esctoday.com was live in the press conference hall as Alexander Rybak gives his press conference as winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2009. He takes the Eurovision Song Contest back to Norway for a third time following Bobbysocks' victory in 1985 and Secret Garden in 1995.
Clips of some of the top ten songs are played over the PA as the hall fills up to bursting point, and the collected journalist await Alexander's arrival. Finally he arrives to the sound of Fairytale, with the audience in raptures, clapping along. The girls carry flowers and the Head of Delegation is waving the Norwegian flag enthusiastically. Alexander is on the table with his dancers, who still manage to perform their amazing acrobatic feats despite the press conference furniture!
Alexander kicked off proceedings by reiterating that Norway was a favouite before the final, although the team didn't see winning as the most important thing – the goal instead was to just do well and "put Norway on the Eurovision map". But now, he's changed his mind – and says that everyone is welcome to Norway next year!
Norway's Head of Delegation congratulated Alexander and said how proud of him the team – and Norway – are.
Asked if it helped that Alexander was born in Belarus, the singer agreed – but added "I don't mean politically". He described the positive influence as being a mixture of the melancholy slavic nature and the happy, jolly Norwegian side, driving the song.
Alexander admitted that the Head of Delegation would be the one to decide how he celebrated the victory tonight – to which the Norwegian boss promptly replied that the artist now had the night off! Alex now looks forward to returning to Norway, and especially seeing his parents – but a lot of partying will happen in Moscow before then.
Quizzed on his failure in Norwegian Idol, Alexander confessed that he thinks he is far from the best singer in this year's contest – he just had a story he wanted to tell "and I guess people liked my story. And I also play the violin – that always helps!"
Alexander expressed his sadness that the Gay Pride parade went ahead in Moscow on Eurovision Song Contest – as he thinks they missed out on the campest event of the evening at Olimpijsky!
The singer thanked Dutch voters for their douze points and said he hopes to meet The Toppers soon! He also spoke of his excitement at the record number of votes he received, and hoped that the record would remain for some time!
Alexander talked about crying as an artist, as many may have spotted the singer welling up backstage as the points came rolling in. He explained that he stopped himself from weeping as he wanted to reward the respect of Europe's voters by performing the song well for a second time.
Responding to remarks on the simplicity of his entry, he noted that the top ten songs this year were all simple in their formula, and explained that it is not wise to mess with a winning formula.
Alexander hinted "most definitely" that he would be doing something Russian in next year's show from Norway.
It was put to Alexander that he beat greats such as Andrew Lloyd Webber, Patricia Kaas and Sakis Rouvas too. He explained that it was easier for him to put the song across as he was the composer of it, and knew what he wanted to say from the heart.
But will Alex have staying power, and break the spell of recent winners who have failed to sustain success internationally, like Céline Dion and ABBA? Alexander countered this by talking of his record deals across twenty countries, riding on the back of his Fairytale success. He will also be involved in television work in Russia and Belarus. He also said that Céline and ABBA became truly global some years after their wins, and that it is very hard to see how big something will become at this early stage.
The singer talked about his superstitious ritual of wearing his violin-emblazoned cufflinks – his lucky charm. It was agreed that they brought him a lot of luck tonight!
And what of his sudden popularity with the girls? "I don't think I have time for that… But when you hear my new single, you'll understand everything!"