In a frank interview with Norwegian tabloid Dagbladet, former winner Alexander Rybak tells of both the ups and downs of his career and personal life following his victory at the Eurovision Song Contest, 2009 with Fairytale.
It has long been public knowledge in Norway that following his overnight success throughout Europe, the pressure became too much for Alexander Rybak to handle and his body simply said stop. The star suffered from severe sleep deprivation, had a working schedule that was too jam packed and felt that he couldn’t function properly anymore. Those closest to the star started to notice his increasingly erratic behaviour, and the singer’s somewhat cryptic messages which he posted on both Facebook and Twitter merely added to the speculation.
Alexander also goes on to talk candidly about his girlfriend and the rumours of infidelity that were surrounding the couple and the impact they had on their relationship. He admits that he hurt his girlfriend Maria badly while he was filming the Swedish equivalent of Dancing With The Stars, when he was photographed in compromising positions out on the town with a leggy Swedish blonde. He later admitted the passionate embraces with his dnacing partner, Malin Johansson. leaving Maria devastated. Around the same time he began ti use sleeping pills heavily and at one point was worried that he could become addicted:"It was as if I’d lost control of my life. I began taking more and more sleeping pills, became addicted to nasal spray, had a constant stomach trouble and became so stressed that I began to throw up during the recordings in Sweden". The young star also developed a problem with being able to trust people and at the same time was terrified that something would happen to his beloved Maria. Speaking of his inability to trust others, he says "I’ve trusted people before and been hurt. I’ve entrusted my life to certain people who have just given up on me." Numerous therapy sessions with various psychologists followed, without noteworthy progress.
Today however, the star seems much more pragmatic, with a positive outlook on his life and career. He was recently offered £25,000 to play a few songs at a wedding in Ukraine, but turned down the offer, as he was busy driving around between towns and villages promoting his music here in Norway, signing his CDs for eager fans. Alexander seems to do things very much his own way and at his own pace nowadays, but is painfully aware of the double edged sword that is his success, speaking of how the Norwegian public are generally divided into two camps – those that love what he does and support him wholeheartedly, and the other group who are sceptical to the star and his work, which he dismisses as jealousy.
Fortunately for Alexander, his girlfriend Maria is very understanding and still by his side, giving him the ballast he needs in an otherwise turbulent career.