He won Eurovision 2009 in a landslide with his folk-pop ditty “Fairytale”.
And on Friday producers at the BBC made it clear they are still loving Alexander Rybak, as they announced that he will sing at Eurovision: You Decide — the UK’s national selection for Eurovision 2017.
The final will take place on Friday 27 January and Alexander’s appearance will no doubt help push tickets, which you can purchase here.
The BBC made the announcement via Twitter, generating a great deal of buzz among the Eurovision fandom.
— BBC Eurovision (@bbceurovision) December 16, 2016
This year’s selection comes a month earlier than the 2016 date, which was held on 26 February 2016. The earlier date will give the UK more time to prepare the winning entry for Kyiv. Fans have previously criticised UK Eurovision entries for having under developed staging concepts.
Eurovision: You Decide will be held at the Eventim Hammersmith Apollo — also the location for the 2015 special Eurovision’s Greatest Hits. This is a change from the 2016 venue, the smaller O2 Forum.
Another change for 2017 will be the broadcast network. The 2016 show was broadcast on BBC Four, a channel known for highbrow arts programming. In 2017 it will move to BBC Two, a more popular channel with mainstream music coverage. Eurovision: You Decide will be broadcast from 7.30pm to 9:00pm.
Ticket prices for the 2017 show are also down from 2016. Tickets for standing areas are £34.25, while seated areas are £37.00. Last year, tickets set back fans £45.00.
The show will again again involve six performers who will compete to represent the UK in Kyiv. The songs will again first be revealed on 23 January on The Ken Bruce Show on BBC Radio 2 – four days before the grand final.
Also returning for 2017 is the show’s host, former Great British Bake Off presenter and Eurovision semi-final commentator Mel Giedroyc. She’ll be joined by an expert panel who’ll sound off about the acts.
Earlier in the year, the BBC held a public song submission period. The shortlisted songs will join those sought from professional songwriters, under the guidance of music executive Hugh Goldsmith. The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) will again select a song from its members.
Last year’s winners of Eurovision: You Decide were the former The Voice singers Joe and Jake. While their song “You’re Not Alone” only placed 24th in Stockholm, fans were encouraged with the BBC’s new attitude towards the selection of their Eurovision entry.
Are you excited that Alexander Rybak is joining the show? Let us know in the comments box below!