Everyone wants a piece of Alexander – Aftenposten 18.11.2006

Modelling, concerts, theatre parts and marriage proposals. After two rounds in Kjempesjansen on NRK, young Alexander Rybak from Nesodden can almost wade in exciting offers. The finale is on Saturday.

Text to photo: Even if he has been a bit ill lately Alexander Rybak has spent the days before the finale practising and performing at closed event for various companies. Photo: Tor G. Stenersen.

Source: aftenposten.no. Published 18.11.2006. Text: Arve Henriksen. Translated by Jorunn Ekre, revised by Anni Jowett.

In 2005 he was told he was eatable by Norwegian Idol judge Tone-Lise Skagefoss, while Ole Evenrud who was in the same jury, felt that the boy from Nesodden was the happiest guy he had met since Petter Solberg.

And the superlatives have continued to shower over 20 year old Alexander Rybak after he joined Kjempesjansen on NRK1.
The grand finale is tonight with probably over one million viewers in front of the TV sets.
-I haven’t thought much about that, he says. He was a bit ill earlier this week, he was mostly concerned about whether it was OK with the photographer that he was photographed wearing glasses, and not contact lenses like he normally wears.
-You know that the culture minister himself is among the judges?
-Yes, I heard that, and I’m glad I’m not in a group with only beautiful women. But dear, we are a charming bunch.

New aspects

Alexander Rybak didn’t make it further than the last 50 in Norwegian Idol two years ago. It was after all the first time he performed in front of more people than his own mother. Much has happened since then, not the least he has become much more experienced musically wise. In Kjempesjansen he has therefore charmed the viewers’ socks off with the combination of music he has composed himself, the violin and a jazz inspired vocal. Tonight he will once again perform his song “Foolin”.
– Mom, Dad and my violin teacher would like me to continue playing classical music, but I like to explore new aspects of myself. I don`t really care what society around me expects, he says.
His background is just as versatile as it is extraordinary. He was born in Minsk during spring in 1986, began playing the piano and the violin at the age of five. In addition he plays the guitar and sings.
Two years ago he won Anders Jahres culture award for younger artists worth 100 000 NOK, the senior award went to Ingvar Ambjørnsen.
He is head of Ung Symfoni in Bergen, and he has performed with Morten Harket, Arve Tellefsen, Stephen Ackles and Knutsen & Ludvigsen.
Last year he was the violinist in Thomas Stanghelle’s opera musical “Some Sunny Night”, which amongst others visited China and New York. In addition he has performed at funerals, weddings and stag nights/hen parties.

Normally he studies at Barratt Due Music institute in Oslo, while he in his spare time works as a gym instructor, is a dog enthusiast and computer game fan. And he loves to dance.
– I often do strange things, I try to make the most of life. Much happens on a whim, he says. Like when he this summer took the bus to Fagernes where he for four days went from door to door and asked to play, while given a place to stay and food.

On a whim

– Most people let me in, but not that many wanted me to play. Most of them just wanted to talk, but it was nice enough, he says.
The demand has almost exploded after he joined Kjempesjansen. In January “Fiddler on the Roof” premiers at Oslo Nye starring Dennis Storhøi as Tevje. Alexander has taken the role as the fiddler.
– I was offered the role after the first round in “Kjempesjansen”, without any audition. It was of course a lot of fun. Up until now he has received 150 000 NOK thanks to everyone who has voted for Alexander Rybak.
It can become even more after tonight’s finale, both of money and requests. It has been many of those, both by phone, SMS and e-mail, from concert promoters, the music business, modelling agencies and a large number of female fans.
– I try to answer everyone, unless they want to sleep with me.
– Do many want that?
– Yes, fortunately, hehe. Many girls send photos of their dogs and cuddly toys. But there are also many children who have knocked on my door and asked if I wanted to play with them and then I melt. Particularly if they also enjoy playing TV games, that`s even better. I enjoy socialising, therefore I should just enjoy this while I can.

Alexander Rybak spends three hours a week away from his violin, when he works as a gym instructor. Here Carl Fredrik Schmidt gets help.

This post is also available in Norsk.

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