Article about Alexander Rybak’s participation in Belarussian TV-show “Singing cities”. 18.10.13

Article published on the internet-site of “Belarus Today” 18.10.2013.

Author:  Anton Kostyukevitch. Photographer: Alexander Stadub.

Found by Ulli Cologne. Translation by Zhanna Sergueeva.  Revision by Anni Jowett.

Rybak sees a talent from afar

Sensational in every sense, the TV project of the STV channel “Singing cities” is getting ready to interest and firmly glue many viewers to the screen in its second season. Straight away the show brought the statue in the entertainment category of  contest ” Tele-top-2013″ to its creators. And what a noise the participants have made! I mean, they sang a lot of songs, and the quantity of the the songs were even more during the qualifying stages. And this year we can do nothing without casting too. Before the show will go to the second round , you need to find the most talented contestants. Last week, the selection finally took place in Minsk , and correspondents of ” SB” did not miss a chance to look into the Youth Estrade Theatre.

It was there where the long-awaited casting for the capital’s residents having musical abilities took place . It was curious not at least because it was Alexander Rybak who became a mentor for the contestants and even personally chose them. Probably every amateur fisherman without exсeption would be flattered on that day to be at the audition. The last name of the winner of the 2009 Eurovision contest sounded on every corner. Perhaps it was the arrival of Alexander that made many come to the theatre on that day . At least, that was hinted at by the frequency with which the singer was asked for autographs directly on the sheet of paper with the serial number of the participant. No hint of star fever – Rybak willingly signed on the given pieces of paper , and he even shook hands with someone. The lucky man proudly walked to the exit and said, perhaps, too seriously for a joke : ” I won’t wash my hand for a week ! ”

Was it the charm of the singer, the great success of the first season of the show , or all that together that played their role, but an impressive quantity of potential contestants came to the casting. Without exaggeration, the building of the theatre was overcrowded.

Meanwhile, Alexander, still not knowing that he has to listen to the participants for 8 hours without a break, cheered them enthusiastically . First of all, he welcomed everyone, wished them good luck and said : “Do not respect me too much.” He meant not to be afraid of him and his credibility as a singer . He taught young artists to feel free to argue and defend their way of performing till the end. By a way, in spite of the years spent in the Norway the singer hasn’t forgotten our language and talked very confidently, fluently and clearly. No one has complained about misunderstanding, but Alexander lamented about the English language of the contestants themselves, saying that the pronunciation of the most lamed, the words were often illegible and in general, it would be better to sing in their native language, in Belarusian .

Rybak admired a performance of the hit ” A glass of vodka on the table” by a metropolitan taxi driver. The guest star was praising the choice of the real men’s composition and its great fitting to the performer for about five minutes. Come see what’s what, where has Alexander got so many feelings about the Russian feast, especially since he slightly forgot the other details of our life. For example, he tried to find out from the organisers when some ” FIO” (abbreviation from Name, Patronymiyc, Surname) would come on the stage and was slightly surprised to decipher these three letters. Not less than in case of the situation with “FIO” he was suprised by the phenomenal ability of other members of the jury to determine accurately whether a participant is married. Then the STV presenter and one of the strictest judges on the day Irene Hanunik – Rombalskaya explained that he had to look for a hint on the ring-finger of the right hand. It turned out that in Norway, such a ring means that the person wearing it likes rap .

Perhaps rap was the only style that was not performed that day on the stage. And in general there was everything – soulful ballads, gypsy songs , covers on the songs of popular artists in English and French, and contestant’s own poetry .

It seems that Minsk decided to obtain the title of the most singing city yet on the selection phase.

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