During Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix Alexander Rybak cruised to victory with his charisma and on-screen doodles. And today he kept a good thing going with his various white squiggles, which conjure a violin, drums, a guitar, a light bulb, question marks, exclamation points, rays shooting out of finger snaps and more. Alexander’s timing was on-point. One particularly nice moment comes when he sings of a small idea that will grow into something big. A keyboard expands on screen and naturally he starts playing it.

The choreography and colour scheme remain largely the same as from the Norwegian final — lovely shades of blue and purple provide a striking but sufficiently neutral background that lets the dancers stand out. At times Alexander’s shirt seems to match the background a bit too closely, though. Another slight concern? When the camera pans out too far to show off the stage rather than the singer. The strength of this production is Alexander — his face, his expressions, his charisma. The more they focus on him the better.

In the final run-through producers let the pyro flow — and did it ever! Plumes of sparks and a bit of smoke shot into the air, providing a proper finish to the energetic number.

This act went down very well in the press centre, with some journalists running around and naming him the winner already. This obviously has a shot at doing very well. But there are concerns by some that it will read as too Sesame Street in an adult contest. (I get that this won in a landslide in Norway, but Alexander enjoys a particularly strong following in his home country).

Alexander Rybak — “That’s How You Write a Song”: Reviews and Reactions

Norway: First rehearsal at Eurovision 2018

Norway: First press conference 2018

Read all of our Eurovision rehearsal reviews

Read all of our Norway Eurovision news here

Footage & Photos: EBU & RTP

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83 Comments on "Norway: Alexander Rybak amps up the on-screen graphics from MGP during first rehearsal"

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PAPPADE
Guest
ESC is an music competition, not everyone is going to like the same song or the song who is going to win. If we did what is the point with ESC? “That’s How You Write A Song” is a catchy and groovy pop song with references to the 70’s disco & funk. The song is about believing in yourself and your own ideas. If you take one step at a time and follow your dreams, you will eventually reach your goal! IF THAT MAKES THE SONG CHILDISH WELL….THAN I AM AN 45 YEAR OLD MAN WHO LIKE A CHILDISH SONG.… Read more »
AngieP
Guest

I’m impressed he went 2nd with the odds, but we should be down to earth. This is not winning. But it’s a song full of energy, and Rybak knows what he’s doing. I didn’t like the song at first, but now I like it more. It’s a song that needs audience to be better. I won’t be surprised if this song qualifies.

beew
Guest

Personally, I find the song pretentious. Also I think it is bad taste to send someone who has participated before and even more so – has WON the competition already. Like, seriously? I’m surprised that it is even allowed by the rules.

Jamala
Guest

This is Alexander Rybak the “potential” winner. Rybak knows how to sell himself effectively, if you know what I’m talking about. 😉

bella
Guest
Someone wrote in fb that the message of Rybaks song is that he wants to show us with these simple lyrics that there is no specific way to write a song,its up to our creativity and there is no limits to music. I couldnt agree more!!!!Also i want to add that a simple joyful song doesnt mean that is bad .Perhaps is time for a happy song to win smr that can entertain us.Only thats how you write a song and lie to me are doing this.Look at the recent winners.Heroes carried a message for bullying,1944 talked about war,amar pelos… Read more »
Sabrina
Guest

I REALLY don’t like this song, but it works quite well for Eurovision. Not just because Rybak is very charismatic and convincing, but also because it was staged in the best possible way. It was clear that they wouldn’t change much from MGP and it seems that they even found a way to improve the graphics. I wouldn’t vote for this, but I can see why many will. Romania proved last year that there’s a whole audience for lightweight/silly entries. And this is a much tidier and professional one.

Marc
Guest

He’s sailing to the Top 5 🙂 Deservely so.
Strong package and impact live.
Charisma is everything at Eurovision. That’s why Salvador, Il Volo or Conchita slayed the televote and beat better songs. Likeability.
Rybak’s rehearsal is trending on youtube here in Spain btw (second act to achieve that after Netta.)

bella
Guest

why is this 2nd on the odds????

Nate
Guest

Now seriously, how is Norway in the top 5

Kat
Guest
As a mega-Rybak fan, when I first heard his song for MGP I was SO disappointed, and was cheering for like 5 other songs above him. But on the night of the show, watching him perform, I was instantly a weeping, hysterical teen again, and I was ecstatic when he won! I always forget what an absolutely charming performer he is. There are much better songs this year, but none of them pack quite the same charisma as he does! He could honestly stand up there and sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (and honestly? he kind of is already) and… Read more »
Yulia
Guest

You might want to seek help. It’s just a song, and a poor one.

Kat
Guest

I’m okay, thanks! I’m quite content with enjoying bad music that makes me happy. 🙂 No harm in simple fun.

Stian Fikseaunet
Guest

Actually he does NOT enjoy a particulary big following in Norway. Most people dont care about him. He didnt win because of his name – he won because he had the best performance. And that is also why he is improving on the odds – Not because of name (then he would have been on top all along,) but because his performance is THAT good!

bella
Guest

What place do you think he will get?

Mamndara
Guest

in my opinion 10-15 place no higher

Miguel
Guest

Great performance, great vocals, great staging, the dancers are also great, but the song is just… awful…
The violin part is very cool and this is memorable, so he will probably qualify.

Stephanie
Guest

Remember that second rehearsals start Wednesday, and the automatic qualifiers start their first rehearsals on Friday. For all those panicking about Rybak being #2 in the odds, don’t worry because things can still change on a dime – the panic among the bookies shows that there’s still no runaway winner this year

CyxCy
Guest

I wonder if France will not come to play on the Rybak style for staging.
Since Madame Monsieur promised on April 29th a “surprise” by posting a photo with french sisters musicians Camille and Julie Berthollet (Cellist and Violonist), I wouldn’t be “surprised” if they were found in the delegation for Eurovision.

Katerina
Guest

The Romanian yodelling song a year ago did exceptionally well with the televoting and it was worse than this one. Norway will be in the top 10 but I dont think they can win. There are only few happy songs this year (Norway, Poland, Moldova, Azerbaijan) that will do better than expected. Also Australia and Czechia but I guess we already know that these two will do well. Sometimes televoters just want to relax and enjoy a simple light song with no political, social, personal special message behind it and that’s ok.

Danny
Guest

At least the Romanian song had the yodelling, this one has absolutely nothing except Rybaks likability, this is a horrible entry no matter how many fireworks and dancers you throw on it.

Music is Art
Guest

Count again. There are faaaaar many more pop/rock/club songs than ballads this year. The audience and the juries want quality in all senses, voice, performance, lyrics, composition… I think most of us realized by now beauty cannot only be judged superficially.

loveeurovision
Guest

why did you have to remind me of that dreadful last year s entry?i used to hate romania with passion last year!sorry to all the fans, i understood why some people enjoyed that though ?

Jo.
Guest

The bookies are suffering an earthquake.

please
Guest

I mean they didn’t change much from the video or performace. but it works . I just cannot get behind the song, is just so childish and annoying.

Mika
Guest

This song may be catchy, but I don’t want to see it win. There are other countries who have excellent performances as well (for example, Estonia. With a stunning voice & dress). It’s too “elementary school” for me.

Music is Art
Guest

I seems the odds consider us too basic as human beings and think the audience will vote simple songs with no quality such as Norway or Cyprus just because they offer a great show visually. They are great performers, no doubt about it, but I hope the juries dont let us down and award musical quality.

Terrence
Guest

Annoying baby face grin and fake on-stage violin playing. Oh no, not again.
This is how you don’t write a song

Sera
Guest

He’ll win it and I’ll come back here to watch y’all haters crying. But for now BYE! *flips hair n’ leaves*

bella
Guest

even Moldova has a bigger chance of winning than Norway

Karl
Guest

I think he will win also. I see that a lot of Euro fans have hate for this song but it’s the causal televoters that will have the final say along with the juries. If he can win the televote and come 2-3 with the juries he could clinch victory.

Davve
Guest

Great performance. He is in it to win it… Again

Paul
Guest

I cant hate this song because it’s catchy AF, but I would be disapointed if it won – or even top 5. There’s too many other better songs this year.

Lady Gaga
Guest
It’s so funny to see people riled up against this song, because maybe their faves are actually just hiding behind smoke & mirrors and pretensions, that they are so threatened by this simple song. I see this doing very well considering the dark situations the world currently is in, and people might just gravitate to a simple positive song. This is not my fave (I still love France & Belgium), but I wouldn’t mind this doing well, compared to the other pretentious & gimmicky acts. I’d want to see this win to see all the meltdowns here, specially from the… Read more »
Héctor
Guest

“But there are concerns by some that it will read as too Sesame Street in an adult contest”. THIS!

Seriously I don’t get all the hype over this song. It’s childish and more like a novelty entry than a serious contender. It will most probably qualify because SF2 is weak and Europe still remembers him from 2009. Also, Europe is a troll and the juries not that professional.

Anyway, why is this 3rd/4th to win in the odds? Crazy.

Lourdes
Guest

He’s 2nd now! Can’t believe my eyes!!!

Ner
Guest

welcome to reality, losers

Nora
Guest

I’m not a fan of this song, but I actually think that he’ll win the whole competition this year. Salvador Sobral also got the same hate last year, and was doing very well with odds. I don’t know, but the truth is that he’s an amazing performer, it’s just that the song isn’t for everyone it seems. But guys, I want you to all be prepared to see him winning again, just saying. lol

Weißbrot
Guest

Nah, this ain’t winning anything. Alexander could be Top 10, but this is not a song the juries and the televote will both agree on.

Sam
Guest

And such a horrible song is now second in the polls to win the whole thing… Please, do not even let it be in the final.

Bandido
Guest

Final because Rybak, but that’s it! I certainly hope. Feel sorry for him such a stupid song.

Jo.
Guest

With everybody bringing their own stuff to the stage, he’s no longer a stand out. The staging is the only thing in this act.
Don’t worry too much about the odds, Oslo 2019 is not a thing here.

Jo.
Guest

Step three: try sculpting.

jim
Guest

that’s how you annoy everyone

jim
Guest

step one your song sucks

Kyna
Guest

I know that the odds shouldn’t be taking that seriously… but Norway being 2nd in the odds is a JOKE. I almost choked on my drink when I saw that no kidding.

Ps: I have nothing against him nor even the song that much, I’m just so confused and shocked.

Olivier2
Guest

Same. I could name more than 10 better songs

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

He’s trying to be deliberately annoying and hurtful to the ears in every way, I lowkey admire him for this but my ears better not endure this mess in the final.

Elin
Guest

Well most of swedish childern have sellphones and they will vote plus their parents will also join their children and vote for him. Think that swedish grandmothers will vote for him to.

Rasmus
Guest

I will not 🙂 I will vote for Denmark,Australia,Hungary ,Montenegro if they are good on the night. I judge then :).

Elin
Guest

But I suppose you are not a child, parent or grandma?

drag kvinna
Guest

what is a sellphone?

Rasmus
Guest

haha no im over 20 🙂

Rimig
Guest

The opposite of a buyphone

Boy
Guest

Norway its now to 4th place on the bettinglist, is this a joke?
This is so old. Im tiard for his violin, and the stage did Måns 2015.
38/43

Elin
Guest

Looked at the odds at eurovisionworld and there was Ryback nr 2 now.
Kul Norge !

Yaa
Guest

Just kill me now!

AurelianTamisan
Guest

He made something great from a very usual and not very original song. He has charisma and put in a great show. Congratulations!

Weißbrot
Guest

I already LOVE the athmosphere in this comment section…. It’s really sad how since Norway’s act was selected, the esc community constantly puts down everybody that likes the song. And this isn’t the only song were People do that.What’s your deal? Are different opinions causing you physical pain or what?

Rasmus
Guest

I agree 100%. i had some opinions on the greek and cypriot songs and im afraid to write anything else here anymore. The trolls are coming out from there caves then. here are not very nice people. I think wiwwibloggs should do some decicions about that.

Denis
Guest

That¨s forums for you. Every one who is either extremely postive or negative will be put down by the opposition. As a movie buff I know this from IMDB’s old forum where you couldn’t have decent discussion. Hence why they got rid of it.

Geeky Explorer
Guest

The idea that he might be the surprise winner is growing on me. I still think is a childish and pointless song.

Rich fart
Guest

Of course the Swedes and the Danes are gonna eat it up like a dog! Norway can just fart on stage and they would give them 12 points. Swedes and Danes love Norwegian farts coz they have all the oil money and they love rich fart.

Rasmus
Guest

Actually we in Sweden only votes for the song that we like. Finland has only 2 times in 50 years got our 12 points. Norway,Denmark,Iceland havent got it that much either. Cyprus got it once for example, there are many more examples of that. So your opinion is not true. We are not Romania/Moldova and Cyprus/Greece. We listen before we judge. They judge before they listen. I bet money on that all persons in those 4 jurys have 12 points to their best “friend”

Yaa
Guest

Hey, Greece & Cyprus and Moldova& Romania share the language and the music scene, they are like voting for their own song, everyone’s secret dream, so don’t judge!

Rasmus
Guest

isnt that boring to vote for the same year after year after year after year no matter what song they send? Its very stange for the rest of us to vote for the same song 10 years in a row.

Yaa
Guest

Yes, from the outside is boring, but in fact all these romanians, moldovans, greeks first vote for their song, and then for their favourites, and when you count the votes, 12 points go to the brother state for sure.

Terrence
Guest

Such a ridiculous act. Shame it might take a place in the grand final to someone more deserving.

Malin
Guest

Härlig melodi och bra framträdande. Inte så förtjust i texten däremot, men tror det kommer gå bra ändå.
Lycka till Norge

Rasmus
Guest

De kommer kvalificera sig 🙂 men sen i finalen är det mer öppet.

drag kvinna
Guest

EG LIKAR IKKJE HAN

Denis
Guest

Som jag skrev nedan hans charm och närvaro är grymt. Han äger scenen. Det är det som gör att det kommer gå bra. Dessutom är låten rätt kul också..

Rasmus
Guest

jaså du är också från Sverige ;). jag har ju varit lite kritisk mot Grekiska fans haha och Makedonien namn grejen och grannröstning grejen. Men jag tar det chill nu med det. De tröttnar ju aldrig på att prata om det så bäst att låta dem vara kände jag:)

Denis
Guest

Japp svensk. Typ en av tre som vågar vara det?
Grekerna är jobbiga annars när de alltid tror de är top 5 material. Typ varje år.
Tillsammans slår vi ut trollen

Rasmus
Guest
Sen tjatar de rätt mycket om att Sverige har fördelar. Men Ukraina och Portugal frågade Christer Björkman om hjälp och alla vet han är professionel. Men det stör tydligen extra mycket att han är svensk + det nya är nu att Benjamin tog av sig hörlurarna under nåt bidrag. Han sa faktiskt förlåt och han är 20 år bara men det stör många här med. Eurovosion fans är rätt jobbiga tyckler jag + Sverige hatet. De gillar inte heller vi är så bra. men vi har 28 bidrag att välja mellan så rätt svårt att välja nåt uselt + vi… Read more »
Conii
Guest

Greece is about to get disqualified because of a video

Paprika
Guest

What are you talking about?

Edgar
Guest

Can he be the surprise winner?

Yaa
Guest

Lol

Ner
Guest

I would love to see that just to read comments of these losers

Denis
Guest

With his stage presence and charm this will be top 10. He owns that stage! Plus it’s a fun song.. We all know he will do well! haters gonna hate..

Jonathan
Guest

You must be 8 years old at most!

PAPPADE
Guest

And how old are you, you are acting like a litle child. Grow up and Accept People have different Music taste. I am 45 years old and like the song. If I don’t like a song I can stil behave like a grown up.