Norway’s 2009 Eurovision Entry

Tonight Norway held their final, and the people–with one loud, united voice–voted in a landslide to send Alexander Rybak to Moscow with “Fairytale,” a song he wrote and composed himself.  Rybak is already known to Norwegian voters, having won Kjempesjansen 2006, a Norwegian talent competition akin to American Idol or America’s Got Talent.  Prior to voting, Fairytale had already reached #1 on the Norwegian pop charts.

It’s worth pointing out that every one of the 8 songs in the Norway final were better than the best songs in the Ireland final.  Also they had enough interest to hold the final in Oslo stadium, as opposed to the Irish equivalent of the Craig Ferguson show.

The song has a cute, folksy quality to it, and Rybak has a big voice to mask what, in reality, is a rather silly song.   Beyond this, one wonders if Rybak’s fiddling and gypsy-style arrangement and production value might be of international appeal to an Eastern European audience.  To this American, however,  I simply observed the following:

  • Rybak has a handsome, elven charm and looks like Robert Sean Leonard circa 1990.
  • Though there’s a lot of action in the staging, Rybak has the vocal chops and the charisma to command the stage.
  • Though sung in English, the lyrics were probably created through Google translator.  The song doesn’t rhyme and the lyrics are awkward.  Case in point:

“I’m in love with a fairytale, even though it hurts.
Cause I don’t care if I lose my mind, I’m already cursed.”

Huh?!?  If he had vetted it through a native speaker, he could have easily come up with a rhyming lyric, like “I’m living with a curse.”  Alex, if you do happen to read this, you can use that.  It’s all good.  Additionally, English speakers don’t ever, EVER use the word “sweetheart”.  Except maybe on Valentine’s Day.