Enthusiasm for Alexander Rybak’s new stage show

Alexander Rybak had his very first rehearsal with new stage outfits on the Eurovision stage in Lisbon today.

Text to the picture: First rehearsal: Alexander Rybak during the first rehearsal at this year’s Eurovision.

Source: nrk.no., published 1.5.2018. Text: John Marius Hyttebak and Ingvild Silseth. Translated by Jorunn Ekre. Revised by Anni Jowett.

It was a relieved Alexander Rybak who spoke to NRK right after the rehearsal was over.

– This was 40 kg off my back. The feeling I got when I saw it myself afterwards, it’s what I live for, he says and adds that it’s not that important whether Norway reaches the final or not.

– What’s important to me is that we will get a response to what we have rehearsed and worked so much on.

And the Norwegian entry has received a response. After the rehearsals were done on Tuesday morning, Norway climbed to  second place on the betting lists.

The journalists at the press centre were positive after the rehearsal.

– Some journalists here have already declared him a winner. This obviously has a great chance of doing very well, William Lee Adams writes in Wiwibloggs.

– It looks even more fresh and neat than it did at MGP. A very good rehearsal for Norway, writes Mandy Pettersen in a comment at the fan site ESC Norge.

New stage show

The stage show has been changed since Rybak won the Norwegian final in March. In addition to having dancers who also sing, the outfits are also fresh from the costume unit at NRK.

– This year’s design is of current interest, sporty and fresh. Alexander conveys a message in the song to young talents. That’s why it would be wrong if he was dressed in a formal way, says costume designer and stylist Justin Sampo.

He is responsible for the outfits that Alexander Rybak and the dancers will wear in the international final in Melodi Grand Prix in Lisbon on Saturday May 12.

Did something different

When Rybak broke every Eurovision record with “Fairytale” in 2009, he wore a white shirt and a black vest. Even if this year’s outfit will be simple, it’s a bit more fresh than it was in Moscow nine years ago.

.- When we began this process, we had to decide whether he should continue with the black vest as a kind of signature. We chose something different, says Sampo.

– Alexander isn’t an artist who wants to be all glittery, when we’re in the final in Lisbon, we have to take the outfit a step further.

Justin Sampo is responsible for Rybak and the dancers outfits both onstage and offstage.

Long process

Sampo says it takes a long time to decide on the final outfit. While the artist should feel comfortable, the production, light and sound wants to have a say, too.

– Everyone has his own opinion and taste, and that’s good. It’s a long process, and particularly since it’s live TV. Then there’s no turning back, he says.

The process began with collecting photos for a collage.

– The collage then is made into sketches, which then will become samples of fabric. It’s important to do thorough preparations before you begin, to avoid mistakes and unnecessary costs, says Sampo.

Brings along extra jackets

During the performance at the Norwegian final in Oslo Spektrum in March, Rybak took off his jacket and threw it to the audience. He plans to do that in Lisbon too.

– We have gotten hold of five jackets. Then we have enough jackets for the various rehearsals and the final itself, says Sampo.

The visual counts

Eurovision isn’t just famous for its music. The stage outfits are also a part of the circus.

– While some only listens to the music, others are just as concerned with what the artists are wearing. Many connect Melodi Grand Prix to dresses, sequins and glitter. The visual is almost as important as the music, says Sampo.

Rybak had to perform without a jacket when it was clear that he had won over Rebecca Thorsen and had to sing his winning song again. He threw the jacket to the audience during the first performance.



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