Hooray for Norway’s singing violinist

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After my long-held anticipation for this year’s contest, I was finally rewarded on Saturday night with a very excellent Eurovision! Really though, cheesiness aside, I think this year’s contest was a highlight of recent years. I know Graham Norton said this repeatedly on the night, but it really was all about the songs and there was very little of the political voting we’ve seen in past years. I mean, Norway – we all expected them to get points from Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland but not from everyone else!

I am glad they won, not so much because I liked the song (actually, I didn’t think its account of fairytale love was as catchy as everyone else seems to) but Alexander Rybak, the Norwegian entry, was pretty cute :). Plus, he plays the violin like a fiend and wrote the song himself – a far cry from a lot of the fake, manufactured pop outfits that tend to dominate the show.

Here’s 23-year-old Alexander in action, in case you didn’t catch it on Saturday night. He’s a former winner of Norwegian Idol, you know!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBFFlL58UTM&hl=en&fs=1]

I’m really hoping that this Eurovision win will be a good way for Norway to cement its place on Europe’s musical map, one that Sweden seems to have dominated in Scandinavia for ages now – there are some really great bands coming out of Norway. And ABBA won Eurovision for Sweden in 1974 with ‘Waterloo’ – in my mind, one of the best pop songs ever – so maybe young Mr Rybak can acheive similar heights for his country? We’ll just have to wait and see.

In any case, it has got me thinking about Oslo, a city that I really liked when I visited a few years ago. It’s true, things are expensive but it’s definitely worth a visit – it has this lovely atmosphere of being quite serene and also quite contemporary too. If you’ve never been, I’d really recommend it – it’s a great city break, and flights from London really don’t take long at all. Maybe if you’re a Eurovision fan, you could time it with next year’s competition!

Nearly forgot to say, well done Jade – fifth place after years of finishing at the bottom is no mean feat. Hopefully next year, we’ll carry on the tide of success.

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