Norwegian musician Alexander Rybak made it into the last batch of 10 finalists who’ll be competing in Saturday’s annual Eurovision Song Contest. Rybak won the contest with the largest number of points ever accumulated back in 2009 with his hit song Fairytale, and is keen on repeating the achievement.
“Fantastic! I’m very relieved now,” Rybak told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), which airs the Eurovision semi-finals and final live every year. He now stands to become only the second person in history to win Eurovision twice, if he can do as well as Johnny Logan from Ireland did in 1980 and 1987. Rybak was back with his violin for the song he wrote and performed (That’s How you Write a Song) at Thursday’s second semi-final in Lisbon, which is hosting Eurovision after Portugal won it last year.
Rybak was among the favourites heading into this year’s competition, beaten only by Israel on one of the odds lists but falling to fourth place after his performance. He was the first to sing Thursday night, not the best position to be in with voting coming only after all 18 contestants had taken the stage.
A total of 43 countries are competing this year including Australia as a special guest that did well Thursday night, also earning a spot in the final. Eurovision is often referred to as one of the biggest parties of the year all over Europe, and aims to bring Europeans together through song and dance.
(See Rybak’s performance aired by NRK and the European Broadcasting Union here – external link to NRK, click on the arrow in the top photo.)