Minsk-born Alexander Rybak wins Eurovision-2009 for Norway
Minsk-born Rybak, who left Belarus when he was four years old with his musician parents, earned the maximum number of points from several of the participating former Soviet satellite countries, The Associated Press said.
A boyish, fiddle-wielding Norwegian singer won the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow on Saturday night, his bouncy ditty the highlight of the musical bonanza studded with pyrotechnic artistry and stunning electronic visuals on an epic scale.
"Fairytale," penned and performed by 23-year-old fiddler Alexander Rybak, blew away competition from Iceland's Yohanna, who finished second, and Azerbaijan's AySel & Arash, who was third, with a folksy melody to the accompaniment of an acrobatic dance routine and two blonde female support singers.
The elfin-faced Rybak, the winning graduate of a Norwegian television talent show in 2006, accrued the most points in Eurovision's 53-year history, outstripping Finland's Lordi in 2006.
"Thank you so much, Russia. You are just great, thank you," an emotional Rybak, said, speaking in Russian from the stage after the result was announced. "You are the greatest public in the world," he proclaimed, before launching into a repeat performance of the winning entry.
Twenty-five performers from across Europe competed in Moscow in a musical bonanza that is one of the most watched annual television events in the world, despite being written off by some as European kitsch, the AP reports.
Russia was trying to capitalize on the prestigious event to showcase the nation's hospitality and growing role in modern society, but those efforts were undermined several hours earlier when riot police attacked gay pride rallies in the capital.AP