Iceland will also pick their entry for Baku on Saturday. They have been considerate enough to reduce the number of competing acts down to seven, not 251 like in Malta’s national final, which makes it possible for us to take a sneak peak and form an opinion on what we think about the final heat.
Iceland is one of our favorite countries, both in ESC and on more general terms. We wholeheartedly wish them success and nothing would please us more if Reykjavik 2013 is being announced in late May. But we better just face the facts and accept that it’s probably not gonna happen for our Nordic siblings this year either.
Iceland has a more than impressive track record in Eurovision and the country is beyond a doubt packed with talented and creative people. The only trouble is that there’s not so many of them in a country with a population about half the size of Oslo. You sort of get the feeling that you’re crashing someone’s annual family get together when watching the national finals. The same artists taking turn being lead singer one year and backing singer the next, and only a handful of people composing music and writing lyrics for each other. The machinery starts running on empty and it’s starting to get uneventful, predictable and dull. Not necessarily bad, cause the overall quality is decent enough, but the wow factor is lacking, and none of the seven acts light our fire in any case.
Even though we applaud their ability to use homegrown talent and resist the urge to import readymade schlagers from the Swedes, it might spice things up a bit to open the competition up and make way for contributions from abroad. Or we dunno, perhaps it should remain the way it is, the sweeter the victory will become when they finally have it in the bag.
After listening through this year’s selection we’re left with the impression that many of the entries sound a bit dated. There’s just a wee bit overdoing of heavy guitar riffs, and the two openers, Greta Salóme, Heiða and Guðrún Árný – Aldrei sleppir mér and Magni Ásgeirsson – Hugarró, sound like album fillers on an Absolute Power Ballad record from the early 90s. The ethno sound on Greta Salóme and Jónsi – Mundu eftir mér and Simbi and Hrútspungarnir – Hey is done the way it was done in Eurovision before the Eastern European countries joined in, when an ethnic sound was synonymous with sounding Irish. The most contemporary songs in the running are probably Regína Ósk – Hjartað brennur and Rósa Birgitta Ísfeld – Stund með þér, but we just can’t bring ourselves to muster up any kind of enthusiasm for these kinds of radio friendly ditties. They don’t belong in Eurovision in our opinion. Nor does boybands, as Blue last year was so kind to point out for us, even though Blár Ópal – Stattu Upp provides us with a dose of eye candy, which of course always goes down well in the GEE HQ.
Mundu eftir mér has grown into being a fan favorite; does anyone care to explain to us why?
I guess the attraction of Mundu Eftir Mér is the Jónsi factor. He was in Eurovision before and even though he made Heaven sound like a Guantanamo bay theme tune back then, he’s a bit of fancandy. Or maybe people confuse him with the other, credible, Jónsi.
His/their song is a bit of a medieval costume drama soundtrack that has been done in many national finals without success and will totally go unnoticed in Baku if chosen.
Stattu Upp is the best option, with some (a lot) of polishing up of the backing track and some cracking lyrics in English it could make it to the final.
Yep, suppose you’re on to something there Jan. We fail to see the grandness of this entry and we’re so not into this melodramatic medieval stuff. And supposedly this was not even the televoters favorite as they voted the boyband into first place, which would have been a much more fun entry to send than this dirge…