway [43250]
Tue 10 Feb 2009 00:47:32

Mina and Stockholm calling: They say the song is a combination of Tina Turner and ABBA with todays sound, and some inspiration from Duffy, with a little thought of Agent 007. Hehe... that will be interesting.

Stockholm calling [44413]
Mon 9 Feb 2009 23:42:14

Yes, I really look forward to that. I heard that their song is very good :)

Mina Carnation [51405]
Mon 9 Feb 2009 23:16:39

of course I know and that's one Swedish semi I'm not going to miss :D

Sara Norway [43250]
Mon 9 Feb 2009 23:09:35

Mina: Do you know that Maria Haukaas Storeng will participate in the MF (Melodifestivalen) this year together with Anna Sahlene (in the last of the qualifing rounds)? It will be exciting to hear/see how that performance will be.....

Sara Norway [43250]
Mon 9 Feb 2009 22:56:58

Mina: Good to hear :)

Mina Carnation [51405]
Mon 9 Feb 2009 22:54:31

of course I'll watch him again in the final, I'm certainly not writing him off because of a couple of expressions. I do like the song and I think it has great potential.

Sara Norway [43250]
Mon 9 Feb 2009 22:48:17

Thanks Morten and Alexander S :) Finally someone agrees with me :D

Mina: Is not that easy to look "in love" or "sad" with bambi eyes..hehe.. especially when you sing and play the violin in this type of song. He is young and have fun on stage. It was the tounge-thing that suddenly made him cocky and full of himself. I am absolutely 100% sure he didn't do that cause he thinks he is all that and better than everyone else. Give the boy a break! It's not that many (in ESC) composing, singing and playing the the instrument (S) (especially at his age).

Mina Carnation [51405]
Mon 9 Feb 2009 22:27:47

Now if you want arrogant and cocky, I could point you in the direction of last year's winner - but Mina might hit me

LOOOOOOOOOOOL, well, I don't know what Dima in like in his personal life but on the stage he didn't seem arrogant and cocky.
And anyway a song about Believing in yourself can take a little arrogance in the performance...a song about missing your sweetheart can't ;)

Alexander S. [46270]
Mon 9 Feb 2009 22:24:52

You know, if I could master the violin, sing, compose, play in stage musicals and look good to the top of that, I'd be proud of myself too. Diva Bilan was proud of himself not knowing a word in English.
But I don't think Rybak looks full of himself or cocky. He's making me positive, he's got a special charisma that makes you wish all the best to him.

Morten Kjems [12106]
Mon 9 Feb 2009 22:19:47

I agree with Sara - I don't see anything arrogant or 'cocky' about Alexander at all - just a young man who enjoys performing. I really hope this qualifies for Norway, it's head and shoulders above anything picked for Moscow so far and I'm certain it will do well.
(Now if you want arrogant and cocky, I could point you in the direction of last year's winner - but Mina might hit me!!)

Sara Norway [43250]
Mon 9 Feb 2009 22:14:31

patte linouuu: since i saw him live i dont like fairytale anymore, he looks to proud of himself

Nothing wrong being proud of yourself, is it? ...but its not right to say he is full of himself or cocky as some here assume...He is just a bit insecure and nervous in his performance. He loves performing so much that he lives himself into the music a lot. I think many of you got a wrong impression of him. He is a really down to earth guy.

Mina Carnation [51405]
Mon 9 Feb 2009 21:50:13

I'm going to agree with Patte on this. The song is good, the voice is good, something about him isn't.
Maria last year just seemed so........likeable. I totally loved her. And the song of course but especially her.

mer maid [34070]
Mon 9 Feb 2009 21:38:41

I liked his song.One of my favourites.I hope he can make it!

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