Norway celebrates Eurovision win on National Day
OSLO (AP) — Flush with pride, Norwegians sang in the streets of Oslo on Sunday, celebrating Norway’s National Day and the country’s Eurovision Song Contest victory.
Hundreds of Norwegians sang along to Alexander Rybak’s winning song “Fairytale” as they walked in the country’s traditional National Day parade celebrating the Norwegian constitution.
The fiddle-wielding Rybak — dubbed ‘Alexander the Great’ by Norwegian media — won a landslide victory in the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow on Saturday, gaining the most points in Eurovision’s 53-year history.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said there was clearly something special about the 23-year-old and his folksy melody. “This is a phenomenal performance by a young and talented musician,” Stoltenberg said in a statement.
Rybak was expected to draw a large crowd of fans to Oslo’s Gardermoen airport when he arrives later Sunday, having invited all his countrymen from the stage in Moscow. With Rybak’s win, Norway will host next year’s Eurovision finals, a show that reaches a television audience of over 100 million people.
Norway’s minister of culture, Trond Giske, promised that Norway would put on a lavish show next year but without spending as much as Moscow, which splashed out 24 million euros ($32.5 million) this year. “I don’t think that is necessary,” he told national broadcaster NRK.
The win was Norway’s third. The Nordic country also won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1985 and 1995.