Alexander Rybak’s preparations for Eurovision in Lisbon

This is how they work with Alexander Rybak’s stage show in Lisbon

Source: Published 20.04.2018 on escNorge.net  in Norwegian Text: Anders Maritinius Tangen. Translated by TessaLa, revision Anni Jowett

It’s just about week before Alexander Rybak and the rest of the Norwegian delegation have their first rehearsal on the stage in Lisbon. We at escNorge have checked out a little about how the preparations are going, how the stage show will be and what Alexander Rybak will do to raise awareness for the Norwegian entry “That’s How You Write a Song”.

Last year, JOWST and Aleksander Walmann participated in several pre-parties and concerts around Europe. They started their PR tour already in mid-April. So far, it seems that it has been a bit quieter about Rybak. But that does not mean that Rybak has been lying on the couch and playing computer games and building LEGO.

After the Norwegian finals, Rybak has been on a long-planned vacation to the United States. He has performed in the TV-show  “Virtuos 2018″ which is the Norwegian finals for Eurovision Young Musicians and he has been rehearsing for a play he will participate in this summer. But most of the time Rybak has been preparing for Eurovision. It’s the project manager and head of the Norwegian delegation Stig Karlsen who tells this to escNorge this afternoon.

Alexander Rybak is known to be a perfectionist and leaves nothing to chance. That’s why he has attended most of the meetings about everything from lights, clothes, effects and public relation plans. Rybak uses his experience from the last time he participated and has his strong opinions about what he must do to get the best results possible.

Among other things, Rybak and the Norwegian ESC delegation have spent a lot of time finding new dancers. This has been necessary since recorded vocals are not allowed in Eurovision. In the Norwegian final, the dancers could concentrate only on the dance, because much of the backing vocals were recorded. Stig Karlsen states that they have worked a lot to get dancers who also sing well enough to do the job. Such dancers do not grow on trees in Norway. However, auditions have been held for many dancers and now the Norwegian delegation has found what both Rybak and NRK believe is a dream-crew.

escNorge has not been told whether they are Norwegian or foreign dancers, but there is a separate plan for a PR-programme with the presentation of Rybak’s crew in Lisbon.

In parallel NRK is working  on a 50-minute documentary  about Alexander to be broadcast before the semi-final 10th of May. In this we will become better acquainted with the artist, songwriter and  person Rybak. Here we will  get glimpses from the many preparations, and there will also be recordings in Lisbon in the two weeks we are there, which will be part of this programme.

Rybak has not participated in the pre-shows around Europe, and is not going to attend the last pre-show in Madrid 21st April either. There has simply not been time to prepare good enough performances for such a show. Rybak is not known for delivering halfway. Besides, he has been busy with preparations here in Norway. Alexander Rybak and the Norwegian delegation have also prioritised interviews on television and other media abroad. Some of these are published, others will be published in the time to come. Recently, Rybak has been interviewed by Ukrainian television.

Since there are no LED displays on this year’s stage in Lisbon, some have been worried about the graphical effects that Rybak used at MGP.

According to Stig Karlsen, these effects are still included. He also says that they are in close dialogue with the producers in Lisbon about how the entire number will appear both on stage and on the TV screen.

Alexander Rybak is also going to Lisbon for a few days to record the postcard to be used before the Norwegian entry is presented in Eurovision.

Norway starts as number one in the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest. Alexander Rybak has written and performs”That’s How You Write a Song”. Rybak is mentioned as one of those who can win the final and is evenly in seventh place in the odds. Rybak and the gang travel to Lisbon Monday, 30rd April, and have their first rehearsal Tuesday 1st May.

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