He’s won two Eurovision semi-finals — so it’s safe to say he knows what it takes to win Eurovision. And now Eurovision 2009 winner Alexander Rybak is leveraging that knowledge to predict and name his winner for Eurovision 2019. 

In a post on Instagram, the Norwegian with Belarusian roots shared his belief in Russia’s Sergey Lazarev. He wrote in a small post:

“Seryozha, congrats. It’s real art! This time, you will win. Not because ‘Russia’, but because ‘music’.”

Alexander Rybak doesn’t shy from sharing his personal favourites before the contest starts. We all still remember his long-lasting love for Salvador Sobral’s “Amar Pelos Dois”, as well his iconic support for Germany’s Lena all the way back in 2010. Over the past few years he has also shown love for Poli Genova and Loïc Nottet as well.

Last year as a participant he stated that Waylon’s “Outlaw In ‘Em” was his personal favourite, but he did not say that it would be a winner.

Curiously though, wiwiblogger Jack came across Alexander after he had just finished his final performance of “That’s How You Write A Song” in Lisbon.

As Jack was wearing the Israeli flag, Alexander approached him and quickly whispered three words — “Israel will win” — even before Netta had taken the stage.

Before we start calling Alexander Rybak the “Oracle of Oslo”, we should point out that he has probably not been able to predict all the winners correctly — he is human after all. Nevertheless, over the past few years he has had a good eye for spotting a Eurovision winner from a distance.

It is, of course, a bold statement coming from him this early in the season. We wonder whether he has listened to all the songs or only to Sergey’s amongst others. Back in 2016, Alexander was also very positive about Sergey as he stated:

“TELEVOTING WINNER: [Russia CONGRATULATIONS]! As an artist and composer, I think that pleasing millions of hearts is the most important in Eurovision! And Sergey won the most hearts! Although the juries wanted a more modern song this year, nobody can argue that this guy had the best show! The music was typical Eurovision, but that’s why I watch Eurovision! Also, having the richest producer and the most expensive promo campaign and show doesn’t help if you don’t do a great performance. And Sergey’s performance was AMAZING! With a more updated, modern song and some better (please) lyrics, you can definitely win again, both the jury and the people!”

Maybe the Dream Team has given him those better lyrics now?

With the Netherlands being the bookmakers’ favourite and Russia being only a hinge behind, we wonder if Eurovision 2019 will be a two-horse race again. And will that mean that a previously unexpected third act will eventually win like in 2016? For those who don’t believe in oracles or fortune tellers, we will only know on the 18th of May.

Do you agree with Alexander Rybak’s small prediction? Or do you think he is speaking too soon? Let us know in the comments below!

Read all our latest Russia news here

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AngieP
Guest
AngieP

“Scream” is a powerful ballad and we all know what a performer Sergey is! It’s clearly made for a live presentation and I’m sure the performance will be amazing! But I don’t think it will win.

MaggieMayhem
Guest
MaggieMayhem

Hmmmmm nah, I think the Netherlands will win the battle of the ballads. I definitely don’t dislike scream and I think it should have a top 15 finish. I like how the song is very theatrical and not radio friendly, which is different and stands out. The problem is that I cannot connect with it. With the Netherland’s song, I feel very moved and sad, and unfortunately I don’t feel any emotion with Scream. I think this is mainly because not even Sergey is emotionally invested in the song. He did not write any part of it, and you can… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

keep sayin it out loud maybe you’ll convince…..hope cuz u won’t be convincin anyone else so dream on, 2009 fad alexander rybak.

buranovskayagirl
Guest
buranovskayagirl

I low key want it to happen to see the meltdown of the haters & Arcade fans :)))))) Wont happen in reality unfortunately. YATOO was the year :(((((

Nevena Winning Forever
Guest
Nevena Winning Forever

Loool well he is WRONG! We all know that Nevena is taking the trophy home for SERBIA! Fact.

pastel de nata
Guest
pastel de nata

Lmao, that’d be funny, but nope. The trophy is between The Netherlands, Cyprus, Italy, Iceland or Portugal.

buranovskayagirl
Guest
buranovskayagirl

lol Iceland yeah yeah

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

portugal ? switzerland if anything

Xu Quan
Guest
Xu Quan

Wow, again Russia. Someone here really likes Russia

ESCfan
Guest
ESCfan

And someone really hates.

Peter
Guest
Peter

Let’s first see if Sergey can sing some of his lyrics like “swallow hard” neutrally …. And there are more homo-erotic references in “Steam” that made me frown.

pastel de nata
Guest
pastel de nata

Lmao, how nasty….lol

pama
Guest
pama

That Rybak guy really looks like Michael Jackson!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

pastel de nata
Guest
pastel de nata

Ok, we get it, and he also looks like Salvador and Conan Osiris, and also other “creepy” looking guys.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

As much as I like the song and Sergey as a performer.. it ain’t happening! This product is not winning material.

Roger Rabbit
Guest
Roger Rabbit

I dont see Rusia wining this year .and first must qualify in the second half final what I think go to be dificult for Rusia.

aroncido
Guest
aroncido

Russia always qualifies. Literally. Last year was the one exception, but that performance was just so embarrassing that it overcame the massive bloc voting advantages Russia has.

Una
Guest
Una

What’s with all these complaints about wiwi covering Russia? They cover issues of interest to the show and a diverse community of fans. If there is a topic that merits an article then why not cover it? There are about 12 correspondants off the top of my head that write on this site and they cover issues from different countries. For as much as I like wiwi and come here often during my favourite season of the year, they cannot influence millions of voters that see the songs for the first time during the contest. Russia is one of the… Read more »

ESCfan
Guest
ESCfan

You and people like you are just haters. And haters will hate as always.

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

Yeah, Rybak is Belarussian, what else is he supposed to say…? C’mon, I don’t even know how Russia is 2nd in the bookies! “Scream” isn’t bad at all, but just average and Sergey’s performances are too over the top in terms of staging and faking emotions. Their performances feel to fake and artificial for me. I’m sure Russia will qualify and would even place top 5-10. It’s Russia with Sergey after all. But winning? No, I hope Europe and the EBU don’t go to such low depths…

Caroline
Guest
Caroline

Totally agree.

yodenman
Guest
yodenman

I still cannot get my head around the winner last year. I want to like it but it still leaves me cold. It got incredibly overhyped and just like the story of the Emperors New Clothes people were sucked in by the hysteria and didn’t bother to step back and actually realise what a musical shambles it really is. All the talk about Israel wanting to ban Iceland does not help either. They must incur the wrath of the EBU surely. If a countries media can prevent an artist from performing then we are going down a slippery slope.

MyVision
Guest
MyVision

I think it’s about time that Wiwi reveal their Russian sponsor for the sake of transparency and credibility. I mean since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Wiwi has been constantly running anti-Ukrainian narrative articles discredit their selection, their hosting, taking things out of context and spinning it around like the average Kremlin-sponsored internet troll. In the meantime we have been force fed stories promoting the Russian entries unproportionally, random stories about Kirkorov’s team and Russian artists that were in ESC but not directly ESC-related, pity stories about Samoylova. Could it even be that Kirkorov’s team is a sponsor? It would explain… Read more »

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

You are acting like Wiwibloggs is a FTSE 100 company. It’s only an ESC platform and a BLOG, for goodness sake! There are many much bigger companies and political bodies based in the UK that have Russian donors, and that was recently revealed as a fact, so why don’t you go target them instead? Or, better yet, start your own ESC platform. If you do so, I of course would expect full transparency from your funding sources.

NickC
Guest
NickC

That was very funny Purple Mask (FTSE 100 company)

Kris
Guest
Kris

Dont think wiwi have any anti Ukrainian agenda, Mélovin recived a pretty nice treatment last year from this blog.

But their ‘love’ for Russia and endless promotion of Kirkorov’ dream team is annoying, is it genuinely? I don’t know, but it looks not very fair for me…

BlackKava
Guest
BlackKava

Lol dont be dramatic, they really love Kirkorov’ cheesey dream team and Sergey and will hype them no matter what, i find it histerical 😛

BlackKava
Guest
BlackKava

Wiwi are not Putin KGB agents they just have thirst for Sergey … lmao!

Iejdhcr
Guest
Iejdhcr

Wiwi posts about lots of artists, last year they posted a lot about Netta and Cyprus and Rybak and tons of other attists, does it automatiacally mean that they are biased? Well maybe they are, who knows, but why does it only bother you when they write about Russia?

Nick
Guest
Nick

well, to be honest they write about Russia a lot, much more than about anyone else,they hype Sergey on twitter as well, they’re obviously biased, but i don’t think it has something with money though…. they just appreciated Sergey’ big … talent lol

Iejdhcr
Guest
Iejdhcr

Maybe ;), or maybe they know that as a returning artist and an artist from Russia he’s controversial and people will talk about him on their social media and leave lots of comments, and that’s what every platform wants, isn’t it?

its me
Guest
its me

Lol, paranoia

Wilhelm
Guest
Wilhelm

As Ukrainian a can say that Wiwibloggs clearly follow pro-russian rhetoric and use their propaganda cliches in articles about Ukraine

MaggieMayhem
Guest
MaggieMayhem

LOL, the founder & editor-in-chief of Wiwibloggs is American and I’m 99.9% sure that he FEELS THE BERN! I doubt that this is true.

Pok
Guest
Pok

I hope Sergay will end up like him in the final. Not even top 10.

Loin dici
Guest

“Is Sergey his only one?”
Renske, you did NOT do that! 😀

AMonsterLikeMe
Guest
AMonsterLikeMe

Dare to dream. That would be the most boring and dull winner since 2011.

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

Just a recovery from the chicken of last year.

Valentino
Guest
Valentino

A two-horse race between 2 ballads, and then an upbeat song win it all…

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

an upbeat Hatari song

Ahmad
Guest
Ahmad

I predict it’s The Natherlands

James
Guest
James

I remember last year, everyone was hoping and praying Netta weren’t the winner, but she did it. When someone is eagerly trying to convince others with such big hate that this singer will not win, I think, he/she realizes that the contestant really has a big chance to win. If Sergey was just ignored or nobody felt any excitement over him, it would be completely another case. However, Sergey gains all your attention no matter what kind of attention it is.

mark dowd
Guest
mark dowd

Sergey as “Netta”??? Wow….an interesting view of the world!!

Charles II
Guest
Charles II

Obviously not everyone wanted her not to win, as she won Televote….

Jon Hola Sand
Guest

Just because wiwi posts an article about Sergey every day,does not mean there is a lot of excitement from the fans

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

who knows, maybe 20 years after we’ll uncover some dark ESC secrets a-la FIFA

oli
Guest
oli

This will be around 15th place if it were not be Russia. The song is terribly outdated and out of place in a year with so many good, modern and current songs.

mandarinaitsme
Guest
mandarinaitsme

SERGEY LAZAREV is my winner totally this year, just like it was back in 2016. From the first time I listened to the song I feel goosebumps all over my body, it is so strong, powerful, inspiring, heartbreaking! And the video they made, the whole Idea of it relates to this year’s slogan Dare to a dream! I can’t stop listening to the song over and over again, I think this is totally a WINNER. good luck, Russia. Sergey Lazarev is extremely talented deserving winner. Moscow 2020

Sebastián
Guest
Sebastián

The only thing that we know is that his musical taste is like his last year’s song: a completely mess

NickC
Guest
NickC

And I predict it will share the same fate with Alexander, winning the semi final and totally flopping in the final.

pastel de nata
Guest
pastel de nata

The Netherlands have 2nd semi in the bag.

Idksmth
Guest
Idksmth

Don’t agree, many countries are in the running to win sf 2, but lets be positive and hope for a Rybak (aka semi final winner, but a final flop) result for Sergey.

Dave
Guest
Dave

I hope not. Period

Steven
Guest
Steven

Israel has the superior ballad this year! No chance for Russia.

Euoiio
Guest
Euoiio

Just found out that Duncan hired that awful director Hans Pannecouke or how his name is… ? He destroyed Belgium and Netherlands last year
Sergey will win I guess, that was stupid, Duncan.

Loin dici
Guest

Not Netherlands, I concur, that one stood out pretty well–quite surprising from Pannecoucke. What’s more surpising is that he created Common Linnets’ staging in 2014 and coworked in Belgium’s back in 2016. I can trust him more now, those were great stagings.

good luck
Guest
good luck

He created staging for Manel Navarro in 2017 and was good staging, but had one mistake : never start with the back at the audience (like Anne Sophie in 2015)

pastel de nata
Guest
pastel de nata

Iceland 2018 also started with back for the audience but it was actually nice. The song had no salvation any way.

Euronerd
Guest
Euronerd

But Ilse deLange is also involved, and she was also involved in 2014 so that gave me hope. She also stated that the staging is beautiful. Let’s hope it is true!

Mvaneijk97
Guest

Euoiio, believe me, I was sceptical at first too but when I thought more about it wasnt Hans his fault. Trijntje was focused on everything except Eurovision and had a 0 vision of what she wanted. He did a good job with Douwe. Waylon is very stubborn and therefor hard to work with. Then you Manel, who’s entry would have ended last regardless of staging. Besides, Ilse is also in charge over the staging, just like in 2014 and another guy, who was responsible for the lights and visuals for Blanche will also do both the Belgian and Dutch visuals… Read more »

Stian F
Guest
Stian F

Rybak is like “best friends” with Kirkorov so of course he will be on his side and cheer for Russia this year. He obviously know Sergey a bit from before as well. Its a friend supporting and wanting success of another friend. That said, he might actually genuinely like the Russian song as well.

Shanfa Chai
Guest
Shanfa Chai

I’d rather have Romania as the winner to be honest.

Mako
Guest
Mako

Rybak better close his mouth.

Nick
Guest
Nick

Sorry Sergey, but Dutch merman Duncan has better song than yours and at least 8 more artists as well…

Marseille
Guest
Marseille

Name a more iconic Eurovision duo, I’ll wait.

R
Guest

Copyright Couple

Loin dici
Guest

Sergey and Douwe Bob?

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Serhat & Valentina.

Dalth
Guest
Dalth

Real art seriously has he heard the lyrics in Sergeys song, but this is coming from a man who’s entire back catalogue sounds like something you would hear in a really bad Disney film.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

I know that writing anything positive about Russia is not usually received well here but yes, of course this has a strong possibility of winning. Sergey is going to have a strong televote and his song has many more jury-pleasing elements compared to his 2016 entry. There are other obvious contenders this year but to dismiss Russia would be a mistake.

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

Yeah, despite all the jokes, I still genuinly love the song and think it’ll do extremely well.

Maggie
Guest
Maggie

I totally agree! There is quite a bunch of countries that are totally ready to vote for russia and with the help of the jury, it could win! At the moment it wouldn’t be fair to me cus I think there are better songs, but if sergey’s staging will be good ( and it will for sure I think) , i wouldn’t be surprised if he actually wins.

Maclaren
Guest
Maclaren

Same here, like the song and Sergey and can’t wait for the staging. But with all the hate around the song and, you know… politics…, I feel like I am performing some kind of coming out with this statement. I might be having a questionable taste but nobody should be stoned for voicing a different opinion on music matters.

Jon Hola Sand
Guest

Yes but no one wants the corrupt bullies of Eurovision to win

Denis
Guest
Denis

Well yes but at this stage Anybody can win. And we already have like 10 or so favourites. So no Russia shouldn’t be dismissed. But neither should Sweden, Italy, France or Netherlands. Or Anybody else.

Euro
Guest
Euro

Thank you. They’re my thoughts as well. I really, really like this song. For me is epic, like soundtrack to LOTR or something. I hope this will do well and people will like this song as much as I do

Iejdhcr
Guest
Iejdhcr

That’s a good comparison actually

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

– what it deserves: the same result Gabriela Guncikova had with “I Stand”
– what it will get: a clear victory a-la Dima Bilan’2008 with some suspicion

mark dowd
Guest
mark dowd

I admire Alexander’s ESC pedigree, but after the flop last year in the final, he is not on secure ground!! Every neutral fan of ESC and music knows that the Netherlands have a VASTLY superior musical product. “Scream” was written in the “painting by numbers, Disney lookalike factory”, whereas “Arcade” comes from the heart of a guy who is writing from the depths. One of these song gives goose bumps, the other doesn’t. Look at the markets…..It’s gonna be the first win since 1975 for Les Pays-Bas!

Denis
Guest
Denis

The thing is it’s not about having superior musical product, its about having the package. Netherlands might have a better song but will he have the best presentation?
As you know in ESC it’s the presentation that wins, less the song.

mark dowd
Guest
mark dowd

It’s actual the chemical reaction between the two and the artist’s ability to connect and sell the song. That the Netherlands is out in front musically is, I think, pretty plain to see. Sergey could make it up on staging, but I doubt he will do better than 2016 on that front and that was only third…….I still think it is the Netherlands’ to lose….

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

“Arcade” is a Coldplay B-Side.
“Scream” is a Festival Da Canção 3rd place kind of ballad.

Mirko
Guest
Mirko

“Not because Russia, but because Russia”
That’s how you write a post!

Nikita
Guest
Nikita

So many haters. I want to see you all in May when Russia will be announced as the winner. No competition here. Duncan can’t sing and noone likes Hateri.

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

If Duncan and Hatari were no competition for Sergey, you wouldn’t have to write these kind of comments in the first place, don’t you think? 🙂

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Dare to dream.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

You forgot about Serhat…

Yossarian
Guest
Yossarian

I like Hatari. :-p

...
Guest
...

I’m sorry but this is not a winning entry…. If Sergey can fly on stage and make the entire stage disappear maybe I will reconsider and see this entry as the winner…

VlaD
Guest
VlaD

I agree! The song is too good for Eurovision

...
Guest
...

Maybe I should voice my opinion differently…. Sergey will flop like a flappy bird.

Iejdhcr
Guest
Iejdhcr

I dunno, I wouldn’t count out the possibility of Sergey flying on stage, I’m sure Russia will spend lats of money on staging. 😀

Una
Guest
Una

I am totally expecting that they’ll spend loads on staging. They even saved money in the last two years so that would not be a problem. They did what they could in 2018 but let’s remember that Russia re-invented the staging with Moscow 2009. That stage was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and Russia raised the level considerably. It’s still my reference point. Still number 1.

Una
Guest
Una

Sergey will not fly on the stage!! Australia have that trick in their pocket! Zero gravity, nothing holding me down or something like that. They nailed the staging in 2016 (AUS-made I think) but failed miserably in 2017 and 2018 (with SJB). And now they’ll probably bring something spectacular for the tele viewers because I don’t see it doing well with the juries for music only.

Tim
Guest

Sorry Rybak, Rusdia are not gonna win ESC. Amsterdam or Sweden 2020

Cesar's salad
Guest
Cesar's salad

St. Gallen 2020

R
Guest

[slash]Istambul[/slash] Cittá di San Marino 2020

James
Guest
James

Of course, he did a song for Disney (Thats how you write a song) and Sergey joins to hum with Scream

brennan
Guest
brennan

sure, jan

KYLLITO
Guest
KYLLITO

This song gives me Il Volo Grande Amore vibes. The problems is Grande Amore is better than Scream. Maybe staging will help which we know Russian knows how to do (unless it’s like 2018’s brown turd mountain). Good luck from Texas!

Jon Hola Sand
Guest

No surprises USA supporting Russia

Pok
Guest
Pok

Probably a Trump supporter.

Ugna
Guest
Ugna

Yeah he also thought ‘that‘s how you write a song’ was a good choice

Stephanie
Guest
Stephanie

Russia for the win? Sure and pigs can fly…Come on…

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

*Duncan Laurence has entered the chat*

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

“Competing with me is a losing game.”

Tasha
Guest
Tasha

omg! this is brilliant! lmao!

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

It doesn’t matter who wins, hate will prevail in the fandom anyway.

Bear
Guest
Bear

@Weissbrot LMAO I just spat out my drink.
I just cannot unsee his face singing that sentence in the melody of Arcade and then swimming away naked

Bruno
Guest
Bruno

Did he spill the beans about his boyfriend he was talking about recently? 😛

MikolasFan
Guest
MikolasFan

I like Sergey (and feel sorry he has to live in the closet) but Russia is too toxic country … i hope they will not win, Putin will use it to his ugly agenda

VlaD
Guest
VlaD

What a pathetic comment.
What has his personal life have to do with Eurovision

Ugna
Guest
Ugna

Have I missed something about him being in the closet lmaoo

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

There’s been quite the tea about Sergey’s sexuality (and I get it), but no one has any proof whatsoever, so I feel like we should just let the poor man be. IF he’s gay and won’t talk about it, it’s our duty to respect his private life. And it’s certainly no one’s business either, especially in Sergey’s problematic position.

Jon Hola Sand
Guest

He wouldn’t be allowed to come out anyway as Russian society denies homosexuality exists

Pok
Guest
Pok

Russia just uses him to show how kind they are towards LGBTs. But the reality is he can’t even come out and be who he is.

jack
Guest
jack

the first pictures says a lot about alexanders intentions with sergey 😉

P.S i am waiting for a video made by William and Deban with tea regarding artists, any relationships that have been formed over the years, any feuds behind the scenes, staff that we dont get to know! PLEAASE DO ITT <3

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

@WILLIAM @DEBAN

You promote too much Sergey
Just today you posted on Instagram how popular he is on Itunes and Youtube (on Itunes he is 5th and on Youtube he is far behind)
I see also in the comments everywhere that he is not very popular

So if you 2 want a boyfriend, I’m sorry but Sergey already has one

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

“[…] Not because ‘Russia’, but because ‘music’.”

done.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

oh and: “With a more updated, modern song and some better (please) lyrics, you can definitely win again, both the jury and the people!”

Who’s is Rybak to judge the lyrics in someone else’s song? His songs always sound childish.

Euoiio
Guest
Euoiio

Hope EBU will have juries sabotaging Russia… We cant have a contest in Russia atm.

Iejdhcr
Guest
Iejdhcr

I’m sure they will, don’t worry about it

DripDrop
Guest
DripDrop

Do you seriously want the juries to be biased and unfair? I also dont support Putin of course but since Russia is allowed to compete, Sergey should be treated fairly and if he has the best performance, he should win!

Pastel de nata
Guest
Pastel de nata

The juries are always biased one way or another, they have their own agendas.

aroncido
Guest
aroncido

And let’s not even talk about the televote, which will automatically give Russia top 10 even if they don’t perform.