Eurovision 2018 Review: Norway – Alexander Rybak – That’s How You Write A Song

alexander rybak eurovision 2018

Eurovision winner Alexander Rybak represents Norway once more
Alexander Rybak won the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2009 with his song ‘Fairytale’, owning the record of most points received before EBU changed the voting system. This year, the singer, songwriter and violinist decided he wanted to try to represent his country Norway once more. With the track ‘That’s How You Write A Song’ he competed in Melodi Grand Prix, the Norwegian national final. Norwegian juries and televoters chose him as their winner again. Will Rybak be able to come anywhere near his all shattering victory of 2009?

It is always risky to get involved in the competition you once won as it is almost impossible to top your previous result, but that did not hold Alexander Rybak back. But does his ‘That’s How You Write A Song’ stand a chance of winning Eurovision 2018? In all honesty, I don’t think so. ‘That’s How You Write A Song’ is a swinging, incredibly infectious tune, but not necessarily in a good way. The track keeps repeating itself over and over again which make those 3 minutes seem to last a lifetime. The lyrics about how simple it is to create a song are cheesy and slightly childish if you ask me.

While I am sitting here cringing at the whole thing, I also do realize that this song is super effective for Eurovision in all its catchiness. Judging by his win in Norway, there is a market for this kind of tune and I have to hand it to him; just like in 2009, his performance comes across well on screen. His expressions are endearing and the little choreography and projections do work. Although I personally would not want to hear this song on Saturday night again, I think Norway stands a good chance of reaching the final. I would be surprised (read: shocked) if he came anywhere close to winning this year though.

Review of Semi Final Performance:
First up it was Norwegian former Eurovision winner Alexander Rybak. He took the victory home back in 2009 with the track ‘Fairytale’. For his return nine years later with ‘That’s How You Write A Song’, he belongs to the top favourites to win the contest again. Just being completely honest here; I can’t see why! The song is catchy, but not in a good way if you ask me. The repetitiveness gets on the nerves easily and overall it just sounds quite childish. His performance however, is convincing. Vocally it is on point and he knows how to work the camera. The visual projections work well and the choreography fits the song. I would not want to see him win on Saturday, because I think there are tons of better songs in the competition, but there is no arguing with his charisma. (After the final it was announced that Alexander Rybak actually won his semi final!)

Review of Final Performance:
Before the contest I was afraid that Alexander Rybak’s return to Eurovision, after having won in 2009 with classic ‘Fairytale’, would be a case of ‘That’s how you ruin your Eurovision reputation’. It turned out that there were enough people who disagree with me that this is one of the weakest songs in the competition. I still find the track too repetitive and childish, but Rybak sure knows how to perform it with charisma. Interestingly enough, he won the second semi final, but in the final he did not go any further than the 15th spot.


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