Eurovision grand final a fairy tale for Norway’s Alexander Rybak

May 18th, 2009 - 6:21 pm ICT by John Le Fevre  

Alexander Rybak from Norway has fought of fierce competition to win the grand final of the Eurovision 2009 song contest held in Moscow last night with a folk-inspired ballad he wrote himself.

The classically trained 23-year-old from Belarus received the highest ever number of points awarded at Eurovision, 387, to finish ahead of Iceland’s Yohanna, who garnered 218 points and duo AySel & Arash from Azerbaijan who finished with 207.

Broadcast live from Moscow’s gigantic Olimpiskiy Indoor Arena, 25 contestants from 25 countries took place in what has been termed Europe’s favorite television show.

Under changes to the competition introduced by the European Broadcasting Union, voting in the Eurovision Song Contest Final for the first time in years, was not decided solely by tele-votes. This year national juries consisting of five music industry professionals in all 42 participating countries accounted for 50 percent of the vote, with balance coming from tele-votes.

The event got off to a spectacular start featuring juggling acts and entertainers flying onto the stage by suspension cables hung from the ceiling against an outer-space theme. There was even a link up to astronauts on the International Space Station.

Norway’s win marked a departure from the recent east European domination of the contest, though the style of the winning song featured east European-style folk rhythms and harmonies targeted at the heart strings of eastern European audiences.

Rybak at Eurovision 2009 contest

The annual contest attracts a viewing audience of more than 100 million viewer, making it one of the most watched events on the planet.

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