Who is he and why is he famous?
Markus Fagervall is the 24 year old singer who has just won Idol 2006.
So his face is going to be all over the place for a while. We want you to be able to put a name to that face and sound clever at parties.
OK, thanks. Will I sound like I’m in tune with the kids?
You will. Especially the kids in Övertorneå.
What the heck is that?
It’s a small place up by the Finnish border where everybody speaks three languages. But instead of using them they generally settle for communication via short, audible inhalations. Markus is from there.
Right. And is he a typical polar circle kinda guy?
Yes. He recently said that since moving to Stockholm a year and a half ago he misses his nightly sauna and listening to the silence. He also consumes moist snuff by the ton. Any anthropologist would identify these as typical characteristics of a native of Övertorneå.
And are these unusual specimens in plentiful supply?
No, there are only 5,000 of them left, all constantly sprinting out of saunas, jumping into icy lakes and talking to elks when they have realised the sound of silence is a bit monotonous after while. Presumably the entire population tuned in to watch the region’s favourite son make it big among the bright lights of the city. Markus is like their Crocodile Dundee, except considerably less reptilian.
You’re generalising a bit about these fine people. Specifics please! What’s the third language after Swedish and Finnish?
Thank you. Anyway, getting back to the man of the moment, he was lucky to be in the final at all. The limo he and some other idols were travelling in was involved in a crash the previous weekend.
Oh no! Was he all right?
He was fine. Just a bit of a pain in the neck.
That’s not very polite.
You obviously haven’t watched Idol.
Indeed not. So who else was in the final?
Markus was up against some fellow called Erik whose surname I can’t recall because his fifteen minutes of fame are now officially over.
What was he like?
Don’t remember. But Markus spent most of the last week engaging in psychological warfare with the poor man. The whole thing was incredibly tense. Almost unbearable, in fact.
What did Markus sing in the final?
They each sang three songs. Markus did a version of Fix You by Coldplay, leading female jury member Kishti to describe his voice as being “like a caress, as close to a physical caress as you can get”. The weird moment passed and Markus was able to recover in time to sing the winning song, Everything Changes.
Haven’t heard it.
You will! It’s set to be released as a single. Like a latter-day Mark Anthony the victor will be asking friends, roamers and country folk to lend him their ears. But beware the idol of Markus! Lend him an ear and he’ll get inside your head.