Europe experienced a breath-taking show live from the Olimpisky Indoor Arena in Moscow tonight with 25 acts from 25 countries giving their very best. 20 of these had qualified from the two Semi-Finals while host nation Russia and the so-called 'Big Four' - France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom - were automatically set for the Final. After all 42 countries had voted, it was Alexander Rybak from Norway who was the lucky winner with his song Fairytale, collecting 387 points altogether.
Alexander Rybak was born in Minsk (Belarus) on the 13th of May, 1986. He grew up in Nesodden just outside the Norwegian capital Oslo. Alexander has played violin and piano since he was five years old, he also composes his own music and sings. Alexander has performed with artists like Arve Tellefsen, Morten Harket, Hanne Krogh and Knutsen & Ludvigsen. In 2006 he won the Norwegian talentshow Kjempesjansen with his own song Foolin’. Alexander has performed with one of the worlds most celebrated violinists, Pinchas Zukerman. He also played the role of the fiddler in Fiddler On The Roof at Oslo Nye Theatre (2007) and has a role in the forthcoming movie Yohan - Child Wanderer which will be released in August 2009.
This year, the European Broadcasting Union introduced changes in the voting of the Eurovision Song Contest Final as for the first time in years, the winner wasn't decided solely by televoting. In contrast, a mixture of 50% televote and 50% jury was used. For this purpose, national juries consisting of five music industry professionals gathered in all 42 participating countries who ranked the songs in Eurovision Song Contest style, giving 12 points to their favourite song, 10 points to their second favourite, etc. The results of the five jury members were then added up and accounted for 50% of the country's votes. Those results were then combined with the televoting results.