Alexander Rybak cancels Festivali i Këngës after ‘recent events’

Alexander Rybak

The 2009 Eurovision winner Alexander Rybak has cancelled his gig at the Albanian national final tonight. He was supposed to perform as one of the interval acts but has decided to cancel it. He wrote a message on his Facebook page;

By ‘recent events’ he refers to the Belarusian national final which he participated as a songwriter. His entry ‘Accent’, performed by Milki, finished fourth in the overall results. In jury voting the song finished fifth. On his Facebook page, Alexander posted a video in which he expressed his disappointment and blames jury for not voting his entry. In televoting, the song came second.

The message of the video was translated by one of the commentators:

I go on tour to many places around the world and everywhere Europeans say so much dirt about my homeland, Belarus. And I defend it, defend it. I say that it has a good system. And they say, “What kind of system? It’s all bought/ bribed” And I keep defending it. But I don’t even know anymore what I am defending. Every year, I meet the Belarussian delegation and they keep saying, “Sasha, please, write us a song. What do we need to do to win in Eurovision?” And so I wrote a song, spent so much time, so much money. I found some unique and talented girls and I wrote a song about pure and authentic Belarus, how I see it. And then the jury failed it. I even sacrificed by not celebrating Christmas with my parents. But it’s not even about that. Everywhere in Europe, people supported us; experts; fans of Eurovision, and here the jury decided to fail us. I saw this jury before. I’ve met everyone. I remember when I was sick, one guy from the jury came and said to take a picture, one chance with the kids. I smiled and took a picture and he said, “We will always support you.” And this is how they support, yeah? I really hope that I will never again see this jury because it will be very difficult to pretend that I’m happy and that I want to smile.