Fans Report: MGP presentation of Alexander Rybak as one of the 2018 Artists

The 2018 Norwegian MGP finalists are revealed! Fans Report from the Press conference

Oslo 15.1.2018

The 10 acts competing in Norway’s national final for Eurovision, Melodi Grand Prix 2018 , were announced on 15th January during a special press conference held by the Norwegian national broadcaster NRK. Press, celebrity guests and members of the public were invited along to be present in the TV studio during the live broadcast which revealed this year’s participants. Stine and Trine are two Norwegian MGP fans were present at the event and give us the inside scoop from the studio… 

Stine and Trine reporting from the TV studio…

Trine and I arrived at Store Studio to find a red carpet and lots of burning torches waiting for us outside. Inside we were offered (non-alcoholic) champagne. We were let into the studio set and found seats in the middle of it. The best seats were reserved famous TV- and radio personalities, as the room fills,  we soon spot JOWST and Kjetil Mørland in the front row. This strengthens the rumours that Aleksander Walmann is involved, and makes it clear Kjetil is not singing his own song.

Photo by Stine

While waiting, we sit there chatting and guessing and soon the pre-show interview from the red sofa with special guests including Christian Ingebrigtsen begins, and since we were sat on the other side of the cameras, we streamed it on NRK’s website while listening to their discussions about the rumours about who will be this year’s participants and what it’s like to be a part of the MGP circus.

Hosts Kåre Magnus and Silya came and it was time for the presentation. I was quite nervous; it would have been so dull if none of the artists were favourites of ours. There have been a few years like that before, and since I love ESC, it’s more fun if there is a chance we can send someone that I feel can make us proud and that I like listening to.

So the artists are announced one by one. Appearing first in silhouette behind a screen before emerging onto the stage while a snippet of their song is played . 

Photo by Stine

First up was Charla K – Stop the Music
Then , Alejandro Fuentes – Tengo otra
When presenting the next artist, JOWST who was sitting a few rows in front of us, stood up and started taking pictures, so we understood quickly who it would be. And I was really happy Aleksander Walmann is up for MGP again, I love his voice.
Aleksander Walmann – Talk to the Hand
The presentations continued, as each artist emerged they took a quick pose for photos centre stage, then a quick chat with the hosts Kåre Magnus and Silya. Six more were revealed
Stella Mwangi & Alexandra Rotan – You got me
Vidar Villa – Moren din
Tom Hugo – I like I like I like
Ida Maria – Scandilove
Rebecca Thorsen – Who we are (Kjetil Mørland wrote this and I’m a little disappointed that he not singing on it with Rebecca too)
Nicoline – Light me up

Before presenting the last artist they joked about there being no more artists left. And when the silhouette of Alexander Rybak appeared in the screen door, the applause started in the crowd. They hadn’t done that with any other artist, so it wasn’t hard to guess who everyone was hoping for. And they welcomed the final contestant as
Alexander Rybak – That’s How you Write a Song 

 

(you can find a playlist with videos of interviews he gave in the press conference after the song presentation with subtitles HERE)

After the artists were presented, we stayed in our seats and chatted for a while, as the radio and TV got their interviews with the artists. Rybak always had lots of people around him, and he was also the only artist with a manager by his side that kept track on who was next to talk to him. Other artists, like Rebecca and Vidar Valle, were clearly not as used to this, and stood more on the outside and watched while others were being interviewed.

Photo by Trine

We hung around the artists for an hour, talked to them, and Trine got selfies with most of them. After that they played all the songs, and we listened together with the artists. Alexander was so busy with the media, more than any of the others, he was constantly being hunted by someone who wanted an interview. So we waited until the end before we even got a chance to talk to him.

 

Meeting Alexander Rybak for the first time.

Now for my favourite part! We hung around Alexander for about 20 minutes, just waiting for him to have time to talk to us, but there was always someone there more persistent than us getting his attention. Then we talked to his manager, explaining that wanted to try to get a short greeting from him for his international fans, and the manager said he would remember us. Still I think he forgot us, and they seemed to close up and leave. So we asked Alexander directly if he would be so kind to say a few words to his fans, he only had a little time left since the media had taken most of his time, but he happily agreed and made this greeting for you all.

After recording the message he wrote his autograph to a couple of other people, and then took a selfie with Trine, and then he took off.

Photo by Trine

 

He was charming, but a bit stressed that day I think. He definitely was the main attraction. All the media was craving a piece of him. But even though he appeared a little tired and probably a little bit sick with a cold, he was still very nice to everyone. It was really fun to meet him.

 

 

Photo by Trine

The songs were unveiled online in full shortly after the conference so it was possible listen to all of the competing entries again via the official MGP website (Link here!) It was really fun being there, and hanging around with the artists. The songs most played at home at the moment are “How to write a Song”… and “Talk to the Hand”; my kids love them both too. We really hope for double Alexander/Aleksander in the gold final, and that one of them will win. I’m so glad Rybak does something completely different to Fairytale. It’s a great song, so fun and happy, and I do think this will be our delegate to the ESC. And I’m completely sure that he will do it great live, I hope he chooses something like the video for his performance at Spektrum!


Many thanks to Stine for her account of this very exciting day, and also to Trine for her videos and photos, I think we really get a good impression of what it would have been like to have been there in the audience!

 

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