Found and translated by Sonya Luzina, edited by Julia Bezbakh and Bita Janz
A year ago Alexander Zhdanov [Russian photographer] published the book “Paparazzi”, where he reveals some secrets about show business. And now comes it’s continuation «Paparazzi-2: stranger success ». The following is a small passage from the book, with the revelations of the singer Sasha Rybak (interview was taken in Moscow before the final of Eurovision 2009).
“Paparazzi-2”: With a celebrity at MacDonald’s
– Hi! – I said, remembering that the artist was down to earth. – Can you give me a short interview?
– I can, – he answered. – But I’m hungry. Let’s go to McDonald’s. We can talk there, ok?
I was stunned. He wants to talk in McDonald’s? But then again, when else would I have another chance like this?…
– It’s unhealthy, but tasty.- Sasha said when we took the trays of food and sat down on the furthest table. Nobody paid attention to us.
– Don’t you worry that you’ll ruin your reputation? – I asked him.- Your popularity is growing by leaps and bounds. And you sit here eating fast food.
– I’ve heard a saying here in Moscow: «I’m not the US dollar, I can’t please everyone». You can’t be good for everyone. I’m a sociable person, I like to meet new people. But I never would adapt just for other people.
– Do you feel dizzy with all your success? You’re a favorite…
– If I fell down from the 4th floor, maybe then I’d feel dizzy, but now I don’t. And I haven’t won yet.
– Did you know that you were called a boy who brought hope?
– Really?! – Rybak replied both joyfully and surprised.- Hope is very important. For instance, look at me. I was with Ingrid for more than a year…
– Is your song about her?
– Yes. I was madly in love with her. But she left me, she found another boyfriend. I suffered so terribly. That day I was flying to China: I locked myself in the washroom and burst into tears. I had to suffer several years before I gave a birth to a song in my head one day, which I could perform at the contest and probably to win. There are thousands of such stories probably… Have you ever experienced unhappy love?- I remembered about Vesta and nodded.
– You see! There is always a person who has a similar story. Although each person thinks it’s a unique story…
– Bookmakers say that you have the highest chances of winning. Do such forecasts help you or disturb you?
– They help, of course! They give me confidence.
– Last year the bookmakers guessed right: the highest rates were given to Dima Bilan. By the way, do you like him?
– Yes, I even have stolen some of his ideas while I’ve been preparing for the contest.
He looked at me thoughtfully:
– Because the ideas are good! To win this contest you need to captivate the audience, you need the “energy of youth”, which Dima has. Emotions are necessary. Unfortunately, there isn’t such a school in Norway where they would teach you how to speak like Bilan, how to move like Bilan, therefore he becomes a role model. But I understand: I need to show my own face, something that distinguishes me from the others.
– Aren’t you afraid about participating in this contest?
He cheerfully shook his head:
-Why should I be? I just go on stage and sing. I find it interesting! This is an incredible emotion, a new experience.
-But then you’ll have more success, so it would bring in more envy and and more hostility. Don’t you worry about that?
– There are always more good people than bad ones,- he shrugged his shoulders. – I believe in good people. So I’m not afraid.
Sasha looked sadly at the empty tray.
– I have to go,- he said.- The press conference is soon.
We warmly said goodbye. And I suddenly thought: does Rybak have some sort of immunity to the “star fever”? And what if he wins? Would he still eat at McDonald’s?”