I thought I was Superman, says Alexander Rybak, interview TV2.no, 05.05.2018

Will do it differently  this time

Source: TV2.no, published 5.5.2018. Text:   Translated by TessaLa. Revised by Anni Jowett.

It went wrong last time, this is what Alexander Rybak will do differently this time if he wins.

I thought I was Superman, says Alexander Rybak (31)

Norway’s Eurovision hope, Alexander Rybak (31), has been open about that much went wrong when he won the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow 2009. 

He went from being a well-known violin talent in Norway, to become the main person of a giant European fairy tale.

It just became too much, and the massive stress made him “hit the wall”.

I thought I was superman

This week he told “Senkveld with Thomas and Harald” what went wrong.

– I thought I was a superman, he told in the TV show.

– I was not good at saying no, and I thought I’d say yes to everything in Europe. I said yes too much, he says.

It ended up in a huge run, where he travelled from country to country to perform and do TV interviews. In 2011, he told that it all led to a nervous breakdown. It happened in the time after he was on stage at Eurovision again, when Norway was the host nation and the party took place in Oslo.

I was very difficult

Now Alexander Rybak exposes himself once again. Earlier this week , Norway jumped to  second place on the betting lists after the first tests in Lisbon were completed. Therefore, it is not impossible that he can take his victory home once again.

But this time he thinks he’s in control.

I’d like to say that I’m a little more prepared for it this year. For nine years ago I was full of youthful self-esteem. Other ideas could not be used, because it was not my idea. That time I won. But no matter how it’s going this year, I’m going to make more friends this time, says Rybak.

– Do you say that you were just a little difficult? asks Harald Rønneberg.

– Very. I was very difficult. And I can certainly be better than I am now too. But I notice that if the sound man comes up with lovely things that I had not thought of, for example, I could sing cleaner, I’ll listen to it.  Nine years ago I would have just ignored it, says Rybak.

Makes sure Rybak’s best

MGP general and delegation leader in NRK, Stig Karlsen, tells TV 2 that they have a good system around Rybak in Lisbon.

Alexander was only 22 years old when he won in 2009. The situation is different now. Alexander is more aware of what he is going to and how to prioritise. In addition to good support in the Norwegian delegation, he also has a good and safe management that cares the best for Alexander the year round. He will be well looked after by both NRK and his management if he should win again on May 12, he writes in an email to TV 2.

He writes further that priorities are important now in the time before the semifinals and the finals, and that both the Norwegian delegation and Rybak himself have solid experience from the past.

– This experience means that we together can make good priorities so there will be calmness around the those activities and the preparations. Alexander and the team need to perform their best on the stage, he writes.

When Norway jumped to second place on the betting lists earlier this week, people realised that Rybak could actually win again.

– Alexander is very happy that the first rehearsals went so well and are looking forward to the continuation. Now it is practising and repetitions that are the focus for Alexander. Sleep, rest and general preparation are also high on priority list, says Karlsen.

Always preparing for the worst

In the preparation for the final-week  Alexander Rybak also has another way to cope with the pressure: He tells Senkveld that he is always preparing for the worst.

Before I go on stage, I’m preparing for the worst thing that can happen. For example, I can pee on myself. So if that happens, I’m so well prepared that it will go well, explains Rybak.

Therefore he was prepared for anything but victory in the Norwegian finals:

– I was prepared for absolutely all outcomes, except that I should win.That’s why it was just chaos, he says.

Was assaulted by female fan

It also became  chaotic when he won in Moscow in 2009 and he was writing thousands of autographs.

– I blindly trusted everything that could remind of authoritarian people. It was an autograph session in Moscow. It just became quite hysterical, there were many thousands of people there. And then there was finally a lady who took my hand and said it was not safe for me there. She led me to a tent, and then she started hugging me and kissing me! laughs Rybak.

He is now in Lisbon to defend Norway’s honour in the international finals. This Thursday he will be in the semi-final among others Sweden and Denmark. There he is the first to perform, and it’s about getting enough votes to secure us a place in Saturday’s finals.

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